Apple Sells 2.5 Million Macs in Quarter

Maybe Apple should have left the word 'Computer' in its name after all: The Cupertino consumer electronics firm sells lots of iPods and iPhones, but once again the Macintosh computer line bolstered Apple's bottom line. Apple sold 2.5 million Macs in the most recent quarter, raising its worldwide market share to 3.5 percent. But Apple's share in the US is even more impressive, about 7.8 percent, though that number is harder to calculate because Apple doesn't break down sales in that fashion. Overall sales of the Mac are growing at over twice the rate of the wider PC industry.

"We're proud to report the best June quarter for both revenue and earnings in Apple's history," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, in what is becoming a familiar refrain. "We set a new record for Mac sales, we think we have a real winner with our new iPhone 3G, and we're busy finishing several more wonderful new products to launch in the coming months."

Apple reported a profit of $1.07 billion on revenues of $7.46 billion in the quarter ending June 30. These numbers represent year-over-year growth of 31 percent and 38 percent, respectively.

While Apple was busy growing its Mac business at a healthy 41 percent increase in year over year sales, its other businesses were flat or maturing. Sales of the iPod portable media player grew just 12 percent to 11 million units, while sales of the iPhone were a paltry 717,000, due in small part to anticipation of the new iPhone 3G model, which went on sale in July. But iPhone sales had already been declining quarter over quarter.

As always, Apple offered a conservative outlook for the coming quarter, and it's unclear why financial analysts continue to fall for this well-oiled bit of fakery. But Jobs' comments about "wonderful new products" suggest that the company is getting ready to unveil some long-overdue product upgrades to its notebook computers especially. That could mean a big bump in sales, yet again, for the Mac in the coming quarters.

More problematic for the company, perhaps, are ongoing concerns about Steve Jobs' health. The mercurial CEO looked gaunt and sickly at a recent Apple event, raising new questions about whether his cancer had returned. After previously explaining away his appearance as a reaction to a common bug, the company this week tersely noted that "Steve's health is a private matter." But this statement has only caused more concern that something is wrong. Not to be crass, but Jobs is Apple's greatest asset and it's understandable that shareholders, fans, and analysts would want to know about the health of the company's cofounder and technological shepherd.

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