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Apple quarterly profit up 69 percent as iPad sales roar

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Apple is set to announce their third quarter profits today, and Bloomberg analysts expect a 69 percent leap in profit. Despite sales of the iPhone 4 slowing as the phone hits the end of its product cycle amidst iPhone 5 (or perhaps 4S) rumors, an explosion of iPad 2 sales matched with a steady movement of Macs have buoyed the company.

Bloomberg compiled its report from data based on the averaged predictions of its analysts. Those estimates suggest that Apple’s total quarterly sales hit $25 billion, a big growth of 59 percent, while profits hit $5.5 billion.

The numbers suggest that the iPad has been a crucial added element to Apple’s steady release of new products. Because the iPhone has been Apple’s biggest seller, the company was previously forced to float along with the ebb and flow of demand throughout the phone’s product cycle, with computer sales generally being more steady. However, with the iPad, Apple has another massively popular device that it can use to offset the iPhone’s launch cycle. So as iPhone sales wind down in preparation for a new device, Apple now has the ability to launch a new iPad to boost sales, as it seemingly did to much success this year.

Of course, the iPhone is still Apple’s bread and butter. Bloomberg’s analysts estimated that iPhone sales dropped around 8 percent last quarter thanks to swirling rumors about the next-gen iPhone. Sales most likely will continue to slow as info about the new iPhone’s better camera, faster processor and all-around better-ness surface ahead of a late summer, early fall launch.

With a new MacBook Air also coming this week, Apple looks to be trying to strengthen its more unique offerings. With the release of OS X Lion still reportedly a ways off, Apple’s regular computing efforts this year have taken at least a superficial backseat to its mobile and ultraportable ecosystem. With the number so far looking pretty great, Apple’s strategy seems to be working.

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