Apple caused a positive surprise with its quarterly figures presented on Thursday after the market closed.

The American electronics group reported record sales despite suffering from supply chain difficulties such as a shortage of semiconductors and although the latest iPhone lineup didn't bring too many changes from previous models.

Roland Lindner

Business correspondent in New York.

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Apple's share price was initially around two percent higher in after-hours trading.

The group only reached a milestone on the stock exchange at the beginning of January and exceeded the threshold of 3 trillion dollars with its market capitalization for the first time.

Since then, however, it has fallen again in the midst of a weak stock market environment, and is currently around $2.6 trillion.

Overall, Apple reported revenue growth of 11 percent to $123.9 billion for the past three months.

Analysts had expected an average of $118.7 billion.

Net income was $34.6 billion and earnings per share were 21 cents better than expected at $2.10.

Apple also performed significantly better than expected with the iPhone, its most important product by far.

It brought in revenue of $71.6 billion, up 9 percent year-on-year and a good $3 billion more than analysts had predicted.

It thus represented almost 58 percent of group sales.

According to the industry, the iPhone 13 model generation, which came onto the market in September, did not bring as much further development as the iPhone 12 in the previous year.

The iPhone 12 was the first Apple cell phone that could work with the new 5G mobile communications standard.

Only the iPad weakens

Apple also managed growth in most of its other product categories.

The only exception was the iPad tablet computer.

Here sales fell by 14 percent to 7.2 billion dollars.

In the services business, which is now Apple's second-largest division, there was growth of 24 percent to $19.5 billion.

These include offers such as the App Store or the payment service Apple Pay.

In the division with the Apple Watch digital clock and the wireless AirPod headphones, sales rose by 13 percent to $14.7 billion, with Macintosh computers there was a plus of 25 percent to $10.9 billion.

Apple warned three months ago that supply chain difficulties would cost the company more than $6 billion in the current quarter.

CEO Tim Cook has now said, however, that he expects things to ease in the first quarter of the new year.