Apple beats forecasts to pay $100bn

The Apple iPhone X sits on display at the new Apple Michigan Avenue store along the Chicago River in Chicago. Associated Press files

The iPhone is Apple's most important product, accounting for more than 60% of its revenue.

Apple Pay will expand its reach further this year, launching in Norway, Poland, and the Ukraine over "the next several months", Cook said. The executive noted that this is the first time since Apple "split" its new models with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, that the higher priced iPhone model was the top seller.

But the iPhone still is the best and the most popular product of Apple and it contributes almost seventy percent to company's total revenue.

And Apple's services revenue, which includes iCloud and Apple Music subscriptions and its share of app sales, rose 31 per cent to US$9.2 billion. "Many analysts will continue to be obsessed with the number of iPhones sold in a quarter, but increasingly iPhones will become just part of a growing number of "devices" designed specifically to access Apple Services". Apple's iPad was 9.11 million units sold, an increase of 2%, and iPad revenues increased 6% to $4.11 billion. This came as a surprise as there have been reports on the decline in shares of Apple in past few months.

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Forecasts for next quarter's revenue also fell in the range of $51.5 billion to $53.5 billion which was again ahead as per the speculations of Wall Street. One driver of the stock aside from the earnings is a massive $100 billion share buyback plan that effectively has not been challenged by any other company in the world.

That's one major takeaway from Apple's earnings report on Tuesday. The iPhone maker reported $2.73 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.69 by $0.04.

Apple's services unit added 30 million subscriptions in the past 90 days alone, bringing the total to 270 million. Apple said revenue in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong had risen 21 per cent to US$13 billion, the largest increase in 10 quarters. Revenues from the "other products" category grew 38% YoY to $3.95 billion.

Shares in the Cupertino, California firm had fallen 5 percent, or more than $40 billion in market value, in the two weeks before the report, thanks largely to a soft outlook from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd which was read as pointing to weak demand for iPhones.

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There had been increasing concerns about iPhone sales in the run-up to the results.

"The bar may not have been set low enough", Wedbush senior trader Joel Kulina told Reuters of Wall Street's declining expectations for iPhone shipments. It's a strong proof that Apple was right all along about its $1,000 phone. Analysts believe the heavy emphasis on buybacks will bolster share prices.

"Overall, iPhone and services performances put our cautious view in the penalty box", analyst Mark Moskowitz at Barclays conceded, as he grudgingly raised his price target on the stock to $161 from $157, remaining well below the current price.

The iPhone ASP in December quarter was $796, but it came down to $728 in the latest quarter.

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Some analysts had questioned whether demand for the most expensive iPhone would hold up after the initial rush. Let's see how Apple manages this program that it has approved. The tech giant delivered a solid quarter on the financial front, and it also dropped some additional good news on shareholders.

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