Apple saw sales of $26.74bn and a net profit of $6bn — both quarterly records — for the three months ended December 25, 2010, the company announced Tuesday.

Sales grew nearly 71 percent from the $15.68bn in revenue that Apple reported for the year-ago quarter. Earnings jumped 75 percent year-over-year to $6.43 per share, up from $3.67 last year.

Those figures blew away analyst estimates posted on Yahoo’s financial site. Analysts were expecting the company to post earnings of earnings of $5.38 a share on revenue of $24.38bn.

Apple FY11 First Quarter Results - Live Feed

Much of the credit for Apple’s strong quarter goes to its handheld devices. The company sold 7.33 million iPads during the holiday quarter and 16.24 million iPhones. The iPhone sales figure is a 86 percent jump from the year-ago quarter.

Mac sales were also strong, rising 23 percent from the year-ago quarter to 4.13 million units. That's a record number for Mac sales topping the previous mark of 3.89 million Macs set during the fiscal fourth quarter of 2010.

iPod sales bucked the trend with a decrease from the 2010 first-quarter. Apple sold 19.45 million musical players, a 7-percent dip from last year.

In a statement accompanying the earnings announcement, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said his company is “firing on all cylinders” and promised “exciting things in the pipeline.” Jobs just began a leave of absence from his day-to-day CEO duties to focus on his health.