Apple’s just missed earnings estimates for the first time in a really long time.

The reason? Lighter than expected iPhone sales dragged the whole sucker down. iPhone unit sales were 17.1 million for the quarter, versus 22 million expected.

On the earnings call, CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer repeatedly blamed rumors about a new iPhone for the relatively tepid iPhone sales.

It’s an usual move on their part. Apple has always dealt with new iPhone rumors and always crushed earnings.

The stock tanked on the news, falling 7% after hours.

That snap reaction from the markets could easily be reversed. CEO Tim Cook said he expects the iPad and iPhone set all time sales records for the last three months of 2011. Apple also set very strong guidance for sales and EPS. Considering it has a tendency to sandbag guidance, we could be looking a monstrous holiday quarter for Apple.

via SHOCK: Apple Misses Earnings After iPhone Sales Come In Lighter Than Expected.