UPDATE: Apple reports first-quarter profit of $6 billion

IPhones and iPads continue to drive Apple earnings

By , IDG News Service |  Hardware, Apple

Apple is pleased with the headway it's making into the enterprise. The iPad went on sale in April and is being used or piloted in about 80% of Fortune 100 companies, he said. "This is unheard of, at least in my dealings with enterprises over the years," he said. Enterprises are known for a more cautious approach, waiting for new products to be proved in the market before using them.

In addition, Apple reported that 88% of the Fortune 100 are now testing or deploying iPhones.

Cook called the consumerization of the enterprise a "megatrend." "I think most forward-looking CIOs are coming to the realization that productivity of the person and creativity of the employee are materially more important than everyone using the same thing," he said.

Apple announced recently that the iPhone 4 will become available to Verizon customers in early February. While there has been debate over how many people will buy the Verizon phone, Apple appears to think sales will be significant. "We believe the reaction and results from Verizon customers will be huge," Cook said.

Apple expects its results for the current quarter to reflect continued growth. It anticipates revenue of $22 billion, compared to $13.5 billion in the same period last year. Earnings per share should be $4.90, the company 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.

How much information Apple should disclose 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%.

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