The profit in the fiscal quarter to June was up 20.5 percent from a year earlier and amounted to $9.32 dollars a share, well below the consensus forecast of $10.36 dollars.
Revenues rose 22.5 percent to $35 billion, also below expectations of more than $37 billion.
With Apple's rare miss of analyst forecasts, shares slid 5.1 percent in after-hours trade to $570.51.
Apple said it was pleased with the results, including sales of 17 million iPads, a year-over-year rise of 84 percent. The company also sold 26 million iPhones in the quarter, up 28 percent, and four million Macs, a two percent unit increase.
"We're thrilled with record sales of 17 million iPads in the June quarter," Apple chief Tim Cook said in a release.
"We've also just updated the entire MacBook line, will release (the computer operating system) Mountain Lion tomorrow and will be launching (mobile operating system) iOS 6 this fall."
Cook added that the Cupertino, California-based company has "amazing new products" on the way.
Some analysts believe that the blistering pace of iPhone sales growth faces a temporary cooling as potential buyers wait for the release of a new-generation iPhone, perhaps later this year.
Apple's share of the US smartphone market was expected to inch up a percent to 31 percent this year, while the share for handsets powered by Google-backed Android software was expected to hit 41 percent, according to eMarketer.
Apple used the earnings report to declare a cash dividend of $2.65 per share of common stock.
The report comes with Apple battling in the courts over patents, mainly with South Korean archrival Samsung.
A trial is set to begin Monday in the case in which Apple accused Samsung of infringing on copyrights by copying certain features of the iPad and iPhone to win market share for Samsung's devices powered by the Google-created Android operating system.
Apple is seeking $2.5 billion in the case in a federal court in California.
Apple and Samsung are fighting patent battles in more than half a dozen countries.
Each company accuses the other of infringing on patented technology in smartphones or tablets.
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