Apple surprises with strong rise in iPhone sales

Tim Wallace
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SALES of Apple’s iPads fell more than expected in the third quarter, the US tech giant revealed last night, but strong iPhone sales surprised the market and sent shares up in after hours trading.

And the firm hinted at new product announcements in the autumn, widely expected to include another update to the iPhone.

The business sold 31.2m of the smartphones in the three-month period, up 20 per cent from 26m in the same period of 2012.

That smashed expectations of flat sales on the year, and helped Apple’s sales revenues rise to $35.3bn (£23bn), up $300m on the year. However, profits fell 21.8 per cent from $8.8bn to $6.9bn, as operating expenses increased 11.8 per cent to $3.8bn.

And not every area of sales improved – iPad sales fell to 14.6m from 17m in the same period of 2012 while Mac sales slipped from 4m to 3.8m.

But bosses defended the iPad sales and insisted they are still gaining market share. “The most recent webshare data shows that through the quarter we accelerated further – iPad use accounts for 84 per cent of web traffic from tablets which is incredible,” said chief executive Tim Cook.

“If there are lots of other tablets selling I don’t know what they are being used for because the basic function is web browsing.”

The boss added he does not believe the top end of the smartphone market is yet saturated, addressing a key worry for investors in the sector.

Apple shares rose four per cent on the announcement in out of hours trading.