Apple beats earnings estimates as iPhone sales climb

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Analysts were looking for 41.6 million iPhone units in the quarter, and an average selling price of US$699, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg News.

The firm said its £999 iPhone X - launched a year ago - remained its most popular iPhone model in the quarter and had driven the higher selling prices. Many Americans have at least one piece of Apple tech in their household, and the same can be said for residents of European and Asian countries.

Apple Inc sales led by the pricey iPhone X pushed quarterly results far beyond Wall Street targets on Tuesday, with subscriptions from App Store, Apple Music and iCloud services bolstering business.

"We're thrilled to report Apple's best June quarter ever, and our fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth", said Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, in a press release. During that quarter Apple sold 41 million iPhones, 11.4 million iPads, and 4.3 million Macs.

The company said it expects fourth-quarter revenue of between $60bn (£45.7bn) and $62bn (£47.2bn). More importantly, consumers kept buying more expensive iPhones this quarter, with the average sales price rising to $724, up from $606 past year.

Mr Maestri said the company's so-called "wearables" business - which includes the Apple Watch and its AirPods headphones, among other items - has generated $US10 billion in sales in the past 10 quarters and saw sales increase 60 per cent in the most recent quarter. Finally, Apple's Services revenue of $9.5 billion was good for a 31% increase year-on-year.

It's a calculation that becomes more complicated because the company is using its massive cash reserves and profits repatriated under Trump tax break schemes to buy back its own shares. Analysts forecast US$9.2 billion. Apple has also hit what Cook called a pocket of success with the Apple Watch, though the company doesn't break down smartwatch revenue.

The company's Other Products segment continued to see strong growth, with revenue up 37 per cent to US$3.7 billion.

Gross margin for the quarter was 38.3 percent compared to 38.5 percent in the year-ago quarter, with global sales accounting for 60 percent of revenue.

Apple is looking at whether it will be hit by tariffs on purchases the company must make, possibly "related to data centers", Cook said on a conference call with investors.

Finally, while Cook expressed opposition to new trade tariffs between the USA and China, noting how they're anti-consumer, he said that Apple is continuing to see double digit growth in China along with other major markets.

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