Apple is going into the unveiling of its new touch-screen tablet on a massive winning streak.Even as the economy struggles to get back on its feet, Steve Jobs’ company reported record revenue and profit for the last quarter.Apple’s fiscal first-quarter profit surged 50 percent to $3.4 billion, or $3.67 a share. That compares to $2.3 billion, or $2.50, a year ago quarter. Revenue also hit an all-time high, jumping 32 percent to $15.7 billion.
The company sold about 3.4 million Mac computers in the quarter, up 33 percent from a year ago, and 21 million iPod media players, an 8 percent drop.Meanwhile, Jobs finally hinted at what everyone is already talking about the tablet Apple is expected to unveil tomorrow.”The new products we are planning to release this year are very strong, starting this week with a major new product that we’re really excited about,” Jobs said in a statement.The company said that it shipped 8.7 million iPhones for the quarter, double the number sold a year ago. Still, sales were a bit light compared to some Wall Street expectations, which were running at 9 million or higher.
During a conference call, Apple’s financial chief, Tim Cook, defended the company’s exclusive carrier deal with AT&T, despite customers complaining about dropped calls and other problems with AT&T’s network.”In the vast majority of locations we feel iPhone users are having a great experience,” Cook said. “AT&T has acknowledged issues in some cities.”Cook said Apple has reviewed AT&T’s plans and has “very high confidence that they’ll make significant progress” in fixing problems.Apple changed the way it accounted for iPhone sales in the quarter which made it difficult to compare the results to analysts’ estimates.