(AAPL - Get Report)
chief Steve Jobs is back,
iPhones are flying out the door
-- it's almost enough to stop one from worrying about Mac sales being down 11% from last year.
Tech investors will turn their attention to Apple after the bell today to see how well the new iPhone and its $99 cohort helped the gadget shop sidestep the
slowdown in computer sales
The strong debut of the new iPhone 3G S illustrates
Apple at its best
. Creativity, anticipation, risk and a deft hand at delivering popular device designs gave Apple an iPhone product cycle that's defied the recession and countered the waning popularity of the company's other products.
The big worry is whether Apple can sustain the iPhone magic beyond the most recent quarter as new smartphones from
Research In Motion
enter the picture.
Apple's Tablet Will Be an iFlop
About 5.3 million iPhones were sold in Apple's fiscal third quarter ended last month, estimates RBC analyst Mike Abramsky. That's a 40% increase over the prior quarter. And looking ahead to the September quarter, that iPhone momentum could fade, bringing other areas into focus.
The Mac swoon will eat into profits, say Sanford Bernstein analysts, as Apple cuts prices on notebooks and pushes its back-to-school promotions.
Apple, more than peers like RIM or
(HPQ - Get Report)
, relies heavily on
, and there's little evidence that people are feeling more confident about their finances.
Analysts are expecting Apple to post earnings of $1.16 a share, down from the $1.19 level in the year-ago quarter. Sales are expected to be $8.2 billion, which is up about 9% from the $7.5 billion Apple booked a year ago.