China iPhone sales boosts Apple; shares up modestly

Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:28pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote) beat Wall Street's revenue and profit forecasts on Monday as it sold more iPhones in China than the United States for the first time, but the company gave no sales figures for its new Apple Watch.

Apple's iPhone sales in China soared, increasing its revenue in the country 71 percent to $16.8 billion, although that was helped by gift-buying for Chinese New Year.

Chief Executive Tim Cook said that China's expanding middle class is fueling iPhone sales there, which is the bulk of the company's sales. The iPhone 6 was launched last autumn in China with a number of carriers.

Wall Street hailed the results but share reaction was muted. Its shares rose 1.6 percent in after-hours trading to $134.52.

Apple sold 61.2 million iPhones in the quarter, up 40 percent from the year-ago quarter, but down from the record-breaking holiday quarter. It sold 12.6 million iPads, down 23 percent from a year ago.

Apple's big screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been popular with customers worldwide, helping the company overtake rival Samsung (005930.KS: Quote) in global smartphone sales last quarter.

"A 60 million-plus iPhone number is a home run and will be cheered by the Street as this remains the bread and butter of Apple," said FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives.

Apple gave no sales figures for its recently released Apple Watch, but did say the current quarter was off to "an exciting start".

Cook said demand for the watch continued to be greater than supply, as it has been since pre-orders started earlier this month.   Continued...

 
A woman holds up the iPhone 6 Plus at the Apple Store at Tokyo's Omotesando shopping district September 19, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino