Apple sold 52.2 million iPhones, in line with expectations

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(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. sold 52.2 million iPhones in its fiscal second quarter, in line with analysts’ expectations, showing demand remains strong for the company’s most-important product.

The Cupertino, California-based company reported a 2.9 percent increase in units sold from 50.1 million iPhones in the quarter a year earlier. Analysts had projected consumers would buy 52.3 million phones, on average, although some investors expected fewer units. While the iPhone numbers represent slight growth for Apple, they don’t match the performance some analysts and investors expected when the iPhone X launched last year.

The average selling price of the phones was $728, versus Wall Street forecasts of $740. It’s also well below the $796 average selling price reported in the holiday quarter. That suggests Apple’s flagship iPhone X didn’t sell as well as it did in the earlier quarter. Still, the price is considerably higher than the $655 average selling price in the quarter a year ago, which is due to the iPhone X’s $999 starting price.

The iPhone X includes groundbreaking new technology like 3-D facial recognition, but it’s expensive price likely deterred some would-be buyers. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus looked similar to the iPhone 6 from 2014, leaving a hole in Apple’s iPhone sales strategy. The company intends to rectify that with a cheaper model with many of the iPhone X’s features later this year, Bloomberg News has reported.

Apple’s iPhone revenue increased 14 percent to $38 billion in the quarter. Earlier this year, Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said iPhone revenue would grow by at least 10 percent year-over-year in the fiscal second quarter.

For the fiscal third quarter, analysts are looking for unit sales of 39 million and an average selling price of $691. Apple didn’t provide guidance on iPhone sales for the period, but said it expects to total revenue from $51.5 billion to $53.5 billion. That was ahead of analysts’ projections.

The iPhone is Apple’s most important product, resulting in about two-thirds of sales for the company. It has also become a hub for Apple’s growing services business and is tied to newer Apple hardware like the HomePod speaker, AirPods headphones, and the Apple Watch.

Bloomberg News