IPod sales unwrap new revenue mark at Apple

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Apple posted its first quarter of more than $10 billion in revenue in part because of sales of the iPod, which proved a popular Christmas gift worldwide despite the U.S. recession.

The company said Wednesday that its revenue rose 6% to $10.2 billion during the fiscal first quarter that ended Dec. 27, while earnings rose 2% to $1.6 billion.

The financial report came as Wall Street mulled news that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating whether Apple hid the truth about the poor health of CEO Steve Jobs, who recently announced a medical leave.

On a conference call Wednesday, the first question was about Jobs, and it was answered by COO Timothy Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer.

"The values of our company are extremely well entrenched," Cook said. "We believe that we're on the face of the Earth to make great products, and that's not changing."

Oppenheimer added that Jobs remains involved in strategy and major decisions, even as Cook has taken over the company's day-to-day operations during Jobs' absence.

Beyond revenue, Apple also set records by selling 22.7 million iPods — up 3% from a year earlier — and logged its biggest quarter to date for its iTunes store, though the company didn't offer specific numbers regarding the latter.

Cook also noted "a tremendous pickup" in sales of Apple TV, giving credit to the box's added capability of movie rentals. Cook added, though, that "we still consider this a hobby."

Sales of Mac computers rose 9% to 2.5 million, but sales of iPhones fell 14% to 4.3 million. (partialdiff)
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