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Apple posts £4bn Q3 profit as iPhone shipments top 25 million

Apple saw a slight increase in the number of iPhones sold during the third quarter 2012, but iPad sales slowed down ahead of the company's iPad mini release.

Apple sold 26.9 million iPhones during the latest quarter, up slightly from 26 million during the Q2, but 58 per cent higher than the 17.07 million it sold during Q3 of 2011.

Buyers snapped up 14 million iPads, which was down from the 17 million it sold during the second quarter, but up from the 11.12 million sold last year.

Mac sales saw a slight bump, from 4 million last quarter to 4.9 million during the third quarter; this time last year, Apple sold 4.89 million Macs.

The iPod continued its decline, as more and more people accessed their iTunes library on the iPhone or iPad. Apple sold 5.3 million iPods, down from 6.8 million during Q2 and 6.62 million last year.

"We're very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. "We're entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline."

Apple posted revenue of $36 billion (£22.3bn) and profit of $8.2 billion (£5.1bn), up from $28.24 billion (£17.5bn) in revenue and profit of $6.62 billion (£4.1bn) last year. Revenue was up slightly from last quarter's $35 billion (£21.7bn), but profit was down quarter over quarter from $8.8 billion (£5.4bn).

Sales were likely affected by users waiting for the next big thing from Apple. Wireless carriers have acknowledged that iPhone sales were affected over the summer months because people were waiting to buy the much-rumoured iPhone 5. That phone made its debut on 21 September; the third quarter ended on 29 September.

The "new iPad," meanwhile hit the market in March, giving it a boost in the second and third quarters. Recently, however, customers have been eagerly awaiting the iPad mini, which was finally unveiled on Tuesday. The existing iPad, meanwhile, also got some upgrades.

Apple also refreshed its Mac lineup this week, unveiling a 13in version of the MacBook Pro with Retina display, as well as new Mac minis and super-thin new iMacs.