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iPod touch sales spike 55%; Mac strong in education, overseas

Apple's diverse lineup of popular products delivered a record quarter for the company, with officials revealing Monday that iPod touch and Mac sales are stronger than ever.

In the three-month holiday quarter, iPod touch sales saw a 55 percent year-over-year increase. Though iPod sales dropped to about 21 million, the average iPod selling price increased by 9 percent, and revenue increased 1 percent. Those increases were driven by a higher mix of sales favoring the iPod touch.

Apple's share of the MP3 player market remains about 70 percent, and the company continues to see share gains internationally. The iTunes platform it's tied to had a record quarter for sales as well.

Last month, one study found that use of the iPod touch was outpacing the iPhone in average use. It is believed the iPod touch could transition youth to the iPhone when they grow older. The study estimated that just over 40 percent of 58 million iPhone OS devices sold worldwide through September 2009 were the iPod touch.

International business is playing a much larger part for Apple now than it did in the past. In particular, the Mac platform, which still does not crack the top 5 worldwide vendors in terms of market share, saw significant gains in Apple's first financial quarter of 2010.

Last quarter, 58 percent of Apple's revenue came from international sales. The Mac alone saw growth of more than 40 percent in Italy, France, Switzerland and Spain. Growth in Australia was up over 70 percent, while China was nearly 100 percent.

Education sales for the Mac have been strong as well. In Monday's conference call, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook revealed that Mac and MacBook sales were up 16 percent year over year in education. The company had new December records for its K-12 and higher education businesses.

Cook said the last quarter represented the best growth rate Apple has seen since before the recession began.

"Our whole education business is based on we really understand teaching and learning and student achievement at a deep level," he said. "We think we're the only company that really gets it. We do more than sell boxes like other companies do."

International and educational sales helped Apple to sell a record 3.36 million Macs during the December quarter. Nearly 1.1 million Macs were sold in Europe, 313,000 in Asia Pacific, and 105,000 in Japan.