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Apple profits soar to £23bn on back of iPhone sales

Apple said it had shipped 31.2 million iPhones over the quarter

Solid iPhone sales helped Apple to beat Wall Street expectations last night, with the Californian technology giant surpassing hopes for both quarterly earnings and revenues as investors clamour for new products.

The firm booked $35.3bn (£23bn) in revenues for the three months to the end of June, more than the $35bn figure pencilled in by analysts, and reported $7.47 in earnings per share, against expectations of around $7.32.

Apple said it had shipped 31.2 million iPhones over the quarter, far more than the predicted range of between 26 million and 27 million. The company sold 26 million iPhones during the same period last year.

But despite the rise in units sold, the ASP (average selling price) for iPhones continued to fall, dipping to a new low of $581 from $613. These numbers reflect the consensus of industry analysts that the high-end smartphone market has run its course.

iPad sales were also lower, easing to 14.6 million in the three months to June, against 17 million last year. Mac sales retreated to 3.8 million from 4 million in the same period last year.

While the boost in iPhone sales will cheer many investors, the weakness in iPad shipments could renew concerns about the company’s ability to continue growing in the absence of new product launches. Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, has in recent months come under increasing pressure to launch follow-ups to the iPhone and iPad.

Yesterday, he promised to satisfy the demands, saying: “We are laser-focused and working hard on some amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall and across 2014.”

The lack of recent product launches has weighed on Apple’s share price since last year. Under the stewardship of the late Steve Jobs, the business released a series of groundbreaking products that kept Apple one step ahead of the competition. However, as rivals such as Samsung make inroads into smartphones and tablets, investors have been left wondering about Apple’s next move.

It’s widely suspected that a new products for the end of the year will include a cheaper, plastic-cased iPhone, but recent reports of Apple ordering larger screens for testing also suggest a larger iPad might also be in the works.

Wearable computing in the form of the rumoured iWatch is also expected to feature heavily in Apple’s future product plans. However, news earlier this month that the company had begun hiring “aggressively” to tackle related engineering problems suggests that investors and consumers may be kept waiting some time.