Record iPhone, Mac sales boost Apple's earnings

Apple on Monday reported strong quarterly earnings, boosted by record Macintosh computer and iPhone sales.

Apple recorded net revenue for its first fiscal quarter, ended Dec. 29, of US$9.6 billion, a 35 percent year-over-year increase, beating estimates of $9.47 billion from analysts polled by Thomson Financial.

The company posted quarterly net profit of $1.58 billion, an increase from the $1 billion net profit from the year-earlier quarter. The company recorded earnings of $1.76 per share.

Unit shipments of the iPod were 22.1 million units, a 5 percent growth over the year-earlier period. Apple sold 2.3 million iPhones during the quarter, a sequential increase from the 1.12 million iPhones it shipped in its fourth fiscal quarter. Apple shipped 2.3 million Macintosh computers, a 44 percent growth from the year-earlier quarter.

According to figures from IDC, Apple's PC shipments in the U.S. grew 30.9 percent to 1.06 million during the fourth quarter last year, with a 5.7 percent market share, behind Dell, Hewlett-Packard and HP. Apple was not among the top five vendors in PC shipments worldwide, according to IDC.

Apple this quarter announced Mac OS X Leopard operating system. It started off the new quarter with a bang, announcing a movie rental service for iTunes and a skinny laptop, the MacBook Air, which CEO Steve Jobs proclaimed was the "world's thinnest notebook" during a keynote address at the Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco.

A week prior to Macworld, Apple announced revamped versions of the Mac Pro workstations and Xserve servers powered by Intel's power-efficient Penryn processors.

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