Apple reported another strong quarter of profits on Tuesday, as consumers kept buying iPhones and paying more for them, news that could soon help make the Silicon Valley giant the first public company to be worth more than $1 trillion.
Apple said it had a $11.52 billion profit in its most recent quarter, up nearly a third from the same period a year earlier, showing that the company’s enormous business selling iPhones and other gadgets continues to breeze along. The strong results beat Wall Street estimates.
Apple’s ascent past $1 trillion in the total value of its shares would further confirm a remarkable turnaround from the brink of bankruptcy two decades ago. The steep growth was driven by a series of new products that upended the technology industry — and, in some cases, society — and that remain big sellers.
Apple said it sold 41.3 million iPhones in the latest quarter, up less than 1 percent from a year earlier. But iPhone revenues rose 20 percent because Apple is getting customers to pay nearly 20 percent more for the devices on average, a trend driven by its flagship $1,000 iPhone X.
Apple is also offsetting some slowing growth of its hardware sales with an accelerating business charging customers for apps, data storage and other services. Revenue from those services grew 31 percent to $9.55 billion in the quarter.
With the huge profits, Apple unveiled plans in April to buy back $100 billion in stock. On Tuesday, the company said it had returned $25 billion to shareholders in the quarter, including $20 billion in share repurchases.
Total revenues in the quarter were $53.27 billion, up 17 percent from a year earlier.
Apple’s outlook does have challenges. Arguably no American company has a greater reliance on China for its success, and the growing trade war between the United States and China could threaten its high-flying business.
Apple makes most of its products in China, which is also its third-largest sales market. New American tariffs on goods could hit some Apple devices, like the Apple Watch, while the Chinese authorities could also look to hamstring Apple’s operations there in retaliation for the tariffs.
Apple said Tuesday that its revenue in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan had increased 19 percent to $9.55 billion, about the same rate of growth for its sales in the United States.