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The Wall Street moneymen were expecting a big quarter for Apple, and with today's announcement that the Cupertinians had pulled in $15.7bn in revenue in their third quarter of fiscal 2010, those prognosticating financial folks got what they were hoping for — and a billion dollars more.

"It was a phenomenal quarter that exceeded our expectations all around, including the most successful product launch in Apple's history with iPhone 4," CEO Steve Jobs said in a canned statement. "iPad is off to a terrific start, more people are buying Macs than ever before, and we have amazing new products still to come this year."

That "most successful product launch", it must be noted, took place on June 24. Apple's quarter ended on June 27.

But those three days, although they did bring in revenue from 1.7 million iPhone, weren't really needed. From the quarter's $15.7bn in revenue, Apple squeezed an operating profit of $3.25bn.

It achieved these quarterly numbers by selling 3.47 million Macs, a new record for a single quarter and a 33 per cent year-on-year increase, and 8.4 million iPhones, a 61 per cent year-on-year uptick. The iPod continued to slide, but with 9.41 million sold, a 8 per cent decline wasn't that hard to take — especially considering that 3.27 million iPads were sold.

Apple's revenues "beat the Street", as the cliché goes: before Apple released its numbers, MarketWatch reported that "consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters" had pegged Apple's revenue to be $14.75bn for the quarter — a figure that agreed with the Wall Street Journal's expectations. Bloomberg BusinessWeek was only slightly more conservative, citing unnamed analysts who predicted a $14.7bn quarter. ®

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