IPhone sales were once again top of mind when Apple released the earnings report for its fiscal fourth quarter Thursday, and the company didn't disappoint investors: Apple sold 46.7 million iPhones during its most recent quarter, which is 1.2 million more than during the same time a year ago.
Apple shares have climbed 45 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has climbed 15 percent.
Now seeing as how the iPhone has always been Apple's primary revenue driver, it's no surprise that quarterly iPhone sales is the metric analysts typically pay most attention to.
Q4 revenue: $50.7 billion expected by Thomson Reuters. All told, Apple earned $10.7 billion on revenue of $52.6 billion, compared with a $9 billion profit on revenue of $46.9 billion a year earlier.
"We are launching the much-awaited iPhone X tomorrow".
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Q1 revenue guidance: $84.9 billion expected by Thomson Reuters. Sales could have been higher if many customers hadn't been waiting for the iPhone X, which comes out Friday.
Apple is counting on the iPhone X to drive even higher-than-usual sales during the first nine months of next year - a scenario that might not play out if production problems persist and impatient consumers turn instead to phones from Google or Samsung.
The company sold 46.7m iPhones, beating analysts' estimates of 46.4m, according to FactSet, and generating $28.9bn in revenue, which accounted for more than half of the company's total revenue. That would be slightly better than the same time previous year.
The company also did not say whether it had concerns about building enough iPhone X units to satisfy demand; many analysts have said they've already factored likely delays that could stretch well into 2018 into their forecasts.
Analysts believe Apple can pull off the juggling act. This was Apple's fiscal 2017 fourth quarter white ended September 30, 2017. In a quarter that's typically the calm before the holiday storm, Apple has to be happy with these results. By comparison, Apple shipped almost 217 million iPhones in its just-completed fiscal 2017.