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For its fiscal 2017 first quarter ended December 31, 2016, Apple said iPhone shipments were up by about 5 percent by units from the same quarter in the previous year.

After several months of slipping iPhone sales, Apple finally returned to form in its earnings report for the first quarter of 2017. Revenues rose 3.3% from past year to $78.35 billion, also topping analysts' view for $77.26 billion.

The company blamed the strong dollar for a gloomier than expected outlook with Apple projecting revenue of between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion for the current quarter, below analyst projections of $53.79 billion.

Without providing specific numbers like it does for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Apple said it broke records for both Apple Watch revenue and unit sales.

Apple services revenue grew strongly, led by record customer activity on the App Store, Cook said.

Earnings per share came in $3.36 per share compared to "The Street" estimate of $3.21 per share. Some critics question Apple's ability to innovate, while others noted smartphone sales have softened for everyone. Analysts had earlier forecast Apple's second-quarter sales to reach $54 billion.

Apple shares are up $3.26, or nearly 3%, at $124.61, in late trading. Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri promised guidance of $76 billion-$78 billion-that's more than the record-setting $75.9 billion of Q1 2016.

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Apple recorded an operating income of $23.3bn, which was also down from $24.1bn previous year.

Apple's stellar quarter for iPhone sales didn't just put more money in the bank; it also helped the Cupertino company overtake Samsung to become the world's top smartphone vendor.

The big number to pay attention to with Apple earnings these days, as Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley notes, is average selling price (ASP) for iPhone.

The iPad continued to lag, with units sold declining 19 percent to 13.1 million and revenue declining 22 percent to $5.5 billion.

Revenue from greater China was down 12 percent year to year, at $16.23 billion.

Apple's service revenue increased from over $6 billion in Q1 2016 to $7.2 billion.


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