Unthinkable! Apple Misses Its First Earnings Forecast Since 2002

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What’s next? Giraffes with short necks, an empty Coachella… a married Gene Simmons?

On Tuesday afternoon, Apple actually missed analyst earnings forecasts across-the-board, something that hasn’t happened since 2002.  Consensus Wall Street estimates called for revenues of roughly $29 billion during the latest quarter, and per-share figures in the $7.30 range.  Instead, Apple failed to blow those figures away, instead posting $28.3 billion in revenue and $7.05 earnings per share.

The biggest problem seemed to be a slowing iPhone, always an issue ahead of a big upgrade.  So instead of expected sales of 22 million during the recent three-month run, and Apple shifted a ‘mere’ 17.1 million units.   Other products – includes Macs, iPods, and iPads – seemed to hover closer to expectations.

Then again, this isn’t THAT bad of a situation.  After all, this is $6.62 billion in profits we’re talking about, up substantially from $4.31 billion last year.  And, 17.1 million iPhones sold is a hefty amount by any standard.  On top of all that, the iPhone 4S is more than overachieving, and not counted in the financial period.

Still, this discussion isn’t complete without mentioning Steve Jobs, whose benevolent dictatorship firmly shaped Apple for more than a decade.  Jobs was obviously struggling during the recent quarter and had already ceded day-to-day responsibilities, though that situation may have had a bigger impact than anyone is willing to admit.

Now, or in the future.