Five questions answered on Apple’s profit surge

It made $6.9bn.

iPhone maker Apple has reported higher profits in the third-quarter than was expected. We answer five questions on Apple’s latest sales surge.

 How much profit did Apple make in the last quarter?

It made $6.9bn (£4.5bn) in the three months to June. This pushed its shares up by 5 per cent in after-hours trading yesterday.

What’s responsible for this better-than-expected profit rise?

It’s iPhone smartphone. Apple sold 31.2m of the mobile device, a record for the June quarter, compared to 26m last year.

How do these latest figures compare to last year overall?

Compared to the same period last year, profit is actually down by 22 per cent. Its profit margins actually shrank to 36.98 per cent from 42.8 per cent.

However, this quarter its sales prices were actually lower at $581, compared with $608 a year ago.

The company’s revenue, which was also better than expected, rose only slightly above the same quarter last year to $35.3bn compared to $35bn a year ago.

What have the analysts said about Apple’s latest figures?

Shannon Cross of Cross Research, speaking to the BBC said:

"The iPhone number should provide some comfort to investors who were worried about smartphone demand.

"That's one of the reasons the stock is up. Expectations were not strong for this quarter."

While Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital, told the BBC:

"This was a 'blah' quarter and the story hasn't changed.

"Until it delivers a new, innovative product that really adds to both top and bottom-line, I would expect the stock to continue treading water."

So, what is next for Apple?

It’s hard to say, except Apple's boss, Tim Cook, did tell the BBC the company – who’s last innovation was the iPad in 2010 – is planning on introducing some new products soon.

"We are later-focused and working hard on some amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall [autumn] and across 2014," he said.

Photograph: Getty Images

Heidi Vella is a features writer for

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Why relations between Theresa May and Philip Hammond became tense so quickly

The political imperative of controlling immigration is clashing with the economic imperative of maintaining growth. 

There is no relationship in government more important than that between the prime minister and the chancellor. When Theresa May entered No.10, she chose Philip Hammond, a dependable technocrat and long-standing ally who she had known since Oxford University. 

But relations between the pair have proved far tenser than anticipated. On Wednesday, Hammond suggested that students could be excluded from the net migration target. "We are having conversations within government about the most appropriate way to record and address net migration," he told the Treasury select committee. The Chancellor, in common with many others, has long regarded the inclusion of students as an obstacle to growth. 

The following day Hammond was publicly rebuked by No.10. "Our position on who is included in the figures has not changed, and we are categorically not reviewing whether or not students are included," a spokesman said (as I reported in advance, May believes that the public would see this move as "a fix"). 

This is not the only clash in May's first 100 days. Hammond was aggrieved by the Prime Minister's criticisms of loose monetary policy (which forced No.10 to state that it "respects the independence of the Bank of England") and is resisting tougher controls on foreign takeovers. The Chancellor has also struck a more sceptical tone on the UK's economic prospects. "It is clear to me that the British people did not vote on June 23 to become poorer," he declared in his conference speech, a signal that national prosperity must come before control of immigration. 

May and Hammond's relationship was never going to match the remarkable bond between David Cameron and George Osborne. But should relations worsen it risks becoming closer to that beween Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. Like Hammond, Darling entered the Treasury as a calm technocrat and an ally of the PM. But the extraordinary circumstances of the financial crisis transformed him into a far more assertive figure.

In times of turmoil, there is an inevitable clash between political and economic priorities. As prime minister, Brown resisted talk of cuts for fear of the electoral consequences. But as chancellor, Darling was more concerned with the bottom line (backing a rise in VAT). By analogy, May is focused on the political imperative of controlling immigration, while Hammond is focused on the economic imperative of maintaining growth. If their relationship is to endure far tougher times they will soon need to find a middle way. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.