Apple shifts 33.8mil iPhones in third quarter

For the three months ending September 30, Apple posted quarterly revenue of $37.5bn up from $36bn year on year and quarterly net profit of $7.5bn, down on the $8.2bn the firm generated in the same quarter last year. Gross margin was 37 per cent compared to 40 per cent in the year-ago quarter.

The firm sold 33.8 million iPhones in the quarter, which it called a record number of units sold, after launching two models in September – the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. It sold 26.9 million iPhones in the same quarter last year.

The company also sold 14.1 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 14 million in 4Q12, and it sold 4.6 million Macs in the quarter, compared to 4.9 million.

“We’re pleased to report a strong finish to an amazing year with record fourth quarter revenue, including sales of almost 34 million iPhones,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO, added: “We generated $9.9bn in cash flow from operations and returned an additional $7.8bn in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the September quarter, bringing cumulative payments under our capital return program to $36bn.”

For its fiscal 2014 first quarter, Apple is expecting revenue between $55bn and $58bn and a gross margin between 36.5 per cent and 37.5 per cent.

Vassilis Tziokas, marketing manager at mobile marketing firm Upstream, said that while holding onto its premium brand status has so far served the company well, now all eyes are on the emerging markets where smartphone use is set to grow at exponential levels.

“Can Apple really replicate its success in these new markets with its current approach? According to a recent report published by Gartner, despite global smartphone ownership rapidly rising, the demand for premium devices is declining. Instead, users in emerging markets are opting for mid-tier devices priced at $200 or less. In these markets, brands such as India’s Micromax, are making significant gains not only because they are local and therefore trusted, but also because they offer users attractive entry-level devices that are affordable. In fact, according to recent research we conducted, a third of emerging market consumers would only pay $100 or less for a smartphone.”

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