Dan Frommer has a nice graphical overview of Apple’s September quarter results. As he points out in a follow-up post:
Weaker than anticipated iPhone sales last quarter forced Apple to miss earnings expectations tonight “” a rare showing for the company. As a result, Apple shares are getting whacked right now, down about 7% in after-hours trading.
Here’s the thing about those “weaker” iPhone sales. If Apple released the iPhone 4S in September like most people expected, the 4 million units they sold last weekend would have happened in time to beat analyst expectations (note that Apple still beat its own guidance).
Instead of releasing something sub-standard to keep the analysts happy, Apple decided to wait until the hardware and software were both ready and up their own quality standards. That’s what long-term strategy looks like.