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Apple on MacBook Air, Jobs' plane, leases, R&D, NAND flash, more...

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Apple in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday discussed in detail some of the catalysts behind its industry-leading PC growth, expenditures for Steve Jobs' private aircraft, rising real estate and R&D costs, and its budget for impending capital asset purchases.

Mac sales

A 51 percent, or 772,000 unit, yearly rise in Mac unit sales for the second fiscal quarter ended March 29th was driven primarily by sales of the new MacBook Air, introduced in January, and the iMac, which was updated last August, the company said. Dollar wise, Mac sales increased $1.2 billion or 54 percent during the second quarter and increased $2.4 billion or 51 percent during the first six months of fiscal 2008 compared to the same periods in 2007.

In particular, notebooks had a standout showing with revenues and unit sales rising 58 percent and 61 percent, respectively, during the second quarter of 2008, and increasing 49 percent each during the first six months of fiscal 2008. Performance of the companys desktop systems was also strong, with increased revenues and unit sales of 48 percent and 37 percent, respectively, during the second quarter, and 53 percent and 45 percent, respectively, during the first six months of 2008.

Net revenue from each Mac unit sold increased by 2 percent for the second quarter and first six months of 2008 due primarily to a shift on the part of consumers to higher-priced notebook systems, particularly the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

iTunes and WiFi router sales also up

Meanwhile, the Cupertino-based company attributed a $228 million or 35 percent second quarter rise in net sales of "music related products and services" at its iTunes Store to "heightened consumer interest in downloading third-party digital content, as well as the expansion of third-party audio and video content."

A good number of consumers are also going wireless, or upgrading their wireless networks, with Apple's new AirPort Express, Extreme, and Time Capsule products. The company said sales of the routers were the primary driver behind a $103 million or 33 percent second quarter increase in sales of "peripherals and other hardware." Revenues from wireless networking products also helped boost the product category $188 million or 31 percent during the first six months of 2008 compared to the same periods in 2007.

Costs related to Jobs' private plane

In 2000, shortly after Steve Jobs returned to Apple, the company awarded him a $43.5 million Turbo-Jet engine aircraft, named N2N, and entered into a reimbursement agreement for all expenses incurred during use of the private plane for official Apple business.

In the filing release Thursday, the company said it recognized a total of $30,000 and $580,000 in expenses pursuant to that reimbursement agreement during the three and six-month periods ended March*29, 2008, respectively, and $359,000 and $563,000 in expenses during the three and six-month periods ended March*31, 2007, respectively.

Steve Jobs' Turbo-Jet engine Gulfstream V dubbed "N2N"

A Morgan Stanley report from February had suggested that the more than half a million in costs related to usage of the' jet for the three month period ending December was a sign that the chief executive was working feverishly on international iPhone releases and new products. By comparison, the $30,000 spent thus far this year suggests Jobs has since traveled very little. Then again, it's been reported that bigwigs have recently been the ones doing the trekking to make his acquaintance, and not the other way around.

Real estate, retail, and capital asset purchases

Apple leases various equipment and facilities, including retail space, under noncancelable operating lease arrangements, of which major facility leases are usually for terms of 3 to 15 years and generally provide renewal options for terms of 3 to 7 additional years. Leases for retail space are generally for terms of 5 to 20 years, the majority of which are for 10 years, and often contain multi-year renewal options.

As of September*29, 2007, the company's total future minimum lease payments under noncancelable operating leases were $1.4 billion, of which $1.1 billion related to leases for retail space. As of March*29, 2008, total future minimum lease payments related to leases for retail space increased $192 million to $1.3 billion, and Apple Retail as a whole employed approximately 12,000 full-time equivalent employees.

Apple's cash payments for capital asset purchases were $384 million during the first six months of fiscal 2008, consisting of approximately $138 million for retail store facilities and $246 million for corporate infrastructure, including information systems enhancements.

Going forward, the company said it anticipates spending $1.25 billion for capital asset purchases during 2008, including approximately $400 million for expansion of its retail segment, and approximately $850 million to support normal replacement of existing capital assets, including manufacturing related equipment and enhancements to general information technology infrastructure.

R&D spending and head-count

Meanwhile, expenditures for R&D increased 49 percent or $90 million to $273 million in the second fiscal quarter of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007, and increased 41 percent or $152 million to $519 million during the first six months of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007.

Apple said the increases were due primarily to a rise in R&D head-count for the current year to support expanded R&D activities and higher stock-based compensation expenses. In addition, R&D expense for the first half of 2007 excluded $27 million of capitalized software development costs related to Mac OS X Leopard and iPhone. No software development costs were capitalized in 2008.

"Although total R&D expense increased 49 percent, it remained relatively flat as a percentage of net sales given the 43 percent and 38 percent increases in revenue in the second quarter and first six months of 2008 compared to the same periods in 2007," the company noted. "[Apple] continues to believe that focused investments in R&D are critical to its future growth and competitive position in the marketplace and are directly related to timely development of new and enhanced products that are central to the Companys core business strategy. As such, the Company expects to make further investments in R&D to remain competitive."

Component concerns and long-term NAND flash contracts

Although most components essential to Apple's business are generally available from multiple sources, certain key components including, but not limited to, microprocessors, enclosures, certain liquid crystal displays (LCDs), certain optical drives, and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) are currently obtained from single or limited sources, the company said, which could pose supply and pricing risks.

At the same time, those components that are available from multiple sources including, but not limited to, NAND flash memory, dynamic random access memory (DRAM), and certain LCDs, are at times subject to industry-wide shortages and significant commodity pricing fluctuations.

In 2006, Apple entered into long-term supply agreements with Hynix Semiconductor, Inc., Intel Corporation, Micron Technology, Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., and Toshiba Corporation to secure supply of NAND flash memory through calendar year 2010. As part of these agreements, the company prepaid $1.25 billion for flash memory components during 2006, which are to be applied to certain inventory purchases made over the life of each respective agreement.

As of March*29, Apple said it had utilized only $326 million of the prepayment, leaving it with $924 million worth of prepaid NAND flash for iPhones, iPods, and Macs over the next 33 months.
post #2 of 50
Quote:
A Morgan Stanley report from February had suggested that the more than half a billion in expenditures related to usage of Jobs' jet for the three month period ending December

Half a billion?! That's $500 million! Previously in the article, it mentions $500,000 for the same period. So which is it?
post #3 of 50
"A Morgan Stanley report from February had suggested that the more than half a billion in expenditures related to usage of Jobs' jet for the three month period ending December was a sign that..."

Half a BILLION? That's one inefficient jet.
post #4 of 50
It's half a billion. As of June, iPhones will be able to access 3G wireless internet from the moon.
post #5 of 50
Nice performance on the portable front. A strategic segmentation of the market allowed Apple to identify a target market and hence development of the MacBook Air. Apple's marketing department is one of the most valuable contributors to the company.
post #6 of 50
I think the Gulfstream would look great with an Apple logo on the tail!!!
post #7 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

"A Morgan Stanley report from February had suggested that the more than half a billion in expenditures related to usage of Jobs' jet for the three month period ending December was a sign that..."

Half a BILLION? That's one inefficient jet.

MILLION.

Corrected.

Thanks =P

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post #8 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by amac4me View Post

Nice performance on the portable front. A strategic segmentation of the market allowed Apple to identify a target market and hence development of the MacBook Air. Apple's marketing department is one of the most valuable contributors to the company.

I knew the MBA would be a hit, but I wouldn't have thought the niche machine would would be primary driver of sales.
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post #9 of 50
I wonder how much of a bonus for Apple's margins this prepaid memory amounts to.

If they took the accounting hit in 2006 for the purchase, then 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 manufacturing costs on paper for devices using these components will be less the cost of this prepaid amount.

Would this not make the margins on these products look better on paper than they really are?
post #10 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I knew the MBA would be a hit, but I wouldn't have thought the niche machine would would be primary driver of sales.

I've been with you on this (even gave away a few as gifts when they came out and turned a lot of people onto them). Nice to see some numbers... nevertheless, there are still going to be the vociferous "hate MBA" club which will continue to say that "if only it were under $1000, if only it were faster, it's never going to sell." Weird. Not that they predicted doom and gloom (when it came out, it was anyone's guess, and who knows if it will sustain), but that they hated it so very much as if it were a personal offense to them. Weird. Nice it's doing well; hope it continues.
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post #11 of 50
I don't think the Mac Book Air sold in huge numbers. What it did do was get people in the door and check out Apple's notebooks. Once they check out all three most go for the MacBook or the MacBook Pro. There was also some pent up demand from a small segment of the market that wanted a sub-notebook from Apple. Going forward the Air will attract customers but not translate into significant sales.
post #12 of 50
"I don't think the MacBook Air sold that well"

I disagree. Since its introduction, it has been at the top of the Mac Products list on Apple's web site. It also has consistently been in the top ten list of laptop sales at Amazon.com. You can argue
that going forward sales may not be as strong as the past few introductory months have been, but
sales these past few months have been stellar.
post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzaslove View Post

Nice to see some numbers... nevertheless, there are still going to be the vociferous "hate MBA" club which will continue to say that "if only it were under $1000, if only it were faster, it's never going to sell."

It looks like Apple predicted the market trend better then did... again. Perhaps there is something to spending money on researching and analyzing trends.

Unfortunately, the haters are just going to change their story from "it won't sell" to "the average consumer is a stupid, sheep willing to buy whatever Apple tell them."

BTW, those are some very generous gifts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nothowie View Post

I disagree. Since its introduction, it has been at the top of the Mac Products list on Apple's web site. It also has consistently been in the top ten list of laptop sales at Amazon.com. You can argue that going forward sales may not be as strong as the past few introductory months have been, but sales these past few months have been stellar.

There are currently 5 out of the top 10 notebooks are from Apple, with the MBA at #7. Four of the other spots are occupied by Eee PCs under $400. Spot #2 is an HP Pavilion that looks to be a really good deal at $900 down from $1800.

As you say, if the novelty of the MBA were to wear off it would have done so by now.
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post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I knew the MBA would be a hit, but I wouldn't have thought the niche machine would would be primary driver of sales.

I think the MB Air is a very sexy notebook, but a hit?... well, we won't know that until we get results past the introductory quarter.

I think almost anything Apple sells will do well at launch these days. The trick is to have strong long-term sales. The MB Air may end up falling into that category, but I'm not willing to place bets yet.


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post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Unfortunately, the haters are just going to change their story from "it won't sell" to "the average consumer is a stupid, sheep willing to buy whatever Apple tell them."

Ha! You're right on that call! Still, I think that Apple has a wonderful set of choices at the moment (and everything can be improved so everyone out there: no headless Mac vocalizations, please). I've been telling everyone I know that're on the cusp about the new top-of-the-line iMac -- great deal. Really fantastic.

I think Apple's slow-and-steady introductions and updates in their lines makes for a sea change in people's buying habits. In an overly-used but I'm going to use it anyways baseball analogy: lots of singles and doubles win games; going for the home run isn't always the best way. Apple seems to slowly evolve their lines, effecting change in "niche" areas, and if any of them blossom big time, they capitalize on that in so many ways. Very effective methodology in my opinion.
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post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I knew the MBA would be a hit, but I wouldn't have thought the niche machine would would be primary driver of sales.

I think the MB Air is a very sexy notebook, but a hit?... well, we won't know that until we get results past the introductory quarter.

I think almost anything Apple sells will do well at launch these days. The trick is to have strong long-term sales. The MB Air may end up falling into that category, but I'm not willing to place bets yet. Yep, even with Amazon sales being good right now.


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post #17 of 50
Wow... what's with the "Edit Post" madness that AI is undergoing? Hit 'edit', and wackiness ensues.



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post #18 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

I think the MB Air is a very sexy notebook, but a hit?... well, we won't know that until we get results past the introductory quarter.

I think almost anything Apple sells will do well at launch these days. The trick is to have strong long-term sales. The MB Air may end up falling into that category, but I'm not willing to place bets yet.

I think it will with the 22mm chipsets becoming standard and the cost of SSD coming down while capacity increases. And if sales do fall below what Apple wants the price will also fall to compensate.

But I don't think we'll see a price drop anytime soon. I do hope that we see a increased battery life and an UMTS card (that doesn't get rid of 802.11 and BT in the process).
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post #19 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzaslove View Post

In an overly-used but I'm going to use it anyways baseball analogy:

At least it's not a car analogy.

[QUOTE=TBaggins;1246577]Wow... what's with the "Edit Post" madness that AI is undergoing? Hit 'edit', and wackiness ensues./QUOTE]
I abuse the edit button, so this is particularly rough on me.
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post #20 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think it will with the 22mm chipsets becoming standard and the cost of SSD coming down while capacity increases. And if sales do fall below what Apple wants the price will also fall to compensate.

But I don't think we'll see a price drop anytime soon. I do hope that we see a increased battery life and an UMTS card (that doesn't get rid of 802.11 and BT in the process).


All good stuff. I'd like to see the footprint reduced too, while retaining the full-size keyboard and most or all of the screen size. A bit of 'trimming around the bezel", as it were.


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post #21 of 50
Besides spellchecking the old adage of proofreading is always welcomed.
post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

All good stuff. I'd like to see the footprint reduced too, while retaining the full-size keyboard and most or all of the screen size. A bit of 'trimming around the bezel", as it were.

Unless Apple uses new materials I don't see the footprint being reduced I don't think that will happen. The main issue I see with reducing the footprint is structural integrity. The MBA is quite rugged for it's size and weight, even compared to other Macs. Most other notebooks don't even come close.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Besides spellchecking the old adage of proofreading is always welcomed.

I admit it's complete laziness on my part. Perhaps this is National Proofreading Day. Damn you Kasper!
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post #23 of 50
You know what I don't get?

He is STEVE JOBS! How the heck does he have such a drab paint job on his jet? He should at least have some cool tail art, something inspiring, or at the very least an Apple logo!

It just boggles my mind that Jobs has a such a drab-looking jet. Gods, if I could afford my own jet I'd definitely want it more interesting looking than that!
post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Unless Apple uses new materials I don't see the footprint being reduced I don't think that will happen. The main issue I see with reducing the footprint is structural integrity. The MBA is quite rugged for it's size and weight, even compared to other Macs. Most other notebooks don't even come close.

I dunno, we'll see. *shrug*

I seem to remember reading rumors that the next MB Air will indeed have a smaller footprint, but the batting average of such things is of course never solid, unless we're talking a few days before an actual release.


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post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

You know what I don't get?

He is STEVE JOBS! How the heck does he have such a drab paint job on his jet? He should at least have some cool tail art, something inspiring, or at the very least an Apple logo!

It just boggles my mind that Jobs has a such a drab-looking jet. Gods, if I could afford my own jet I'd definitely want it more interesting looking than that!

If I had a Gulf Stream and was world famous I would keep the outside as plain as possible as to not to attract attention. It's the interior that I'd make my own. After all, that is where I'll be spending all my time.
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post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If I had a Gulf Stream and was world famous I would keep the outside as plain as possible as to not to attract attention. It's the interior that I'd make my own. After all, that is where I'll be spending all my time.

And you don't think Steve dances on the wings enroute?
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If I had a Gulf Stream and was world famous I would keep the outside as plain as possible as to not to attract attention. It's the interior that I'd make my own. After all, that is where I'll be spending all my time.


Not me. I'd be out on the wing, doing the macarena at 500 knots.

j/k




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post #28 of 50
Holy cats, David Stevenson! Great minds think alike. *air five*


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post #29 of 50
I like the look of the Gulfstream - understated, white, clean lines, handsome in a quiet way. Kind of like the white iMac.
post #30 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think it will with the 22mm chipsets becoming standard and the cost of SSD coming down while capacity increases. And if sales do fall below what Apple wants the price will also fall to compensate.

But I don't think we'll see a price drop anytime soon. I do hope that we see a increased battery life and an UMTS card (that doesn't get rid of 802.11 and BT in the process).

Wow! 22mm chipsets, I didn't know they were going to such a large line size. The chip must be the size of a dining table.

Ha. Really got you here.

You can't even edit it out.
post #31 of 50
See, even I got caught.

It should have been football field!
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Wow! 22mm chipsets, I didn't know they were going to such a large line size. The chip must be the size of a dining table.

Ha. Really got you here.

You can't even edit it out.

I meant the package. This lack of editing is nerve-wraking.
http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=3201&p=2
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post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I knew the MBA would be a hit, but I wouldn't have thought the niche machine would would be primary driver of sales.

I'd really like to hear from the marketing geniuses who posted in this forum when the MBA hit the streets. As I recall they called it things like DOA, useless, "the next Cube", stupid, etc. Funny how we never hear from these guys when they have egg on their faces. Just asking.
post #34 of 50
Though I see in the Intel keynot image posted on the AnandTech page that the chipset can also come as 35mm^2. I hope someone cracks open these iMacs soon. I'm dying to know what is inside.
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post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

I'd really like to hear from the marketing geniuses who posted in this forum when the MBA hit the streets. As I recall they called it things like DOA, useless, "the next Cube", stupid, etc. Funny how we never hear from these guys when they have egg on their faces. Just asking.

There will be a few who think it's POS and still post about it from time to time, but I think they are thinking from their POV, not the market as a whole.

January was a rough month for the AI regulars. So many negative comments in so little time. I think most of them were new posters who no longer frequent the forum.
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post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzaslove View Post

I've been with you on this (even gave away a few as gifts when they came out and turned a lot of people onto them).

Wow! I want to be your friend!

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There will be a few who think it's POS and still post about it from time to time, but I think they are thinking from their POV, not the market as a whole.

January was a rough month for the AI regulars. So many negative comments in so little time. I think most of them were new posters who no longer frequent the forum.

I think it is the usual story with the haters who post negative stuff, once they get shown up, its on to somewhere else to spread the joy.

As for me, I was fairly ambivalent about the MBA until I went in and saw it last week. Yes, it has taken THIS LONG for it to come to small town New Zealand (don't get me started on that one), but once I saw it in person and picked it up... wow that thing is electronic sex I tell you. What a piece of engineering! I am dreaming of getting one after it hits Rev B.
Anyone want to take a punt when that is coming?
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post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostkiwi View Post

Wow! I want to be your friend!



I think it is the usual story with the haters who post negative stuff, once they get shown up, its on to somewhere else to spread the joy.

As for me, I was fairly ambivalent about the MBA until I went in and saw it last week. Yes, it has taken THIS LONG for it to come to small town New Zealand (don't get me started on that one), but once I saw it in person and picked it up... wow that thing is electronic sex I tell you. What a piece of engineering! I am dreaming of getting one after it hits Rev B.
Anyone want to take a punt when that is coming?

And I was just listening to a bunch of Tall Dwarfs as I read this....

Yeah, once you actually use one, you can't help but like it. It may not fit some people's needs, but the anger and hate were way off the scale for no reason. I'm hoping a Rev. B comes out later this year so I can pick one up when I take some time to travel and finish a novel. It'll be perfect for that.
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post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzaslove View Post

when I take some time to travel and finish a novel.

Yeah, I'm a slow reader too.
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post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Yeah, I'm a slow reader too.


Ha! I walked right into that one.
"I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused."
Macbook Pro 2.2
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"I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused."
Macbook Pro 2.2
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post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

I don't think the Mac Book Air sold in huge numbers. What it did do was get people in the door and check out Apple's notebooks. Once they check out all three most go for the MacBook or the MacBook Pro. There was also some pent up demand from a small segment of the market that wanted a sub-notebook from Apple. Going forward the Air will attract customers but not translate into significant sales.

They also dragged people like me into the store. I went to go see the MBA at the local store (I already own a MBP, not thinking of a new comp, just wanted to see). I left with a wireless keyboard.

Basically, the more people in the store, for whatever reason, the more sales. It's way too hard to go in there and not buy something. Darn sexy NYC stores...
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