Apple just gave investors reason to hope that the next iPhone launch is on track.
Apple said Tuesday it expects sales for its fourth quarter, which ends in September, to come in as high as $52 billion, more than analysts had expected.
That estimate suggests Apple is likely to launch its newest iPhone model — expected to be called the iPhone 8 — in September, despite earlier rumors of a possible delay.
The guidance “implies some kind of September iPhone launch,” Neil Cybart, an analyst who covers Apple for Above Avalon, wrote in a tweet after the earnings report.
Apple stock popped 5% in after hours trading Tuesday following the earnings report.
The company is expected to overhaul its smartphone lineup in September as it marks the iPhone’s tenth anniversary. There are reports Apple could launch three iPhone models, one of which is expected to have a four-digit price tag.
Some of the rumored features include no physical home button, a bezel-less screen design and a facial recognition system.
This would mark Apple’s biggest iPhone refresh since the iPhone 6 was released in 2016, so it has the potential to trigger a big wave of upgrades and new purchases.
Heading into the earnings report, there were concerns that all the hype for the new iPhones was driving down sales of Apple’s existing smartphones more than usual.
“We’re seeing what we believe to be a pause in purchases on iPhone, which we believe are due to the earlier and much more frequent reports about future iPhones,” Cook said on a conference call with analysts in May.
However, Apple sold 41 million iPhones during the June quarter, up 2% from the same period a year earlier. Apple also saw a 15% spike in the number of iPads sold, after several quarters of declines.
That helped Apple hit $45 billion in sales for the quarter, up 7% from a year earlier. It also grew profits by 17%.
Apple now has a cash pile of $261.5 billion, up from $231.5 billion a year ago.