Apple forecast strong holiday sale, a sign it expects robust demand for the new iPhone X, with the company's CEO to say the new proucion of the new device is 'going well'.
The 10-year anniversary iPhone will help push sales to a record high of $84 billion to $87 billion in the quarter ending in late December, Apple said today.
Production of the iPhone X is "going well, we're doing more each week and I'm pleased with how things are going," Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said. "The initial demand for iPhone X has been very, very strong."
The current six-week waiting time for online iPhone X orders will be reduced in the next two days as Apple adds more production capacity, he added.
Apple also forecast a gross profit margin of 38 percent to 38.5 percent for the holiday quarter. Results over this period will also benefit from the HomePod, a smart speaker that will be available in December. It competes with a range of revamped Echo speakers from Amazon.com and Google's Home devices.
For the company's fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 30, Apple reported earnings of $2.07 a share on revenue of $52.6 billion. Sales in Greater China rose 12 percent to $9.8 billion. The company had $269 billion in cash and long-term marketable securities at the end of September.
"We're happy to report a very strong finish to a great fiscal 2017, with record fourth quarter revenue, year-over-year growth for all our product categories, and our best quarter ever for Services," said Tim Cook. "With fantastic new products including iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple Watch Series 3, and Apple TV 4K joining our product lineup, we're looking forward to a great holiday season, and with the launch of iPhone X getting underway right now, we couldn't be more excited as we begin to deliver our vision for the future with this stunning device."
Cook highlighted market share gains in China for the iPhone, iPad and Mac products. "We sold more iPhones than we expected," he said. "We had double-digit iPhone growth in many of the emerging markets."
Apple said Mac sales jumped 25 percent in the period, iPad revenue grew 14 percent and Other Products, such as the Watch and AirPods, surged 36 percent.
Apple's effort to expand services, like the App Store and Apple Music, has also locked customers into its products more tightly. That's creating more stable demand for the iPhone X even amid manufacturing problems. The company said its services business generated record revenue of $8.5 billion in the fiscal fourth-quarter, up 34 percent from a year earlier.