Apple has posted record quarterly results for the last three months of 2011 blowing away Wall Street expectations thanks to high iPhone and iPad sales over the festive period.
Ahead of an earnings call this evening, Apple has announced that revenue for the quarter has risen to $46.33 billion, well ahead of the Wall Street predictions of $38.91 and up 50- per cent from the previous record.
Profit on the revenue was $13.06 billion making it the best quarter in Apple’s history by some way. In the period it sold 37.04 million iPhones, 15.43 million iPads and 5.3 million Macs which were increases of 154 per cent, 111 per cent, and 26 per cent year-on-year, respectively.
There were a number of reasons why Apple had its best quarter in the company's history. The first was the fact that many people held off buying new iPhones in the previous quarter because of the imminent iPhone 4S launch. There was also the fact the quarter included a 14th week and of course the festive period.
In the Q&A after the earnings call, Tim Cook was asked about the possibility of cheaper prepay iPhones becoming available, and he said that the company was "looking into everything in all geographies."
Apple now has $97.6bn in cash in the bank, up from $81bn at the end of the previous quarter. When asked what the company was planning on doing with the pile of moolah, chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer said: "We are actively talking about what makes the most sense to do with the cash balance but we have nothing to announce."
Cook also spoke about the iPad appearing in enterprise and education situations adding that he believed it was cannabalising Windows PC sales. When asked about the competition in the tablet market, he said that the "limited-function tablets" such as the Kindle Fire did not have any significant effect on iPad sales.
Apple TV, is according to CEO Tim Cook, still a "hobby" but the company sold a record 1.4m units in the last quarter, and 2.8m in the year as a whole. He declined to comment on anything to do with a possible iTV, rumoured to be launching later this year.
Some other figures revealed in the earnings call included: 85m people are currently using iCloud since launch in October; there are now 170,000 iPad specific apps in the App Store; and by the end of this month developers will have cumulatively earned $400m from the App Store.
However one negative note has been the sale of iPods which saw a drop of 21 per cent to 15.4m, continuing a trend seen over recent quarters - however the sales were still ahead of Apple's expectations.
Looking forward, Apple said it expected revenue for this quarter to come in at around $32.5bn up from $24bn for the same period in 2011. The margin is expected to be 42 per cent with earnings per share of $8.50.