By John Divine

Apple (ticker: AAPL) stock spiked by more than 6.5 percent in after-hours trading Tuesday after the technology juggernaut reported quarterly earnings and revenue figures that were down from a year ago, but still managed to exceed analysts’ dour expectations.

And perhaps just as importantly, Apple managed to sell 40.4 million iPhones, besting the FactSet’s estimated consensus by 400,000 units.

“It’s clear the introduction of the $399 iPhone SE has buoyed iPhone sales, and it’s a good option for students or anyone who wants to be in the iPhone app-ecosystem without paying a high premium,” says Mark Spoonauer, editor in chief of Tom’s Guide. “The question is where Apple goes from here to get upgraders and Android switchers excited about phones again. Some say there’s no room left to innovate in this oversaturated market, and the iPhone 7 needs to prove the doubters wrong.”

Tuesday’s earnings statement for the fiscal third quarter followed a miserable second quarter that saw Apple post its first year-over-year revenue decline since 2003. And while investors were celebrating Tuesday’s report, the numbers show that Apple’s business remains in decline.

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