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Mac 'on fire' as Apple reports huge growth

Continued growth for iPod, iPhone and Mac

Apple sold 2.3 million Macs and 22.1 million iPods during the holiday shopping season, helping the company achieve $1.58bn profit during its fiscal first quarter. The Mac totals mark the third consecutive quarter that Apple has set a quarterly sales record for its desktops and laptops.

Apple said it shipped 2,319,000 Macs, representing 44 percent unit growth and 47 percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. Sales of Mac hardware, software, and services made up 47 percent of Apple’s total quarterly revenue.

"The Macintosh business is on fire," Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook told analysts during a conference call to discuss the company’s earnings.

Apple reported $170m in revenue from its Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard update, released in October. CFO Peter Oppenheimer described that figure as a "significant increase" from the $100m in sales OS X 10.4 saw during the first quarter of its release. The company estimates that 19 percent of its installed base is already using the 10.5 update.

Apple also sold 22,121,000 iPods during the quarter, also a record. Those iPod sales represented the first full quarter of sales since Apple overhauled its iPod line in September, introducing a video-capable iPod nano, the high-capacity iPod classic, and the brand-new iPod touch. Apple says the iPod’s market share remained consistent from a year ago.

Quarterly iPhone sales were 2,315,000 units. Steve Jobs said during last week's Macworld Expo keynote that the company has sold 4 million iPhones since the device launched on June 29. Oppenheimer confirmed Apple still plans to bring the iPhone to Asia in 2008 as well as introduce the phone to additional countries in Europe; besides the US. The iPhone currently sells in the UK, Germany, and France.

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