Apple reports best June quarter ever driven by services, wearables growth

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

According to CNN, analysts expected Apple to sell nearly 42 million iPhones, less than last quarter, as a result of users already owning the newest models or waiting for newer ones.

"The iPhone X shows that when you deliver great, innovative products, there's enough people that want that", Apple CEO Tim Cook told Wall Street analysts when asked about the health of the smartphone market.

Propelled by the rise of Apple Music and app subscriptions, services have quickly become a major revenue contributor for the company.

Shares in the Silicon Valley-based technology titan rose 3.96 per cent to US$197.83 in after-hours trade that followed release of the earnings figures, putting its market capitalisation at US$956 billion.

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Consumer spending grew 4 percent , more than expected, while nonresidential business investment climbed at a pace of 7.3 percent. Annual growth has averaged just 2.2 percent since mid-2009 through the end of a year ago , the same as previously reported.

Sales of the iPad were flat year-over-year, moving 11.5 million units, while Mac sales were down 13 percent, with only 3.7 million sold. During that quarter Apple sold 41 million iPhones, 11.4 million iPads, and 4.3 million Macs.

However, the average selling price of each handset increased significantly, suggesting the company has lured its customers into shelling out more for its devices even in a slowing smartphone market.

In its fiscal third quarter, Apple declared a cash dividend of 73 cents per share and repurchased about $20 billion in common stock. Apple is expected to introduce three new iPhone models with design similar to that of premium iPhone X in September and the fourth quarter sales would be higher due to demand for new models. But iPhone revenue jumped 20 percent to $29.9 billion - a reflection of the higher price Apple's iPhones command ever since the $999 iPhone X debuted late past year. It's also working on an upgraded Pro model with iPhone X features like Face ID, which could increase sales of the device. Sales in that sector rose 31 percent to $9.5 billion.

Apple's best-selling products do not yet face duties stemming from the US-China trade disputes, but US President Donald Trump has threatened hundreds of billions of dollars in further tariffs on product categories not yet been enumerated.

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Apple Pay has been used for more transactions than popular services Square and PayPal, Cook said.

Overall, revenue was up 17% year-over-year at $53.3 billion, a June quarter record.

Apple's third-quarter revenue beat analyst expectations of $52.34 billion.

"We're thrilled to report Apple's best June quarter ever, and our fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth". He said Apple was on target to reach its goal of doubling fiscal 2016 services revenue by 2020.

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Apple said it expects operating expenses of $7.95 billion to $8.05 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with analyst estimates of $7.8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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