While Apple's key quarterly financial indicators were up from the same quarter in 2014, they were all down from the prior quarter.
Apple earned $10.7 billion in net profit on revenue of $49.6 billion in the third quarter of 2015 ended June 30, which is up 38 percent from the $7.7 billion in net profit and $37.4 billion in revenue the company brought in during the same quarter one year ago.
Yet while that sounds positive, those numbers are down from the company's 2015 second quarter, when it posted $13.6 billion in net profits and $58 billion in revenue, which were 21 percent and 14 percent higher, respectively, in the prior quarter.
Apple unveiled its latest financial figures after the close of the stock market on July 21.
For Apple, revenue, profit and sales in the third quarter can typically go down as consumers often hold their cash and wait for the company's upcoming products to arrive in September, so the lower quarter-to-quarter figures are not unnecessarily alarming for Apple.
At the same time, however, the company's iPhone sales figure of 47.5 million for Q3—an important barometer of Apple's global success—failed to meet the 50 million sales figure
that financial analysts expected Apple to report, according to a July 21 story by The New York Times
. The company's Q3 iPhone sales were down 22 percent from the second quarter, when 61.2 million iPhones were sold.
Sales of Apple's iPad were also down for Q3, with 10.9 million iPads sold, down 18 percent from the 13.3 million iPads sold in the same period one year ago.
Apple's per share earnings for Q3 were $1.85 per diluted share, up from the $1.28 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2014. The company reported a gross margin of 39.7 percent compared with 39.4 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 64 percent of the quarter's revenue.
Apple CEO Tim Cook gave his company high marks for its year-over-year performance, despite the revenue and sales declines since the second quarter.
"We had an amazing quarter, with iPhone revenue up 59 percent over last year, strong sales of Mac, all-time record revenue from services, driven by the App Store, and a great start for Apple Watch," Cook said in a statement. "The excitement for Apple Music has been incredible, and we're looking forward to releasing iOS 9, OS X El Capitan and watchOS 2 to customers in the fall."
Specific sales figures for Apple Watch, which debuted in April, were not broken out in the Q3 results by the company due to competitive reasons, as previously announced by Apple.
Apple issued guidance for its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter, calling for revenue between $49 billion and $51 billion and a gross margin between 38.5 percent and 39.5 percent.
One year ago, Apple reported Q3 2014 revenue of $37.4 billion, a net profit of $7.4 billion and sales of 35.2 million iPhones.
In January 2015, Apple reported on its best-ever quarter, when the company posted a record $74.6 billion in revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2015, which ended Dec. 31, 2014. Apple also posted a record $18 billion in profits in the first quarter, which was fueled by a consumer frenzy of sales of its latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones, which debuted in September 2014. The $74.6 billion in revenue in the first quarter was a 30 percent increase from the $57.6 billion in the same quarter in 2014, while the $18 billion in net profit was up 37 percent from the $13.1 billion net profit in the same quarter in 2014.