Apple reports strong earning ahead of product launch

Apple reports strong earning ahead of product launch

Apple reported quarterly income of 15.6 billion dollars in its first quarter of 2010, a 32-per-cent jump from last year when it recorded 11.88 billion dollars in revenue, dpa reported.

Profit was 3.38 billion dollars, up 50 per cent from the 2.26 billion dollars in the year-ago quarter.

The iconic technology company said that it doubled its sales of iPhones over the same period last year to 8.7 million units, while sales of Macintosh computers rose 33 per cent to 3.36 million units. Sales of iPods dropped 8 per cent to 21 million units.

"The new products we are planning to release this year are very strong, starting this week with a major new product that we're really excited about," said Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive.

The earnings announcement came days before Apple is due to announce a highly anticipated new product. The upbeat mood was also boosted by reports that Apple was set to announce the end of its exclusive iPhone relationship with AT&T, opening up the hit device to users of Verizon, the largest cellphone operator in the US.

Telecommunications analyst Tim Horan said fourth-placed US carrier T-Mobile would get the phone this summer, followed by Verizon and Sprint later in 2010, potentially boosting the market share of the iPhone in the US. It would also allow Apple to keep customers who complain about AT&T's network.

Apple is due to unveil a reported tablet device on Wednesday, amid huge expectations in the tech world that it will popularize a new kind of mainstream device.

Analysts have predicted that the device will be operated via a touch screen and will resemble an overgrown iPhone. It will be able to surf the Web, read electronic books, view digital videos and play games. It will be built around a 10-inch touch-sensitive screen and have a long running battery. It will run a version of the Mac OS X operating system, and allow users to download applications through a version of the iPhone App Store.

The speculation puts the price of the tablet at between 600 to 1,000 dollars, with one notable analyst predicting that Apple will sell 5 million units in its first year, boosting revenue by 3 billion dollars.

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