Apple breaks corporate profit records

Apple has enjoyed the most successful quarter in not only its own history, but corporate history itself.

The Californian tech giant reported third-quarter profits of $18 billion (just short of £11.9 billion), having sold over 74 million iPhones in those three months – at an average rate of 34,000 handsets per hour.

The quarterly profit record was hitherto held by Russian oil company Gazprom, which made $16.2 billion (£10.7 billion) of profit in one quarter during 2011.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said: "We'd like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high. Our revenue grew 30 per cent over last year to $74.6 billion (£49.3 billion), and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal."

Smartphone market share

Very recent data from comScore says Apple has a 41.8 per cent share of the US smartphone handset market, making it the US's most popular smartphone manufacturer. Samsung has the second-biggest share, with 29.7 per cent.

That said, Apple's operating system, iOS, is actually not the most popular smartphone platform in the US. Indeed, 52.6 per cent of American smartphone users have Android-powered handsets.

Most of the remaining market share is taken up by Apple – which has 41.8 per cent of it – while Microsoft has just 3.4 per cent.

Microsoft seeks to gain ground over Apple and Google – but can it?

Last week Microsoft hosted the unveiling of Windows 10, which included a demonstration of the mobile version. Many analysts have voiced doubts about Microsoft's ability to challenge Apple or Google on any platform, not least the smartphone market.

Many have even gone as far as to say that Microsoft will have to offer Windows 10 for free if it wants the update to be at all successful.

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