With this fall's blockbuster launch of three new iPhones, including the dramatically redesigned iPhone X, most Apple-related attention is on the company's smartphone line.
But in its most recent quarter, the strongest growth in hardware sales for Apple came from a surprising place: Mac laptops and desktops.
Apple's fiscal fourth quarter, ended Sept. 30, saw the Mac line produce $7.17 billion in revenue for the company. That represented 25 percent growth from the same period a year earlier when sales were $5.74 billion.
The fiscal Q4 results were also the strongest showing for the Mac business since the company's fiscal Q1, when sales of $7.24 billion were buoyed by the introduction of the revamped MacBook Pro.
The Mac "had its best year ever" in fiscal 2017 in terms of revenue, and fiscal Q4 also marked the strongest September quarter ever for Mac sales, Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the quarterly earnings call on Thursday. The sales were "driven by notebook refreshes we launched in June and a strong back-to-school season," Cook said. Mac revenue totaled $25.85 billion for fiscal 2017.
In Q4, the "performance was fueled primarily by great demand for MacBook Pro," Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said during the earnings call.
Building on the introduction of the new MacBook Pro in the fall of 2016, Apple followed up in June by updating the MacBook Pro, as well as the MacBook, with Intel's seventh-generation Core processors. Apple also debuted updated iMac models in June.
Cook and Maestri said key factors in the growth of the Mac division included rising demand in China, as well as strong sales in the enterprise and education markets. There has been "great traction for Mac in the enterprise market," with an "all-time record" for enterprise purchases of Mac set during fiscal 2017, Maestri said.