iPhone drives Apple to best quarter

Apple has reported its strongest quarterly result ever, with the iPhone smashing sales records in the teeth of the global economic crisis.

The company posted revenue of $10.17 billion for the quarter ending in December, up from $9.6 billion in 2007. Net profit soared to from $1.58 billion to $1.61 billion over the same period. Earnings per share rose 2c to reach $1.78.

"Even in these economically challenging times, we are incredibly pleased to report our best quarterly revenue and earnings in Apple history - surpassing $10 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time ever," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Apple sold 4.3 million iPhones during the quarter, which represents an 88% year-on-year growth. The 3G iPhone is selling better than the original 2G version, shipping 11.2 million units in the first six months of its lifespan, Apple said.

The company beat its own forecasts - Apple had been expecting revenue of between $9-10 billion. Apple is projecting revenue of between $7.6 billion and $8 billion for this quarter, with diluted earnings per share of around $1.