UPDATE 2:45 P.M. with more information and input from Apple CEO Tim Cook, below.
EARLIER: Unabating love for the iPhone moved Apple Inc. beyond analysts’ Q4 2015 projections with a 31 percent rise in quarterly profit, the Cupertino, CA-based company said this afternoon. The iconic smart phone generates about two-thirds of Apple’s sales and profits, with China now the single biggest market.
“We saw our largest revenue growth ever,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said during a conference call discussing the numbers released this afternoon. Cook touted customer response to the latest iPhone upgrade and its new features; sales of Mac computers that “defy the negative trend in the global market;” and consumer response to the Apple Watch, for the strong results.
“I have personally heard from people who credit the Apple Watch with saving their lives,” Cook said, referring to the hi-tech time piece’s health-related apps, among 13,000 available for the product.
Apple’s retail stores have continued to expand and attract customers, with 25 stores in China and counting. Cook said that Apple Music, the latest re-invention of iTunes, now has 6.5 million paying customers. Apple News, another new service that has enlisted content from prestige news deliverers around the globe, has 40 million users, Cook said.
Apple generated $51.5B in sales: $32.21B for the iPhone (48M units) and $6.88B for the Mac (5.71B units). Net income was $11.12B, up a more than healthy 31 percent. The top line beat forecasts of about $49 billion to $51 billion in revenue. Earnings at $1.96 per share topped expectations for $1.88. Net income in Greater China, including Hong King revenue, was $12.52B.
Add to that iPad revenue of $4.28B on unit sales of 9.88M, and income from iTunes and Apple Pay, at $5.09B.Revenue from “other products” — i.e., which includes the Apple watch, Apple TV and Beats, was $3.05B. Apple shares today closed in New York at $114.55, down fractionally. But it was bouncing back by about 2 percent in response to the numbers.