Existing iPhone users upgraded to the latest iPhone 7 models at about the same rate as the iPhone 6S a year earlier, chief executive officer Tim Cook said in a conference call with analysts.
Yet Apple still managed to sell 3.5 million more phones in the three months to the end of December, indicating that growth was driven by new customers.
The iPhone 7 represented a modest update to its predecessor, the 6S, adding water resistance, an improved camera, battery life and processor, while retaining similar styling.
Expectations are mounting for a more significant upgrade to Apple’s flagship product later this year, which is the 10th anniversary of the iPhone’s launch. That may persuade more existing iPhone users to open their wallets for the next model.