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A salesperson pulls out an iPhone 5s for a customer last year during the first day of sales for the phone. Apple’s third-quarter earnings topped analysts’ projections.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Apple’s growth prospects are looking brighter as anticipation builds for the upcoming release of the next iPhone, a model that is expected to cater to consumers yearning for a bigger screen.

The latest evidence of Apple’s mounting momentum emerged Tuesday with the release of the company’s fiscal third-quarter report.

Earnings topped analysts’ projections for the period as Apple Inc. sold 35.2 million iPhones. That was a 13 percent increase from the same time last year, even though many people are believed to be holding off on new device purchases until the next version comes out this fall.

"From an execution perspective, we did a really great job," Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said in an interview with the Associated Press. "We have some things in the pipeline that we think people will really be excited about."

Apple earned $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per share, for the three months ending June 28. That represented a 12 percent increase from income of $6.9 billion, or $1.07 per share, at the same time last year.

The earnings per share for the latest quarter exceeded the average estimate of $1.23 per share among analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue rose 6 percent from last year to $37.4 billion -- about $600 million below analysts’ forecasts.


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