The BBC says the result beats the previous record of $15.9 billion (£10.5 billion) posted by ExxonMobil in the second quarter of 2012.
The results come after Apple became the most valuable company ever – with its market value hitting a record-breaking $700 billion last year. The company now has a value higher than the GDP of all but 19 countries in the world.
Apple says the quarterly results are based on sales of its Mac products and through the app store, but predominantly from sales of the iPhone – which sold 74.5 million units in the quarter – also a new record.
The iPhone, which was designed by a team led by Sir Jony Ive, first came to market in 2007. The most recent versions – the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, were unveiled in September last year, alongside the new Apple Watch.