China iPhone Sales Overcome US For The First Time

Apple Inc 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.

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China iPhone Sales Overcome US For The First Time

Apple's iPhone sales in China soared, increasing its revenue in the country 71 percent to $16.8 billion (£11.03 billion), although that was helped by gift-buying for Chinese New Year.

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Chief Executive Tim Cook said that China's expanding middle class is fuelling 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.

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.

China iPhone Sales Overcome US For The First Time

Apple's big screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been popular with customers worldwide, helping the company overtake rival Samsung 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.

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Together, Apple estimated that would mean returning $200 billion to shareholders by the end of March 2017. It ended the quarter with $193.5 billion in cash and marketable securities, up more than $15 billion from the last quarter.

Apple said it expected fiscal third-quarter revenue of $46 billion to $48 billion, in line with analysts' average forecast of $47 billion.

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