Surge in iPod sales drives strong Q1 for Apple

The holiday season treated Apple Computer well this year. The company has posted revenue of $US2 billion for its first quarter of fiscal 2004, its highest quarterly revenue in four years.

Appleā€™s iPod sales more than tripled from the previous year's quarter, as Apple sold 733,000 digital music players, generating $US256 million in revenue. Apple's PC shipments also climbed during the quarter, to 829,000 units, bringing in revenue of $1.3 billion. The company turned a profit for the period of $63 million.

Apple chief executive officer, Steve Jobs, hailed the quarter as an outstanding one for his company.

Apple began its new fiscal year with "strong momentum," especially around Mac OS X, which was now used by nearly 40 per cent of Apple's customers, he said.

Research firm Merrill Lynch said in a report issued before Apple's financial release that it was pleased with Apple's current strategy and product line-up.

"We think Apple has gotten its act together in focusing on core markets, building a mature management team, and most important innovating again," Merrill Lynch wrote. "People will pay more for Porsches, but they have to perform."