iPhone powers Apple profits

The popularity of the iPhone 6 has boosted profits at Apple by a third.

Technology giant Apple announced a record January-March quarter. It grew profits by 33% to $13.6bn on a 27% rise in revenues to $58bn. The star performer among its gadgets was the iPhone, the sixth version of which, with a bigger display than its predecessors, was launched six months ago.

Apple sold 40% more units than in the same period last year. The number of phones sold in China jumped by 72%. Unit sales in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan now eclipse those in the US. The Apple Watch went on sale last week. Apple hiked its dividend by 11% and said it would spend another $50bn on buying back shares.

What the commentators said

More broadly, Apple "is pulling off a feat rarely seen in any industry, much less the cutthroat world of consumer electronics", said Daisuke Wakabayashi in The Wall Street Journal. It is gaining market share while bumping up prices.

The average selling price of an iPhone in the last quarter was $659, a $60 increase on the previous year. It now accounts for 70% of overall sales, and an even higher share of profits. Meanwhile, although iPad sales continue to slump, Mac computer sales rose by 10% at a time when the overall PC market slumped by 7%.

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