“Surely, even the world’s most valuable company can’t keep growing at the blistering pace it has maintained for the past decade. Can it?” Chris O’Brien reports for VentureBeat. “That year may yet come. But the annual report that Apple has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reminds us that the fiscal year 2015 that ended Sept. 30 was not that year for Apple.”

“Instead, the company posted monster growth, even where it was far from perfect (iPad sales continued to slump; iTunes sales continue falling),” O’Brien reports. “It rolled out a host of new products — Apple Watch, Apple Pay, Apple Music, a new Apple TV, iPad Pro (available in November) — whose full measure won’t come for at least another year.”

MacDailyNews Take: iTunes sales continue falling because Apple is switching buyers to subscribers, taking some 7 million (paying and over 8 million trying) into Apple Music and out of iTunes Store music buying.

“Here are some interesting bits and pieces from the filing that underscore Apple’s position as a juggernaut,” O’Brien reports. “Total R&D expense was $8.1 billion in 2015, up from $6.0 billion in 2014, $4.5 billion in 2013 and $3.4 billion in 2012. Clearly, the company is priming the research pipeline.”

“Apple Watch, which was available less than half of FY 2015 still ‘accounted for more than 100% of the year-over-year growth in net sales of Other Products.’ A little math: Other Products grew from $8.379 billion in 2014 to $10.067 billion in 2015,” O’Brien reports. “That means Apple has sold at least $1.688 billion worth of Apple Watches. But as the statement implies, the actual figure is higher in a category that was dragged down by falling iPod sales. If that pace can be maintained, it’s reasonable to think Apple Watch could be at least a $5 billion business in this current fiscal year.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: The facts refute the Apple Watch naysayers.

Strategy Analytics: Apple Watch sells 4.5 million units in Q315, takes 74% global smartwatch market share – October 28, 2015
Why Apple Watch sales are primed to explode – September 19, 2015
Apple Watch users are abandoning traditional watches – September 15, 2015
Over 1 million Apple Watches already sold in China – September 3, 2015
Apple Watch already dominates smart-wearables market, says IDC – August 28, 2015
IDC estimates Apple sold 3.6 million Apple Watch units in Q2 – August 27, 2015
Best Buy CEO: Apple Watch demand is ‘so strong’ that we’re expanding sales to all 1,050 stores – August 25, 2015
Swiss watch exports decline most since 2009 – August 20, 2015
I own two $6,000 Swiss watches, but I wear my Apple Watch most of the time – August 14, 2015
Apple Watch will make up 40% of premium wristwatch sales by 2020 – report – August 14, 2015
Apple Watch takes 88% of total smartwatch revenue – August 14, 2015
Apple Watch dominates smartwatches with 75% market share – July 28, 2015
Juniper Research: Apple is world’s #1 smartwatch maker – July 23, 2015
Canalys: Apple ships 4.2 million Apple Watches in Q2 to become world’s top wearables vendor – July 21, 2015
Apple Watch satisfaction is unprecedented at 97%; beats original iPhone and iPad – July 20, 2015
Swiss watch exports hit worst slump in five years as Apple Watch debuts – June 19, 2015
Apple Watch is Apple’s most successful product debut ever – June 1, 2015
Apple Watch, the world’s first real smart watch, will be a massive hit – September 9, 2014