Apple Rocks and Rolls in Third Quarter

Apple on Monday issued financial results for the third calendar quarter of 2007, stunning analysts by hitting at the upper end of estimates and setting a record for Mac computer shipments. The iPod and Mac maker earned $902 million on revenues of $4.84 million, delivering an emphatic conclusion to its fiscal year, during which the company made huge gains across almost all of its product lines.

"We are very pleased to have generated over $24 billion in revenue and $3.5 billion in net income in fiscal 2007," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a prepared statement. "We're looking forward to a strong December quarter as we enter the holiday season with Apple's best products ever."

How strong was Apple's quarter? The company shipped 2.16 million Mac computers, a 34 percent gain from the same quarter a year ago. More impressive, perhaps, this record-setting quarter saw Apple ship over 400,000 more Macs than it did in its previous best quarter. The sales were strong enough to catapult Apple's market share to 3.19 percent worldwide, and to somewhere in the 6 percent range in the US.

Apple also sold 10.2 million iPods in the quarter, along with 1.2 million iPhone devices. iPod sales were up 17 percent year over year, and Apple says it is still on track to sell over 10 million iPhones by the end of September 2008.

While Apple's iPod successes are hardly newsworthy at this point--the company long ago wrapped up its dominance of the digital media player market with over 120 million units sold cumulatively--Apple's continued success with the Mac is more surprising. Written off just a decade ago, the Mac is now a significant force in the industry, and one that Windows-based PC makers should watch closely. Fully half of Apple's revenues still come from the Mac--$3.1 billion in Q3 2007--and the company is now the number three PC maker in the US, ahead of Gateway and Toshiba, but well behind Dell and HP. Apple is still somewhat of a non-event in the worldwide market, but that could be changing in the months ahead, too: The company says that almost 40 percent of sales now come from outside the US.

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