Earlier today I spelled out a bull case scenario where Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) could hit $20 billion in revenue. To quote myself: "Apple could see its first-ever $20 billion quarter. How could Apple accomplish such a feat? Sales of 13 million iPhones, 9 million iPods, almost 4 million Macs, and around 5 million iPads would get it there."

So with details now coming to light, how'd Jobs and company do?

  • Apple reported $20.34 billion in revenue, easily surpassing the lofty goal of $20 billion.
  • Earnings came in at $4.31 billion, which is $4.64 per share (once again, easily surpassing even the most bullish analyst expectations).
  • Mac sales came in at 3.89 billion -- so much for iPad cannibalization of their notebooks and desktops.
  • The company sold 4.19 million iPads, which stands as the quarter's greatest disappointment. Expectations had steadily built around the iPad, with many some predictions coming in at more than 5 million sold for the quarter.
  • The slow decline of the iPod line continues, with the company selling 9.05 million, which is 11% less than last year.
  • And the headline figure: 14.1 million iPhones. That's 91% growth off last year -- truly an amazing figure for the company – and it illustrates that they were able to keep up with consumer demand much better than expected.

Apple's been soaring recently, adding over $69 billion in value since late August. The obvious catalysts are continuing soaring demand for the iPhone and the expanding expectations around the iPad. Do today's numbers do anything to change that thesis?

Not in my opinion. Sure, a stronger iPad showing would have been nice, but the coming quarters should see additional points of distribution from retailers like Target (NYSE: TGT), Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN), and Verizon (NYSE: VZ). In that respect, more will be learned about the iPad during the holiday season, when it has a stronger retail presence and competes for holiday shopping dollars. Also, news of Apple production ramps trickled out slowly across the quarter; Apple's momentum appears to be building coming in to the holiday season.

As far as the iPhone numbers, they're really stunning. Showing 91% growth over already impressive figures from last year is quite impressive. As Apple conducts its earnings call, I wouldn't be surprised to once again see management highlight international sales. Of course, strong sales from international markets, where Apple sells to multiple carriers foreshadows the strong U.S. demand surge Apple could see as it prepares to exit its exclusive arrangement with AT&T (NYSE: T). The strong demand is also great news for chip partners like Skyworks (Nasdaq: SWKS) and TriQuint (Nasdaq: TQNT), who stand to gain from the iPhone's continuing momentum.

So if you're an Apple investor, I don't think today's earnings change much. The iPhone is still on fire, and the iPad's true test will be seen in the coming quarters.

That's our take on Apple's earnings. Sound off in the comments area below to let us know what you think about Apple's latest quarter.