Customer response 'phenomenal'

China helps lift new Apple iPhone to record sales

Apple iPhone 6s flickrChina helped Apple sell more than 13 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus devices in their debut weekend, more than the ten million sold at the launch of the 6 and 6 Plus last year.

This year’s upgrades include what Apple is calling 3D touch, in which the touchscreen responds not only to touch but also to pressure. There is a better camera, with more functionality, and processor improvements.

“Sales for iPhone 6S Plus have been phenomenal, blowing past any previous first weekend sales results in Apple’s history,” said Apple chief executive Tim Cook in a statement.

These results benefited from the inclusion of China in Apple’s opening weekend sales. The country is now Apple’s second biggest market. Last year the phone was held up by Chinese regulators and as sales there this time were around 3m to 4m it means sales elsewhere were broadly flat.

The company said the new iPhones would be available in more than 40 additional countries 9 October and would reach  more than 130 by the end of the year.

The technology giant reported record earnings of $10.7 billion (£7 bn), for its third quarter, up 39% on a year ago, when it posted a quarterly net profit of $7.7bn. Revenue reached $49.6bn, a rise of 33% from $37.4bn a year earlier.

Following the launch of the iPhone 6 last year, Apple went on to see more than 70 million units in three months, and post the largest ever quarterly profit by a public company in history of £11.8bn.

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