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But the numbers that most Apple watchers were focused on were those outlining what the company expects to see for the next quarter.

It sold 46.6 million iPhones, in line with forecasts of 46 million and up from 45.5 million a year ago.

Reporting on its fourth quarter 2017 financial results, Apple has announced a net profit of $10.71 billion ($2.07 per diluted share) on revenues of $52.6 billion.

Apple on Thursday reported profits rose on the back of strong iPhone sales in the past quarter, with the USA tech giant set to begin selling its newest flagship handset seen as a key to its future. Apple must also be improving its margins because the associated revenue increase was a whopping 25 percent and up 28 percent from the previous quarter.

Apple reports quarterly earnings after the bell, when Wall Street will scour the company's finances for signs that consumers are shelling out for new iPhones. This quarter, the company made $8.5 billion in services revenue, up 34 percent from a year ago.

Investors are keen to gauge Chinese demand for the iPhone X, as it is key to reviving Apple's fortunes in the world's biggest smartphone market where it has lost some of its sparkle - and market share - as local phone makers have advanced.

Q4 revenue: $50.7 billion expected by Thomson Reuters.

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The current six-week waiting time for online iPhone X orders will be reduced in the next two days as Apple adds more production capacity, he added. While conspiracy theorists might suspect that Apple is artificially reducing supply to generate buzz, analysts say the real reason is that Apple's suppliers so far haven't been able to manufacture the iPhone X quickly enough. Apple has been flirting with a trillion-dollar valuation, and had a value of $868 billion at market close.

When Apple unveiled the $999 iPhone X in September, it also introduced the iPhone 8, which is $300 cheaper and a more modest upgrade to the prior handset.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus went on sale in October, boasting improvements to the camera and the addition of wireless charging.

The iPhone X is not the only product Apple is releasing this holiday season. It competes with a range of revamped Echo speakers from Amazon.com Inc. and Google's Home devices.

Apple for years has sought to make the release of its new phones a landmark event. Global sales accounted for 62 percent of the quarter's revenue.

Most Australians buyers are expected to buy the premium iPhone X on a contract, however, which could prove more challenging.