Apple's iPhone sales help earnings beat estimates



Technology giant Apple forecast a strong holiday quarter after a better-than-expected 16 per cent jump in iPhone sales, and the strongest growth in Mac computer shipments in years helped the company surpass Wall Street's targets.
The company on Monday projected stronger-than-expected revenue of US $63.5 billion to US $66.5 billion in the December quarter, when new iPads and iPhones vie with rival devices from Microsoft and Amazon.com for consumers' holiday outlays.
However, sales of Apple's iPad, which helped launch the mainstream tablet market in 2010, slid for the third straight quarter. A gradual decline in tablet demand worldwide has worried investors already concerned with the US-based technology major's slowing growth, who are awaiting a new device that can energise its expansion.
Sales of Apple's tablet slid more than 7 per cent from the previous quarter to 12.3 million units, and were down 13 per cent from the same period a year ago.
Some investors hope that Apple's recently forged alliance with International Business Machines (IBM), intended to drive tablet and phone sales to corporate customers, may help reverse a decline in sales of the tablet device.
Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said in an interview that the pair of tech giants had already signed on 50 "foundational" or initial clients, and the two intend to introduce their first jointly designed software apps next month.

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