Apple reaches a record $46.3 billion in revenue on sales of 37.04M iPhones, 15.43M iPads

A strong holiday quarter let Apple blow through another revenue record as the company sold 37.04 million iPhones and 15.43 million iPads.

Taking 15.4 million iPods into account, the company has sold 67.87 million iOS devices last quarter. That’s on top of the roughly 250 million the company said it had sold to date at the early October iPhone 4S launch. In comparison, Google most recently said that Android has seen 250 million device activations to date in its most recent quarterly earnings call.

These numbers underscore a recent trend we’ve been hearing about from multiple research firms — that the latest iPhone has actually helped Apple close the gap with the momentum of Google’s Android platform. It’s also made up for the lull in revenue growth for third-party game developers we saw in the third quarter when we saw top-earning games producing about $3 million per month in revenue. Epic’s Infinity Blade later showed us that a developer could do $5 million per month, probably buoyed by strong holiday sales of iOS devices. Apple said it more than $140 million of apps and content were downloaded alone on Christmas Day and has paid out more than $4 billion to developers.

Apple’s net income more than doubled, climbing to $13.06 billion, up from $6 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. Net sales are almost double what they were a year ago at the same time, at $46.3 billion from $26.7 billion. Gross margin was 44.7 percent compared to 38.5 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 58 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

These numbers were above the $41.87 billion in revenue that analysts estimated, according to a survey from Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt. Apple expects $32.5 billion in revenue this quarter, according to the company’s chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer.

Surprisingly, of all the international regions, Japan showed the strongest year-over-year growth followed by the Americas. The rest of Asia, which includes the much-buzzed about Chinese market, grew the slowest at 54 year-over-year growth. (This is probably due to the fact that the iPhone 4S only went on sale this quarter.)

Cook said he expected momentum in China to come back this quarter. “The demand there has been staggering,” said chief executive Tim Cook. “The response has been off the charts.”

With the $17.5 billion Apple generated in cash flow this quarter, it now has $97.6 billion in cash and short-term and long-term marketable securities. Shares jumped more than $30 or 7.5 percent in after-hours trading to $451.99.