Apple iPhone Sales Up 86% Last Quarter

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Apple has announced that it sold 16.2 million iPhones during the fourth quarter of last year, an increase of 86% over the same period of the previous year. This is a new quarterly high for this company’s smartphone sales.

The iPod line continued its decline, as the company sold 19.5 million of these music players during the quarter, representing a 7% unit drop from the year-ago quarter. Apple did not separate out its different models of iPod in its announcement, so it’s not known how well the iPod touch is doing, but sales of single-purpose MP3 players have been dropping for some time as customers increasingly use their smartphones to supply their music.

Apple also sold 7.33 million iPads during the quarter. This iOS-based tablet computer debuted last spring, so there’s no year-over-year figure for it yet.

The company sold 4.2 million desktop and laptop Macs during the October-December period, a number that was up 23% annually, but one that is still dwarfed by the sales of its mobile products.

A Very Profitable Quarter
During the fourth quarter of last year, Apple enjoyed record revenue of $26.7 billion and record net quarterly profit of $6 billion, or $6.43 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $15.7 billion and net quarterly profit of $3.4 billion, or $3.67 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

The company just had its best quarter ever, but many are still wondering about its long-term prospects in the wake of CEO Steve Jobs’ going on medical leave yesterday. Jobs is the co-founder of Apple, and widely regarded as an important part of its product development process.

Still, the iPhone 4 is going to debut on Verizon early next month, almost certainly pushing up sales of this smartphone in the current quarter. 

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