iPhone 6 demand pushes Apple to record profit & revenue

The supersized iPhone 6 Plus has been credited for helping Apple chalk up the largest quarterly profit ever recorded by a company.

Apple made a record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion during the three months to 27 December, as well as a record quarterly net profit of $18billion.

The results were well ahead of Wall Street's expectations, which predicted a quarterly revenue of around $67.7 billion for the consumer electronics giant had been mooted.

This was on the back of all-time high iPhone sales, of 74.5 million units, which the firm's CEO Tim Cook has described as "staggering".

"This volume is hard to comprehend. On average we sold over 34,000 iPhones every hour, 24 hours a day, every day of the quarter," he said on a conference call to discuss the results, transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

The popularity of the iPhone 6 Plus, in particular, has been cited as key revenue driver for Apple in Q1 by Luca Maestri, the firm's senior vice president and chief financial officer.

"The unprecedented demand for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus combined with our tremendously successful production ramp allowed us to build and ship several million more iPhones that we had expected when we provided guidance back in October," said Maestri.

"iPhone ASPs [average selling prices] were $687, an increase of $50 over the year ago quarter. This led to iPhone revenue growth of 57 per cent year-over-year, with quarterly sales exceeding $50 billion for the first time ever."

Q1 demand for the firm's iPhone devices weren't the only bright spot in Apple's results, as Mac sales were also up 14 per cent, and App Store revenue was also up 41 per cent.

The only dampener on its Q1 proceedings was the downturn in iPad sales, with Apple selling 21.4 million units. This was down from 26 million in the same quarter of the previous year.

This will undoubtedly fuel industry speculation about how sales of larger form smartphones are cannibalising those of tablets.

This sentiment was echoed in a mailout earlier today by Richard Holway, chairman at analyst firm TechMarketView, who said: "It really does look as if the five-year-old iPad has peaked. With the iPhone 6+ almost as big as an iPad Mini, many users question why they need both devices."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.