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Apple sold a record 51 million iPhones in the three months from September to December, smashing its previous tally of 47.8 million recorded at the tail end of 2012.

The Cupertino company also shifted a massive 26 million iPads in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to 22.9 million the year before.

Apple's impressive figures are largely attributable to the release of new product categories across both iPhone and iPad.

The launch of iPhone 5S and 5C seems to have given Apple back some of the impetus it appeared to have lost to Samsung last year, while the new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display have rejuvenated its tablet range.

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Apple posted $13.1 billion (£7.8 billion) in profit over the quarter, exactly the same as in the final three months of 2012.

That compares to $7.5 billion (£4.52 billion) made in the previous quarter, a traditionally slow time when Apple hasn’t usually released new products for the best part of a year.

The tech giant's results will be made all the sweeter after Samsung announced its slowest profit growth since 2011, as it looks to rein in marketing spending.

Sammy is expected to fight back with the launch of its Galaxy S5 smartphone later this spring.

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