Apple retail stores returned an "outstanding quarter" the company's chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer confirmed last night.

The company revealed a 53 per cent increase year-on-year for unit sales through its direct retail channels. The increase led to a 33 per cent year-on-year revenue growth during the quarter, direct sales now represent 53 per cent of the company's sales.

Apple now has 185 retail stores open worldwide and expects to open anpther dozen stores in the coming thirteen weeks.

Average per-store revenue rose $0.4 million year-on-year, up from $4.7 million to $5.1 million.

Oppenheimer also confirmed that 50 per cent of the 330,000 Macs sold through Apple retail went to new Mac users.

The Best Buy relationship has also been extended, with Apple products scheduled to be made available through 300 branches of that retail store chain.