Apple’s iPhone sales have fallen for a third straight quarter, despite ‘big screen’ rival Samsung’s problems in the smartphone sales war.
The world’s most valuable company by market value reported 45.5 million devices sold in the quarter to 24 September.
While that number beat analysts’ estimates, it was down from 48.1 million in the same period last year.
It launched its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models two weeks before the end of the quarter.
Apple said the sales figure reflected supply issues with the iPhone 7 plus – a drag of a number of weeks in orders being fulfilled and a general slowdown in the smartphone market amid tough competition from cheaper models.
It also suggests the latest range failed to capitalise on the disastrous launch, in mid-August, of Samsung’s rival Galaxy Note 7 which was beset by reports of exploding batteries almost from the off.
It permanently halted production earlier this month after failing to overcome the issue.
Apple said on Tuesday it was unclear whether it would see a benefit in its current first quarter though it was predicting a return to iPhone sales growth.
Analysts are forecasting 75.8 million iPhone sales over the so-called holiday season period.
The company’s iPhone range accounts for two-thirds of its revenue.
Total revenue fell 9% to $46.9bn in the fourth quarter. Apple cited revenue from Greater China, once seen as Apple’s next growth engine, falling 30% in the quarter following a decline of 33% in the previous three months.
Its profits were also significantly down – by 19% to $9bn.