Apple slows on iPhone 5 speculation

APPLE recorded a rare quarter of disappointing sales last night, sending shares down almost six per cent in after-hours trading, as demand for its iPhone fell ahead of the impending release of its next model.

The world’s largest company by market value said revenues were $35bn (£22.6bn) in the three months to July, lower than the $37.2bn forecasted.

Apple attributed the miss to “rumours and speculation” about the next iPhone, expected to be released in the autumn, and weak performance in Europe. Net income was $8.8bn, 21 per cent up year-on-year but lower than forecasts of over $9.5bn.

Apple sold 26m iPhones over the period, down from 35m in the previous three months, although iPad sales rose by 44 per cent to 17m following the release of the newest version in March.

Chief executive Tim Cook said he “could not be more confident in our product pipeline”.

Apple also announced last night that it will release the latest version of its Mac operating system, Mountain Lion, today.

Cook said that growth in mainland Europe had been “flat” over the last year. Apple expects sales in the next quarter to fall slightly to $34bn, suggesting the next iPhone will not launch until October at the earliest.

Earlier yesterday, the tech giant claimed rival Samsung owes it $2.5bn over the use of Apple’s technology in the Korean firm’s products. The two companies are due to go to trial on Monday.