Strong Mac sales and 1.12 milllion iPhone sales helped Apple beat analyst estimates to achieve a net income of $904m in its fourth quarter.

The company shipped 2.16 million Macs during the quarter, a 34 percent growth year-on-year, Apple said. Mac sales increased worldwide, spurred by back-to-school promotions, said Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer. In addition to rapid growth in the US and Europe, Mac unit shipments also increased in Japan, a major market where Apple has traditionally struggled to grow, Cook said.

Shipment of Mac notebooks, including MacBook and MacBook Pro, grew 31 percent year-on-year and accounted for 62 percent of all Macs sold, Oppenheimer said. Given the success of this back-to-school period, Mac sales could be flat in the upcoming quarter, Cook warned.

Sales of the iPhone are outpacing those of the iPod during the first few months after its 2001 introduction, Cook said. The company shipped 1.39 million iPhones during the year, and saw a spike in sales after a $200 price drop of the 8GB iPhone in the US from $599 to $399 in September. Apple is confident it will sell 10 million iPhones in the next calendar year, Cook said.

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Apple sold 10.2 million iPods during the quarter, a 17 percent year-on-year growth. iPod has sold 120 million units to date, Oppenheimer said. The upcoming holiday shopping season will be a big quarter for iPod sales, Oppenheimer said.

The company reported $6.22bn in revenue, up from $4.84bn in the fourth quarter last year. The revenue consensus from analysts polled by Thomson was for $6.07bn.

For fiscal 2007, Apple reported net revenue of $24bn and net income of $3.5bn, said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer, in a conference call with financial analysts.

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