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Apple shares need to hit the $204 mark to make it happened.

Sales rose 19% during the quarter, to $9.55 billion, in Greater China, where Apple gleans about 20% of its revenue. Analysts were looking for US$59.4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That was a gain of 17%, topping Wall Street's expectations and Apple's own internal forecast.

Apple shares rose about 3.5 per cent in extended trading on Tuesday. With a market capitalization of more than $900 billion, Apple is tickling at the title of world's first trillion-dollar company.

"These results and guidance will increase investor confidence", Shannon Cross of Cross Research wrote in a note to investors.

Apple reported very strong earnings to investors on its quarterly earnings call today. Surprise, actual iPhone revenue on average was $723, according to Apple. While unit sales have slowed recently, the company is building digital services and a suite of other gadgets around the device.

Apple's fiscal fourth-quarter outlook is closely watched because this is usually the period when the company unveils new iPhones. But for the past couple of years, even premium smartphones have lost some appeal, and consumers are holding on to their phones for longer between upgrades.

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"We're thrilled to report Apple's best June quarter ever, and our fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth". It still has about $10 per share, or 2%, to go. The company posted revenue of $53.3 billion. Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Reuters that customers were buying costlier models and the $999 iPhone X was the quarter's best seller.

While the tech giant sold fewer of its flagship iPhones than expectedー41.3 million units versus estimates for 41.8 millionーthe average selling price of $724 was above forecasts. Apple attributed the latter figure to the fact that 2017's MacBook Pros launched within the same quarter last year, whereas this year's models didn't launch until right after the end of the quarter, so those sales are not included in the figures for this year. In the last quarter, Apple's services made $9.5 billion, making it the second-largest business segment for the firm.

Apple's best-selling products do not yet face duties stemming from the US-China trade disputes, but US President Donald Trump has threatened hundreds of billions of dollars in further tariffs on product categories not yet been enumerated.

Apple, meanwhile, has focused more on services such as the App Store and its entertainment businesses as growth drivers. Tim Cook spent an unusual amount of time focused on Apple's services division during the Q3 earnings call, and for good reason. Paid subscriptions have now passed 300 million, he also noted. In February, Apple said it expected revenue of between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion for the quarter. The category includes AirPods headphones, the Apple Watch, Apple TV, and the HomePod.

The firm said it sold 41.3 million iPhones in the three months to the end of June, up just 1% from past year.