Apple shakes off worries about weak iPhone sales

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"Apple's year-over-year revenue growth rate accelerated for the fourth consecutive quarter and drove EPS growth of 24 percent in the September quarter", said Luca Maestri, Apple's chief finance officer.

Now seeing as how the iPhone has always been Apple's primary revenue driver, it's no surprise that quarterly iPhone sales is the metric analysts typically pay most attention to.

"Price appears to be a major constraint on iPhone X demand, particularly in China", Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi said in a recent report that showed three-quarters of Chinese respondents were excited by the upcoming launch, but only a quarter said they planned to buy one.

Apple fiscal 4th quarter sales results are in with a return to growth in the smartphone, tablet, and notebook markets.

The device category rose about 2% during Q4 as compared to past year, which seems like a modest amount considering no one expected the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus to do as well as they did.

Revenue in that division surged 34 percent to $8.5 billion during the July-September period. Device sales reached 46.677 million for iPhone, 10.326 million for iPad and 5.386 million for Mac.

The company hired two veterans from Sony TV to run its fledgling division, and according to the Hollywood trade publications, Apple is looking to spend $1 billion on originals, including a remake of Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories TV anthology. Shares in the company rose 3 percent in after-hours to a new all-time high as investor concerns about production delays for the new phone were allayed.

Apple's flagship product, the iPhone X, hits stores on Friday - later than usual - and isn't reflected in Thursday's quarterly earnings report. Longer queues are expected for the iPhone X launch on November 3.

Analysts interviewed by AFP see signs of strong demand for iPhone X, perhaps fueled by the company's famously devoted fans who have shunned freshly released iPhone 8 models to wait for the 10th anniversary device.

On Thursday, Apple predicted revenue for this quarter from $84 billion to $87 billion. The company's revenues were up 12 percent compared to the year-ago quarter (see "Despite $9 Billion Profit, Apple Revenues Slump Again in Q4 2016", 25 October 2016).

The only negative percentage was in unit and revenue change from last quarter to this quarter in iPads. While that only represents a 2% increase year-over-year, Apple's other products more than picked up the slack. The previous record was $78 billion during the holiday quarter of 2016.

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