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Apple storms ahead with new MacBook Air, record sales

Apple's iPad sales double. Asia sales nearly quadruple. Now, Apple rolls out the new MacBook Air.

By Peter SvenssonThe Associated Press / July 20, 2011

Apple unveiled the new MacBook Air on Wednesday, a day after announcing that the company beat analysts' sales predictions for yet another quarter.

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Update: After another stronger than expected quarter, Apple rolled out its new MacBook Air Wednesday with faster processors, Thunderbolt jack, and back-lit keyboard.

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The iPhone is conquering Asia, the home of its strongest competitors. Sales there nearly quadrupled from a year ago and helped Apple Inc. trump analyst expectations for yet another quarter.

Apple also said iPad sales worldwide nearly doubled from a quarter ago, a sign that it has left the worst of its supply problems behind.

Apple's stock surged nearly 5 percent after the results came out.

Net income in the fiscal third quarter, which ended in June, was $7.31 billion, or $7.79 per share. That's more than double the $3.25 billion, or $3.51 per share, a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings of $5.82 per share.

Revenue was $28.6 billion, up 82 percent from $15.7 billion a year ago. Analysts were expecting $24.8 billion.

The results were lifted by the sale of 20.3 million iPhones, millions more than analysts had expected. The phone's popularity in Asia, particularly in China, is helping. So is the fact that Apple keeps expanding the number of carriers that sell the phone. It was the first full quarter in which the phone was sold by Verizon Wireless, the largest carrier in the U.S. Before, only AT&T sold the phone in the U.S.

Apple usually has the year's new iPhone model out by early July. That hasn't happened this year, and analysts expect the new model to come in September instead. Apple executives didn't provide any specifics on a call with analysts.

Executives also resisted questions on whether Apple will produce a cheaper iPhone to compete against phones powered by Google Inc.'s Android software. Asian competitors like Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and HTC Corp. are selling tens of millions of Android phones every quarter at prices that undercut the iPhone.

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