Apple profit doubles in past quarter to $23.6 bln amid a surge in iPhone sales

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Apple said Wednesday profits more than doubled in the past quarter to $23.6 billion amid a surge in iPhone sales and robust growth in other products and services purchased by pandemic-hit consumers.

The California giant said revenue was the best ever for its fiscal second quarter, up 54 percent to $89.6 billion.

“This quarter reflects both the enduring ways our products have helped our users meet this moment in their own lives, as well as the optimism consumers seem to feel about better days ahead for all of us,” said chief executive Tim Cook.

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“Apple is in a period of sweeping innovation across our product lineup, and we’re keeping focus on how we can help our teams and the communities where we work emerge from this pandemic into a better world. “

The surging profits come with Apple and other Big Tech firms facing heightened scrutiny for their dominance of key economic sectors, which has increased during the pandemic.

Apple has been in the spotlight over its latest efforts to implement new privacy and data protection for apps in its online marketplace, a move which has sparked criticism from rivals claiming the iPhone maker is using the change to favor its own services.

The latest results reflect “revenue records in each of our geographic segments and strong double-digit growth in each of our product categories,” said chief financial officer Luca Maestri.

Apple shares leapt more than three percent in after-hours trade on the stronger-than-anticipated earnings.

Revenue from iPhones jumped 65 percent from a year ago to $47 billion, reflecting strong demand for new iPhone 12 models.

Apple also reported gains in sales of iPads, Mac computers, wearables and accessories, and its array of services from digital payments to music.

Analyst Dan Ives at Wedbush said Apple was benefitting from new devices adapted to 5G wireless technology.

The results “featured a top and bottom line beat for the record books with the main focus on the undergoing iPhone 12 and 5G supercycle,” Ives said in a research note.

“We essentially view this quarter as the first half of the 5G supercycle... we are seeing order activity continue to track significantly ahead of expectations.”

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