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The iPhone’s journey to one billion sales

A look at the iPhone’s progress towards the landmark.

Tim Cook has revealed that Apple week sold its billionth iPhone.

At an employee meeting in Cupertino, he revealed the milestone – just a day after beating analysts expectations for sales.

‘iPhone has become one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history. It’s become more than a constant companion,’ he said.

‘iPhone is truly an essential part of our daily life and enables much of what we do throughout the day.’

‘Last week we passed another major milestone when we sold the billionth iPhone.

‘We never set out to make the most, but we’ve always set out to make the best products that make a difference.

Apple first passed the 1 billion iOS devices sold milestone in January 2015.

In January of 2016 it announced that it had 1 billion total active devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Apple Watch.

It came as Apple’s iPhone sales fell for the second straight quarter, although the 15 percent drop was less than feared.

It sold more iPhones than Wall Street expected in the third quarter and forecast revenue in the current period would top many analysts’ targets, soothing fears that demand for Apple’s most important product had hit a wall.

Its shares rose almost 7 percent in after-hours trading.

The company’s total revenue dropped 14.6 percent in the third-quarter ended June 25, also declining for the second quarter in a row.

Apple said it sold 40.4 million iPhones in the third quarter, more than the average analyst forecast of 40.02 million, according to research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

Apple had reported a 16.3 percent drop in iPhone sales in the previous quarter, the first decline since the smartphone was launched in 2007.

Apple’s quarterly net profit fell 27 percent to $7.8 billion, while revenue of $42.36 billion beat analyst’s estimates of $42.09 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales of iPhones account for about two-thirds of the total sales of the world’s most valuable publicly traded company.

Apple’s iPhone lineup includes the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, as well as the smaller and cheaper iPhone SE.

‘We are pleased to report third quarter results that reflect stronger customer demand and business performance than we anticipated at the start of the quarter,’ said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

‘We had a very successful launch of iPhone SE and we’re thrilled by customers’ and developers’ response to software and services we previewed at WWDC in June.’

‘Our Services business grew 19 percent year-over-year and App Store revenue was the highest ever, as our installed base continued to grow and transacting customers hit an all-time record,’ said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO.

Demand for Apple’s phones has waned in China, partly because of economic uncertainty there, and has also slowed in more mature markets as people tend to hold on to their phones for longer.

Sales in Greater China, once touted as Apple’s next growth engine, decreased 33.1 percent, compared with a 112.4 percent growth in the year earlier quarter and a near 26 percent fall in the second quarter.

Investors are sensitive to any signs of trouble in China, one of the company’s largest markets by revenue.

Apple’s iPhone sales fell for the second straight quarter, although the 15 percent drop was less than feared.

Maestri attributed the drop to channel inventory reduction in the nation, foreign exchange headwinds and a general downturn in the Chinese economy.

‘It is very clear that there are some signs of economic slowdown in China, and we will have to work through them,’ he said.

‘We understand China well and we remain very, very optimistic about the future there.’

Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said the company’s performance had topped his expectations in a quarter weighed down by tough foreign exchange rates and difficult comparisons with blockbuster iPhone 6 sales from the previous year.

Apple reduced channel inventory by $3.6 billion, exceeding the $2 billion expected reduction, meaning sales were better than they appeared, Maestri said.

Customer demand ‘was better than what is implied in our results and better than we had anticipated,’ he told Reuters in an interview.

‘We returned over $13 billion to investors through share repurchases and dividends, and we have now completed almost $177 billion of our $250 billion capital return program.’

Apple’s services business, which includes the App Store, Apple Pay, iCloud and other services generated nearly $6 billion in revenue, up 18.9 percent from the previous year.

The company forecast fourth-quarter revenue of $45.5 billion to $47.5 billion, below Wall Street’s average estimate of $45.71 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The forecast, covering the quarter ending September, will likely include at least the first weekend of sales of the iPhone 7 range, which Apple is expected to launch in September.

Up to Tuesday’s close, Apple’s shares had fallen about 8.2 percent since the start of the year.

Apple also announced Tuesday that it will sponsor another unscripted video series based on the popular ‘Carpool Karaoke’ segments hosted by CBS talk-show host James Corden.

Charlie James Tennant

Editor-in-chief

Developer, videographer, photographer and a stickler for English grammar.

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