As is customary for Apple each year, the company has filed its end of year report for its 2012 fiscal year, which – as any fanboy will know – ends in September, not December. Why? Because they’re special probably. Within the piles of paperwork and figures were a few key points regarding spending on research and development, employee and retail, as well as a mention on lawsuit costs.
The report doesn’t just focus on positives, it’s an honest report on the state of the business and what’s likely to change in the next year. As mentioned by Tim Cook in the earnings call a few days back, Apple expects its profit margins to diminish as its iPad mini is priced much lower than any of its other tablets. The company also expects that costs of components will rise as demand increases and availability gets tighter. Another negative impact is the money spent on patent litigation. Many of Apple’s devices use other companies’ wireless technologies to connect to cellular and wireless networks. These patents are sadly unavoidable. Cook also intends that Apple defends its own patents. Needless to say, this takes up a lot of time, energy and money.
But, it’s not all negative. The company grew massively on the retail front, opening up another 33 stores world wide, only 5 of those were in the States. Apple also now owns 17.3 million square feet of building space compared to 13.2 million last year. There are thousands more employees than 2011 too, with Cupertino adding an impressive 12,400 new members of staff. Research and development costs – as mentioned earlier – have risen from $2.4 billion to $3.4 billion in the last year. In fact in almost every area, Apple is growing and not showing any signs of slowing down. It’s not going anywhere any time soon.