Apple and Amazon figures below market expectations

The news from the technology sector left investors glum last night, with Apple and Amazon dashing market expectations with their latest updates.

Apple said its profits in the three months to the end of September had climbed to $8.22bn, against the $8.3bn anticipated by analysts, as it sold fewer iPads than expected. With customers putting off purchase ahead of the release of the iPad mini this week, Apple shifted 14 million iPads, below the 15-million-odd figure forecast by analysts. Although it managed to sell more iPhones than predicted, the iPad figures were closely watched, as Windows prepares to start selling its Surface tablet today.

Amazon said it had booked $13.81bn in third-quarter revenues, below the $13.9bn pencilled in by analysts, while its guidance for the final three months of the year, which include the holiday-sales period, was for between $20.25bn and $22.75bn in net sales – lower than the $22.82bn anticipated by analysts. The online retailer also said it had swung to a $274m third-quarter loss, as it took a hit from its investment in the daily-deal business LivingSocial, sending its shares south in after-hours trading.