US tech giant Apple said it sold 40.4m iPhones in the third quarter of 2016, down 15 percent from the previous year, but slightly more than the forecast 40.02m.
According to the BBC, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the results reflected “stronger customer demand… than we anticipated”.
The decline in iPhone demand, a product that accounts for two-thirds of Apple’s sales and even more of its profits, could be down to economic uncertainty in China
The results are reassuring for investors and buyers, who had started to fear that demand for the company’s best-selling product was slowing to a crawl. iPhone sales are still on the decline, however, despite improvements. Overall sales dropped for the second straight quarter, pushing down Apple’s total revenue 14.6 percent.
The firm said it expected sales to fall again in the fourth quarter to between $45.5bn and $47.5bn.
The decline in iPhone demand, a product that accounts for two-thirds of Apple’s sales and even more of its profits, could be down to economic uncertainty in China, where Apple’s revenue declined 33 percent.
With its growing customer base, China is seen as Apple’s greatest chance at growth as iPhone sales deteriorate in more mature markets such as the US.
“China was a major letdown”, Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told Reuters.
“Samsung and Huawei are much more competitive now than a year ago and the Chinese economy is not doing well at all.”
Moorhead added, however, that increased services revenue, which includes the App Store and iCloud, was a “very big bright spot for Apple”.