Analysts, on average, were forecasting earnings of 64 cents per share on sales of $5.17 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.

Apple said it shipped 1.5 million Macintosh computers and more than 10.5 million iPods during the quarter, representing a 36 per cent growth in Macs and 24 per cent growth in the music players.

Sales from its market-leading iPods and other music-related products accounted for 44 per cent of the quarter's total revenue.

Separately, the board of directors, including former US vice-president Al Gore, gave its full support Apple's chief executive officer, Steve Jobs.

The board defended the CEO amid new accusations by former Apple executive, Fred Anderson, that Jobs may have had a more significant role in the stock options backdating scandal than previously stated.