Apple unveils record profits, China 'key' to growth

Six-fold increase in Chinese sales, iPads up 183%
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Apple has announced a record profit as sales of the firm's iPad tablets with third quarter revenue surged on the back of strong demand for the iPad 2.

There's no two ways about it, Apple is on a roll. The iPhone-maker booked an astonishing $28.57 billion in sales in the firm's fiscal third quarter, up from $15.70 billion a year ago. 20.34 million iPhones were sold but it was the iPad, up 182 per cent to 9.25 million units, which particularly impressed.

Apple COO Tim Cook said that China was key in the Apple results with the region now contributing 13.3 per cent of Apple's revenue, compared to just 4 per cent a year ago. Apple's results at large painted a picture of astonishing and somewhat unexpected growth in the middle kingdom.

In the space of a year revenue has climbed six fold. "This has been a substantial opportunity for Apple, and I firmly believe we are just scratching the surface right now," Cook said.

On the success of the iPad, Cook admitted that the iPad had cannibalised some sales of the Mac range of desktops but he also asserted that "more customers chose to purchase an iPad over a Windows PC."

The iPad's success across consumer, business and education sectors also appeared to take the company by surprise with the firm announcing that it sold more iPads to the US education market than Macs. "We would have never predicted this," Cook said.

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