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Apple is growing again — and sold 78 million iPhones last quarter

The company also topped overall expectations for sales and earnings.

Apple Holds Event To Announce New Products Stephen Lam / Getty

Boosted by strong iPhone sales, Apple did indeed return to growth in the last part of 2016 following several quarters of year-on-year sales declines.

The company sold 78 million iPhones in the quarter, up 5 percent from a year earlier and roughly in line with what analysts expected.

Overall, Apple said Tuesday that it earned $17.9 billion, or $3.36 per share, on revenue of $78.4 billion. Analysts had been looking for per-share earnings of around $3.22, with revenue expected to be around $77.8 billion, at the high end of what Apple had forecast in October.

In other parts of the businesses Apple sold 13 million iPads and more than five million Macs. It also generated more than. $7 billion from its services efforts and more than $4 billion from other products, including the Apple Watch.

The results show Apple’s services business growing even faster than expected, while the iPad and other products did less well than many analysts expected. Apple said it was a record for Apple Watch, but again declined to provide any specific numbers.

“We’re thrilled to report that our holiday quarter results generated Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever, and broke multiple records along the way,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “We sold more iPhones than ever before and set all-time revenue records for iPhone, Services, Mac and Apple Watch," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. Revenue from Services grew strongly over last year, led by record customer activity on the App Store, and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline.”

However, Apple’s guidance for the current quarter was below what some analysts were hoping for. Apple said to expect revenue of between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion, while many analysts were looking for $54 billion or more. Gross profit margins should be between 38 percent and 39 percent, Apple said.

Shares of Apple rose slightly in after-hours trading, changing hands recently at $124.62, up $3.27, or more than 2 percent.

The Greater China region was once again Apple’s weakest spot, with its $16.2 billion in sales representing a 12 percent decrease from the prior year. However, that was also an 85 percent improvement sequentially and a far narrower year-over-year decline than Apple saw in the prior quarter.

Here’s a look at how Apple did, product by product and region by region:

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