Sales of iPhones up in Q4 as Apple exceeds expectations

Bounce in sales from new devices and further benefit may come from Samsung problems

The company sold 45.51 million iPhones in the three-month period ended September 24th, compared with 40.4 million in the previous quarter. Photograph: Don Emmertdon/AFP/Getty Images

The company sold 45.51 million iPhones in the three-month period ended September 24th, compared with 40.4 million in the previous quarter. Photograph: Don Emmertdon/AFP/Getty Images

 

Sales of Apple’s iPhone rose in the final quarter of the year exceeding expectations, and the company said revenue in the current quarter would be between $76 billion and $78 billion.

The company sold 45.51 million iPhones in the three-month period ended September 24th, compared to 40.4 million in the previous quarter. However, sales were still lower year on year, with Apple selling 48.05 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Sales of its iPad tablet were almost 9.3 million for the quarter, down from 9.9 million in the third quarter.

The latest results cover the launch period for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus , Apple’s newest smartphones, which were announced on September 7th and went on sale week after preorders opened, hitting the market on September 16th.

Apple has seen growth in its iPhone sales stall in recent quarters as an increasingly saturated smartphone market and tougher competition from lower cost Chinese rivals. Customers are also hanging on to their handsets for longer.

Slowing pace

Analysts had expected to see a slowing in the pace of decline in iPhone sales as a result of the release of the new devices, despite a mixed reaction to the new smartphones.

Apple may also yet see a bounce in its sales as a result of the withdrawal of the Samsung Note 7, its rivals’ troubled smartphone that was discontinued following a spate of fire incidents.

Apple’s total revenue fell 9 per cent year on year to $46.85 billion, declining for the third quarter in a row. The company had predicted revenue of between $45.5 billion and $47.5 billion for the three-month period.

Sales in China have also been under the spotlight in recent quarters, showing a decline in the second and third quarters of the year in what has been deemed an important market for Apple.

Apple has turned to other revenue streams in recent months, including its streaming music service Apple Music , as it builds its services revenue. That sector grew 24 per cent in the fourth quarter.

“Our strong September quarter results cap a very successful fiscal 2016 for Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive.

The company is set to unveil new MacBook machines at an event on October 27th, with a significant update for its MacBook Pro expected for the first time in several years.