Apple shares climbed last night, following news of its profitable third quarter and its 4.8 per cent share of the US PC market.

Analysts and investors welcomed the Apple's year-on-year growth in all areas, raising its share values 8.6 per cent on the after-hours stock trade market, where its stock currently stands at $58.75, after closing at $54.10 at the end of trading yesterday.

Apple last night revealed that its quarterly profits rose 48 per cent, year on year, with $472 million profit on $4.37 billion in revenue.

The anticipated iPod slowdown didn't appear to take place. iPod sales climbed 32 per cent in comparison with the year-ago quarter, while Mac sales climbed 12 per cent.

Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer revealed that MacBooks and MacBook Pros had increased Apple's US market share from 6 per cent to 12 per cent.

An IDC report reveals Apple now holds 4.8 per cent of the US computer market overall, making it the number four PC seller in the country, with Gateway, HP and Dell as numbers three, two and one, respectively.

"The strong growth reflects a successful transition to Intel-based systems - a critical transition for the company that sets the stage for future growth," the analysts said.