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

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Apple CEO Tim Cook.AppleApple is reporting its fiscal fourth quarter earnings on Thursday after the bell. The combo of new iPad Pro models alongside the low-cost but excellent standard iPad led to 10.3 million tablets sold for Apple, up 11 percent year-over-year.

For the current quarter ending in January, Apple said it expects revenue in the range of $84 billion to $87 billion.

The Cupertino, California-based company said it had net income of $2.07 per share. The real question is: Can Apple fulfill demand, or will sales be hampered by previously-reported supply chain issues?

Analysts were looking for guidance from Apple that mirrors the questions playing out in many Apple fans' minds across the country: iPhone X or iPhone 8? Apple must also be improving its margins because the associated revenue increase was a whopping 25 percent and up 28 percent from the previous quarter.

Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Reuters on Thursday the company was "quite happy" with how manufacturing of the iPhone X was progressing, noting that "production is growing every week, and that's very, very important during a ramp period".

The new phone, which goes on sale around the world on Friday, drew a line of about 350 people outside Apple's store in Sydney, Australia shortly after the company released its results.

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Q4 revenue: $50.7 billion expected by Thomson Reuters.

Some Chinese re-sellers, however, said they already cancelled pre-orders for the iPhone X, concerned there wouldn't be enough of a supply bottleneck to allow them to charge a steep premium - despite some worries about long waits. It competes with a range of revamped Echo speakers from Amazon.com Inc. and Google's Home devices.

The organic light-emitting diode technology used in iPhone X screens is now sourced from just one supplier, Samsung Display Co., while the array of components used to make the three-dimensional sensor have never previously been manufactured in the quantities required for the iPhone X, and suppliers have struggled to ramp up production effectively. Sales in Greater China rose 12% to $9.8 billion.

Apple for years has sought to make the release of its new phones a landmark event.

"I'm definitely interested, but don't now plan to get one", said Gu, whose monthly salary of a little over 6,000 yuan ($905.36) is less than the anniversary model's starting price in China of 8,388 yuan.

The only negative percentage was in unit and revenue change from last quarter to this quarter in iPads. The firm was also expected to sell 46 million iPhones, analysts said.

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