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Apple sold more iPhones in the last three months of 2016 than ever before, the company said in its latest financial results.

Reporting earnings for the end of last year, chief executive Tim Cook said the firm sold 78.3 million iPhones in the three months ending on December 31, enabling the company to announce record quarterly revenue of 78.4 billion dollars (£62.3 billion).

It was an increase of 3% on the 75.9 billion dollars (£60.3 billion) in the same quarter last year and saw Apple return to growth after sales dropped last year.

Mr Cook said: “We’re thrilled to report that our holiday quarter results generated Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever, and broke multiple records along the way. “We sold more iPhones than ever before and set all-time revenue records for iPhone, Services, Mac and Apple Watch.

“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.”

Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 7, went on sale in September, and the latest results offer the first insight into consumer response.

However, there was also a notable increase in iPad sales – Apple’s tablet computer which had seen declining sales in recent years – with the number jumping to more than 13 million compared with around 9.3 million in the previous quarter.

Apple is expected to reveal the next version of the iPhone – which marks its 10th anniversary this year – in September.

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