iPhone and Mac sales boost Apple results

Apple has sold 6.9 million iPhone 3Gs in its first quarter, while Mac shipments jumped 21 per cent.

The success of the iPhone alongside record Mac sales have helped Apple post positive results and keep a strong outlook, even in the face of global economic turmoil.

After going on sale in July, the iPhone 3G sold 6.9 million units to the end of September. Those first quarter sales dramatically out-shone the first generation's success, which sold just 6.1 million in its first five quarters, as well as Research in Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry, according to chief executive Steve Jobs.

"Apple just reported one of the best quarters in its history, with a spectacular performance by the iPhonewe sold more phones than RIM," said Jobs. RIM sold 6.1 million handsets over the same quarter.

Apple also said it shipped over 2.6 million Mac computers during the fourth quarter, which ended 27 September, up 21 percent by unit and 17 per cent by revenue from last year, but down just slightly from last quarter.

The iPod also saw an increase in sales, up eight per cent by units shipped and three per cent by revenue growth, with 11 million sold during the quarter.

The Californian tech firm posted quarterly revenue of $7.9 billion and profit $1.14 billion, compared to $6.22 billion and $904 million respectively in the same quarter last year.

Jobs suggested his firm wasn't afraid of global economic troubles. "We don't yet know how this economic downturn will affect Apple. But we're armed with the strongest product line in our history, the most talented employees and the best customers in our industry. And $25 billion of cash safely in the bank with zero debt."

Indeed, the company's vaguely positive outlook is practically bullish in this market. "Looking ahead, visibility is low and forecasting is challenging, and as a result we are going to be prudent in predicting the December quarter. We are providing a wide range for our guidance, targeting revenue of $9.0 to $10.0 billion and earnings per diluted share between $1.06 and $1.35." said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer.

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