Heading into Tuesday’s earnings announcement, analysts were expecting Apple to report massive iPhone sales numbers. Those polled by Fortune predicted Apple would say it sold 66.5 million iPhones in the quarter that ended on Dec. 27. That would have been an impressive 30 percent more than in the same period a year ago. A few particularly optimistic forecasts suggested iPhone sales might even top 70 million.
Well, Apple didn’t just eclipse the 70 million mark—it shattered it.
Apple sold a record 74.5 million iPhones in the latest quarter, the company said. It also reported record quarterly revenue of $76.4 billion and record quarterly net profit of $18 billion, or $3.06 a share. In the earnings release, Apple CEO Tim Cook called it an “incredible quarter.”
What was behind those stunning figures?
For starters, the iPhone 6. On the earnings call, Cook declined to break out sales of the iPhone 6 versus the 6 Plus, but did say the iPhone 6 was the most popular one sold in the last quarter.
Next, China. Apple said Tuesday that $16.1 billion of its revenue came from “Greater China”—growth of 70 percent from a year ago. And for the first time, the iPhone is the best-selling smartphone in China, according to an estimate released Tuesday by research firm Canalys. Before that, the iPhone had never ranked higher than fourth in China, a market with more than 500 million smartphone users, Canalys said.
Other Apple results were more tepid. Sales of iPads came to 21.4 million, and Macs to 5.5 million. The bulk of Apple’s revenue ($30.6 billion) also continued to come from the Americas. But as the New York Times noted, Cook recently said it is only a matter of time until that switches to China. For Apple, which has staked its hardware business on the bet that consumers will pay more for a nicer product, that’s a big win.