Apple Inc took back its mantle as the world’s top smartphone seller for the first time in five years on Tuesday, beating out rival Samsung in units shipped for the holiday quarter and boosting revenues.
The company’s iPhone sales figures and declared profit were also above Wall Street projected returns. This sent their shares up by 3 percent by the close of trading.
The firm beat its perennial rivals, Samsung, in sales figure and profit though industry watchers say they might have benefitted from the debacle that surrounded the fire-prone Samsung flagship phone, the Galaxy Note 7.
According to FactSet StreetAccount, Apple sold 78.29 million iPhones in the fiscal first quarter ended December 31, up from 74.78 million the year before. Analysts on average had expected 77.42 million sold units.
Samsung Electronics, on the other hand, according to Strategic Analytics, had 77.5 million smartphone sales in the quarter.
Apple’s success is inspite of a drop in revenue from the Greater China region which fell 11.6 percent to $16.23 billion for the quarter and in a market where the demand for smartphones is slowing and cheaper android alternatives abound.
Chief Executive Tim Cook said demand was especially high for the larger iPhone 7 Plus in the fiscal first quarter.
However, the gains were tempered by Apple’s cautious outlook for the current quarter, which it mainly attributed to the strong U.S. dollar, which hurts companies that sell a majority of their products overseas, by forcing them to raise prices, which depresses unit sales, or sacrifice margins.
Analysts and investors have already set their sights on Apple’s 10th-anniversary iPhone, which is expected to feature better touchscreen technology, wireless charging and a shift to a higher-resolution OLED display.
Revenue in the services business – which includes the App Store, Apple Pay and iCloud – jumped 18.4 percent to $7.17 billion, helped by the popularity of games, including Pokemon Go and Super Mario Run, and increased revenue from subscriptions.