Record iPad sales can't keep Apple from missing expectations

New products this quarter will decrease gross margins, says CFO

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Most analysts believe Apple will launch a new model -- dubbed "iPhone 5" in lieu of anything definite from the company -- this fall, perhaps as early as September and if not then, in early October, matching last year's roll-out of the iPhone 4S.

Cook later said that there was a "lot of speculation out there" about an upcoming revamp of the iPhone, but declined to put a number to lost sales. The closest Cook came to defining that number was to say that they were a "reasonable amount."

Apple's claim that customers postponed iPhone purchases caught analysts' eyes, if only because it was a quarter earlier than a similar explanation last year for slowing sales in the three months just before the debut of the iPhone 4S.

Baker called Cook's explanation plausible, but nonetheless said he wasn't buying it. "There are always rumors swirling around Apple," he said. "And when you get close to a new product launch, and there's relative certainty about it, then I do think in that instance people hold off."

But it was too early to haul out that as a defense for weaker-than-expected iPhone sales, said Baker. Instead, he pointed to the economic ills in many countries, and to the inflated inventories Apple held in the previous quarter, as the more likely causes.

Like the iPhone, the Mac line also set a June quarter record, posting sales of 4 million units -- 1 million desktops, 3 million notebooks -- for a very small 2% growth rate compared to the second quarter in 2011. Revenue for the Mac line was down 3% year-over-year.

It was the second quarter in a row that Mac sales growth was in the single digits.

Cook pointed out that Mac sales increases again beat estimates of global PC sales gains: Both IDC and Gartner said earlier this month that total sales dipped by 0.1%.

He also deflected attention from the Mac's slower growth by pointing to the timing of the latest revamp of its popular portables.

"Our lower growth rate was the result of the timing of our [refresh] announcement during the quarter," said Cook, referring to the early-June announcements of new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks, including its first-ever Retina display-equipped portable.

Apple unveiled those new notebooks at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 11.

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