iPhone boosts Apple’s earnings

The charts tell the story: Apple had a stellar year.

Apple Inc. said its revenue increased by 26 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter as the newest iPhone outsold the market-leading BlackBerry, the Associated Press reported.

For the three months ended Sept. 27, Apple’s profit climbed to $1.14 billion, or $1.26 per share, from $904 million, or $1.01 per share in the same period last year.

CEO Steve Jobs updated the iPhone in July to support faster networks and increased supply to more than 50 countries, helping Apple take sales from Research In Motion.

In reporting its third-quarter earnings, the company sold 6.9 million of its next-generation iPhone 3G in the quarter — more than the 6.1 million total first-generation iPhones sold.

“We blew it out on the iPhone,” Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer, said in an interview.

Apple said it sold 2.6 million Macs and 11.1 million iPods in the quarter, dispelling worries that the slow economy would weigh on Apple’s back-to-school sales.

“We ranked as the third largest mobile phone supplier in revenues. Not bad for being in the market for only 15 months,” Jobs said. “We may get buffeted around by the waves a little bit, but we’ll be fine.”

The Apple iPhone 3G offers new features including support for high-speed 3G networks, third-party applications, and expanded e-mail. Its call quality is improved and it continues to deliver an excellent music and video experience.