The continuing appeal of Apple's iPod music players - enhanced by new, cheaper versions - has boosted the US computer giant's profits in its fiscal second quarter.

Net income for the three months to March 31 was $290 million (€224m, £153m) compared with $46m in the year-earlier period. Revenue soared to $3.24 billion from $1.91bn, exceeding both company and analysts' forecasts.

Included in the figures for the first time are Apple's $500 Mac mini and the $99 iPod Shuffle, aimed at the low end of the computer and electronics markets, hitherto eschewed by the company.

The company sold 5.3m iPods in Q2, generating more than 30% of its revenue. It also sold 1.07m Mac computers, a rise of 43% on last year.

Apple ceo Steve Jobs says the resurgence of the computer business could be a "halo effect" as consumers are attracted into retail stores by the iPod brands.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff