Mac, iPhone sales pump bottom line; new computer to bow

Apple’s going to have a good week.

The company saw profits surge 50% on strong sales of its iPhone and Mac computers during the last three months — its most profitable quarter ever. Apple earned nearly $3.4 billion during its first quarter, up from nearly $2.3 billion a year ago. Revenue was up 32% to come in at $15.6 billion.

News comes days before Apple reveals its latest gadget — a much-hyped tablet computer the company will reveal Wednesday.

Apple said it sold 8.7 million iPhones during the period, up 100%, while it moved nearly 4 million Macs, up 33%.

One downside for Apple continues to be iPod sales, which were down 8% to a still-impressive 21 million units. But that makes sense. The iPhone is essentially an iPod with a built-in phone, so people buying iPhones won’t need a new iPod as well.

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