Earnings Outlook: Apple sales likely to fall again despite Samsung woes

Apple Inc. is expected to report earnings at the high end of fourth-quarter guidance after the market closes Tuesday, buoyed by the iPhone 7 launch and a flurry of new customers switching from Android in the aftermath of Samsung Electronics’ exploding Note 7 saga.

But analysts are projecting the third-straight quarterly decline in iPhone unit sales, as the company grapples with oversaturated developed markets and lower-priced competition in emerging markets.

Apple AAPL, +0.58% has shifted the tone of its earnings calls this fiscal year to focus on software and services in addition to its flagship hardware. Apple CEO Tim Cook has referred to services as a “large and important source of recurring revenues” for the company.

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