Apple has reported its first quarterly drop in profits in a decade, but said it will raise dividends for shareholders.
Apple made a net profit of $9.5 billion in the first quarter of 2013, down from $11.6 billion last year.
However, the results were better than many had expected, as strong iPhone and iPad sales boosted revenues to $43.6 billion.
Concerns over slowing demand for Apple products amid increased competition have hurt its share price recently.
“Though we’ve achieved a credible scale and financial success, we acknowledge that our growth rate has slowed and our margins have decreased from the exceptionally high level we experienced in 2012,” Tim Cook, Apple CEO, said.
Apple said it sold 37.4 million iPhones and 19.5 million iPads worldwide in Q1 2013.
Although Apple continues to remain a dominant player in the tablet computer and smartphone markets, investors have been worried that its market share was being eroded by increasingly popular offerings from rivals such as Samsung.
Apple has reported its first quarterly drop in profits in a decade, but said it will raise dividends for shareholders
There have also been concerns over the lack of new product launches.
Analysts have suggested the company needs to innovate and develop new products to stay ahead of the competition, rather than relying on updates to existing products.
“The market is tired of the same old thing at Apple,” said Lauren Balter, an analyst at Oracle Investment Research.
“Investors are looking for innovation. The reality is that people are looking at other products now and they are looking at other cool features from competitors.”
These concerns have seen investors ditch Apple shares over the past few months. It has lost around 40% of its stock market value since hitting an all-time high in September last year.
However, Tim Cook tried to assure investors and shareholders that the firm was continuing to take measures to ensure that it maintained its dominance in the market.
“The decline in Apple’s stock price over the last couple of quarters has been very frustrating for all of us… but we’ll continue to do what we do best,” he said.
“The most important objective for Apple will always be creating innovative products.
“Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software and services, and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline,” he added.
Some analysts said that the lack of a new product did not mean that Apple was not developing one.
“What no investor can see is what is happening between closed doors in research and development,” said David Tan, assistant professor of strategy at Georgetown University.
“[Research and development] is always very secretive. It always takes a very long time between the inception of an idea and commercializing a product.”
Apple, which before the latest earnings had $137 billion in cash, has been under pressure to share some of it with shareholders.
On Tuesday Apple said it planned to buy back $60 billion in shares, and raise its dividend to shareholders by 15%.
The move encouraged investors and Apple’s shares rose 5.5% in after-hours trading on Wall Street.
Armed robbers broke into a central Paris Apple store on New Year’s Eve, stealing goods with an estimated value of 1 million euros ($1.3 million).
The police said that four masked men forced their way into the shop.
It comes as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg claims that the theft of Apple goods has contributed to rising street crime figures in the city.
Thieves broke into the Apple store behind the Paris Opera at around 21:00 on Monday, December 31, three hours after the shop closed.
The police did not confirm the value of the goods stolen by the robbers, who escaped afterwards in a van.
A spokesman for the police union Unsa told reporters: “As the majority of police were busy watching the Champs Elysees [for New Year’s Eve celebrations], the robbers took advantage of this opportunity.”
Armed robbers broke into Paris Opera Apple store on New Year’s Eve, stealing goods with an estimated value of 1 million euros
The theft comes as the desirability of Apple goods among street criminals is being blamed for a rise in crime figures in New York.
According to the New York Police Department, some 3,890 Apple products were stolen in 2012, pushing crime figures up and prompting Mayor Michael Bloomberg to say that thieves in the city were showing a preference for Apple goods.
His press secretary later said that if the jump in stolen Apple products was removed, crime figures would have been down for the year.
According to London’s Metropolitan Police, street criminals in London are increasingly targeting easy-to-steal gadgets, although they do not provide a breakdown of the brands most favored by thieves.
“In general the more you paid for a gadget the more interest it will be to street robbers,” said a spokesman.
“We are constantly reminding people to register their goods,” he added.
What police have seen, he said, is a change in the profile of victims as thieves become less likely to steal cash and more likely to steal phones which are “highly sellable on the second-hand market”.
“Victims now are far less likely to be a bashed-up pensioner and more likely to be a young professional who has had a phone grabbed out of their hand or pocket,” he said.
Although the iPad Mini is still fresh off the Apple’s table and yet reports of a new generation iPad are already circulating on Japanese tech blog Macotakara.
Rumor has it Apple plans to launch a fifth generation tablet in March 2013, in keeping with its yearly Spring releases of previous models.
But with the recent debut in November of the Mini, another model so soon is unexpected and will have technology fans wondering what new features it could possibly offer.
According to Macotakara‘s inside source the new iPad, will look like the iPad Mini in design and detail and the dimensions of a slightly smaller iPad 2.
Deciphering the claim that “the expectation [of the new iPad] comes to have a small 4mm in height, 17mm in width, depth 2mm”, would point to a reduction in size of the original iPad by these dimensions suggests 9to5mac.com.
The current iPad measures 9.50 in (241.2 mm) by 7.31in (185.7 mm) by 0.37 in (9.4 mm) and so according to the reports, the new one would be almost as thin as the iPad Mini at around 0.3 in (7 mm).
Although the iPad Mini is still fresh off the Apple’s table and yet reports of a new generation iPad are already circulating on Japanese tech blog Macotakara
There are currently three models of iPad and five generations.
The first iPad, the iPad 2 and the iPad Retina display all measure the same. Apple released a faster version of the iPad Retina (also known to many as the iPad 3) this past March and some people refer to this as the iPad 4.
Following hot on the heels of the iPad 4 launch was the introduction of the Mini measuring a sleek 7.87 in (200 mm) in height, 5.3 in (134.7 mm) in width and 0.28 in (7.2 mm) in depth.
And blogs are also whispering about plans for a new iPad Mini already in the works.
The new model, according to Macotakara, would feature the Retina display with the same resolution as the third and fourth generation iPads.
These theories have been backed up by Digitimes and come from a source known for its accuracy regarding insider information about Apple products.
If they do prove to be true, it would suggest that Apple is stepping up its game and keeping ahead of the curve within the world of tablets.
City officials in San Francisco plan to ban Apple Macintosh computers purchase in local government agencies.
The move follows the firm’s decision to pull out of a green certification scheme designed to identify which electronic devices pose the least risk to the environment.
CIO Journal reported the ban was designed to encourage Apple to reconsider.
It noted local officials spent $45,579 on Apple equipment in 2010.
The sum is a fraction of the firm’s $65 billion net sales the same year, but the fact that its Cupertino headquarters is about 70 km away from San Francisco (43 miles) and many of its staff live in the city have helped the act gain attention.
Jon Walton, San Francisco’s chief information officer, said that his decision was in line with a long running policy to opt for equipment listed on the EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) registry.
“San Francisco has reached out to Apple and is hopeful that a solution to this challenge can be found in the future,” said Jon Walton.
City officials in San Francisco plan to ban Apple Macintosh computers purchase in local government agencies
But a statement from Apple suggested it had no plans to reverse its decision.
“Apple takes a comprehensive approach to measuring our environmental impact and all of our products meet the strictest energy efficiency standards backed by the US government,” a spokeswoman said.
“We also lead the industry by reporting each product’s greenhouse gas emissions on our website, and Apple products are superior in other important environmental areas not measured by EPEAT, such as removal of toxic materials.”
The organizers of EPEAT announced last week that Apple was withdrawing its products from the registry and would no longer submit new devices to receive ratings.
“We regret that Apple will no longer be registering its products in EPEAT,” the organizers said.
“We hope that they will decide to do so again at some point in future.”
The news prompted speculation that government bodies, schools and some businesses would bar purchases of Apple computers as a result.
US government rules dictate that 95% of all electronics bought by official agencies must fall under EPEAT’s scheme. iPads and iPhones do not fall under the system’s remit.
Apple has not explained why it abandoned the standard which it helped create in 2006.
However, an article by Infoworld – highlighted on EPEAT’s site – links the move to manufacturing techniques used to make the latest version of the firm’s MacBook Pro, which features a 5.1 million pixel high-definition display.
In order to include the new screen while minimizing the laptop’s thickness Apple made it harder to disassemble the computer causing it to be difficult for even experts to upgrade or recycle the device.
The move would have made it unlikely that the machine would have qualified for EPEAT’s highest rating.
One Wall Street analyst suggested that the firm had acted in its long-term interests.
“Apple has a long history of being a cutting-edge design company and some of these processes involve state of the art components and manufacturing techniques,” said Colin Gillis, senior technology analyst at BGC Partners.
“Its entire credo is to be pushing the envelope forward, and in our opinion it’s better to lose some sales rather than risk not having any at all.”
Sarah Rotman Epps, a San Francisco-based analyst at Forrester Research, also played down the news.
“I don’t think Apple – or the world – should read too much into this,” she said.
“California also recently banned the sale of foie gras – a decision not all consumers or businesses would agree with. Just because the city of San Francisco isn’t buying Macs doesn’t mean that other municipalities, businesses or consumers will follow suit.”