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AAPL > SEC Filings for AAPL > Form 10-Q on 5-Aug-2004All Recent SEC Filings

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Quarterly Report

Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

This section and other parts of this Form 10-Q contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as "anticipates," "expects," "believes," "plans," "predicts," and similar terms. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and the Company's actual results may differ significantly from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed in the subsection entitled "Factors That May Affect Future Results and Financial Condition" below. The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the 2003 Form 10-K and the condensed consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this Form 10-Q. All information is based on the Company's fiscal calendar. Unless otherwise stated, references in this report to particular years or quarters refer to the Company's fiscal years ended in September and the associated quarters of those fiscal years. The Company assumes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements for any reason, except as required by law.

Available Information

The Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to reports filed pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are available on its website at when such reports are available on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) website. The public may read and copy any materials filed by the Company with the SEC at the SEC's Public Reference Room at 450 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20549. The public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at The contents of these websites are not incorporated into this filing. Further, the Company's references to the URLs for these websites are intended to be inactive textual references only.

Executive Overview

Apple designs, manufactures and markets personal computers and related software and services, peripherals and personal computing and communicating solutions. The Company sells its products worldwide through its online stores, direct sales force, third-party wholesalers and resellers, and its own retail stores. The Company's products and services include the Macintosh line of desktop and notebook computers, the Mac OS X operating system, the iPod digital music player, the iTunes Music Store and digital music management software, and a portfolio of other software products, peripherals and services for education, creative, consumer and business customers. A further description of the Company's products may be found below and in Part I, Item 1 of the 2003 Form 10-K under the heading "Business."

The Company competes in several highly competitive markets including the personal computer industry with its Macintosh line of computers and related software, the consumer electronics industry with products such as the iPod, and digital music distribution through its iTunes Music Store. The Company continually faces both aggressive pricing practices as well as the emergence of new competitors in these markets. In an effort to remain competitive in these markets, the Company intends to continue focusing on creating innovative products and services aligned with its digital hub strategy, whereby the Macintosh functions as the digital hub for digital devices including the iPod, personal digital assistants, cellular phones, digital video and still cameras, and other electronic devices. The Company is also concentrating on expanding and improving its distribution capabilities by opening its own retail stores, both domestically and internationally, in high traffic quality shopping venues; staffing selected resellers' stores with Company employees; entering into strategic alliances with other companies to brand and sell the Company's products and services; increasing the accessibility of iPods through various resellers that do not currently sell Macintosh systems; and increasing the reach of its online stores.

Critical Accounting Estimates

The preparation of financial statements and related disclosures in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles and the Company's discussion and analysis of its financial condition and results of operations requires the Company's management to make judgments, assumptions, and estimates that affect the amounts reported in its consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. Note 1 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in the Company's 2003 Form 10-K describes the significant accounting policies and methods used in the preparation of the Company's consolidated financial statements. Management bases its estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that it believes to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of

which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities. Actual results may differ from these estimates.

Management believes the Company's critical accounting estimates are those related to revenue recognition, allowance for doubtful accounts, inventory valuation and exposures related to inventory purchase commitments, valuation of long-lived assets including acquired intangibles, warranty costs, and income taxes. Management believes these policies to be critical because they are both important to the portrayal of the Company's financial condition and results, and they require management to make judgments and estimates about matters that are inherently uncertain.

Revenue Recognition

Net sales consist primarily of revenue from the sale of products (i.e., hardware, software, and peripherals), and extended warranty and support contracts. The Company recognizes revenue pursuant to applicable accounting standards, including Statement of Position (SOP) No. 97-2, Software Revenue Recognition, as amended, and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Staff Accounting Bulletin (SAB) No. 104, Revenue Recognition.

The Company recognizes revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery has occurred, the sales price is fixed or determinable, and collection is probable. Product is considered delivered to the customer once it has been shipped, and title and risk of loss have been transferred. For most of the Company's product sales, these criteria are met at the time the product is shipped. For online sales to individuals, for some sales to education customers in the United States, and for certain other sales, the Company defers revenue until the customer receives the product because the Company legally retains a portion of the risk of loss on these sales during transit. If at the outset of an arrangement the Company determines the arrangement fee is not, or is presumed not to be, fixed and determinable, revenue is deferred and subsequently recognized as amounts become due and payable.

The Company records reductions to revenue for estimated commitments related to price protection and for customer incentive programs, including reseller and end-user rebates, and other sales programs and volume-based incentives. The estimated cost of these programs is accrued as a reduction to revenue in the period the Company has sold the product and committed to a plan. The Company also records reductions to revenue for expected future product returns based on the Company's historical experience. Future market conditions and product transitions may require the Company to increase customer incentive programs and incur incremental price protection obligations that could result in additional reductions of revenue at the time such programs are offered. Additionally, certain customer incentive programs require management to estimate the number of customers who will actually redeem the incentive based on historical experience and the specific terms and conditions of particular incentive programs. If a greater than estimated proportion of customers redeem such incentives, the Company would be required to record additional reductions to revenue, which could have a material adverse impact on the Company's results of operations.

Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

The Company distributes its products through third-party resellers and directly to certain education, consumer, and commercial customers. The Company generally does not require collateral from its customers. However, when possible the Company does attempt to limit credit risk on trade receivables with credit insurance for certain customers in Latin America, Europe and Asia and by arranging with third-party financing companies to provide flooring arrangements and other loan and lease programs to the Company's direct customers. These credit-financing arrangements are directly between the third-party financing company and the end customer. As such, the Company generally does not assume any recourse or credit risk sharing related to any of these arrangements. However, considerable trade receivables that are not covered by collateral, third-party flooring arrangements, or credit insurance are outstanding with the Company's distribution and retail channel partners.

The allowance for doubtful accounts is based on management's assessment of the collectibility of specific customer accounts and includes consideration of the credit worthiness and financial condition of those specific customers. The Company records an allowance to reduce the specific receivables to the amount that is reasonably believed to be collectible. The Company also records an allowance for all other trade receivables based on multiple factors including historical experience with bad debts, the general economic environment, the financial condition of the Company's distribution channels, and the aging of such receivables. If there is a deterioration of a major customer's financial condition, if the Company becomes aware of additional information related to the credit worthiness of a major customer, or if future actual default rates on trade receivables in general differ from those currently

anticipated, the Company may have to adjust its allowance for doubtful accounts, which would affect earnings in the period the adjustments are made.

Inventory Valuation and Inventory Purchase Commitments

The Company must order components for its products and build inventory in advance of product shipments. The Company records a write-down for inventories of components and products, including third-party products held for resale, which have become obsolete or are in excess of anticipated demand or net realizable value. The Company performs a detailed review of inventory each period that considers multiple factors including demand forecasts, product lifecycle status, product development plans, current sales levels, and component cost trends. The personal computer industry is subject to a rapid and unpredictable pace of product and component obsolescence and demand changes. If future demand or market conditions for the Company's products are less favorable than forecasted or if unforeseen technological changes negatively impact the utility of component inventory, the Company may be required to record additional write-downs which would negatively affect gross margins in the period when the write-downs are recorded.

The Company accrues necessary reserves for cancellation fees related to component orders that have been cancelled. Consistent with industry practice, the Company acquires components through a combination of formal purchase orders, supplier contracts, and open orders based on projected demand information. These commitments typically cover the Company's requirements for periods ranging from 30 to 130 days. If there is an abrupt and substantial decline in demand for one or more of the Company's products or an unanticipated change in technological requirements for any of the Company's products, the Company may be required to record additional reserves for cancellation fees that would negatively affect gross margins in the period when the cancellation fees are identified.

Valuation of Long-Lived Assets Including Acquired Intangibles

The Company reviews property, plant, and equipment and certain identifiable intangible assets for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying amount of such an asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability of these assets is measured by comparison of their carrying amount to future undiscounted cash flows the assets are expected to generate. If such assets are considered to be impaired, the impairment to be recognized in earnings equals the amount by which the carrying value of the assets exceeds their fair market value. Although the Company has recognized no material impairment adjustments related to its property, plant, and equipment or identifiable intangibles during the past three fiscal years, except those made in conjunction with restructuring actions, deterioration in the Company's business in a geographic region or business segment in the future, including deterioration in the performance of individual retail stores, could lead to such impairment adjustments in future periods in which such business issues are identified.

In accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 142, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets, the Company performs a review of goodwill for impairment annually, or earlier if indicators of potential impairment exist. The review of goodwill for potential impairment is highly subjective and requires that: (1) goodwill be allocated to various reporting units of the Company's business to which it relates; (2) the Company estimate the fair value of those reporting units to which the goodwill relates; and (3) the Company determine the book value of those reporting units. If the estimated fair value of reporting units with allocated goodwill is determined to be less than their book value, the Company is required to estimate the fair value of all identifiable assets and liabilities of those reporting units in a manner similar to a purchase price allocation for an acquired business. This requires independent valuation of certain internally developed and unrecognized assets including in-process research and development and developed technology. Once this process is complete, the amount of goodwill impairment, if any, can be determined.

Based on the Company's estimates as of June 26, 2004 there was no impairment of goodwill. However, changes in various circumstances including changes in the Company's market capitalization, changes in the Company's forecasts, and changes in the Company's internal business structure could cause one or more of the Company's reporting units to be valued differently thereby causing an impairment of goodwill. Additionally, in response to changes in the personal computer industry and changes in global or regional economic conditions, the Company may strategically realign its resources and consider restructuring, disposing, or otherwise exiting businesses, which could result in an impairment of property, plant, and equipment, identifiable intangibles, or goodwill.

Warranty Costs

The Company provides currently for the estimated cost for product warranties at the time the related revenue is recognized based on the size of the installed base of products subject to warranty protection, historical and projected warranty claim rates, historical and projected cost-per-claim, and knowledge of specific product failures that are outside of the Company's typical experience. Each quarter, the Company reevaluates its estimates to assess the

adequacy of its recorded warranty liabilities and adjusts the amounts as necessary. If actual product failure rates or repair costs differ from estimates, revisions to the estimated warranty liability would be required and could negatively affect the Company's results of operations.

Income Taxes

The Company records a tax provision for the anticipated tax consequences of the reported results of operations. In accordance with SFAS No. 109, Accounting for Income Taxes, the provision for income taxes is computed using the asset and liability method, under which deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the expected future tax consequences of temporary differences between the financial reporting and tax bases of assets and liabilities, and for operating losses and tax credit carryforwards. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using the currently enacted tax rates that apply to taxable income in effect for the years in which those tax assets are expected to be realized or settled. The Company records a valuation allowance to reduce deferred tax assets to the amount that is believed more likely than not to be realized.

Management believes it is more likely than not that forecasted income, including income that may be generated as a result of certain tax planning strategies, together with the tax effects of the deferred tax liabilities, will be sufficient to fully recover the remaining deferred tax assets. In the event that all or part of the net deferred tax assets are determined not to be realizable in the future, an adjustment to the valuation allowance would be charged to earnings in the period such determination is made. Similarly, if the Company subsequently realizes deferred tax assets that were previously determined to be unrealizable, the respective valuation allowance would be reversed, resulting in a positive adjustment to earnings or a decrease in goodwill in the period such determination is made. In addition, the calculation of tax liabilities involves significant judgment in estimating the impact of uncertainties in the application of complex tax laws. Resolution of these uncertainties in a manner inconsistent with management's expectations could have a material impact on the Company's results of operations and financial position.

Hardware Products Update

The Company offers a range of personal computing products including desktop and notebook personal computers, related devices and peripherals, networking and connectivity products, and various third-party hardware products. All of the Company's Macintosh® products utilize PowerPC® RISC-based microprocessors. The Company's entire line of Macintosh systems, excluding servers, features the Company's suite of software for digital photography, music, and movies. A discussion of the Company's products may be found in the 2003 Form 10-K. Certain newly introduced products and/or upgrades to existing products are discussed below.

Power Mac® G5

In June 2004, the Company updated its Power Mac® G5 desktop line. Powered by the PowerPC G5 processor, the Power Mac G5 utilizes 64-bit processing technology for memory expansion up to 8GB, and advanced 64-bit computation while running existing 32-bit applications natively. The top of the line Power Mac G5 now offers dual 2.5 GHz PowerPC G5 processors, each with an independent 1.25 GHz front-side bus for a bandwidth of up to 20 GBps. All Power Mac G5 systems ship with Mac OS® X version 10.3 "Panther." The Power Mac G5 line offers expansion with dual 1.5 Gbps serial ATA interfaces, PCI-X interface technology and AGP 8X Pro graphics. The Power Mac G5 comes with either the NVIDIA GeForceFX 5200 Ultra or the ATI Radeon 9600 XT graphics card; the ATI Radeon 9800 XT high-performance graphics card is available as a build-to-order option for 3D design, visualization and gaming. All Power Mac G5 desktops deliver connectivity and high-performance input/output (I/O), including Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire® 800 and FireWire 400 ports, three USB 2.0 ports, optical digital audio input and output, built-in support for 54 Mbps AirPort® Extreme wireless networking and an optional Bluetooth module.

PowerBook® G4

In April 2004, the Company updated its PowerBook® G4 notebooks with faster PowerPC G4 processors. Both the 15-inch and 17-inch PowerBook G4 now offer up to a 1.5 GHz PowerPC G4 processor and graphics performance with the ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics processor. The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 features a 1.33 GHz PowerPC processor, NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 graphics with 64MB of dedicated video memory and a larger 60GB Ultra ATA hard drive. Every new PowerBook G4 notebook comes with built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking and an internal Bluetooth module for wireless connectivity.

iBook® G4

In April 2004, the Company updated its iBook G4 lineup for consumers and education customers with faster PowerPC G4 processors running at up to 1.2 GHz and an optional SuperDrive™. The new 12-inch and 14-inch

iBooks include support for wireless connectivity with AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g wireless networking and Bluetooth, and a slot-load Combo drive. Each iBook offers ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 graphics with 32MB of dedicated DDR memory and AGP 4X support. All iBook models also offer I/O ports, including FireWire 400, USB 2.0 and a built-in 56K v.92 modem and Ethernet (10/100BASE-T).


In April 2004, the Company updated its eMac, which now has a suggested retail price starting at $799 and is available with a SuperDrive for a suggested retail price starting at $999. The new eMac offers faster PowerPC G4 processors running at up to 1.25 GHz, 333 MHz DDR memory, faster ATI Radeon graphics and USB 2.0 connectivity to peripherals.

Xserve® and Xserve RAID

Xserve, the Company's first rack-mount server product, was designed for simple setup and remote management of intensive I/O applications such as digital video, high-resolution digital imagery, and large databases. In January 2004, the Company announced Xserve G5, which is available with either a single or dual 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5 processor. Xserve G5 includes a new system controller with up to 8GB of PC3200 error correcting code (ECC) memory; three hot-plug Serial Advanced Technology Architecture (ATA) drive modules that deliver up to 750GB of storage; and dual on-board Gigabit Ethernet for high-performance networking. At the same time, the Company also introduced its new Xserve RAID storage system along with support for Windows and Linux-based computing environments. Designed with 14 independent ATA/100 drive channels and an industry standard 2GB Fibre Channel, Xserve RAID provides up to 3.5 terabytes of storage capacity and up to 336 MBps throughput.

Peripheral Products Update

The Company sells certain associated Apple-branded computer hardware peripherals, including iPod® digital music players, iSight™ digital video cameras, and a range of high quality flat panel TFT active-matrix digital color displays. The Company also sells a variety of third-party Macintosh compatible hardware products directly to end users through both its retail and online stores, including computer printers and printing supplies, storage devices, computer memory, digital video and still cameras, personal digital assistants, and various other computing products and supplies. A discussion of the Company's products may be found in the 2003 Form 10-K. Certain newly introduced products and/or upgrades to existing products are discussed below.


In July 2004, the Company introduced the new iPod®, the fourth generation of the Company's portable digital music player, featuring Apple's patent pending Click Wheel, which combines a touch-sensitive wheel with five push buttons for one handed navigation, and has up to 12 hours of battery life. The new iPod also features Shuffle Songs, which randomly plays songs in a selected playlist or across the entire library. All iPods work with Apple's iTunes® on either a Mac® or Windows computer. The new iPod is available in 20GB and 40GB models.

In January 2004, the Company introduced a new form factor with the iPod mini. Smaller and lighter than the original iPod model, the new iPod mini has storage capacity of 4GB and holds up to 1,000 songs, features Click Wheel and is encased in an anodized aluminum case available in a selection of five colors, including silver, gold, pink, blue or green. The iPod mini retains the same user interface as the original model and works seamlessly with the Company's iTunes Music Store® and the iTunes digital music management software for buying, managing and listening to digital music on either a Mac or Windows-based platform. The Company has also entered into a strategic alliance with Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), which provides for an HP-branded digital music player based on the iPod, the preinstallation of iTunes digital music management software on HP's consumer PCs and notebooks and access to the iTunes music store.

AirPort® Express

In June 2004, the Company introduced AirPort® Express, the first 802.11g mobile base station that can be plugged directly into the wall for wireless Internet connections and USB printing. Airport Express also features analog and digital audio outputs that can be connected to a stereo and AirTunes™music networking software which works with iTunes, giving users a way to wirelessly stream iTunes music on their Mac® or PC to any room in the house. AirPort Express features a single piece design weighing 6.7 ounces, and is available to Mac and PC users.

Cinema Displays

On June 28, 2004, the Company announced a new family of widescreen flat panel displays featuring the 30-inch Cinema HD display, a wide-format active-matrix LCD with 2560-by-1600 pixel resolution, which is expected to begin shipping in August 2004. Rounding out the new lineup are new 23-inch and 20-inch Cinema Displays, which began shipping immediately. The new displays feature dual FireWire® and dual USB 2.0 ports built into the display and use the industry standard DVI interface for a pure digital connection with the Company's latest Power Mac and PowerBook. The new Cinema Displays feature an aluminum design with a very thin bezel, suspended by an aluminum stand with an adjustable hinge.

Software Products and Computer Technologies Update

The Company offers a range of software products for education, creative, consumer and business customers, including Mac OS® X, the Company's proprietary operating system software for the Macintosh; server software and related solutions; professional application software; and consumer, education and business oriented application software. A discussion of the Company's products may be found in the 2003 Form 10-K. Certain newly introduced products and/or upgrades to existing products are discussed below.

Mac OS® X "Tiger"

On June 28, 2004, the Company previewed Mac OS X version 10.4 "Tiger," the fifth major version of Mac OS X that is expected to ship in the first half of calendar 2005. Tiger will contain 150 new features including Spotlight, a new way to instantly find any file, document or information created by any application on the Mac®; Safari™ RSS, a new version of Apple's web browser that incorporates instant access to Really Simple Syndication (RSS) data feeds on the web; Dashboard, a new way to instantly access "Widgets," a new collection of mini application accessories, including a datebook, stock ticker, calculator, address book and iTunes controller; and a new version of iChat instant messaging client with multi-person audio and video conferencing in a 3D interface.

Apple Remote Desktop™2

In June 2004, the Company introduced Apple Remote Desktop™ 2, the second generation of Apple's asset management, software distribution and help desk support software. Along with improvements in screen sharing performance, Apple . . .

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