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Happy days for Apple CEO Tim Cook. Paul Sakuma/AP/Press Association Images

iPhones sales soar and profits double at Apple

As one analyst put it: “They just demolished it”.

APPLE’S QUARTERLY PROFIT have hit record levels and its sales of the ubiquitous iPhone have soared according to its latest quarterly results.

The results show that Apple sold 37 million iPhones in the last three months of 2011, vastly exceeding expectations by analysts with 15.43 million iPads sold and 5.2 million Mac computers also sold, beating its previous mark of 4.9 million.

Revenue went up 74 per cent to a record $46.3 billion (€35.5bn) – analysts expected $39 billion - and profit more than doubled to $13.1 billion (€10bn).

“They just demolished it,” analyst Peter Misek of Jefferies & Co told the LA Times. “Everyone thought they were too big and … that they couldn’t pull off a surprise like this, but boy did they ever.”

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said: “We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs. Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.”

The phone sales are particularly noticeable as they accounted for 53 percent of Apple’s revenue in the quarter. This means Apple is set to regain the position it briefly held earlier last year of being the world’s largest maker of smart phones – beating Nokia and Samsung.

The company’s Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said it expects earnings of $8.50 per share in the current quarter, and sales of $32.5 billion.

Both figures are above the average estimate of analysts polled by FactSet, even though Apple usually plays down its own estimates.

Apple ended the quarter with a cash balance of a staggering $97.6 billion. That’s more than enough to buy Citigroup outright, or issue a special dividend of $100 per Apple share, AP points out.

Not surprisingly, shares in Apple jumped by as much as 9 per cent in after hours trading.

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