Apple reports $7.7 billion profit

Apple reported that its quarterly profit climbed with strong iPhone demand, but a decline in iPad tablet sales put a damper on its results.

 Apple said it sold 35.2 million iPhones in the quarter, a rise of nearly 13% from the same period a year earlier.

 "Our record June quarter revenue was fueled by strong sales of iPhone and Mac and the continued growth of revenue from the Apple ecosystem, driving our highest (earnings per share) growth rate in seven quarters," Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in an earnings release.

 Apple also declared a cash dividend of 47 cents per share of common stock to be paid at the close of business on August 11.

 The earnings release, as expected, contained no hint of any new iteration of the popular iPhone despite numerous reports that Apple is preparing versions with a larger display.

A US patent made public on Tuesday bolstered rumors that Apple has designs on a smartwatch. The patent describes an wrist band, possible with a touch screen, configured to connect wirelessly to a mobile device such as a smartphone.

Disclosure of the patent added fuel to talk that California-based Apple intends to weigh into the blossoming wearable computing market with a smartwatch. Apple has remained tight-lipped about product plans, but Cook has stated repeatedly that impressive new products were in the works, and that he sees the wrist as a preferred spot for a wearable computing gadget.

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