Apple has announced positive fourth quarter figures, with a 26% profit increase on the same 2007 quarter. The increased profit was driven by rising sales of its iPhone as well as strong sales of iPods and Macintosh computers.

For the quarter ending Sept. 27, the computer giant posted a revenue increase of 27% to $7.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.14 billion. This compares to revenue of $6.22 billion and net quarterly profit of $904 million, from the same period last year. The gross margin was 34.7%, up from 33.6% in Q4 last year.

Apple said the fourth quarter figures would have been stronger if iPhone revenue was fully accounted for; including deferred revenue from the iPhone, sales in Q4 would have been $11.68 billion, with $2.44 billion in net income. The figures have been adjusted in accordance with the subscription accounting treatment required by GAAP.

The iPhone experienced the biggest product growth in the wake of its second-generation model release. During the quarter, 6,892,000 handsets were sold, compared to 1,119,000 from the same period last year.

Shipments of Macintosh computers totalled 2,611,000, a 21% unit growth and 17% revenue growth from the year-ago quarter. Sales of iPods stood at 11,052,000, equalling 8% unit growth and 3% revenue growth on Q4 in 2007.

"Apple just reported one of the best quarters in its history, with a spectacular performance by the iPhone -- we sold more phones than [Blackberry maker] RIM," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a statement. "We don't yet know how this economic downturn will affect Apple. But we're armed with the strongest product line in our history, the most talented employees and the best customers in our industry. And $25 billion of cash safely in the bank with zero debt."

Apple CFO, Peter Oppenheimer added: "We're very pleased to have grown revenue 35% and to have generated $9.1 billion in cash in fiscal 2008. Looking ahead, visibility is low and forecasting is challenging, and as a result we are going to be prudent in predicting the December quarter. We are providing a wide range for our guidance, targeting revenue of $9.0 to $10.0 billion and earnings per diluted share between $1.06 and $1.35."