iPhones and Macs keep Apple chugging, but everyone wants to see what's next

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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.

It may have been a solid Q3 2014 for the Cupertino crew, but all eyes are already looking towards what's next.

"Our record June quarter revenue was fueled by strong sales of iPhone and Mac and the continued growth of revenue from the Apple ecosystem, driving our highest EPS growth rate in seven quarters," Apple CEO Tim Cook said 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."

Show us what's next

We've heard Cook talk about new product categories before, but the timing - the last earnings call before the expected announcement of the iPhone 6 (or iPhone 6s) and the iWatch - strongly suggest we're in for these devices and more in the coming quarter.

Cook said on a call with investors that Apple is "hard at work" on a "pipeline of new products and services we can't wait to show you."

Luca Maestri, Apple's CFO, answered an investor query about next-quarter guidance by noting Apple is "expecting a very busy fall" and reiterating there's excitement for what's coming.

Of course, neither broached just what we will see from the fibrous firm, but with events likely taking place in September and October, we won't have to wait much longer.

By the numbers

Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones and 4.4 million Macs this past quarter, an increase of 13% and 18% compared with Q3 of 2013, respectively. During Q2, Apple sold 43.7 million iPhones and 16.3 million iPads.

It wasn't all rosy for Apple. iPad sales fell for the second straight quarter, to 13.3 million, a decrease of 9%. It was a drop Cook had to answer to investors repeatedly during the earnings call and one he said businesses could help rectify.

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

The company's revenue fell short of Wall Street expectations by about $600 million (about £351m, AU$636m).

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.

Apple's busy three months

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, the firm 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 enterprise

Apple also made inroads into the enterprise market, though its biggest move technically happened in Q4 fiscal year 2014. 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 upcoming quarter as well.