Apple forecasts revenue largely above estimates, shares…

(Reuters) – Apple Inc forecast current-quarter revenue largely above estimates on Tuesday, helping allay some investor concerns about a possible delay in the launch of the iPhone’s 10th-anniversary edition later this year.

Shares of the world’s most valuable technology company, which also reported better-than-expected third-quarter iPhone sales, were up 3.1 percent at $154.64 in extended trading.

The launch of the latest iPhone could potentially move to October or November, instead of September, due to production issues, according to media reports and analysts.

Apple is widely tipped to adopt higher-resolution OLED displays for the latest iPhone, along with better touchscreen technology and wireless charging – which could come with a $1,000 plus price tag.

The company forecast total revenue of between $49 billion and $52 billion for the current quarter, while analysts on average were expecting $49.21 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Analysts on average expect the company to sell 45.55 million iPhones in the current quarter, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet StreetAccount. Apple sold 45.51 million iPhones in the year-ago quarter.

Apple’s fourth quarter generally includes first-weekend sales of the company’s latest devices.

A person holds a red iPhone product at a Apple store in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China, March 25, 2017.Stringer

The company said iPhone sales rose 1.6 percent to 41.03 million in the third quarter ended July 1, above analysts’ average estimate of 40.7 million units, according to FactSet StreetAccount. Apple sold 40.4 million iPhones a year earlier.

Many customers wait for Apple to launch its new smartphones before deciding on upgrading or replacing their current devices, which usually results in iPhone demand tapering in the months before a release.

The company’s net income rose to $8.72 billion, or $1.67 per share, in the three months ended July 1, from $7.80 billion, or $1.42 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $45.41 billion from $42.36 billion in the quarter, typically the company’s weakest. Analysts on average had expected $44.89 billion.

Apple’s revenue from the Greater China region fell 9.5 percent to $8 billion in the latest quarter, as consumers switched to newer domestic offerings.

China sales appear to have stabilized after several quarters of much larger declines, Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Reuters.

A 21.6 percent jump in the company’s services business – which includes the App Store, Apple Pay and iCloud – to $7.27 billion helped boost revenue.

Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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