Apple has posted a record-breaking set of quarterly results, with sales of the iPhone 6 growing well ahead of expectations.
The technology giant said that sales rose 29.5pc in the final three months of 2014 to $74.6bn (£48bn), ahead of expectations on Wall Street that sales would reach $67.7bn.
The surge in sales helped Apple’s net income to grow from $13.1bn to $18bn in the quarter.
Shares in Apple grew by more than 7pc in after-hours trading.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said it had been an “incredible quarter”. He stated: “We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high.
“Our revenue grew 30pc over last year to $74.bn, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal.”
Apple said it sold a record 74.5m iPhones during the period, significantly ahead of expectations that it would sell 65m.
However, Luca Maestri, the chief financial officer, said that iPhone sales in China did not overtake those in the US, despite predictions by analysts that they would
Nonetheless, a rapid increase in demand for the iPhone drove sales in China up 70pc year-on-year in the quarter.
Sales of the Apple Mac and from the App Store also hit record levels. Apple said that 65pc of its revenues are now from outside the US. However, iPad sales were below expectations, hitting 21.4m, compared to estimates of 22.1m.
The company published its results on the day that shares in rival Microsoft slumped by almost 10pc.
Wall Street punished Microsoft after the company said net profits fell from $6.6bn to $5.9bn in the final quarter of the 2014 as slowing PC sales dampened demand for Windows software and the strengthening dollar also hit the company.
Microsoft said that sales of the Surface tablet rose 24pc to $1bn, while advertising revenue from the Bing search engine rose 23pc. However, revenue from Windows dropped 13pc, which spooked investors.
Shares in Microsoft fell 4.35, or 9.25pc, to $42.66.