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Apple CEO Tim Cook: This could be the size of a 'Fortune 100 company' by 2017

As Wall Street watches closely for clues about Apple's upcoming iPhone release, CEO Tim Cook said he feels "fantastic" about iPhone sales in the last quarter and touted the strength of the company's services business.

Globally, Apple grew its revenue from Services 19 percent and the app store hit an all-time record. Services will be "the size of a Fortune 100 company by next year," said Cook.

Apple sold 40.4 million iPhones in its fiscal third quarter — slightly topping analysts' expectations.

"I feel fantastic about how iPhone did this quarter," CEO Tim Cook told CNBC. "Looking ahead, iPhone will be more important than ever."

Apple is set to release its next generation iPhone — the iPhone 7 — in September and analysts will be listening closely on the earnings conference call for any hints about new features and lengthening upgrade cycles.

"The iPhone should return to growth back in the December quarter and think of that as mid-single digit growth," said Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

Apple reported Greater China sales — something analysts are particularly focused on — of $8.85 billion, just below $9 billion BCG analyst Collin Gillis had been expecting. The company reported Greater China revenue of $12.49 billion in the prior quarter.

Cook told CNBC he feels really good about sales in China. "We are not backing off our investment in China," he said.

The company has 42 stores in Greater China, and though local regulators banned some of Apple's services in April — the iBooks Store and iTunes Movies — Cook called the impact a "rounding error." Those two services do less than $1 million every few quarters, he said.

Apple Inc. logo is seen on an iPhone
Xaume Olleros | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the correct number of stores Apple has in Greater China.