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Apple net profit nearly doubles, boosted by iPhone

Apple proclaimed its best non-holiday quarter on record after nearly doubling its profit on "staggering" sales of iPhones and seeing legions converting to Macintosh computers.

business Updated: Apr 21, 2010 08:11 IST

Apple proclaimed its best non-holiday quarter on record after nearly doubling its profit on "staggering" sales of iPhones and seeing legions converting to Macintosh computers.

Revenue for the fiscal quarter ending March 27 vaulted to 13.5 billion dollars, nearly 50 per cent more cash than the 9.08 billion dollars that the California-company took in during the same period a year earlier.

While Apple's new iPad tablet computers launched in early April were not a factor in the quarterly earnings, executives said sales in the opening weeks eclipsed their high expectations.

"It has shocked us, the level of demand at least initially," Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook said during an earnings conference call on Tuesday.

"We think the market size for the iPad is very large and we want to capitalize on our first mover advantage."

Apple said it sold more than 500,000 iPads in the weeks since its US launch, with demand forcing the company to postpone introducing it into other countries until production catches up.

The impact iPad has on Apple's bottom line should become clearer when the company reports the results of its fiscal quarter ending in June.

Apple said it is on track to begin shipping 3G versions of the iPad in the United States in late April and to release Wi-Fi and 3G models in nine additional countries by the end of May.

Cook saw the iPad as being the obvious choice when compared with netbook computers, bare-bones laptops typically sold in the same 500 dollar to 900 price bracket.

"To me it's a no-brainer," Cook said of the notion of iPads snatching market share from netbooks.

"I can't think of a single thing the netbook does well, and the iPad does so many things well. I am addicted to mine and couldn't live without it."

Apple said its net profit in the recently ended quarter rose to 3.07 billion dollars from 1.62 billion dollars in the same quarter a year ago.

Apple said it sold 2.94 million Macintosh computers during the quarter, up 33 per cent from a year ago, 8.75 million iPhones, up 131 per cent from a year ago, and 10.89 million iPods, down one per cent.

"We're thrilled to report our best non-holiday quarter ever, with revenues up 49 per cent and profits up 90 per cent," Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said in a statement.

"We've launched our revolutionary new iPad and users are loving it, and we have several more extraordinary products in the pipeline for this year," Jobs said.

Apple sold 8.75 million iPhones in the quarter, a record high number that was more than double the figure from the same period in 2009, according to chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer.

"We had some staggering growth rates," Cook said. "We are seeing incredible demand for iPhone."

Sales of iPhones were up nearly fivefold in the Asia Pacific region and more than doubled in Europe, according to Apple.

Apple revenue in the area comprised of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan during the past six months climbed to 1.3 billion dollars, up nearly 200 per cent in a year-over-year comparison.

"We are pleased with the way the company is positioned to take advantage of the growth in China," Cook said.

Two new Apple Stores will open in Shanghai in coming months and there will 25 of the shops in China by the end of 2011, according to the company.