Apple experienced strongest sales growth in last 2016 quarter

iphone 6 plus. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

BBC – Apple has reported its first rise in sales in nine months after strong Christmas sales of the iPhone 7.

The tech giant reported net sales of $78.4bn (£62.3bn) for the last three months of 2016, up 3% on last year, and marking its strongest quarter ever.

However, the firm warned some customers were holding back on phone upgrades in anticipation of the 10th anniversary iPhone later this year, suggesting the strong performance may not continue. The release is expected in September.

Prior to this quarter, the firm had suffered three quarters in a row of falling revenue as mounting competition, particularly from Chinese rivals, hit sales of its flagship iPhone.

The slowdown in iPhone sales – which account for two thirds of income – led to Apple reporting a drop in annual revenue in October, the first such fall in 15 years.

Investors appeared to be relieved by the apparent turnaround, with the firm’s shares rising 3% in after-hours trading.

Chief executive Tim Cook said Apple had sold “more iPhones than ever before”, with the quarter also setting new records for revenues from its Mac, Apple Watch and services divisions, he said.

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