Bumper iPhone sales fuelled record profits for Apple in the final three months of 2011, despite a muted response to its latest handset in the tech press.
Dubbed a disappointing iterative update by wizened industry watchers, the release of the iPhone 4S in September nonetheless helped Apple rack up sales of 37 million smartphones in the 14 weeks to December 31st.
iPad sales also surged, hitting 15.43 million in the seasonal rush compared with 7.3 million for the same quarter last year and offseting slackening demand for iPods.
The stronger-than-expected demand for the tech giant’s key product lines saw net profits hit $13.06 billion (£8.4 billion) – the equivalent of the company’s entire annual earnings for 2009.
Commenting on the showing, Chief Executive Tim Cook, who assumed the mantle of running Apple from the talismanic Steve Jobs, said: "Apple's momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline."
Apple is expected to release a third iteration of the iPad this year, featuring the same high density retina display as the current-gen iPhone.
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