Apple's strong Q3 driven by iPhone and Mac sales

Apple CEO, Tim Cook
Apple CEO, Tim Cook

During a quarter in which Apple bought Beats, launched new desktop and mobile operating systems and released its cheapest iMac ever, the company also increased revenue, grew profits and sold more iPhones and Macs than last year.

Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones and 4.4 million Macs, an increase of 13% and 18% compared with Q3 of 2013, respectively.

It wasn't all rosy for Apple. iPad sales fell for the second straight quarter, to 13.3 million, a decrease of 9%. Apple's revenue also fell short of Wall Street expectations by about $600 million dollars.

Dollars and cents

Apple posted quarterly revenue of $37.4 billion (about £21.9b, AU$39.8b) during the third quarter of 2014, an increase of 6% compared with the same quarter last year.

Apple also reported a net profit of $7.7 billion (about £4.5b, AU$8.2b) during the quarter, an 11% increase compared with last year. Operating expenses increased 16% to $4.4 billion (about £2.5b, AU$4.68b) during the quarter.

"Our record June quarter revenue was fueled by strong sales of iPhone and Mac and the continued growth of revenue from the Apple ecosystem," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, in an earnings statement. "We are incredibly excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, as well as other new products and services that we can't wait to introduce."

Apple's fourth quarter

During the final quarter of Apple's fiscal year, it is expected to introduce a new iPhone and to provide consumers with a better idea of how the Beat enterprise will fit into it's overall ecosystem.

The iPhone 6 is the most anticipated smartphone ever. Industry experts predict the phone will be released in September of this year.

Apple is also expected to announce the iWatch at some point during 2014. However, it is immediately unclear if and when this will happen.

Apple's busy third quarter

During the third quarter of 2014, Apple purchased Beats for $3 billion (about £1.79b, AU$3.25b). The deal included Beats Music, the company's streaming subscription music service, as well as its Beats Electronics hardware and audio software.

Apple also introduced its cheapest iMac to hit the market. The new model, a low-power 21.5-inch iMac for $1,099 (about £899, AU$1349), reduced the cost of Apple's most affordable model by $200. The iMac comes with a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 5000 and a 500GB hard drive.

At its annual developers conference, Apple also introduced Yosemite and iOS 8, which will feature tighter Mac integration, looser restrictions on Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and new software kits designed to improve security and health gadgets.

Apple and the enterprise market

Apple also made inroads into the enterprise market. The company formed an exclusive partnership with IBM on a major initiative to bring more iOS devices and solutions to the workplace. As part of the deal, IBM will develop more than 100 industry-specific apps developed exclusively for Apple's mobile devices.

As part of its iOS 8 launch, Apple unveiled new features designed specifically for enterprise developers. Upgrades included automatic device enrollment and enhanced data protection. The enhancements enable organizations to have iOS devices pre-loaded with relevant mail, apps and calendar installations.

Apple is expected to make several acquisitions in the third quarter. At the beginning of Q3, Apple said it would raise $17 billion (about £10b, or AU$18.3b) in a bond offering. The cash generated would reportedly be used to fund a share buyback and to initiate a round of acquisitions.

During Q2, Apple sold 43.7 million iPhones and 16.3 million iPads.