Apple's so-called boring quarter could prove to be not so dull, with the whole world watching to see signs of new tech products and a potential share price boost that could make it the first US trillion-dollar company.

The springtime months are often Apple's lowest in terms of iPhone sales as everyone holds off in anticipation of the smartphone's next iteration, but positive numbers for the iPhone X and a high average selling price could spell great things for the tech giant.

Read more: Apple's third quarter to show strong growth with all eyes on the iPhone

Due to be released later tonight when US markets close, here's our roundup of what to look out for in Apple's third quarter results.

The iPhone

Apple's trademark smartphone made up 62 per cent of the company's sales in its second quarter, with its iPhone X topping the list every week.

Analysts are hoping to see sales of around 42m iPhones in the last three months, just a small increase of 2 per cent from the same period in 2017.

Some have predicted three new iPhone models to be released later this year, according to the BBC. If we can spot similar details in Apple's forecast for the fourth quarter, this could allay any fears that the company is headed for a similar smartphone slowdown to competitors such as Samsung.

Read more: 'Sluggish' smartphone sales drag down Samsung

On the whole, consensus estimates have put the company's revenue at $52.4bn (£40bn), and if it hits or surpasses that number, it'll be Apple's seventh quarter in a row with increased revenue growth.


Analysts like Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Wamsi Mohan is predicting services to be Apple's main focus tonight, with growth forecasted to be at 25 per cent per Bloomberg.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said the company is aiming to double its services revenue by 2020, with businesses like Apple Music coming to the fore as competition hots up with rival streaming service Spotify.

Apple is predicted to take the lion's share of US music streaming subscribers this quarter, after Spotify reported some rocky results at the end of last week.

Read more: Spotify's results get rocky, hitting user growth at a €394m profit expense

"Apples services business, which includes the App Store, Apple Music, iCloud storage and Apple Pay, is thriving at a time when iPhone sales are stalling," said's senior analyst Haris Anwar.

"As long as Apple continues to show growth from its services business, investors will continue to like Apple stock."


Apple's so-called other products segment, which includes its HomePod smart speaker and wearable favourites such as its Airpod wireless headphones, will be a good sign of Apple's continuing performance after the division scored a 38 per cent year-on-year increase last quarter.

Rumours are swirling that the Airpods will finally be scooping up wireless charging in the next wave of product announcements, thanks to a new image from Apple's iOS 12 that shows a new case with an external charging light.

Wearable technology, which also includes the Apple Watch, experienced a year-on-year sales increase of nearly 50 per cent last quarter.

The trillion-dollar race

The company announced a share buyback of $100bn in tandem with its second quarter results in May, which caused its share price to climb more than 13 per cent over the following five days.

Apple closed the day yesterday at a market capitalisation of $933.4bn, so its share price will need to rise roughly 7 per cent to reach a trillion-dollar valuation.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs expect Apple to have bought back as much as $25bn of its own stock in the third quarter, according to the FT, which could cause the trillion-dollar target to move slightly out of range this time round. But as ever, it's all to play for.

Apple's share price is up 12 per cent so far in 2018, as a result of some solid iPhone sales in China and Japan and bumper services revenue.

According to analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research, Apple has an average target price of $199.39 with less than half of the analysts having a "strong buy" or "buy" rating ahead of its earnings. This indicates nearly 5 per cent upside to the current price of Apple, missing out on the increase needed for a trillion-dollar valuation.

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