Joseph Thomas

During Apple's quarterly earnings conference call on Tuesday, the Cupertino-based company announced its best quarter in corporate history. According to the report, Apple (APPL) earnings rose 117 percent to an all-time high of $13.06 billion. During the quarter, Apple earned a record-setting $46.33 billion. Apple sold more iPads, iPhones and Macintosh computers than it has in any quarter.

Investors are more than pleased with Apple's record-setting quarter, with after-hours trading up 8 percent or nearly $32. Perhaps most notably, this is the first earnings report since Steve Jobs stepped down from his leadership role earlier this year and named Tim Cook as the CEO. Several analysts noted they were "happily surprised" by the results but noted it was largely due to the holiday shopping season.

Apple's core products and driving forces continue to be its iPhone and iPad, but it's also selling a record number of Mac computers, too.

Apple sold 37 million iPhones last quarter, almost doubling its record of 20 million iPhones sold in June 2011. The increase is partly due to Apple's increased internationalization of the device in regions like China, where demand amongst the country's 1 billion mobile subscribers continues to be strong. For example, the iPhone 4S is available in 110,000 locations and 90 countries. Analysts claim the increase in sales is contributed to multicarrier distribution, since the iPhone is now available on all three major providers: AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.

Apple's iPad picked up steam during the holiday shopping season, selling 15.43 million devices last quarter. Analysts claim this number would have been higher, but some consumers were waiting for the highly anticipated iPad 3 in March. Nonetheless, Apple sold roughly 25 percent more iPads compared to its previous quarter. Even sales of its premium notebook computers rose, as Apple sold 5.2 million Macintosh computers (iMacs, MacBooks and MacBook Pros), a nice increase from the 4.9 million Macs sold the previous quarter.

The Best Is yet to Come

Can Apple continue its current course of record-setting sales and profitability? Analysts seem to think it can. The company is rumored to launch its next-generation tablet, dubbed the iPad 3, in March. Apple is also rumored to be working on a physical Apple television that runs a variant of iOS.


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