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Mac sales fall, but iPhone and iPad keep Apple cash coming

Apple's line of computers isn't selling as well as it was last year, but the company is still making a tonne of cash.

Apple's line of Mac computers isn't selling as well as it was a year ago -- though a tumble in sales figures hasn't stopped Tim Cook and co. from earning a record amount of cash.

Divulging its earnings for the last three months of 2012, Apple revealed that it had flogged 4.1 million Macs, compared with 5.2 million in the same period the previous year.

Apple blames manufacturing constraints on its new, much thinner iMac desktop (pictured above), which may have impeded the maker of shiny gadget's ability to rake in Mac cash.

Apple isn't sure it will meet iMac demand in the first part of 2013 either, reports, with Tim Cook quoted as saying in an earnings call, "We're confident that we're going to significantly increase the supply, but the demand here is very strong and we are not certain that we'll achieve a supply/demand balance during the quarter."

The number of iPods sold has also dropped from 15.4 million in the last quarter of 2011, to 12.7 million in the same period last year.

Despite not every product line making Apple as much money as it has previously, the iPod-maker still posted record-busting revenue of $54.5 billion (about £34.4bn), and an eye-watering $13.1bn (roughly £8.3bn) of profit.

By comparison, Android-owner Google cleared $2.89bn (about £1.82bn) of profit in the same three months of last year, proving that when it comes to generating terrifying stacks of moolah, Apple still rules the roost.

It's earning power is down largely to the steady popularity of its mobile gadgets. Apple flogged a whopping 47.8 million iPhones in the last quarter of 2012, compared to 37 million in the same period in 2011, and 22.9 million iPads, compared with 15.4 million in the prior year. Samsung recently boasted that it had flogged 40 million Galaxy S3 units to retailers since its flagship phone went on sale six months ago.

Wall Street shuffle

Apple made $4.2bn per week in the last three months of 2012, but it wasn't enough to impress investors, who expected even greater numbers from the company. Amid concerns that Apple has lost its way, following the publication of the results nearly $47bn was wiped off the company's stock-market value.

I don't think it's unfair to say that Apple's last few product announcements have felt a tad underwhelming, but then it's hard to imagine where Apple could go with devices like the iPhone and iPad. Fingers crossed we see an exotic new product this year. Maybe that TV everyone's been harping on about, or a car perhaps?

What do you think Apple needs to do if it wants to stay on top? Will it continue to earn massive megabucks? Or is Apple's time in the sun over? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.