Apple reports strong 4Q, iPhone sales reach 6.9M units

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Apple announced results for its 2008 fiscal fourth quarter, posting higher than expected profits, yet as usual it delivered a first quarter outlook that fell below analysts’ forecasts in the shadow of a downturn in consumer spending. In a nutshell, quarterly revenue reached $7.9 billion, up from $6.22 billion a year earlier, and net profit jumped from $904 million a year earlier to $1.14 billion.

The company saw a bump in sales across its entire product line. It shipped 2.61 million Macs during the quarter, increasing unit sales by 21 percent compared to a year ago, and improved iPod sales by 8 percent to 11.1 million units. Meanwhile, iPhone sales soared to a massive 6.89 million units. Given that Apple shipped about 6.1 million first-generation iPhones, the company has officially exceeded its year-end 10 million goal by 3 million units – though it did not reveal how many were sold in the U.S.

Jobs called the iPhone sales “spectacular” and took the time to quell concerns that the slowing economy would hurt Apple’s business, by claiming the company is “armed with the strongest product line” in their history and has “$25 billion of cash safely in the bank with zero debt.”

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