Apple has reported an extremely strong first 2010 fiscalquarter ended 26 December, posting a 50% increase in profit and a 32% increasein revenue compared with the same period a year ago.
The company posted revenue of $15.68bn and a net quarterlyprofit of $3.38bn, driven by strong sales across most of Apple's product lines.
Sales of iPods declined 8%, but iPhone sales doubled incomparison with the same period a year ago to 8.7 million units, and sales ofMacintosh computers climbed 33% to a record 3.36 million units.
Apple reported a 70% year-on-year growth in desktop salesand said about half of the 689,000 Macs sold through its retail stores in thequarter went to people who had never owned a Mac before.
Timothy Cook, chief operating officer at Apple, said in aconference call that Mac sales were up almost 100% in China, rose over 70% in Australia, and grew 40% or more in Italy, France,Switzerland and Spain.
"If you annualise our quarterly revenue, it issurprising that Apple is now a $50bn-plus company," said Steve Jobs, chiefexecutive at Apple.
"The new products we are planning to release this yearare very strong, starting this week with a major new product that we are reallyexcited about," he said.
Apple is widely expected to unveil a tablet-stylecomputing device on 27 January.
Peter Oppenheimer, chief financial officer at Apple, saidlooking ahead to the second fiscal quarter of 2010, Apple expects revenuesbetween $11.0bn and $11.4bn.
Analysts said the iPhone's adoption as a business devicecould help Apple's Macintosh computers gain a bigger share of the corporatemarket.
The strong sales of Macintosh computers in the face ofaggressive marketing by Microsoft for its new Windows 7 operating system is apositive sign for Apple.
Some experts think a tablet computer could extend Apple'sreach into the business market further, becoming a significant mobile businesstool for executives, according to the FinancialTimes.
Despite posting a record financial quarter, investorresponse was muted, according to the NewYork Times.
Apple announced that is has changed how it accounts forrevenue and profit from the iPhone, making it difficult for investors to see ata glance whether Apple lived up to forecasts.
During the quarter, Apple elected retrospective adoption ofthe Financial Accounting Standards Board's amended accounting standards forsales of the iPhone and Apple TV, the company said.
Apple shares edged up less than 1% in extended trading afterending the regular session up 2.7% at $203.07.
This story originally appeared on ComputerWeekly.com