Apple posts biggest quarterly profit ever for a public company

11.9bn – that’s how much profit Apple made in its last quarter, representing the highest ever number for a publicly traded company.

The record was previously held by ExxonMobil, which in Q2 2012 posted a profit of $15.9bn.

The colossal success stems from the success of the iPhone 6, which propelled iPhone sales to 74.5m units in the three months ending December 27th – a number that Apple boss Tim Cook himself described as staggering”.

The previous Apple record stood at 51m units in the last quarter of 2013.

The numbers meant 34,000 iPhones were sold an hour throughout the period. Chinese sales were up 70 per cent with European sales up 20 per cent and the US 23 per cent.

Apple didn’t break down iPhone sales by type, although the average iPhone selling price was up from $637 to $687, most likely thanks to the high-end iPhone 6 Plus.

Performing less well is the iPad, sales of which were down 22 per cent year-on-year at 21.4m units.

Elsewhere, Engadget reports that the performance of iPhone means that Apple is now selling at least as many handsets as rival Samsung, challenging the established belief that while Apple makes more money, Samsung shifts bigger volumes.

In Q4 2014 it is estimated that a record 380.1m smartphones were shipped worldwide, with Samsung’s market share dipping from 30 per cent to 20 per cent.

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