Apple reports 40% rise in iPhone sales

<p>The company has reported quarterly earnings.</p>

Californian technology giant Apple said it sold 61.17 million iPhones for the quarter ended in March, up 40 per cent from the year-ago period. Strong iPhone demand led to a 33 per cent increase in profit for Apple’s fiscal second quarter. Net income reached $13.57 billion (£8.9 billion), versus $10.22 billion in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 27 per cent to $58.01 billion from $45.65 billion in the year-ago period, which beat analysts forecasts, with a Thomson Reuters poll estimating $56.1 billion in revenue. Apple said it expects a gross margin of 38.5 per cent to 39.5 per cent in the current quarter.

Apple also announced plans to return $200 billion to shareholders through 2017. This comes after the technology giant reported a net profit $18 billion for its fiscal first quarter – the highest ever made by a public company in a single quarter.

iPad sales down 23 per cent

Apple said many of iPhone sales came in emerging markets, including a 72 per cent gain in the number of phones sold in China.“We’re seeing a higher rate of switchers than previous iPhone cycles,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

However, the company’s earnings revealed an ongoing slide in iPad sales against the larger-screen iPhone 6 and lighter laptop computers. Apple said iPad unit sales fell 23 per cent in the second quarter.

And despite the strong overall earnings, Apple’s stock was down as much as 1.9 per cent this morning (April 28th) after hitting an all-time high in pre-market trade.

Gene Munster, from Piper Jaffray, told Business Insider that year-over-year sales comparisons for Apple could become challenging next year, potentially turning negative in the fourth quarter after Apple’s record holiday quarter in 2014.

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