Apple iPhone 5c
The iPhone 5c is not thought to have sold as well as the more expensive 5s, despite a huge marketing campaign.Reuters

Apple is to report its financial results for the first quarter of 2014 at the end of trading on 27 January, when the company will reveal how much of a success or failure the iPhone 5c has been.

The company is expected to announce record-breaking iPhone sales for the quarter, but it is believed the cheaper and widely-marketed iPhone 5c made a smaller contribution to Apple's balance sheet than first hoped.

A busy quarter

It was a busy September to December period for Apple, which made good on its promise of a "very busy" autumn by launching two new iPhones, two iPads, new Retina MacBook Pros and the new Mac Pro.

Wall Street expects Apple to post earnings per share of $14.09 (£8.50) on revenue of $57.5 billion, according to analysts surveyed by Reuters, representing an increase of 2% and 5% respectively on the same quarter last year.

Arguably more important than the company's overall success, these financial results will help paint a clearer picture of the iPhone 5c's performance to date.

Launched alongside the flagship 5s, the 5c was expected to be a cheaper model intended to give Apple a bite of the mid-range smartphone market; but at £469 off-contract, the colourful plastic handset based on 2012's iPhone 5 is not thought to have sold convincingly.

Data published by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners in October claimed the 5s was out-selling the 5c by more than two-to-one.

A poll of 44 analysts by Fortune reveals Apple is expected to have passed the 50 million iPhone shipments milestone for the first time in Q1; the average estimate came in at 55.3 million, up 16% from last year's actual result of 47.79 million.

China Mobile

Although Apple's deal to sell iPhones through China Mobile, the world's largest phone network by subscribers, wasn't completed until the end of Q1, investors will no doubt be interested in hearing initial feedback on the phone's Chinese launch.

As for its tablet division, Apple launched the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display during the three months to 31 December, and the company is expected to announce sales of around 24 million, according to Fortune.

A key statistic to lookout for will be iPad revenue. Since it was launched a year ago the mini has proved hugely popular, but its lower retail price caused iPad revenue to fall some 13% last quarter compared to a year earlier.

With the second-generation mini, Apple increased the entry-level price from £269 to £319 - it will be interesting to see what effect this has on the tablet range's average selling price.

Apple's share price currently sits at approximately $546, still some way off the company's record high of just over $700 in September, 2012, but the value has at least been heading in the right direction since a $390 low in August last year.