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Confirmation of such a result will not come until markets open on Wednesday, but chief executive Tim Cook said he was delighted with the figures reported.

Apple sold 41.3 million iPhones, only 1% more than in the same quarter a year ago.

Shares of Apple are rising, up about 0.4% in early trading Tuesday, ahead of the company's third-quarter earnings report after the closing bell.

Apple said sales increased 17% to $53.3 billion overall in its fiscal third quarter, the three month period through the end of June. The stock would need to hit $206.49 for Apple to become the first publicly traded USA company to cross the $1 trillion threshold, based on Apple's share count at the end of the quarter. CEO Tim Cook said that while the company's products hadn't been hurt by tariffs imposed so far, Apple is still examining the impact of proposed US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

"Our view on tariffs is they show up as a tax on the consumer and wind up resulting in lower economic growth; and sometimes can bring about significant risk of unintended outcome", Cook said while fielding questions on an earnings call.

"Each country can only prosper if the other does", he said. The iPhone maker usually launches new mobile models in September, which includes a few days worth of sales in the fiscal fourth quarter.

Despite the beat, James Cordwell, an analyst from Atlantic Equities, said the high selling prices might cause investors some concern because "theres a limit to how much Apple can grow the iPhone franchise by pushing pricing".

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"If you look at the top of our line together, they are growing very nicely" Cook said.

That would put Apple's stock market value at $973 billion, based on its newly disclosed number of shares.

Research firms IDC and Strategy Analytics this week reported that the Cupertino tech giant lost its second-place spot in the global smartphone market to China's Huawei during the second quarter of 2018.

The 41.3 million iPhones shipped by Apple gave the company 12.1 per cent of the global market compared to 20.9 per cent for Samsung and 15.8 per cent for Huawei.

Whenever Apple releases a new software, beta or an upgrade, millions of developers and enthusiastic fans comb through the Operating System (OS) to get a sneak peek at the future of Apple hardware.

Money made from services is seen as an important element of diversification away from having to rely heavily on selling iPhones. Asked about the company's production deal with Oprah Winfrey, Cook said Apple is "working on a project that we're not really ready to share all the details of it yet", adding "I couldn't be more excited".