Apple reports $US7.7 billion profit on strong iPhone sales

For Apple, the iPhone continues to be the gadget that makes the company tick. Sales for the handset grew even in a time of year when smartphone sales are expected to be slow.

Apple has reported a profit of $US7.7 billion in the fiscal third quarter that ended June 28, up from $US6.9 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.

The company reported revenue of $US37.4 billion, up from $US35.3 billion compared to the quarter a year ago. Strong sales of iPhones and Macs fueled the growth, the company said.

Wall Street analysts had expected revenue of $US37.93 billion, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters.

"We are incredibly excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, as well as other new products and services that we can't wait to introduce," Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, said in a statement.

Apple said it sold 35.2 million iPhones compared to 31.2 million in the same period a year ago. Analysts had estimated that Apple would sell an average of 36 million.

Apple said it sold 4.4 million Macs, up from 3.8 million in the same quarter last year, beating analysts' expectations of about 3.9 million.

On the other hand, iPad sales shrank. The company reported selling 13.3 million iPads, compared to 14.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts had predicted it would sell an average of about 14.4 million.

Traditionally, the quarter ending in June is a slow time of year for smartphone sales industrywide because many consumers are holding out until spring or the holiday shopping season to buy new smartphones.

Samsung, the No.1 handset-maker in the world and Apple's top rival in the mobile handset industry, is no exception to this trend. This month, Samsung said it estimated its quarterly profit would fall 24 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. In part, the company blamed the time period - a slow season for smartphone sales in China, the largest smartphone market in the world - for the shortfall. The company also blamed intense competition from low-cost rivals in China.

Apple reached a deal to sell iPhones beginning this year with China Mobile, the largest wireless network in the world. The partnership so far has resulted in healthy growth for Apple in China, an increasingly vital market for the company, especially now that the smartphone markets in the United States and parts of Europe have become saturated.

The New York Times

This article Apple reports $US7.7 billion profit on strong iPhone sales was originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald.