Apple has reported an extremely strong first 2010 fiscal quarter ended 26 December, posting a 50% increase in profit and a 32% increase in revenue compared with the same period a year ago.
The company posted revenue of $15.68bn and a net quarterly profit of $3.38bn, driven by strong sales across most of Apple's product lines.
Sales of iPods declined 8%, but iPhone sales doubled in comparison with the same period a year ago to 8.7 million units, and sales of Macintosh computers climbed 33% to a record 3.36 million units.
Apple reported a 70% year-on-year growth in desktop sales and said about half of the 689,000 Macs sold through its retail stores in the quarter went to people who had never owned a Mac before.
Timothy Cook, chief operating officer at Apple, said in a conference call that Mac sales were up almost 100% in China, rose over 70% in Australia, and grew 40% or more in Italy, France, Switzerland and Spain.
"If you annualise our quarterly revenue, it is surprising that Apple is now a $50bn-plus company," said Steve Jobs, chief executive at Apple.
"The new products we are planning to release this year are very strong, starting this week with a major new product that we are really excited about," he said.
Apple is widely expected to unveil a tablet-style computing device on 27 January.
Peter Oppenheimer, chief financial officer at Apple, said looking ahead to the second fiscal quarter of 2010, Apple expects revenues between $11.0bn and $11.4bn.
Analysts said the iPhone's adoption as a business device could help Apple's Macintosh computers gain a bigger share of the corporate market.
The strong sales of Macintosh computers in the face of aggressive marketing by Microsoft for its new Windows 7 operating system is a positive sign for Apple.
Some experts think a tablet computer could extend Apple's reach into the business market further, becoming a significant mobile business tool for executives, according to the Financial Times.
Despite posting a record financial quarter, investor response was muted, according to the New York Times.
Apple announced that is has changed how it accounts for revenue and profit from the iPhone, making it difficult for investors to see at a glance whether Apple lived up to forecasts.
During the quarter, Apple elected retrospective adoption of the Financial Accounting Standards Board's amended accounting standards for sales of the iPhone and Apple TV, the company said.
Apple shares edged up less than 1% in extended trading after ending the regular session up 2.7% at $203.07.