The phenomenal growth of Apple Computer's iPod music player was joined by strong growth in Mac shipments during the company's third quarter, leading Apple to the best financial quarter in its history, it announced Wednesday.
Overall revenue was US$3.5 billion, up 75 percent compared to last year's third fiscal quarter, or the period ending June 25. This exceeded the estimates of analysts compiled by Thomson First Call for US$3.33 billion in revenue.
Net income was US$320 million, up a whopping 425 percent from the year-ago period. This resulted in earnings per share of US$0.37, six cents better than analyst estimates of US$0.31 earnings per share.
"We are delighted to report Apple's best quarter ever in both revenue and earnings," said Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder and chief executive officer, in a press release.
The explosive growth of the iPod is an old story, but shipments of the music players reached 6.15 million units during the quarter, up 616 percent compared to last year's third quarter. This time, the iPod growth was accompanied by a strong increase in Mac shipments, which totalled 1.2 million units during the quarter, a 35 percent increase. Analysts have been waiting for data to provide evidence of an '"iPod halo effect" translating into improved Mac sales.
Apple will hold a conference call later this week to discuss its results.