Apple breaks iPhone sales record with 78.3 million units sold

Apple iPhone sales top estimates in company's first quarter

Apple's first quarter earnings are always the company's strongest because of its reliance on the iPhone.

In its first full quarter, since Apple unveiled the iPhone 7, the United States tech giant reported net sales of $78.4bn (£62.3bn), up 3% on the same period a year ago. "Once Apple's most promising geographical growth opportunity, the Chinese market has actually transitioned into its biggest geographical sales deficit, with -17% loss in fiscal 2016", Thibault said in an email earlier today. Revenue from services, largely driven by the App Store, is nearly on par with that derived from Macs, and is outstripping iPads.

This time around Apple proved that it's still a tech giant worth owning.

Despite the Q4 results, Samsung maintained first position in annualized figures, with 309 million units shipped worldwide in 2016, compared to Apple's 215 million units. The iPhone 7 and the 7 Plus added features like better cameras and water resistance, all in that familiar body. In other words, Apple completely smashed analyst expectations this past quarter.

The iPad continued to lag, with units sold declining 20 percent to 13.1 million.

Apple can sell iPhones and make a lot of money doing it. Financially speaking these less than enthusiastic sales brought in $5.5 billion, a 22% decline from the $7 billion in revenue Apple posted a year prior from sales of the slate.

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The Apple Watch set "all-time" revenue records during Apple's holiday quarter, during which the company earned $78 billion in revenue.

Outlook: Apple expects sales of $52.5 billion in the current quarter, based on the midpoint of its guidance.

Analysts had expected revenue of $77.5 billion, according to CNBC, up 2 percent from the same quarter past year.

Three Chinese vendors - Huawei, Oppo and Vivo - followed Apple and Samsung in the top five ranking, with Huawei leading the pack with a 10 percent market share in the quarter.

This suggests that the iPhone 7 has proven to be Apple's most successful smartphone release to date, despite receiving a lacklustre reception from many and receiving plenty of criticism surrounding its lack of headphone jack. Wall Street is looking for earnings of $2.09 on revenue of 53.94 billion.

Despite his optimism moving forward, Cook used the earnings call to reveal iPad sales have taken a major hit, down 19% year on year.

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