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Apple profits double thanks to China and the iPhone

Lower-than-expected commodity costs helped lift margins way above estimates. Credit: Apple

Apple Inc's quarterly profit almost doubled, blowing past investors' estimates after a jump in iPhone sales, particularly in the greater China region, and soothing fears that the iPhone was past its best days for sharp growth.

While iPad sales were a little lighter than expected, second-quarter revenue jumped to £24.3 billion, 59% more than a year earlier and 6.5% higher than analysts' average forecasts.

And Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones - which account for about half its revenue - in the quarter, outpacing the 30 million or so expected by analysts, with pent-up demand for the 4S bolstering revenue for China, Taiwan and Hong Kong five-fold to £4.9 billion.

Net income rose to £7.2 billion, or £7.60 a share, from £3.7 billion, or £3.90 per share, a year earlier.