Despite terrible economy, Apple has another spectacular year

Apple Online Store“As 2010 draws to a close, much of the tech world is struggling to regain its footing after a difficult recession,” John Boudreau reports for The Mercury News. “Then there’s Apple.”

“Never before has this venerable company, which at age 34 is a grizzled veteran by Silicon Valley standards, stood so firmly atop the high-tech industry. Earlier this year, Apple’s market capitalization surpassed that of Microsoft, making it the most valuable property in the tech universe. And during its just-completed fiscal year, it broke four consecutive quarterly revenue and profit records,” Boudreau reports. “Amid the worst recession in decades, Apple hired thousands while others cut jobs.”

“But what most distinguishes Apple is the way it has climbed these heights,” Boudreau reports. “While other tech titans spent 2010 cutting costs and acquiring new technology through mergers, this $65 billion company is innovating like a startup… Its iPhone revolutionized the market for smartphones, the must-have product of the decade. Its iPad is now creating consumer electronics’ most promising new market, for tablet computers.”

Boudreau reports, “The pace of hiring accelerated during the company’s fiscal 2010, which ended Sept. 25. Over the preceding four quarters, it added 12,300 employees, raising its number of full-time workers to 46,600, a 36 percent jump. In the same period, Apple’s R&D spending soared 38 percent and it opened 44 new retail stores, ending the year with a total of 317 outlets… During its just-completed fourth quarter, Apple reported a 27 percent jump in the number of Macintosh computers it sold — out-sprinting the PC industry, which recorded a 7.6 percent increase globally. The soaring popularity of its desktops and laptops is tied to what analysts call the “halo” effect — people fall in love with another Apple product, such as the iPhone, then fall in love with its computers.”

Read more in the full article here.

29 Comments

  1. I wonder what percentage of the Apple employees are on the retails side. I believe not all are full time. Even at an average of 100 per store that could be up to 20,000. How many work on the technical side, s/w, h/w, design, engineering etc.

    46,00 sounds a lot, but maybe that’s quite efficient for a global company.

  2. Apple needs to put the iPhone on T-Mobile for those like my family who have found ATnT does not work for us. I took my son, the Windows geek, to get a new phone last night. The clerk said “no one” is buying the Windows 7 phone and the clerk was pushing Android to all who came near the counter. Both of my kids now have the mytouch 4G phones and appear to like them. I’m still hoping the iPhone goes to T-Mobile so I will stick with my Nokia clam shell phone. Way to go M$!

  3. I can’t imagine why your girlfriend has such good taste in men (I hope) & such bad taste in phones. Must be a left brain type. Perhaps she goes well with my left nut (you hope not). ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  4. @ Cubert
    Daughter has had her’s since October 30; no complaints. I wish we could be on the iPhone but ATnT just doesn’t work for us in our area and T-Mobile does. Every carrier is different and every area is different as far as reception goes. I tried ATnT for four years with frustrating results. My daughter isn’t too techie but loves her hand me down iPod touches. I just gave my M$ geek son a iPod touch and he took it and actually smiled; there is hope for him yet!

  5. @ Cubert
    We got both kids the T-Mobile® G2 with 4G and the guy said android 2.2. It was hilarious just how much the sales guy was pimping android over win 7 phone.

  6. Most consumers and surprisingly many pros, empirically use only a small percentage of most computer’s and electronics’ devices functions and features. Thats a fact that any power user can verify anytime…
    Apple products, by design and contemplation bring ease of use coupled with fresh functionality to the masses in away that no other company is capable of delivering. That makes most Apple users, get more functionality and use more features (that are easily available and implemented) than the average user…that creates unequivocal buzz and lust.
    Apple understands the power and endless different applications of it’s technology which it designs into all its products with an unrivaled simplicity and power that makes for an everlasting empowering fresh user experience. Once anyone tries any Apple device, the comparison to others is futile and a no brainer in favor of Apple.

    Apple does not skimp on anything to make that experience unrivaled, exciting and productive, from quality packaging to quality build to value and best support. 

    It’s products and users first that the company focuses on dogmatically – thats Apples pride and joy, that’s what makes lifelong loyal users and financial rewards and that’s worth it’s weight in gold.

  7. It’s no trick to have a spectacular year when one has spectacular products, as Apple does; the real achievement is creating the spectacular products in the first place.

  8. @ breeze – Well said.

    The old saying goes “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a pathway to your door.”

    The amazing thing about Apple, as is hinted at in the article, is that they have done by operating exactly opposite to the m.o. of the rest of the corporate world. Instead of a race to the bottom on cutting costs, they have steadfastly held to a vision of quality en every aspect of the business.

    My friend K, high level software engineer in the technical software field, has been a hardcore MS user for over 20 years. I have gently extolled the benefits of Macs over the years but he always ignored me.

    Recently he decided he needed a Mac to do some fairly extensive video editing – nothing professional, but quite a lot of it. So he decided on a Mac Pro (tower that is). He called me when he got and said “I just went to install some hard drives. I opened up the side of the box and I could not believe how beautiful it was in there – beautify and **functional**. Everything was laid out so cleanly and easily accessible, not mess of wires. I could not believed that I could really install the drives in just a few seconds.”

    As his work is far from his home, he frequently telecommutes. Recently he started using his Mac to access his PC via VPN. “I don’t understand it,”he relates, “On the PC laptop that the company gave me, I drop the connection 1 or 2 times every hour. Very annoying when you are trying to concentrate on some issue. On the Mac, connected to the very same network, I almost never drop a connection. So i am running my PC at work from my Mac at home!”

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