Yep, people still love the iPhone

By Hayley Tsukayama

Apple announced that it sold 78.2 million iPhones in its first fiscal quarter -- a record for any single quarter in the company's history.
Apple announced that it sold 78.2 million iPhones in its first fiscal quarter -- a record for any single quarter in the company's history.

In case you had started to doubt it: People still love the iPhone.

Apple announced that it sold 78.2 million iPhones in its first fiscal quarter -- a record for any single quarter in the company's history. The tech giant had concerned analysts with a few weak quarters that have raised doubts about the iPhone's staying power. Apple returned to growth for the first time in three quarters.

Though its profits slipped 2.6 per cent from the same time last year, it touted a record-breaking US$78.4 billion in revenue. Both Apple's profit and revenue beat analysts expectations.

"We're thrilled to report that our holiday quarter results generated Apple's highest quarterly revenue ever, and broke multiple records along the way. We sold more iPhones than ever before and set all-time revenue records for iPhone, Services, Mac and Apple Watch," said Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive.

The iPhone was the main force behind Apple's revenue record. Sales of the smartphones made up 69 per cent of Apple's revenue in its first quarter, and were up 5 per cent from the same time last year.

Consumers still turned out to buy the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, despite the fact that Apple didn't deliver as much of an update to the phone line as many had expected. The firm is expected to release a major upgrade this year in honor of the tenth anniversary of the iPhone.

But with good reviews, and perhaps buoyed by problems at its arch-rival Samsung, Apple managed to lead the smartphone market with the iPhone 7 this holiday season, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

Still, the forecast isn't completely rosy for the iPhone -- at least in terms of competition with Android devices. Research firm eMarketer expects that Apple's hold of the smartphone market in the U.S. will stay just about the same in 2017, with a 43.7 per cent market share, versus 52.2 per cent for Android phones. The company also expects that Android will remain the dominant platform through 2019.

As Cook noted, it was a good quarter for Apple hardware. The Mac line, which saw a laptop refresh earlier this year, grew 7 per cent year-over-year. But sales of the iPad continued to slide, down 22 per cent from the first-quarter last year.

Apple's services business, which includes the App Store and iTunes store, saw revenue rise 18 per cent from the same time last year. Cook said he expects this segment will double over the next four years.

Shares of the company were up more than 3 percent from Apple's Tuesday close of US$121.35 after the report was announced.

- Washington Post

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