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Apple sold 48 million iPhones in Q4

iPhone sales powered the company's quietest fiscal quarter, ahead of the busy (and very lucrative) December holiday season.

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(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

Apple's fourth quarter is typically its quietest, but it still has the iPhone to rally around.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant reported on Tuesday fiscal fourth quarter net income of $11.1 billion, or $1.96 per share. Revenue stood at $55 billion, up 22 percent year-over-year (statement).

Wall Street was expecting the technology giant to post earnings of $1.88 per share, on revenue of $51.1 billion for the quarter.

As for the full year, Apple reported $9.22 per share on revenues of $233.7 billion. Wall Street was expecting $9.13 per share on revenues of $233.3 billion.

That's a hit on expectations for both the quarter, and for the full year. It's no wonder that Apple chief executive Tim Cook was so happy in prepared remarks.

"Fiscal 2015 was Apple's most successful year ever, with revenue growing 28% to nearly $234 billion. This continued success is the result of our commitment to making the best, most innovative products on earth, and it's a testament to the tremendous execution by our teams. We are heading into the holidays with our strongest product lineup yet, including iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, Apple Watch with an expanded lineup of cases and bands, the new iPad Pro and the all-new Apple TV which begins shipping this week."

Apple reported for the quarter:

  • iPhones: 48.04 million, up from 39.2 million in the year-ago quarter

  • iPads: 9.88 million, down from 12.3 million in the year-ago quarter

  • Macs: 5.7 million, up from 5.5 million in the year-ago quarter

  • Services (which includes iTunes and Apple Pay): $5.08 billion, up 10 percent on the previous quarter

  • Other products (accessories and Apple Watch are included, but not broken out separately): $3.04 billion, up 61 percent on the previous quarter

Apple said its gross margin was between 39.9 percent, up slightly compared to 38 percent on the same quarter a year ago. Meanwhile, international sales accounted for 62 percent of the first quarter's revenue.

Apple's board also declared a cash dividend of 52 cents per share, payable on November 12.

During the follow-up conference call, Cook confirmed that Apple had made 15 acquisitions during the quarter, but did not reveal how many Apple Watch devices had been sold.

For its current first quarter, the company expects revenue landing between $75.5 billion and $77.5 billion, with gross margin landing between 39 percent and 40 percent.

Cook also said that $25 billion in revenue in the last 12 months came from the enterprise.

Shares in Apple ($AAPL) closed down 0.6 percent on the Nasdaq in New York. In after-hours trading, shares grew by more than 3 percent.

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This post has been updated.