26/10/2012 08:37 BST | Updated 25/12/2012 10:12 GMT

Apple Posts Record Earnings, But Analysts Say iPad Targets 'Missed'

Apple has posted record earnings for the third quarter of 2012, beating its previous milestones for iPad, iPhone and Mac sales.

But the earnings still managed to miss the expectations of some financial analysts, who had hoped for even more from the company.

Fresh from announcing its new iPad Mini tablet and new iMac and Macbook Pro laptops, Apple said its profits for the three months to 29 September were $8.2bn, up 27% on the same quarter in 2011.

It added that its profits for the year had hit $41bn, up 45% on 2011.

Quarterly revenue stood at $36bn, compared to $28.3bn a year ago, and the company sold 14m iPads (+26%),; 26.9m iPhones (+58%) and 4.9m Macs (+1%).

Apple now has $121.3bn in cash and long-term securities.

However the company saw continuing declines in its iPod music player business, selling 5.3m units, down 19%.

And the earnings failed to mollify Wall Street Analysts, who had expected stronger iPad sales. The website Business Insider claimed the iPad figure was "truly awful" after analysts had hoped for sales of at least 17.5m - despite the company selling about 3m more iPads over the same period in 2011.

Apple said the disparity was partially down to slowing sales ahead of the widely-expected iPad Mini announcement, and the transition to the new fourth generation iPad.

Shaw Wu, analyst at Sterne Agee, told the BBC: "The iPhones came in better than expected."

"The shortfall was on the iPad for two reasons. There was a pause on the iPad ahead of the iPad Mini. Everyone was waiting for that. Then they replaced the third generation iPad with the fourth generation."

Apple said that it was confident it would have a strong Christmas.

"We're very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO.

"We're entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline."

Meanwhile, pre-orders for the iPad Mini tablet went live on Friday, with many models already indicating longer than expected delivery times - suggesting there is strong interest in the new device.

After the earnings call, Cook addressed comments made in 2010 by the company's late founder Steve Jobs that it would never make a seven-inch tablet.

Cook stood by the remarks, saying that the iPad Mini was in a "whole different league".

"We would not make one of the seven inch tablets. We don't think they're good products, and we would never make one. Not just because it's seven inches, but for many reasons. One of the reasons, however, is size."