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Apple smashes sales expectations with colossal iPhone sales

Apple has a successful holiday season, selling 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads during the quarter ending 28 December.

That's up from the 47.8 million iPhones and 22.9 million iPads it sold during the same time period last year. In the previous quarter, meanwhile, it sold 33.8 million iPhones and 14.1 million iPads, though consumers were largely waiting for the arrival of the iPhone 5s and 5c, as well as the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini.

"We are really happy with our record iPhone and iPad sales, the strong performance of our Mac products and the continued growth of iTunes, Software and Services," Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said in a statement. "We love having the most satisfied, loyal and engaged customers, and are continuing to invest heavily in our future to make their experiences with our products and services even better."

Apple sold 4.6 million Macs in the most recent quarter, up from 4.1 million last year, but down from 4.8 million last quarter. That comes as the Mac celebrated its 30th birthday on Friday.

The 51 million iPhones sold, meanwhile, is an all-time quarterly record, Apple said. Cupertino did not break out which iPhones were most popular. In the fall, the company launched its high-end iPhone 5s, as well as the colourful iPhone 5c, which replaced the iPhone 5.

The slimmer, lighter iPad Air, meanwhile, made its debut a month later alongside the Retina iPad mini. The non-Retina iPad mini and iPad 2 are both still for sale, though.