Apple will return poor results in the next quarter, ending in December, warned chief financial officer Fred Anderson.

But both Anderson and Apple CEO Steve Jobs promised that Apple would be back on track for the second quarter - running from January to March 2001.

Sales have been bad for the company during the past quarter. MacCentral reports Anderson's revelation that the company was sitting on almost eight weeks of inventory when the quarter ended – three weeks more than the company expected to have on its hands.

Down The sales expectations for the next quarter have been lowered, in order to cut the amount of excess inventory down. Anderson revealed revised revenue estimates of about $1.6 billion, and said the company was aiming to return a slight profit. The company also revealed revised year 2001 revenue targets of between $7.5-$8 billion.

He said: "The December quarter will be about returning the channel inventory situation to normal levels." This will damage the company's short-term financial performance.

Looking to the future, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, said: "Our engineering department has been working overtime on some of the most innovative products ever. Apple will have a very competitive line of desktop systems and laptops, the best I've seen in my career."

Handheld vision Jobs also talked about handheld devices and Internet appliances. He refused to confirm or deny if the company planned to enter these markets, but did say that he expected a "collision" between handheld devices and mobile phones.

When asked if the thrill of Apple's innovative designs was wearing off, Jobs said: "In our track record of the past several years, we've only released one product that hasn't met our sales expectations - the G4 Cube."

Jobs was upbeat about future sales. Apple's current customer base is between 20-23 million. Apple has sold about 13 million Macs since Jobs returned to the company, causing Jobs to say: "That leaves about nine million Macs out there that are old and ready to upgrade. We do not see a saturation problem as best as we can tell."