Apple sold a record 74.4 million iPhones in its fiscal first quarter ended Dec 27, the company announced on Tuesday, comfortably beating analysts' expectations as sales of its two newest models soared during the Christmas holidays and saw 70% rise in China sales.
The tech giant announced a record $74.6 bn in revenues - convincingly ahead of the $67.5 bn expected by analysts - and a record quarterly net profit of $18 bn.
Profit of $18 billion was the biggest ever reported by a public company, worldwide, according to S&P analyst Howard Silverblatt. Apple's cash pile is now $178 billion, enough to buy IBM or the equivalent to $556 for every American.
Apple, the world's most valuable company, ended the quarter with $178 billion in cash.
The big-screen iPhone 6 and 6 plus pushed revenues in China by 70% in the quarter from a year earlier. The company's success in the competitive Chinese market can be attributed to its partnership with China Mobile Ltd, the largest global mobile carrier, and the appeal of the larger screen size of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, said a Reuters report.
Apple was expected to sell 67 million iPhone units during the quarter. But, the tech giant sold 74.5 million of the smartphones during the quarter marking a 46% increase that accounted for $51.2 billion of the company's overall revenue last quarter.
iPad sales slipped about 18% in the first quarter, to 21.4 million units sold after the company released new iterations of its iPad Air and iPad mini tablets. Mac sales increased, slightly, to 5.5 million units sold.
In a statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook thanked his company's customers "for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high."