Apple Inc. reported a surprise fall in iPhone sales for the second quarter on Tuesday, indicating that customers had held back purchases in anticipation of the 10th-anniversary edition launch of the company’s most important product.
Shares of the world’s most valuable listed company were down two per cent at $144.40 US in after-hours trading.
The company boosted its capital return program by $50 billion US, increasing its share repurchase authorization by $35 billion US and raising its quarterly dividend by 10.5 per cent.
Apple sold 50.76 million iPhones in its fiscal second quarter ended April 1, down from 51.19 million a year earlier.
Analysts on average had estimated iPhone sales of 52.27 million, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet.
Expectations are building ahead of Apple’s 10th-anniversary iPhone range this fall, with investors hoping that the launch would help bolster sales.
Apple typically launches its new iPhones in September.
A big jump in sales usually follows in the holiday quarter, before demand tapers over the next few quarters as customers hold back ahead of the next launch.
Apple’s 10th-anniversary iPhone range might sport features such as wireless charging, 3-D facial recognition and a curved display.