Just a week after the much balleyhooed launch of Apple Pay, Apple quietly filed its annual report on Monday (Oct. 27) — and not everything is looking quite as healthy as the new mobile payment system, according to VentureBeat.
Some troubles were expected, including an overall decline in iPad net sales and unit sales (although Apple said sales of its tablets did increase in greater China and Japan) and a drop in sales of iTunes music downloads.
But a bigger potential concern is Apple’s chain of retail stores, where total sales are essentially flat. Apples Stores had sales of $4.6 billion in fiscal 2014, up from $4 billion in 2013 but the same as the $4.6 billion posted in 2012. Even more troubling: During that flat-revenue period, the number of Apple stores rose to 424 from 365, a 16 percent increase in store count over the past two years. That means average revenue per store fell to $50.6 million in 2014 from $51.5 million in 2012.
However, Apple still has higher sales per square foot of retail space than virtually any other retailer.
While its retail segment may have leveled off, Apple has plenty of other growth, according to the filing: The company has increased its full-time headcount by more than 13,000 in the past year (to 93,600 from 80,300 last year), doubled the number of temps and contractors since 2013, more than doubled R&D spending has more than doubled since 2011 (to $6 billion from $2.4 billion) and nearly doubled its spending on acquisitions (to $957 million from $496 million) — and that’s not counting the $3 billion Apple spent for Beats.