Sat, Feb 03, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Apple posts record profit, aims to allay iPhone fears

COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS:The tech giant reported that a record 1.3 billion of its devices are in use worldwide, which helped fuel 18 percent growth in services

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Apple Inc on Thursday said its earnings in the final three months of last year set new records, with sales of its flagship iPhone X topping its expectations.

The California-based technology giant reported that profit climbed to US$20 billion on revenue that increased 13 percent to US$88.3 billion during the period.

“We’re thrilled to report the biggest quarter in Apple’s history, with broad-based growth that included the highest revenue ever from a new iPhone lineup,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. “iPhone X surpassed our expectations and has been our top-selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November [last year].”

Apple reported that overall iPhone sales in the quarter of 77.3 million units were about 1 million fewer than the same period a year earlier.

However, iPhone revenue rose 13 percent from a year ago, suggesting its newer models were gaining traction.

The earnings — for the first quarter of Apple’s financial year — come amid concerns over weak demand for the newest and most expensive iPhone X, the 10th-anniversary edition of the iconic smartphone.

Revenue growth from iPhone sales rose in all regions, and it was the top-selling smartphone overall in China, Cook said.

“It was a stellar quarter for iPhone,” Cook said. “iPhone X was the most popular.”

Apple also forecast revenue of between US$60 billion and US$62 billion in the current quarter, an outlook less rosy than analysts had expected.

Apple shares dipped and then rose more than 3 percent to US$173.40 in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures.

While the iPhone delivered the bulk of revenue, US$61.6 billion in the quarter, the key segment of services saw revenue growth of 18 percent to US$8.5 billion.

The “other product” segment, which includes the Apple Watch and Apple TV, increased 36 percent to US$5.5 billion.

Cook spent much of an earnings call with analysts playing up increasing revenue from Apple services, digital content, subscriptions and products other than iPhones.

The number of Apple devices being used in the world as of last month is at an all-time high of 1.3 billion units, the ranks having grown 30 percent over the past two years, Apple said.

“That number speaks to the strength of the product; the loyalty of the customer, the strength of the ecosystem; it also obviously fuels the services business,” Cook said.

Meanwhile, Apple said its cash pile grew to US$285 billion, with much of that stashed overseas.

The company last month said it would bring back most of its profits from abroad to take advantage of a favorable tax rate in legislation approved by US Congress last year.

The repatriation would result in a tax bill of about US$38 billion, but would also free up big chunks of money for investment.

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