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Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 04:02 pm PT (07:02 pm ET)

Apple projects all-time high $37 billion holiday quarter

Apple on Tuesday said it looks to hit $37 billion in revenue for the upcoming holiday quarter, a stunning $10 billion increase year over year, as expecting to set an all-time high with sales of the iPhone 4S.

During a conference call on Tuesday, Apple's Chief Financial officer Peter Oppenheimer, said that he expects the company to earn around $37 billion in the holiday quarter, with diluted earnings per share of about $9.30. The projection is $8 billion more than Q3 2011, the company's previous best quarter ever, and an over $10 billion gain year-to-year.

December is part of the first fiscal quarter of 2012, which will span 14 weeks rather than the usual 13. This is done every six or seven years to align the 52-week, 364-day fiscal year with the 365-day calendar year. Oppenheimer notes that the extra week will have little effect on earnings.

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, said that he was thrilled with the strong finish to the 2011 fiscal year, and expects another strong performance in the upcoming quarter. Much of the CEO's optimism is based on the record-breaking sales and high demand for the company's new iPhone 4S handset.

"Customer response to iPhone 4S has been fantastic," Cook said. "We have strong momentum going into the holiday season, and we remain really enthusiastic about our product pipeline."

Apple sold over 4 million units of the new iPhone model during its opening weekend, a record for initial iPhone sales.

The demand for the 4S has been so high that Apple modified its purchase policy by enacting an online reservation option. Cook, however, reassured during the conference call that there would be a "large supply" of the device available in time for the holidays.