As expected, Apple reported lower iPhone sales for the third straight quarter, with only 45.51 million iPhones sold in the fourth quarter of the company's recently ended 2016 fiscal year compared with 48 million units in the corresponding quarter last year.

The continued decrease of iPhone sales was reported despite the wave of new customers purchasing the iPhone 7 in the aftermath of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

Lower Sales Of iPhones, iPads And Macs

Apple did not only see a decreased sales performance in the iPhone though. The company reported sales of 9.2 million iPads and 4.8 million Macs in the fourth quarter, which are also lower figures compared with the 9.9 million iPads and 5.7 million Macs sold in the year-ago period.

While Apple reported a generally down year for fiscal 2016, one bright spot that can be seen in the company's performance is its Services division, which includes Apple Pay, Apple Music, the App Store and iTunes.

Apple's Services division saw revenue increase 24 percent year-over-year, with the business growing into the second biggest generator of revenue for the company behind the flagship product iPhone in the previous two years.

Apple Pay Expansion

In the company's earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook touted the ongoing Apple Pay expansion, as the mobile payment service has recently launched in Russia, Japan and New Zealand, with Spain set to be the next destination for Apple Pay next month.

"We have almost doubled the size of our Services revenue in the last four years," said Cook, adding that Apple expects the business to increase into the size of a Fortune 100 company within the new fiscal year.

The expected growth of the Services division is not unfounded, as Apple Pay transactions saw an almost 500 percent increase compared with last year while Apple Music revenue increased by 22 percent.

Apple's Services division made $24.3 billion in revenue for the full fiscal year 2016, which falls just short of the Fortune 100 list. However, the business is still not contributing that much to Apple's earnings, as it only makes up 11 percent of the company's total revenue for fiscal 2016.

The software and services business of Apple is being set to seriously change the way that investors think about the company. There is no doubt that the Services division will grow in importance for Apple in the future, but for now, the company will have to rely on the iPhone to pull up its numbers for fiscal year 2017.

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