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Apple’s iPhone sales boost earnings

Apple have stated in a report that fourth-quarter earnings of $8.47bn (£5.24bn), a 13% rise from the same period a year earlier, surpassing analysts’ expectations. The profits at the technology giant were aided by sales of their new iPhone 6 models; those were on sale for 10 days over the three month period to 30 September. Total iPhone sales hit 39.3 million. Although, sales of Apple’s iPad disappointed, with 12.3 million sold, down from 13.1 million a year previously.

“Our fiscal 2014 was one for the record books, including the biggest iPhone launch ever with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,” said Apple chief executive Tim Cook in a statement following the earnings report. He went on to say that he was optimistic for the crucial holiday quarter ahead. There was a 2% rise in Apple shares in after-hours trading after the earnings were released. The announcement about the earning was made on the same day that Apple introduced their digital payment system, Apple Pay, at a host of US retailers which includes supermarket chain Whole Foods and pharmacy Walgreens. Many analysts believe that as well as IPhone sales, Apple Pay may be one of the largest drivers of revenue growth at the company in upcoming years.

How the technology works is that it allows users to scan their fingerprint using an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus to access stored credit data to pay for goods at stores that are participating. Whilst analysts are confident about ApplePay’s potential, only a couple of retailers are presently equipped to use this technology – and many established retailers, most notably Wal-Mart, have yet to sign on to the service. This technology is currently only available on the latest model of iPhones. During a conference call to talk about earnings, Luca Maestri, who is Apple’s chief financial officer, brought up a remarkable area of strength; Mac laptop sales. He stated that Mac sales hit a quarterly record, which was particularly notable given the current state of the overall global PC market, which experienced a decline.

Mr Cook went onto emphasize on the call that Apple had repurchased $17bn of their own stock throughout the quarter – this was thought to be a nod to shareholders like Carl Icahn who have strongly requested that the technology giant return an increased amount of money to holders of their stock.

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