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 A view of the US technology company Apple store logo sign in Munich, Germany, 11 March 2017. EPA/CHRISTIAN BRUNA
 A view of the US technology company Apple store logo sign in Munich, Germany, 11 March 2017. EPA/CHRISTIAN BRUNA

Apple profits increase despite slow down of iPhone sales

Data on the most recent quarter triggered some disappointment among analysts, who had expected the sales of smartphones to reach 52 million units.

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Apple on Tuesday announced its second quarter financial results which sparked some disappointment in the market, mainly due to a slowdown in sales of its flagship product, the iPhone and despite a slight increase in its overall profits.

Apple, the company with the greatest stock market capitalization in the United States, on Tuesday reported that in the second quarter of its fiscal year ending on Apr. 1, 50.76 million units of the iPhone were sold, generating revenues of $33.249 billion.

These sales represent 63 percent of the company's overall revenues in this most recent quarter, hence iPhone sales are an indicator that analysts are watching closely to see the progress of the company.

However, the data on the most recent quarter triggered some disappointment among analysts, who had expected the sales of smartphones to reach 52 million units.

In the same quarter last year, Apple sold 51 million iPhones, and the last sales figure is even lower than the one from the same period of 2015, when it reached 61.2 million models.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said during an investor conference that the "pause" in purchases of the iPhone is linked to the fact that many potential iPhone customers are waiting for the new model to be released in September.

But this factor has always been taken into account when analyzing Apple's results, and if in the second quarter of its fiscal year iPhone sales did not reach expectations, the next quarter's results could be worse.

In total, Apple announced that in the first two quarters of its fiscal year it accumulated net profits of $28.92 billion, slightly higher than the same period last year, when it was $28.87 billion.

At the investor conference, Cook also highlighted the challenges the company is having in China, its second biggest market after the US, as its quarterly revenues there fell 14 percent.

In addition, the company announced that the board of directors has authorized an expansion of its share repurchase program, from $175 billion announced last year to $210 billion this year.

It also reported a 10.5 percent increase in the quarterly dividend, which will hit 63 cents and will be paid on May 18.

Nevertheless, the data, which were released just after the close of Wall Street, as well as the explanations given by Cook and chief financial officer Luca Maestri did not convince analysts that much.

In fact, after the telephone conference with investors ended, Apple's shares fell 2 percent in electronic trading. 

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