Apple beats earnings expectations with $53.3B in revenue, stock up 3%

Apple working on dual-Sim iPhone models

Apple reported record services revenue of US$9.55 billion, up 31 per cent from a year earlier. Based on the number of outstanding shares at Tuesday's close, a stock price of $203.45 could take Apple past the milestone. The company's value had surpassed US$960 billion (NZ$1.4 trillion) in trading before the results were released, and shares climbed around 3 per cent in late trading following the figures.

The news sent Apple stock up as much as 3 percent after the market closed, pushing the company's market cap ever closer to the coveted $1 trillion mark.

iPhone sales came in slightly short of the expected 41.6 million units, at 41.3 million during what is typically Apple's slowest quarter for phone sales.

The US tech giant unveiled quarterly results revealing that iPhone sales had jumped to 41.3m, a slight increase on previous year. That was due to a 20% rise in the Average Selling Price for the iPhone, to $724.

Apple services include streaming music and video, where Apple faces competition from rivals including Spotify Technology SA and Netflix. That's because the pricy iPhone X has been performing well; it has consistently been the best-selling iPhone since it launched last November. But for the past couple of years, even premium smartphones have lost some appeal, and consumers are holding on to their phones for longer between upgrades.

Apart from consumer behavior, there is also concern that Apple's extensive overseas manufacturing operation may suffer from trade disputes between the USA and China. Cook said wearables were a highlight of the quarter, with sales up 60 per cent year over year.

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Also drawing positive scrutiny are Apple's "other products" which includes AirPods earphones and HomePod speaker systems. Apple never really explains how specific products in that bucket contribute to the company's overall performance, but Cook did point out on the call the Apple Watch's growth was "in the mid-40s range" this quarter.

"We are not able to catch up to demand yet and continue to add capacity for the AirPods", Maestri said.

Apple's margins are facing pressure as it moves to put pricier components, such as OLED displays that show more vivid colours, into its products.

Revenue reached $53.3 billion, an increase of 17% from a year ago and exceeding Wall Street's projections of $52.34 billion.

Apple said the average selling price of the iPhone had risen to more than $US700 in the quarter, showing that each customer is paying more for the company's gadgets.

The firm reported profit of $11.5bn, up 32% compared to the same period in 2017.

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