Company Background Apple Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries (collectively “Apple” or the “Company”) design, manufacture, and market personal computers, mobile communication devices, and portable digital music and video players and sell a variety of related software, services, peripherals, and networking solutions. The Company sells its products worldwide through its online stores, its retail stores, its direct sales force, and third-party wholesalers, resellers, and value-added resellers.
In addition, the Company sells a variety of third-party MacintoshR (“Mac”), iPhoneR and iPodR compatible products, including application software, printers, storage devices, speakers, headphones, and various other accessories and peripherals through its online and retail stores, and digital content and applications through the iTunes StoreR. The Company sells to consumer, small and mid-sized business (“SMB”), education, enterprise, government and creative customers. The Company’s fiscal year is the 52 or 53-week period that ends on the last Saturday of September.
Unless otherwise stated, all information presented in this Form 10-K is based on the Company’s fiscal calendar. The Company is a California corporation founded in 1977. Business Strategy The Company is committed to bringing the best personal computing, mobile communication and portable digital music and video experience to consumers, students, educators, businesses, and government agencies through its innovative hardware, software, peripherals, services, and Internet offerings.
The Company’s business strategy leverages its unique ability to design and develop its own operating system, hardware, application software, and services to provide its customers new products and solutions with superior ease-of-use, seamless integration, and innovative industrial design. The Company believes continual investment in research and development is critical to the development and enhancement of innovative products and technologies.
In addition to evolving its personal computers and related solutions, the Company continues to capitalize on the convergence of the personal computer, mobile communications and digital consumer electronics by creating and refining innovations, such as iPhone, iPod and the iTunes Store. The Company desires to support a community for the development of third-party products that complement the Company’s offerings through its developer programs.
The Company offers various third-party software applications and hardware accessories for MacR computers, iPhones and iPods through its retail and online stores, as well as software applications for the iPhone and iPod touch platforms through its App Store™. The Company’s strategy also includes expanding its distribution network to effectively reach more of its targeted customers and provide them with a high-quality sales and postsales support experience.
Consumer and Small and Mid-Sized Business The Company believes a high-quality buying experience with knowledgeable salespersons who can convey the value of the Company’s products and services greatly enhances its ability to attract and retain customers. The Company sells many of its products and resells certain third-party products in most of its major markets directly 1 to consumers and businesses through its retail and online stores.
The Company has also invested in programs to enhance reseller sales, including the Apple Sales Consultant Program, which places Apple employees and contractors at selected third-party reseller locations, and the Apple Premium Reseller Program, through which independently run businesses focus on the Apple platform and provide a high level of customer service and product expertise. The Company believes providing direct contact with its targeted customers is an efficient way to demonstrate the advantages of its products over those of its competitors.
At the end of fiscal 2009, the Company had opened a total of 273 retail stores, including 217 stores in the U. S. and 56 stores internationally. The Company has typically located its stores at high-traffic locations in quality shopping malls and urban shopping districts. By operating its own stores and locating them in desirable hightraffic locations, the Company is better positioned to control the customer buying experience and attract new customers.
The stores are designed to simplify and enhance the presentation and marketing of the Company’s products and related solutions. To that end, retail store configurations have evolved into various sizes to accommodate market-specific demands. The stores employ experienced and knowledgeable personnel who provide product advice, service and training. The stores offer a wide selection of third-party hardware, software, and various other accessories and peripherals that complement the Company’s products.