It's wonderful to add tens of millions of first-time Apple product users, especially considering the strong halo effect we've seen over and over again in our history. Customers who have a great experience with their first Apple product often become loyal and happy owners of multiple Apple products over time.
As always, I'd like to thank our talented employees who make these results possible through the creativity and passion they bring to their work every day. And I'd like to thank our hundreds of millions of customers for their loyalty and enthusiasm, and for continually inspiring us to surprise and delight them.
Apple has created tremendous value for shareholders by developing great products that enrich people's lives, and that will always be our top priority and driving force. We'll continue to innovate by investing in research and development, and capitalizing on our strengths in hardware, software, and services. We'll keep investing in our supply chain to promote scale and efficiencies; expanding our global presence by building retail stores; investing in marketing and distribution; and extending our reach into new markets.
We are expanding Apple's products and services into new categories, and we are not going to under-invest in this business.
We're also investing through acquisitions, and we've acquired 24 companies in the past 18 months.
To invest organically, and to make acquisitions strategically, we need to maintain financial flexibility.
We decided to continue to allocate the vast majority of the incremental capital return to share repurchases, because we believe our current stock price does not reflect the full value of the company.
Finally, before we start the Q&A, I'd like to take a minute to talk about my dear friend and colleague, Peter Oppenheimer. As you know, Peter will be transitioning from the CFO role in June. Peter has been Apple's CFO for ten years, and the list of his accomplishments is immense. Apple is now more than 20 times the size it was when Peter became our CFO, and his expertise, leadership, and incredibly hard work have been instrumental to the company's success.
I'd like to thank him very publicly for his contributions to Apple, from the very bottom of my heart, and wish him all the best in his approaching retirement at the end of September.
And I'd also like to recognize him, that he has never never missed guidance in his ten years as CFO, which must be an all-time record for CFOs.
On iTunes software and services profits
Keep in mind, in that category there are several things, not just the app store kind of revenues. And so if you looked at App Store only, it would look a little different than what you're saying [a sequential decline in profits year over year].
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