Apple reports record sales levels


Selling more iPads than expected helped Apple achieve record sales in the Christmas quarter

Consumer gadgets giant Apple has reported record sales and profits for its Christmas quarter after demand for iPads and iPhones topped expectations.

Net income in the three months to December 25 rose 78% to 6 billion dollars (£3.75 billion) and revenues climbed 71% to 26.7 billion dollars (£16.7 billion) as Apple’s newest product, the iPad tablet computer, became one of the most popular gifts over the festive period.

Apple said it sold 7.3 million of the touch-screen, keyboard-less gadgets – about a million more than Wall Street analysts had been expecting.

The company also sold 16.2 million iPhones, or 86% more of the smartphones than a year ago.

Apple’s shares climbed in after-hours trading in New York on Tuesday night, having slipped more than 2% in regular trading following news that chief executive Steve Jobs is taking a further medical leave of absence.

Despite the success of the iPad, which went on sale in April, Apple said it also sold 4.13 million Macs during the quarter, a 23% rise on a year ago.

It sold 19.5 million iPods, a drop of 7% on the end of 2009 but this was offset by an increase in the average amount that people spent on the music devices.

Apple also highlighted its growth in the Asia Pacific region as revenues from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan totalled 2.6 billion dollars (£1.6 billion), about 10% of its total revenues and four-times the level a year ago.

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