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iPod At Core Of Apple’s Shiny Sales

Cupertino, Calif. — Due to blistering iPod sales increases, Apple Computer’s fiscal third-quarter revenue and profits have gone through the roof.

Third-quarter Apple sales climbed 75 percent, hitting $3.5 billion, up from a year-ago $2 billion. Net profit leaped more than five times in the three months, reaching $320 million, compared with $61 million year-on-year. Gross margin rose to 29.7 percent, from 27.8 percent, during the quarter.

“We are delighted to report Apple’s best quarter ever in both revenue and earnings,” said Steve Jobs, CEO. “The launch of the Mac OS X Tiger has been a tremendous success, and we have more amazing new products in the pipeline.”

Apple shipped 6.2 million iPods in the third quarter, ended June 25, accounting for $1.1 billion in revenue, compared with 860,000 units shipped in the third quarter last year, which took down $249 million in sales. This was a 616 percent jump in unit movement and 343 percent increase in revenue.

Desktop computers enjoyed a 65 percent rise in unit sales in the third quarter, accounting for 687,000 iMac, eMac, Mac mini, PowerMac and Xserve products sold, compared with 416,000 in the third quarter of 2004. Revenue for desktops soared 49 percent, hitting $845 million in the third quarter, up from $567 million in the same period a year earlier.

Notebook computers, which include Apple’s iBook and PowerBook product lines, enjoyed an 8 percent unit sales increase in the third quarter, rising to 495,000 units, compared with a year-ago 460,000. Revenue for notebooks rose 3 percent, reaching $720 million, up from $696 million in the same period in 2004.

Tiger, Apple’s latest version of its Macintosh OS X operating system, sold more than 2 million copies during the third quarter, its first three month period on the market. Tiger revenue topped $100 million.

The Americas continued to be Apple’s top operating segment, accounting for a 26 percent increase in unit sales in the third quarter, to 595,000, compared with a year-on-year 472,000. Third-quarter revenue in the Americas increased 71 percent to $1.7 billion, up from $1 billion a year ago. International sales accounted for 39 percent of third-quarter revenue.

For the nine months, Apple sales rose to $10.3 billion, up from a year-earlier $5.9 billion, while net income in the three months increased to $905 million, compared with $170 million in the same period in 2004.