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‘Disappointing’ iPhone 4S leads Apple to most profitable quarter in tech history

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 7:43PM EST

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Disappointing” though it may have been to some, the iPhone 4S propelled what is now confirmed to have been the most profitable quarter any technology company has ever recorded. Apple on Wednesday reported record earnings for the December quarter, revealing a profit of $13.06 billion on revenue that surpassed $46 billion. Among technology companies, Apple’s fiscal first quarter represents the most profitable quarter ever recorded. Only one U.S. company has ever posted a more profitable quarter — Exxon managed a profit of $14.8 billion in the third quarter of 2008 — and the driving force behind Apple’s record-setting performance was quite clearly the iPhone. Read on for more.

Apple sold a record 37.04 million iPhone handsets into channels last quarter, along with 15.43 million iPad tablets and 15.4 million iPods. No single smartphone line has ever moved more units in a single quarter, and no mobile portfolio has ever pulled in anywhere near the revenue and profit Apple has managed with its current iOS lineup. To cap things off, Apple reported that the total value of its cash and marketable securities reached $97.6 billion at the end of the first fiscal quarter. This almost certainly means that as of Wednesday when Apple reported its earnings, the company had amassed well over $100 billion in cash on hand.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.