Apple reports 62.8 percent margin in services business as it discloses unit's profit for first time

As Apple seeks to focus more on software that works across many devices, it faces competition from big technology companies like Google and Microsoft and more niche players like Dropbox and Spotify.

Apple said that services revenue rose 19.1 percent to $10.9 billion, barely higher than the FactSet analyst estimate of $10.8 billion. Apple has said it wants to double the services revenue sum for its 2016 fiscal year ($24.3 billion) by 2020.

The additional disclosure comes as Apple shifts away from reporting the number of iPhones, iPads and Macs it sells each quarter. Apple’s stock fell when it announced plans in November to stop disclosing device sales.

Analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets had predicted a 59 percent services gross margin for the quarter in a note distributed to clients last week.

Apple did not provide guidance for gross margin for its services business for the fiscal second quarter.

On a conference call with analysts, Apple CEO Tim Cook did say that cloud services revenue was up 40 percent year over year, that the number of Apple Pay transactions more than doubled to 1.8 billion and that Apple News now has more than 85 million monthly active users.

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