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Tim Cook reveals April launch for Apple Watch, unprecedented iPhone sales

Apple recently claimed the crown of top smartphone seller in China, but now the company can add several other accomplishments to its list. CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple sold 74.4 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2015 alone to come out with $74.6 billion in revenue. To top it all off, Cook revealed that the Apple Watch will launch in April.

“The creativity and software innovation going on around Apple Watch is incredibly exciting,” said Cook. “We can’t wait for our customers to experience them when Apple Watch becomes available.”

Previously, the Apple Watch was slated for a vague “early 2015” release.

Cupertino’s first quarter results (and by first quarter, we mean the last 3 months of the year) are typically strong, but the company blew past analysts’ high predictions to post record-breaking iPhone sales and higher than expected profit. Analysts had pegged iPhone sales at 65 million, but they were nearly 10 million off the mark. For the sake of comparison, Apple only sold 51 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2014 (last holiday season), and just 36 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Related: A look at iPhone sales past and present and what Apple needs to do differently

Apple’s iPhone sales have skyrocketed ever since the company introduced the phablet-sized iPhone 6 Plus and the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, both of which are top sellers in the U.S., China, and South Korea. A year ago, many (including us) agreed that the iPhone had reached its zenith — unless Apple made some big changes and offered customers more variety. Now that they’ve done so, the results are clearly in Apple’s favor.

Much of the iPhone’s success in the first quarter is due to high demand for the larger phones around the holidays, as well as the fact that Apple had finally caught up with iPhone orders at that point. Additionally, App Store revenue hit an all-time high, most likely as a result of all those new iPhones in customers’ hands.

iPhone 6 Plus

Total revenue was also significantly higher than anticipated, with analysts predicting $67.5 billion, and Apple reaching a staggering $74.6 billion. Revenue from China alone more than doubled in comparison with the fourth quarter of 2014, and increased significantly over the first quarter of 2014.
Related: It’s time to get excited about the Apple Watch, as new details are leaked through the companion app

Predictably, Apple sold fewer iPads than were anticipated, with 21.4 million sold versus the 22 million that were expected. The company was, however, right on target with Mac sales, coming in with 5.52 million sold, in line with the 5.5 million analysts anticipated. The iPad remains the company’s only dark spot on an otherwise shining earnings report, though it only missed estimates by a bit.

Cook finished the call off with a positive outlook for the year ahead and hinted that once March hits, the company will reevaluate its outlook. You can read the full earnings report here.