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Apple revenue rises on higher-than-expected iPhone shipments

Aug 1 (Reuters) - Apple Inc reported a 7.2 percent rise in quarterly revenue on Tuesday, buoyed by better-than-expected sales of its iPhones ahead of the smartphone's 10th-anniversary edition launch later this year.

The company said iPhone sales rose 1.6 percent to 41.03 million in the third quarter ended July 1, above analysts' average estimate of 40.7 million units, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet StreetAccount. Apple sold 40.4 million iPhones a year earlier.

Many customers wait for Apple to launch its new smartphones before deciding on upgrading or replacing their current devices, which usually results in iPhone demand tapering in the months before a release.

The company forecast total revenue of between $49 billion and $52 billion for the current quarter, while analysts on average were expecting $49.21 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Analysts on average expect the company to sell 45.55 million iPhones in the current quarter, according to FactSet. Apple sold 45.51 million iPhones in the year-ago quarter.

Apple's fourth quarter generally includes first-weekend sales of the company's latest devices.

The company's net income rose to $8.72 billion, or $1.67 per share, in the three months ended July 1, from $7.80 billion, or $1.42 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $45.41 billion from $42.36 billion in the quarter, typically the company's weakest. Analysts on average had expected $44.89 billion. (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)