Expensive iPhones boost revenue, but Mac sales tank

Apple's fourth-quarter forecast will give clues to when the new iPhones will debut say

Despite the beat, James Cordwell, an analyst from Atlantic Equities, said the high selling prices might cause investors some concern because "there's a limit to how much Apple can grow the iPhone franchise by pushing pricing". Apple is forecasting a revenue guidance of between $60 and $62 billion in the fourth quarter, which is slightly above analyst estimates of $59.57 billion in the next quarter.

In the year-ago quarter (Q3 2017), Apple earned $45.4 billion in revenue.

Apple said Tuesday that its profit had jumped more than 30 percent to $11.5 billion in the recently ended quarter, besting market expectations despite selling fewer iPhones than analysts projected.

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The results "were driven by continued strong sales of iPhone, Services and Wearables, and we are very excited about the products and services in our pipeline", Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The company said it expected gross margins of 38 to 38.5 per cent in the fourth quarter, compared with analyst expectations of 38.3 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The US tech giant unveiled quarterly results revealing that iPhone sales had jumped to 41.3m, a slight increase on a year ago. Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway purchased nearly 75 million shares of Apple earlier this year. For those watching to see if Apple becomes the market's first trillion-dollar company today, the stock price will need to hit $203.46.

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But on second glance, Apple's numbers tell an interesting story. iPhone sales were barely up compared to the same quarter previous year, and at 41.3 million units sold, the analyst expectation of 41.79 million units was actually missed. "We expect the vast majority of Apple's product line-up to be refreshed during the next couple of quarters which should support near-term results".

The biggest momentum for Apple continues to be "Services", which includes iCloud, Apple Music, and Apple Care.

Profits hit $US11.5 billion, up from $US8.7 billion a year ago, while total sales climbed 17 per cent to $US53.3 billion, due to increasing revenues from the iPhone's App Store and sales of peripherals such as the Apple Watch and the company's headphones.

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Another category potentially affected by tariffs is the Apple Watch, which is one of Apple's growth drivers. As for other hardware, Apple sold 11,553 iPads and 3,720 Macs. Additionally, the iPad sales momentum will also be able to pick thanks to newer models that will come with a smaller footprint, feature razor bezels, and will come with Face ID support.

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