Apple Computer has announced a 48 per cent rise in third quarter profits, as sales of its iPod personal music players and Macintosh computers exceeded analysts' predictions.
The Californian company said that its net income increased to $472 million over the period, up from $320 million a year earlier, while sales jumped four per cent to $4.37 billion.
Apple confirmed that it had shipped over eight million iPods during the third quarter, representing a 32 per cent increase on 2005 and beating the expectations of investors, who had feared that sales of the popular music players would slow.
The company said that the iPod still enjoyed a share of over 75 per cent in the US market for digital music players and added that Apple were "extremely excited" about future iPod products in the pipeline.
Apple also revealed an increase in sales of its Macintosh computers, having shipped 1.33 million of them across the quarter, a rise of 12 per cent on a year earlier.
The majority of Macs sold by the company were Intel-based machines, vindicating Apple's recent decision to use Intel processors in its computers as opposed to IBM chips.
"We're thrilled with the growth of our Mac business, and especially that over 75 per cent of the Macs sold during the quarter used Intel processors," said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs.
Apple shares climbed by more than eight per cent following the announcement of the company's third quarter results, with the increase following the 24 per cent drop in the value of the company's shares that has occurred since early May.
"The results for the quarter were very solid, above people's expectations," said analyst Shannon Cross of Cross Research.