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Apple iPhone sales disappoint, but selling prices were way up

Daniel Howley
Technology Editor

Apple (AAPL) reported its Q4 2018 results on Thursday, and the numbers were mixed. Following the earnings report, Apple’s market cap fell below the $1 trillion mark.

In the quarter, Apple sold 46.9 million iPhones versus analysts’ expectations of 48.4 million handsets. Apple sold 46.8 million smartphones in the same quarter last year.

Earnings came in at $2.91 per share on revenue of $62.9 billion. That beats analysts’ expectations of $2.78 earnings per share on revenue of $61.4 billion.

The average selling price for iPhones beat expectations, rising 41% to $793. Analysts had called for $729. The iPhone’s ASP is an important indicator of the kind of iPhones people bought in the quarter. A higher ASP means customers purchased more high-end handsets such as the iPhone X and the newer XS and XS Max, versus less expensive models like the older iPhone 8 and iPhone 7.

During Apple’s investors call, executives said they will no longer be providing unit numbers for iPhone, iPad and Mac, removing a key metric for investors to track device demand. Apple CFO Luca Maestri explained the change saying that unit sales don’t provide a clear picture of the company performance.

“We’re thrilled to report another record-breaking quarter that caps a tremendous fiscal 2018, the year in which we shipped our 2 billionth iOS device, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the App Store and achieved the strongest revenue and earnings in Apple’s history,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

Apple’s increasingly important Services segment saw revenue of $9.98 billion versus $8.5 billion during Q4 2017. That’s a new all-time high for the business. Apple’s services, which includes iTunes, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay and Apple Care, has been growing for years and could become the company’s main revenue generator as iPhone sales plateau.

Apple’s iPad sales and revenue were down both year-over-year and sequentially. But with the release of two new iPad Pros with edge-to-edge displays on October 30th, that could change in Q1 2019.

Email Daniel Howley at dhowley@oath.com; follow him on Twitter at@DanielHowley.Follow Yahoo Finance on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, andLinkedIn.