Company sold 8.1 million digital music, video players

Continued strong sales growth for iPods, along with a somewhat resurgent computer biz, helped Apple Computer boost its second-quarter earnings, leading to a big stock jump in after-hours trading.

Tech company sold 8.1 million iPod digital music and video players, up 32% from a year ago. IPod-related revenue was up 36% to $1.5 billion, while revenue from the iTunes musicstore and other music services rose 90% to $457 million.

As has been the case for the past year, combined iPod and iTunes revenue of nearly $2 billion was greater than computer revenue of $1.87 billion, giving Apple more of a stake in entertainment than computers.

Overall revenue rose 24% to $4.37 billion, while net income was up 48% to $472 million.

In a statement, CEO Steve Jobs noted that “we are extremely excited about future iPod products in our pipeline.” It’s widely expected that new iPods could include a bigger screen designed to play feature films, as the company is currently in negotiations with major studios to sell movies on iTunes (Daily Variety, July 19).

After rising 2% during the day, Apple stock was up 8% to $58.60 in after-hours trading. Stock traded as high as $86.40 in January.

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