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Apple given boost by new iPhone sales

SURGING iPhone and iMac sales helped technology giant Apple defy the recession in the three months to September, it said last night, leaving high-profile chief executive Steve Jobs &ldquo;thrilled&rdquo;.<br /><br />Computer sales were up 17 per cent, and iPhone sales climbed seven per cent, helping profits surge to $1.67bn (&pound;1bn) &ndash; or $1.82 per share &ndash; up 47 per cent from $1.14bn, or $1.26 a share, in the same time last year.<br /><br />More iPhones and iMacs were sold in the three months to 26 September than in any previous quarter.<br /><br />News that the number of iPods sold had fallen by eight per cent was overshadowed by data showing a 19 per cent rise in the number of iMacs being bought, year-on-year.<br /><br />Analysts say consumers are snubbing the iPod in favour of the iPhone.<br /><br />The results, which sent the Californian company&rsquo;s shares over $200 in extended trading &ndash; from $189.86 at the close of the Nasdaq &ndash; come ahead of rival Microsoft launching its new Windows 7 operating system.<br /><br />It is the first time Apple stocks have surged above $200 since January 2008. <br /><br />Analysts, who had been expecting a profit of just $1.42 a share, said that by unveiling the new iPhone in June and slashing the cost of the older version of the phone, Apple had won customers despite the downturn.<br /><br />Sales of the phone hit 7.4m in the period &ndash; half a million more than last quarter.<br /><br />Revenue rose 25 per cent to $9.87bn, ahead of the average Wall Street estimate of $9.2bn.<br /><br />But Apple itself had forecast higher earnings for the current quarter of $1.70 to $1.78 a share on revenue of $11.3bn to $11.6bn.