Apple profits soar on sales of iPhone
Profits at Apple jumped 69pc in the first three months of the year as consumers across the world continue to fall in love with the iPhone.
The US technology powerhouse reported pre-tax profits of $4bn (€3bn) against $2.4bn a year earlier, on sales up $3.5bn to $13.5bn.
The results far exceeded analysts' expectations sending the shares up 5pc to $258 in after-hours trading.
Steve Jobs, chief executive, said: "We're thrilled to report our best non-holiday quarter ever, with revenues up 49pc and profits [after tax] up 90pc.
"We've launched our revolutionary new iPad and users are loving it, and we have several more extraordinary products in the pipeline for this year."
Shaw Wu, analyst at Kaufman Brothers, said: "It's unbelievable. They totally crushed the quarter. It seems really strong across the board. You have to ask whether Christmas has come again for Apple in March."
Apple is expected to report even better results next quarter, which will include sales of its iPad personal computer for the first time.
The company sold 8.7m iPhones in the three months to March 27, more than double the number it sold in the same period last year.
Apple is expected to launch a new fourth generation of the iPhone this summer.
Images of the phone appeared on the internet this week after an Apple engineer left a prototype in a pub near the company's headquarters in Silicon Valley.