Apple announces record quarter following strong holiday sales

Jobs stand-in Tim Cook comes out against rival tablets
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Apple announced a strong 78 per cent boost in profits thanks to heavy demand for Apple products such as iPads, iPhones and iPods over the holiday season.

The firm's sales rose to $26.7 billion and net income for the first financial quarter rose to $6 billion, up from $3.38 billion a year previously. 

The strong results will go some way to allaying growth fears as Jobs goes on his fourth medical leave of absence with no indication yet when he may return. The iPhone-maker's day to day operations are now being run by COO Tim Cook who also took the lead when discussing the firm's Q1 results. 

"We are all very happy with the product pipeline, and the team here has an unparalleled breadth and depth of talent in a culture of innovation that Steve has driven in the company," said Cook in a call to analysts.

Cook also came out strongly against the rising competition in the tablet arena. "The ones that are using a Windows-based operating system are generally fairly big and heavy and expensive. They have very weak battery life," Cook said before rounding on the expected surge of Android tablets.

"The variety that are out shipping today, the operating system wasn't really designed for the tablet," he said.

"Google has said this, it's not just an Apple view by any means. So you wind up having a size of a tablet that is less than we believe is reasonable. You end up with kind-of a scaled-up smartphone, which is a bizarre product in our view."

Cook said that compared side-by-side with an iPad, an "enormous percentage" would select the iPad. 

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