Apple's Phone Sales Decrease But Tim Cook Declares iPhone X a Hit

Apple CEO Tim Cook - media event at Apple's new headquarters -September 12, 2017 -Getty-H 2017

"IPhone X surpassed our expectations and has been our to-selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November," Cook told investors.

Apple sold fewer iPhones during the holidays than it did the previous year. 

The tech giant revealed Thursday that it sold 77.3 million of the devices during the fiscal first quarter, which falls during the months of October, November and December. That's a decline of 1 percent since the 2016 holiday season when Apple sold 78.3 million phones. 

But the company still reported its biggest quarter ever and beat earnings and revenue estimates. It made $3.89 per share during the quarter and had revenue of $88.3 billion. Wall Street, per Thomson Reuters, was expecting earnings of $3.86 per share and revenue of $87.1 billion.

CEO Tim Cook said in a statement that Apple saw "the highest revenue ever from a new iPhone line." That could be because the newly released iPhone X retails for more than the standard iPhone with a $1,000 starting price. 

"IPhone X surpassed our expectations and has been our to-selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November," Cook continued. He also revealed that Apple's active install base has grown to 1.3 billion, up 30 percent in two years.

During a call with investors, Cook also pointed out that the most recent quarter was one week shorter than the same period last year, accounting for the decline in iPhone sales. 

Mac sales also declined during the quarter, down 5 percent to 5.1 million units. Meanwhile, iPad sales were up 1 percent to 13.2 million units.

The "other products" category that includes Apple TV, Apple Watch and Beats headphones, brought in $5.49 billion in revenue, up 36 percent year-over-year. (Apple does not break out unit sales for this division). Cook noted that Apple Watch sales, specifically, grew by 50 percent. 

Meanwhile, Apple's second largest segment in terms of revenue behind iPhones continues to be its services category, which includes iTunes sales, Apple Music subscriptions and other offerings. Last quarter, services brought in $8.47 billion in revenue, up 18 percent year-over-year. 

Apple shares closed the day flat at $167.78. Shares dipped at first during after-hours trading on the lower iPhone sales, but righted themselves ahead of the company's investor call.