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Tim Cook (Credit: Apple)

Remember the report last month in which a financial analyst from Stern Agee cut his projections for iPad sales from 15 million to 13 million, citing pressure from Amazon.com’s Kindle Fire? Well, it might be time to redo that analysis.

Apple reported Tuesday that iPad sales increased 111 percent during the fourth quarter to 15.43 million, a mind-boggling number that helped the Cupertino, California titan post record revenue of $46 billion.

And what about that competitive pressure from Kindle Fire?

Well, as you’ll see in the remarks below from the analyst call, Apple CEO Tim Cook isn’t too concerned about that threat. In fact, he said the iPad is in a class by itself, and they see a day when shipments of tablets outpace PCs.

Here are Cook’s remarks in response to a question from an analyst at Goldman Sachs:

“We are really happy with the 15.4 million iPads that we were able to sell… This is consistent with our long-term belief that we’ve had since — before we introduced the product — that this is a huge opportunity for Apple over time. As I’ve said before, I really believe — as do many others in the company believe — that there will come a day when the tablet market, in units, is larger than the PC market. In fact, it is interesting to note that in the U.S., and it is clear from IDC’s recent data on desktop’s in the U.S., that tablets exceeded desktops last quarter….

And so I think you can already see different indicators that there is significant momentum in this space.

In terms of our competitiveness, the ecosystem for the iPad is in a class by itself. We strongly believe in optimizing applications from day one to take advantage of the larger canvas and we now have apps totaling over 170,000 available for customers, and that compares to be what appears to be only a few hundred for the competition.

And so, I think people really want to do multiple things with their tablets and therefore we don’t really see the limited function tablets and e-readers as being in the same category. There are clearly customers who will buy both and I think they will sell a fair number of units, but I don’t think people that want an iPad will settle for a limited function.

And, in terms of other tablets, last year was supposed to be the year of the tablet, and I think most people would agree that it was the year of the iPad, for the second year in a row.

So, we are just going to continue to innovate like crazy in this area, and we think we can continue to compete with anyone that is currently shipping tablets or that might enter in the future.”

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