[dropcap]C[/dropcap]ALIFORNIA – Apple is bracing for its first sales decline in 13 years, despite selling a record 74.8 million iPhones in the final three months of 2015, in what may prove to be a turning point for the world’s most valuable company.
Sales of the product, which launched to much fanfare in 2007 account for roughly two-thirds of the brand’s revenue.
Apple’s performance was still enough to record quarterly profits of of £12.8 billion but revenues are widely expected to fall this quarter.
Officials have suggested revenue for the second quarter of 2016 would be as low as £35 billion, down from £40 billion in the same quarter last year.
Chief executive Tim Cook credited “the world’s most innovative products” for delivering “Apple’s biggest quarter ever”.
The results also revealed that Apple sold just over 16 million iPads tablets, as well as 5.3 million Mac computers.
Luca Maestri, Apple’s finance officer added: “Our record sales and strong margins drove all-time records for net income and EPS (earnings per share) in spite of a very difficult macro-economic environment.
“We generated operating cash flow of $27.5 billion during the quarter, and returned over nine billion US dollars to investors through share repurchases and dividends.
“We have now completed 153 billion US dollars of our $200 billion capital return programme.”