Several months ago, Wakefield staff made the point in this post that digital devices are no longer seen as add-ons. In spite of the economic downturn, we argued, consumer demand for smartphones and other cutting-edge, personal-use digital devices was likely to remain fairly solid.

The news that Apple posted a 47% increase in its 3rd quarter profits — due largely to robust iPhone sales — adds new evidence for our view.

Apple sold 7.4 million iPhones in the 3rd quarter. That’s a 7% rise from a year ago, and it’s a 41% jump from the previous quarter. It’s true that this sales increase was aided by a price drop, but consumer interest was also fanned by the faster browsing speed of the newest iPhone model.