Monday 16 May 2016 12:53 pm

Warren Buffett gives Apple a much needed bump, disclosing billion dollar stake via Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffett has snapped up millions of shares in Apple, giving the tech firm a much needed bump after a tough quarter for iPhone sales.

The sage of Omaha has disclosed he had 9.81m shares in the firm as of 31 March in a regulatory filing for his investment firm Berkshire Hathaway on Monday.

Share in Apple were up more than two per cent in pre-market trading.

Read more: Apple just ploughed $1bn into this Chinese startup

The news comes shortly after another top investor, Carl Icahn, revealed he had sold off his stake in the firm. However, Buffett snapped up the stock before then and it was valued at $1bn as of the end of March.

The investment is a vote of confidence in the company after a bumpy few weeks, which may put the value of Buffett's investment lower than that.

Apple has felt a slowdown and last week plummeted to a low of $90 per share, its lowest since 2014. The Cupertino-based company was briefly overtaken by Google as the world's most valuable based on market capitalisation.

Read more: Google's just overtaken Apple as the world's most valuable company (again)

It recorded its first decline in sales in more than a decade in April, but last week made a major move that indicates a new direction for the firm, investing $1bn in Uber's Chinese rival Didi Chuxing.

With rumours swirling of an Apple driverless car and the iPhone slowdown, analysis of its research and development spend notes that it now stands at an expected $10bn for 2016 – that's a 30 per cent rise on last year and more than double the amount of just four years ago.