Apple profits: Company's record-breaking numbers beat expectations as sales of new plus-sized iPhones boom

Company announces first-quarter earnings as it revealed Apple is number one in China smartphone market

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The Independent Online

Apple has recorded the biggest quarterly profits ever made by a public company, as sales of its new plus-sized spiked over Christmas.

Apple said on Tuesday that it sold 74.5 million iPhones during the three months that ended on 31 December, beating all predications about the new device, which was introduced in September.

The Associated Press said that the surge in sale of the phones drove the company’s total revenue to $74.6bn, up 30 per cent from a year earlier. Net profit rose 38 per cent to $18bn, as Apple reported earnings of $3.06 a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of $2.60 a share on revenue of $67.39bn.

The new models also helped Apple increase its share of the Chinese market. Apple does not break down iPhone sales by country, but a report issued on Tuesday by research firm Canalys estimated that Apple sold more smartphones in China during the last quarter than any other maker, including South Korea’s Samsung and the Chinese companies Huawei and Xiaomi.

Given that the retail price of the iPhone is much greater than that of phones made by Chinese vendors, Canalys called this “"an amazing result".


Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told the AP that revenue for the current period will increase between 14 and 20 percent from a year ago, despite the strong dollar, which has forced other companies to lower their forecasts. "We feel very good about the March quarter," he said.

Apple has set records with each new version of its iPhones. By comparison, the company sold 51mn smartphones during the holiday quarter in 2013, when its iPhone 5s and 5c models were new on the scene.

Bigger screens are one reason for the popularity of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple had resisted when other companies such as Samsung began introducing smartphones with bigger screens.

Yet some experts worry that Apple's strength could become a weakness. Apple makes more money from iPhones than any other product, including its iPods, iPads and Mac computers. That could leave it vulnerable as the overall smartphone market shows signs of slowing growth, warned BGC Partners analyst Colin Gills, who noted in a recent report that Apple depends on iPhones for nearly two-thirds of its revenue.