May 2 (Reuters) - Apple Inc reported a surprise fall in iPhone sales for the second quarter on Tuesday, indicating that customers had held back purchases in anticipation of the 10th-anniversary edition launch of the company’s most important product.
The company boosted its capital return program by $50 billion, increasing its share repurchase authorization by $35 billion and raising its quarterly dividend by 10.5 percent.
Apple sold 50.76 million iPhones in its fiscal second quarter ended April 1, down from 51.19 million a year earlier.
Analysts on average had estimated iPhone sales of 52.27 million, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet.
Expectations are building ahead of Apple’s 10th-anniversary iPhone range this fall, with investors hoping that the launch would help bolster sales.
Apple typically launches its new iPhones in September.
A big jump in sales usually follows in the holiday quarter, before demand tapers over the next few quarters as customers hold back ahead of the next launch.
Apple’s 10th-anniversary iPhone range might sport features such as wireless charging, 3-D facial recognition and a curved display.
The company forecast total revenue of between $43.5 billion and $45.5 billion for the current quarter, while analysts on average were expecting $45.60 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Analysts on average expect the company to sell 42.31 million iPhones in the current quarter, according to FactSet.
The company’s net income rose to $11.03 billion, or $2.10 per share, in the second quarter, from $10.52 billion, or $1.90 per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected $2.02 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 4.6 percent to $52.90 billion in the quarter, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $53.02 billion.
A 17.5 percent jump in the company’s services business - which includes the App Store, Apple Pay and iCloud - to $7.04 billion boosted revenue. (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)