Apple is returning more money to investors after their profits started to soar. The tech giant reported a 33% improvement on year-to-year profits during the first quarter, selling 61.1 million iPhones during the same period. Revenue was up 27%, as the company enjoyed a profit of $13.6 billion. Sales in China rose by 71% to $16.8 billion, eclipsing US sales for the first time. The company said it plans to enhance its share-buying program and return $200 billion to investors, up from $130 billion.
The company also said it has a record $195 billion in cash on its books. Sales of the iPad have remained slow however, down on 23% from the year before. Boss Tim Cook said “We are thrilled by the continued strength of iPhone, Mac and the App Store, which drove our best March quarter results ever”. Shares rose over 10% after markets closed. The company has consistently beaten analysts’ forecasts recently, with the decision to make a bigger smartphone being seen as a success even though the late Steve Jobs rejected the idea.
The company sold more iPhones in China than the US last quarter, even though experts had predicted that they would struggle to crack the market.