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Monday, October 18, 2010, 02:00 pm PT (05:00 pm ET)

Apple sells 250,000 $99 Apple TVs in first six weeks

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs on Monday partook in the company's fourth quarter earnings call and broke out a data point that the company usually keeps close to its chest: Apple TV sales numbers.

During the question and answer session of the call, Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes asked Jobs how his "hobby was doing" and whether taking the hard drive out of the latest Apple TV meant Apple was indicative of the company moving to the streaming model on a broader scale.

"We don't talk about unannounced products but I'm happy to tell you what I know about Apple TV," Jobs replied. "We have gone to a streaming model.  It's complete streaming.  All the content is rented from the iTunes store or streamed from your computer.  Or soon to be, streamed from your iPhone or iPad with AirPlay."

"How is our new model doing?," he continued. "I can reveal [that] in just a short amount of time we've already sold a quarter million of them, and we're thrilled with that."

"I think it's a great product and its 99 price point is very enticing," Jobs added. "I think when we get the AirPlay stuff in place before the end of this year it will give another big reason for people to buy it.  We're very happy with how it's turned out."

The Apple TV launched in late September, toward the end of the quarter, and was met with strong demand. Some analysts on Wall Street expect Apple to sell as many as a million units per quarter.

For comparison, sales estimates of the previous generation model were said to be less than 1 million per year. Apple has not disclosed sales of the Apple TV, which has been characterized as a device that sells well in a relatively small market.

When asked by an analyst on Monday's call, Jobs said he was "thrilled" with initial Apple TV sales. The company did not initially volunteer the information, however — CFO Peter Oppenheimer merely mentioned the launch of the products, without any figures, in his opening remarks.