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The holiday season was especially bright for Apple.
The Silicon Valley giant is preparing to announce the results from its first 2014 fiscal quarter (Oct.-Dec. 2013) on Jan. 27. Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley says you can expect Apple to announce that its combined iPhone and iPad sales figures were more than 78 million units. Those numbers are due largely to the introduction of the iPhone 5s and the iPad Air in late September.
Expect Apple's sales to keep up a nice pace considering the company's new agreement with China Mobile as well as its competitors' mediocre showing at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, Walkley added.
China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator, began taking iPhone pre-orders on Dec. 25. Apple's major iPhone assembler, Foxconn, shipped about 1.4 million iPhone 5s handsets to China Mobile last week, a number being used to gauge early demand, the Wall Street Journal said. Analysts expected the China Mobile deal will help Apple sell an additional 10 million to 30 million iPhones this year.
In the first three quarters of 2013, Apple sold 18.5 million iPhones in China, according to Gartner. While this number is up 28 percent from a year earlier, the growth rate has slowed due to stronger competition and greater availability of other options, the firm said. But this first-ever agreement with China Mobile is expected to change that significantly.