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Apple Sets iPhone Sales Record For Quarter

Despite the absence of any major new product releases this year, Apple's business is thriving.

Apple iOS 7's Dramatic Design: Visual Tour
Apple iOS 7's Dramatic Design: Visual Tour
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Apple on Tuesday delivered better earnings than Wall Street analysts expected, sending its stock up about 3.5% in after-hours trading.

For its fiscal 2013 third quarter, the company reported $35.3 billion in revenue and $6.9 billion in net profit, which translates to $7.47 per diluted share.

Financial analysts expected on average $7.32 per share.

Though the months between April and June have not traditionally been great for Apple hardware sales, the company nonetheless sold 31 million iPhones, a record for the quarter. The accomplishment is even more noteworthy given that Apple hasn't launched any major new products this year.

[ Which are Apple's most important updates unveiled at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June? Read 8 Apple Changes That Matter. ]

So far this year, Apple has shipped a modest processor update for its MacBook Pro with Retina Display and a more meaningful processor update for its MacBook Air that doubles its battery life. But its more ambitious products, like the redesigned Mac Pro, are slated for later this year.

During its developer conference last month, Apple took the unusual step of previewing the long-awaited revision of its Mac Pro. The high-end desktop computer is substantially smaller than its predecessor, and its cylindrical form factor is unlike anything else in the market. The last time Apple gambled on such an unusual design was when it launched its PowerMac G4 Cube in 2000, which was discontinued a year later.

Apple said it sold 14.6 million iPads during the quarter, down from 17 million during the same period a year ago, and 3.8 million Macs, down from 4 million during the same quarter last year. The broad decline in personal computer sales is affecting everyone, though Apple less so than others.

CEO Tim Cook in a statement said Apple was proud to have sold so many iPhones and noted the strong revenue growth for the company's iTunes, software and services. He also focused on the future. "We are really excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, and we are laser-focused and working hard on some amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall and across 2014," he said.

With debut of a new version of its mobile operating system in the fall, Apple will almost certainly release updates to its iPhone and iPad product line. The company is expected to release an iPad Mini with Retina Display at some point, though recent reports have questioned whether manufacturing issues with these high-resolution screens will delay the Mini's graphics upgrade until 2014.

That's also the year when Apple is expected to introduce a wearable computer, a product that observers are calling the iWatch, for lack of an official name. While the company has not publicly confirmed its intention to release such a product, it will be just about the only one of its peers without a network-capable wristwatch by the end of next year if it opts not to do so.

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