Apple sells 270,000 iPhones in the first two days

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Apple Inc. said Wednesday that it sold 270,000 iPhones in the final 30 hours of its fiscal third quarter — the first time the gadgets were available for purchase in the United States.

The Cupertino-based electronics maker offers the handset in two configurations, a 4GB model for $499 and an 8GB model for $599. However, it did not specify how many of each model were sold, and instead reported a combined total of the two.

Many of the iPhones sold on June 29th and 30th were not activated by customers until sometime thereafter, as Apple's sales total from the two days far exceeds early iPhone activation totals reported by wireless carrier AT&T.

AT&T said earlier in the week that it activated only 146,000 of the Apple handsets during the first two days, but added that more than 40 percent of those activations were to customers switching their service from a rival carrier.

In addition to first weekend iPhone sales, Apple also announced Wednesday that third quarter profits rose 73 percent to $818 million, or $.92 per diluted share, on sales of $5.41 billion.

During the quarter, the company shipped 1,764,000 Macintosh computers, representing 33 percent growth over the year-ago quarter, and 9,815,000 iPods, representing 21 percent growth.

Given its plan to defer iPhone accounting and revenues over a 24 month period, Apple said sales of the first 270,000 iPhone contributed only $5 million in revenue to its quarterly total.