Apple investors get jitters over iPhone sales growth

Apple enjoyed a brief spike in its share price, as enthusiasm for the company's earnings in the first calendar quarter (Apple's fiscal second quarter) was muted by concerns its iPhone sales may have peaked.

The U.S. handset maker on Monday saw its share price rise by at least 25 per cent after it reported net income for the recent quarter of $13.6 billion (€12.3 billion) compared to $10.2 billion in the same period of 2014. Investors were enthused by iPhone shipments of 61.2 million in the recent quarter--a 40 per cent rise on the same quarter in 2014--and the potential for higher future device sales from the recently launched Watch wearable.

However, the share price began to fluctuate on Tuesday as questions were raised over Apple's potential to maintain device sales growth and quarterly revenue rises of 20 per cent or higher, Bloomberg reported.

In a separate, related, article, Bloomberg noted that some analysts are concerned Apple has passed its peak in terms of year-on-year iPhone sales rises, following a record quarter of sales in the company's fiscal Q1 (the three months to end-December 2014).

Indeed, that record quarter could end up being a thorn in Apple's side, as iPhone sales in the December 2015 quarter are unlikely to measure up in year-on-year comparisons, Bloomberg noted, citing a Bloomberg Intelligence report.

Apple defended its position, noting that 80 per cent of its current base of active iPhone users has yet to upgrade to its latest iPhone 6 models, and that sales in China grew by 70 per cent year-on-year in the recent quarter.

That view was echoed by analysts from RBC Capital Markets and Morgan Stanley, who noted that it is still early days in terms of iPhone upgrade cycles, Bloomberg reported.

Fresh figures from Strategy Analytics revealed Samsung regained its crown as the worlds leading smartphone vendor in the opening quarter of 2015, after Apple briefly toppled the South Korean maker in Q4 2014.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- read this related Bloomberg report

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