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That said, iPhone and iPad sales were close to the same compared to this quarter past year, with 41.3 million iPhones shipped. Cook said that the more expensive iPhone X was once again the most popular iPhone model this quarter. "We expect the vast majority of Apple's product line-up to be refreshed during the next couple of quarters which should support near-term results". That beats analysts' expectations of $52.31 billion on $2.18 earnings per share.

Also significant is a continued growth in the company's non-hardware revenue: Apple generated $9.55 billion with services during its fiscal Q3, compared to $7.23 billion a year ago.

The company said it expects gross margins of 38 per cent to 38.5 per cent in the fourth quarter, compared with analyst expectations of 38.3 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Analysts are also closely watching Apple's operating expenses, which have been increasing as its research and development costs outpace its revenue growth. During that quarter Apple sold 41 million iPhones, 11.4 million iPads, and 4.3 million Macs.

Analysts were eager for news from the California-based company about how the company is riding out trade turbulence between the U.S. and China.

Analysts have learnt to look past Apple's third-quarter earnings to avoid any disappointment as consumers await the next iPhone upgrade, which is expected in September. That was driven by a higher average selling price of US$724, thanks in part to the iPhone X, which starts at US$999.

Apple reported record services revenue of US$9.55 billion, up 31 per cent from a year earlier.

Apple services include streaming music and video, where Apple faces competition from rivals including Spotify Technology SA and Netflix. -China trade disputes, but President Donald Trump has threatened hundreds of billions of further tariffs whose product categories have not yet been enumerated. Tim Cook spent an unusual amount of time focused on Apple's services division during the Q3 earnings call, and for good reason. In February, Apple said it expected revenue of between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion for the quarter. Cook said wearables were a highlight of the quarter, with sales up 60 per cent year over year.

Apple posted its financial results for the second quarter of 2018 (or the third quarter of its fiscal 2018) today.

The iPhone revenue allayed fears among some investors after Samsung Electronics (South Korea: 005930) registered its slowest quarterly profit growth in more than a year Tuesday because its Galaxy S9 smartphone missed sales targets.