China sales help Apple fend off Amazon threat

Apple will spell out how well it has coped with a fresh assault from Amazon this week as the technology giant updates Wall Street with quarterly sales figures. Analysts are eager to see how iPad sales held up over Christmas in the face of competition from Amazon's cheaper Kindle Fire device. Apple is expected to say tomorrow night that demand from China helped it to sell more than 30 million iPhones in the quarter, a sharp rise from 17 million in the previous three months.

The company is forecast to say profits lifted 58 per cent to a record $9.5bn (£6.1bn) in the period. Its shares have performed strongly since Tim Cook replaced Steve Jobs at the helm last year. Its stock has risen 29 per cent in a year, valuing it at $392bn.