Apple revenue tops $20 billion for fourth quarter

Apple has posted yet another record quarter with income soaring 70 per cent on the back of iPhone 4 and iPad sales.

Messianic Apple leader Steve Jobs doesn't normally show up for earnings calls, but in this case he said he couldn't help dropping in for the company's first 20 billion dollar quarter.

Apple sold 14.1 million iPhones over the last three months, passing RIM's 12.1 million, a fact which made Jobs very happy indeed.

"We’ve now passed RIM. And I don’t see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future," he told market watchers. "They must move beyond their area of strength and comfort, into the unfamiliar territory of trying to become a software platform company. I think it’s going to be a challenge for them to create a competitive platform and to convince developers to create apps for yet a third software platform after iOS and Android. With 300,000 apps on Apple’s App Store, RIM has a high mountain ahead of them to climb."

Supply chain problems and the non-appearance of the white iPhone 4 have almost certainly hampered sales, which is why the company failed to achieve the 15 million units shipped predicted by many analysts.

Apple's Chinese assembly partners have also been struggling to make enough iPads to meet demand with many stores out of stock at various points throughout the quarter, and shipping times lengthening by the day for online orders.

So many other companies are planning to release tablet devices in the run-up to Christmas that Apple's market position could be seen as vulnerable, but Jobs is having none of it.

Commenting on the coming avalanche of iPad wannabes, Jobs dismissed most, saying, "It appears to be just a handful of credible entrants, not exactly an avalanche."

Apple revenue for the quarter was $20.3 billion up from $12.2 billion last year. That's $4.3 billion in net income. For the full year the company had a revenue of $65.2 billion, and a net income of $14 billion.