Apple posts best-ever sale figures

Steve Jobs might be taking some medical leave, but he's leaving a company posting record breaking sales figures, the best first quarter results Apple has ever recorded.

Profits overall were $6 billion, with a revenue of $24.4 billion, which is 71 per cent up on the same quarter last year. As you might expect, Apple's mobile devices led the profit charge, not least the iPad. Still a rumour this time last year, Apple managed to shift 7.33 million in the reported quarter. Multiply that by the asking price and you can see where a chunk of the money is coming from. It's not the big winner though. Apple actually shifted 16.24 million iPhones in the quarter, 86 per cent better than last year's first quarter. It could even have been more.

'We could have sold even more iPhones if we could have built them,' claimed Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. He's probably right - have you ever caught one in stock at a Tesco store?

If you want more stats, how about the fact that that there are now 160 million iOS devices currently in circulation, with 14.8 million since its release last April. Apple all but confirmed the upgraded model too.

According to Pocket Lint, Tim Cook, Apple's COO and acting boss in Steve Jobs absence said as much, whilst hitting out at the competition: 'If you look at what’s shipping today, there isn’t much out there. There are two kinds of groups in the market today. Ones that are using windows are generally big and heavy and expensive. They have weak battery life or require a keyboard or stylus to work. Customers aren’t interested in them'.

'Then you have Android tablets, but the operating system wasn’t designed for them. So you wind up having something the size of a tablet that is less than we believe is reasonable, so you end up with a scaled-up smartphone. You end up with a bizarre product. Those are tablets that we don’t have any concern on'.

 'We aren’t sitting still. We have a huge user experience from iTunes to the App Store. We are very confident with entering into a fight with anyone'.

It looks like round two of that fight kicks off at the start of February, with the iPad 2 and almost certainly the iPhone 5 later in the year. Both will keep Apple's coffers in a very healthy state for a long time to come.

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