Apple 10-K: R&D spending up to $3.4bn, increased retail focus

Apple's latest 10-K filing on its state of the business reveals some interesting facts, figures and numbers of the company's 2012 fiscal year.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Apple late last night filed its 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the 2012 fiscal year. 

The Cupertino, CA.-based technology giant's form, a requirement by the U.S. government, sheds some light on interesting figures previously unknown about the company. Shrouded in secrecy, 10-K's often give a previously unseen glimpse into the inner workings of a company. 

Here's what you need to know:

Apple has spent $3.4 billion on research and development (R&D) in 2012, an increase of $1 billion in the past year alone.

The Company continues to develop new technologies to enhance existing products and to expand the range of its product offerings through research and development, licensing of intellectual property and acquisition of third-party businesses and technology. Total research and development expense was $3.4 billion, $2.4 billion, and $1.8 billion in 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively.

By comparison, Google's R&D spending increased by 36 percent from 2010, rising to $5.2 billion in 2011. Microsoft spent almost three-times that what Apple did in 2012, spending $9.8 billion in 2012, an increase of 8 percent on 2011. 

While Apple is a hardware and software (and becoming, arguably, an infrastructure company with its range of cloud-based services) the company doesn't spend nearly as much on its research efforts compared to its nearest rivals and technology counterparts. 

Also, Apple accounts for 118,500 employees globally. Around 35 percent of its entire staff base work in Apple Retail Stores.

As of September 29, 2012, the Company had approximately 72,800 full-time equivalent employees and an additional 3,300 full-time equivalent temporary employees and contractors. Approximately 42,400 of the total full-time equivalent employees worked in the Company’s Retail segment.

Apple's stores around the world account for 12 percent of the firm's net sales, a decrease from 13 percent and 15 percent in 2011 and 2010 respectively.

The technology giant said it would open another 30-35 retail stores in 2013, a significant increase on previous years, and coincides with the departure of Apple retail boss John Browett -- who isn't mentioned in the filing -- after poor performance and a failure to expand to crucial markets, notably China. The country accounts for about 15 percent of the firm's revenue, according to a recent earnings call.

The Company opened 33 new retail stores during 2012, 28 of which were outside the U.S., ending the year with 390 stores open compared to 357 stores at the end of 2011. As of September 29, 2012, the Company had a total of 250 U.S. retail stores and 140 international retail stores. With an average of 365 stores and 326 stores during 2012 and 2011, respectively, average revenue per store increased 19% to $51.5 million in 2012 compared to $43.3 million in 2011.

Apple currently has three data centers in the U.S.. The company started work on its $68 million Oregon data center earlier this earlier this month. 

As of September 29, 2012, the Company owned a manufacturing facility in Cork, Ireland that also housed a customer support call center and facilities in Elk Grove, California that included warehousing and distribution operations and a customer support call center. The Company also owned land in Austin, Texas where it will build office space and a customer support call center.

In addition, the Company owned facilities for research and development and corporate functions in Cupertino, California, including land for the future development of the Company's second corporate campus. The Company also owned data centers in Newark, California; Maiden, North Carolina; and Prineville, Oregon. Outside the U.S., the Company owned additional facilities for various purposes.

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