The iPhone is the main profit driver for Apple, accounting for more than half its revenues, and importantly is the cornerstone for the ecosystem of other devices and services. Soon after people started pre-ordering the iPhone X on October 27, shipping times lengthened to as many as six weeks.
Analysts are expecting Apple to ship 80 million iPhones during the current quarter, which includes the crucial holiday shopping season, according to FactSet.
But this year, Apple shifted its sales strategy to introduce two new slightly improved models, the 8 and 8 Plus, and a third phone, the X. iPhone 8's went on sale September 22, but Apple held back the big guns for November 3, when the state-of-the art, $999 X hits store shelves.
"We're happy to report a very strong finish to a great fiscal 2017, with record fourth quarter revenue, year-over-year growth for all our product categories, and our best quarter ever for Services", Tim Cook said in a press release".
The iPad continued its return to sales growth as well, with 10.3 million units sold last quarter, beating the year-ago sales numbers by 11 percent.
Telstra consumer group managing director Vicki Brady said demand for this year's Apple smartphones together was "above previous iPhone launches" and the telco was working to secure new stock. The average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.87 per share. By comparison, Apple shipped almost 217 million iPhones in its just-completed fiscal 2017.
Apple's official stores will get the lion's share of iPhone X stock tomorrow.
For Q1 2018, Apple forecasts revenue between $84 billion and $87 billion and a gross margin between 38 percent and 38.5 percent.
Apple shook off production problems with its latest iPhone on Thursday to report a 19% rise in profits and record pre-sales of iPhone X, the day before its release. While that only represents a 2% increase year-over-year, Apple's other products more than picked up the slack.
Apple said Thursday that iPhone sales rose 3 percent in the July-September quarter, a period that saw the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus come out in the final weeks. For one, Apple is likely the top beneficiary of US technology companies when it comes to a new Republican tax proposal on overseas cash.
Nearly two-thirds of Apple's sales, 62 percent, came from worldwide sales. Sales in Greater China also rose by 12 percent and by 5 percent in Asia Pacific.