The earnings news comes two days before Apple's big announcement of its "latest creation," the long-promised Apple tablet.
Apple also said after the closing bell Monday that revenue has hit an all-time high, jumping 32 percent.
Apple's numbers for the three months that ended the day after Christmas reflect the company's ability to allure shoppers without deep cuts to its premium prices.
The numbers soared past expectations in part because Apple adopted new accounting principles that just went into effect. The new rules allows them to recognize revenue in the same quarter that sales are made.
Apple released a statement from CEO Steve Jobs where he claimed being "surprised" Apple is now a $50 billion company. He also took the opportunity to hype his Wednesday announcement. He wouldn't admit it was the tablet, but said it was a major new product.