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Apple profit rockets with hot iPad, iPhone sales
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) July 19, 2011

Apple unleashes Lion, updates MacBook Air
San Francisco (AFP) July 20, 2011 - Apple on Wednesday unleashed its new Lion operating system, running it on updated, more powerful versions of its MacBook Air ultra-thin laptop.

A slew of Apple product releases came as the California company's stock rose on the back of record high net profit and revenue in the quarter ending June 25.

Lion is the latest version of the Macintosh computer operating system and boasts more than 250 added features including handling multi-touch controls.

Sales of Macintosh computers dramatically outpaced the overall market in the recently-ended quarter and Lion is expected to further ramp up interest in Apple products.

Lion will be pre-installed on new Macintosh computers and is available for download as an update from the Mac App Store for $30.

"Lion is the best version of OS X yet, and we're thrilled that users around the world can download it starting today," said Apple senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing Philip Schiller.

Updated MacBook Air laptops feature speedier Intel processors, backlit keyboards, and quicker data ports.

MacBook Air models range in price from $999 to $1,599 depending on processor speeds, memory and other features.

Apple also introduced a Thunderbolt Display that serves as a docking station and a high-quality desktop screen for a Mac notebook computer. Thunderbolt Display will be priced at $999 when it hits the market some time in the coming two months, according to Apple.

Apple revenue and profit rocketed to record highs in the recent quarter as sales of iPhones and iPads more than doubled with help from accelerating demand in Asia.

Apple said Tuesday that its net profit more than doubled to $7.31 billion on unprecedented revenue of $28.57 billion in the quarter ending June 25.

"We're thrilled to deliver our best quarter ever, with revenue up 82 percent and profits up 125 percent," Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said in a release.

"Right now, we're very focused and excited about bringing iOS 5 and iCloud to our users this fall," he continued.

Apple stock price, which had pumped up in anticipation of stellar earnings results climbed even further, rising more than four percent to $394 a share in after-hours trading.

The Cupertino, California-based company reported that it sold 20.34 million iPhones and 9.25 million iPad tablet computers in sales figures that eclipsed the same quarter last year by 142 percent and 183 percent respectively.

Apple saw the number of Macintosh computers sold climb 14 percent to 3.95 million, while iPod sales slid 20 percent to 7.54 million units.

"We are extremely pleased with our performance," said Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer.

"Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011, we expect revenue of about $25 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $5.50."

Apple announced that Wednesday it will release the latest version of its Macintosh computer operating system, dubbed Lion, which boasts more than 250 new features including support for touch-screen controls.

Sales of Macintosh were up 14 percent from the year-ago quarter and dramatically outpaced the overall computer industry.

"We do believe that some customers chose to purchase an iPad instead of a new Mac during the quarter, but we think even more customers chose to purchase an iPad over a Windows PC (personal computer)," Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook said during an earnings conference call.

Apple sold every iPad 2 it could make during the quarter and has been hustling to increase supplies of the coveted tablet computers.

"Sales of iPad 2 have absolutely been a frenzy for people to get one," Cook said. "We feel very good about the progress we have made ramping up."

Along with being a hit outside of the workplace, iPads are increasingly being incorporated into operations at companies ranging from hospitals and retailers to airlines, according to Apple executives.

Apple revenue in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong was $3.8 billion, six times that seen in the same quarter last year, making the area a key driver behind the company's record financial results, according to Cook.

"There is an incredible opportunity for Apple there," Cook said of the Asia-Pacific region. "I firmly believe we are just scratching the surface there right now."

Stunning iPhone sales figures in the quarter were due in large part to demand in emerging and developing markets including China, Latin America, and the Middle East, according to company executives.

"That is great for Apple," Cook said. "These are markets Apple has not traditionally been strong in and we are beginning to see the fruits of our labor."

Apple reported that it has sold overall more than 222 million devices running on its mobile operating system.

Apple's online iTunes store retained its crown as the world's top music retailer.

During the conference call, Oppenheimer mentioned a "product transition" planned for later this year but declined to provide specifics.

"Apple builds products and drives people to the products, where other vendors make products and hope they will be hits," said independent analyst Rob Enderle of Silicon Valley.

"They make money on apps, accessories, hardware...they monetize everything," he continued. "They've got a formula."

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Samsung unveils new Galaxy tab to take on iPad
Seoul (AFP) July 20, 2011 - South Korea's Samsung Electronics launched a new version of its Galaxy Tab in its home market Wednesday in a bid to lure consumers away from Apple's iPad.

The release comes as the South Korean firm is in embroiled in a patent dispute with US giant Apple, which has seen both sides file infringement claims against the other.

Samsung, the world's second-largest mobile phone maker, also said it would in August launch an updated version of its Galaxy S smartphone in the US market, which is dominated by Apple's iPhone.

The company has already released its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in five overseas countries including the United States.

The tab, powered by Android's Honeycomb 3.1 developed for tablet PCs, features a 10.1-inch (25.6 cm) touchscreen display rather than the seven-inch display for the previous model.

It is the world's thinnest tablet, measuring 8.6 millimetres, Samsung said. The price will start at 671,000 won ($634) in the home market.

Samsung said the seven-inch tab was optimised for portability, while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was best suited for multimedia consumption and web browsing.

"It is very thin... and weighs just as much as a cup of takeout coffee," the company said in a statement.

The patent tussle between Samsung and Apple began in April when Apple filed a suit accusing South Korean firm of copying its smartphones and tablet computers. Samsung responded with a claim in Seoul alleging five patent infringements by Apple.

The California-based firm last month lodged a second lawsuit against Samsung with a district court in Seoul, asking for a sales ban on Samsung's latest products.

The US company escalated the row this month by asking the US International Trade Commission to block imports to the United States of some of the Samsung's smartphones and tablet computers.

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Kakao is sweet for S. Korean smartphone users
Seoul (AFP) July 17, 2011
South Korean student Hwang Jin-Joo no longer sends text messages to his extensive circle of friends, he "KaTalks" them. Kakao Talk, a mobile messenger smartphone application, has enjoyed phenomenal success since it was launched 16 months ago and has spawned similar apps in the world's most wired nation. "Almost everyone I know uses the service, and it's so economical that now I can't ima ... read more

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