Apple won't disclose how many devices it sold, starting next year

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The transparency by Apple was liked by many people including analysts.

But it was Apple's future guidance that spooked investors. If you're wondering "Why fourth quarter?", it's because the fiscal 2018 ends three months earlier than the calendar 2018. The company said it expects first-quarter revenue of $89 billion to $93 billion, slightly below Wall Street's expectations for the quarter. The number fell short of analysts' estimates and was a disappointment, considering there were no big iPhone launches in the same quarter previous year.

The firm sold 46.9 million iPhones in the quarter to end-September, a modest rise on the 46.7 million sold for the same period a year ago. Just recently, the company announced the iPhone XS Max, a larger and more popular phone that appears to have attracted quite a number of users.

The average iPhone selling price was US$793.

Apple did report its best fourth-quarter ever with revenues of $62.9 billion, a 20% increase from a year ago. iPhone sales were 46.89 million in the quarter, up 29% from a year ago.

This will be the last quarter that Apple reveals how many iPhones, iPads, and Macs it shipped. The unit sales report from Apple was used by many analysts. It's a bet that consumers will continue to pay up for access to the company's specialized and tightly integrated hardware and software. Instead, Apple will only make public revenue data. Global sales accounted for 61 per cent of the quarter's revenue.

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In contrast, Apple's services business, which includes Apple Music and iTunes, continues to grow, with revenue up 17% on this time past year to just under 10 billion dollars (£7.6 billion).

Many of Apple's fastest-growing businesses are subscription based, like its $9.99 a month Apple Music service. Analysts expected revenue of $61.4 billion and earnings of $2.78 a share.

The announcement that we won't know how many individual iPhones get shifted any more caused a bit of a ripple in the stock market and Apple's stock went down 7%.

"These are markets where currencies have weakened over the recent period". However, this has generally been a problem even for other smartphone companies this year. Apple bundles everything else into the "Other Products" category and only gives a total figure of $4.2 billion in revenue that came from AirPods, Apple Watch, Apple TV and everything else you can find in an Apple Store.

"The elimination of reporting unit metrics for iPhone, iPad, and Mac is significant - the Street obsesses over them", Gene Munster, an analyst with Loup Ventures, wrote in a note Friday.