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Apple sees holiday-quarter sales above Wall St, shares rise

Image Vicky Leta  Mashable

Apple shipped 46.7 million iPhones during the period, according to its fiscal fourth-quarter report released Thursday.

With its new iPhone X launching Friday, Apple is setting the ambitious goal for itself of reinventing the smartphone as strives to fend off fierce competition from rivals, especially in China.

Telstra consumer group managing director Vicki Brady said demand for this year's Apple smartphones together was "above previous iPhone launches" and the telco was working to secure new stock.

Investors are keen to gauge Chinese demand for the iPhone X, as it is key to reviving Apple's fortunes in the world's biggest smartphone market where it has lost some of its sparkle - and market share - as local phone makers have advanced. While conspiracy theorists might suspect that Apple is artificially reducing supply to generate buzz, analysts say the real reason is that Apple's suppliers so far haven't been to manufacture the iPhone X quickly enough.

Net profit rose 19 per cent from a year ago to US$10.7 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter to September 30, Apple said.

The $28.85 billion revenue from iPhone sales accounted for almost 55 percent of total revenue, which rose 12.2 percent to $52.58 billion.

Ahead of the November 3 release of the redesigned glass and stainless steel device, some analysts have questioned its price tag: At $999 for the base model, it is the most expensive iPhone to date.

Nonetheless, the just-ended quarter largely became an afterthought once Apple chose to release the iPhone X six weeks after the iPhone 8.

Even with the iPhone X's delayed release, Apple is still struggling to catch up. This is mostly due to the upcoming sales of the iPhone X, HomePod, and others.

The iPhone X comes a decade after the original iPhone, the product that powered Apple's rise to become the world's biggest technology company with a market capitalization of $862 billion. Surprisingly, that's not the fastest-growing category for Apple - that would be the "other products" category that includes hardware like the Apple Watch, AirPods and Apple TV.

Apple's revenue guidance for Q4 2017 fell between $49 billion and $52 billion, with gross margin estimated to be between 37.5% and 38%. On the plus side, you're unlikely to run out of storage any time soon and your odds of getting hold of a handset will be better: most customers avoid the highest capacity model to save a few bucks. The company sold 74.8 million iPhones in the year ago holiday quarter.