Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reduced its guidance for its upcoming 1Q 2013, the company revealed in its press release announcing 4Q 2012 results. The iPhone and iPad purveyor now expects a significantly lower net profit figure of $11.75 in the upcoming quarter. This is $3.74, or 32%, lower than average analyst expectations of $15.49. It also falls short of the $13.87 that the company earned in its 1Q 2012.

Revenue is now anticipated to come in at $52 billion, a 6% drop from analyst predictions of $55 billion. Apple expects its gross margin will be 36%, the lowest figure in several years. Gross margin for 4Q 2012 was 40%.

The upcoming quarter is particularly crucial for a consumer electronics firm like Apple, as it comes during the sales-happy holiday season.

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said the expected shortfall is due to higher costs related to the company's proliferation of new products, including the just-introduced iPad Mini. CEO Tim Cook said Apple was "unwilling to cut corners" in the production of such goods for the sake of short-term gain.

Eric Volkman has no positions in Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.