Apple reported first-quarter profit of $6 billion

IPhones and iPads continue to drive Apple earnings

Apple on Tuesday reported record revenue for the first quarter, reaching $US26.74 billion, driven by sales in iPhones, Macs and iPads.

Revenue was up 71 per cent. Net profit was up 78 per cent to $6 billion, or $6.43 per diluted share.

The company sold 4.13 million Macs during the quarter, up 23 per cent over the same period last year. IPhone sales continue at a healthy clip, improving by 86 per cent over last year to 16.24 million sold in the quarter.

Apple also sold 7.33 million iPads during the quarter.

In a statement, CEO Steve Jobs called the holiday quarter "phenomenal," with record Mac, iPhone and iPad sales.

The tablet market has belonged to Apple, but that could be set to change as new tablets running the Android OS hit the market. According to IDC, Apple had an 87.4 per cent share of the worldwide market in the third quarter, the most recent that IDC has accounted for. However, growth this year and beyond will come from devices based on Android and other OSes, IDC said.

The earnings report comes a day after Apple announced that CEO Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave of absence. The company did not say how long he'd be away or the specific reason for the leave.

Jobs similarly stepped aside in January 2009 for a six-month period to undergo a liver transplant. That followed surgery in 2004 to remove a cancerous tumor from his pancreas.

Apple has scheduled a conference call to discuss the earnings for 2 p.m. Pacific Time. It's unclear if the company will disclose more about Jobs' condition then.

How much information Apple should disclose to the public about Jobs' health has been the subject of much debate. The company was criticized for not disclosing that he had a liver transplant until he was well enough to return to work.

While some CEOs have big personalities, Jobs in particular is credited with orchestrating some of the trendsetting technologies that come from Apple. Some people argue that without him, Apple would be a very different company. As such, they say the company has a duty to inform investors about health issues that impact Jobs' ability to lead the company.

The uncertainty about Jobs' condition appears to be concerning investors. Shares of the company were down $20 Tuesday morning, the first day of trading since the news broke of Jobs' leave. However, before the earnings announcement on Tuesday, shares of the company bounced back a bit to be down $5 or 1.4 per cent.

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Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
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