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Horrifying iPhone sales bring Apple $18bn profit A QUARTER

Cook: Don't panic, Apple fans, I will FILL the ACHING VOID inside you in April

Apple chief exec Tim Cook has said his company's smartwatch won't go on sale until April – not that he's too fussed about the delay, given Apple has banked $18 BILLION in profit since October.

Speaking during the iPhone giant's quarterly earnings call, Cook narrowed down the date, pushing the boundaries of the "early 2015" release window he promised in September.

The Apple rumor mill has been churning out unconfirmed suggestions the wrist-puter will appear on the shelves in March. Register sources close to the company whispered at the end of 2014 that bugs were being ironed out of the software.

Cook's announcement came as his California goliath reported a net profit up 38 per cent year-on-year to $18bn during the three months to December 27. That's more than three times what rival Microsoft banked in its latest quarter.

Apple's revenues from Q1 of fiscal 2015 were $74.6bn, up 30 per cent on the same period in the previous financial year. Apple's $3.06 earnings per share in Q1 topped analyst estimates of $2.60.

Interestingly, $16.1bn of sales came from China, including the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, up 70 per cent on the year-ago quarter. But that dollar-figure is less than the $17.2bn from Europe and $30.5bn from the Americas.

Both the global revenue and the net profit marks were new high-water marks for Apple. The first quarter of the fiscal year is typically a strong one for the biz as it includes the holiday shopping season.

This time around, the Cupertino giant shipped 74.5 million iPhones – up 46 per cent year-on-year – bringing in $51.18bn of revenue, and 5.5 million Macs for $6.94bn; both are records for Apple. Cook said Apple had shipped iPhones at a rate of about 34,000 units per hour, every hour, on average over the duration of the quarter.

Between its Mac and iOS hardware lines, Apple shipped just over 100 million devices in the quarter. Investors rewarded the company with a 5.74 per cent stock price boost in after-hours trading.

The strong iPhone and Mac sales did not carry over to the iPad, which shipped 21.4 million units, down 18 per cent on the year-ago quarter.

Cook said the drop could be due to a number of factors, including the longer refresh cycle for tablets and possible cannibalization at the hands of the Mac and iPhone 6+ lines.

While the Apple boss said he was optimistic about the iPad in the long run – citing factors such as the recent business partnership with IBM – he doesn't expect the decline in iPad numbers to turn around anytime soon. Tablets sales generally collapsed in 2014, according to Gartner.

"When you measure in 90 day clips, as we do," Cook said, "in the short run you won't see a major change in the year-versus-year."

Gartner research vice president Van Baker told The Reg that while Cook's assessment, and optimism, for the iPad were realistic, the company runs another risk with the huge iPhone numbers.

"The down side is they are increasingly dependent on iPhone revenues," the analyst commented about the Apple results. "If they were to stumble at some point with the iPhone, they could be in trouble." ®

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