updated 12:54 am EDT, Tue October 29, 2013
Declining PC market, competitive mobile environment hurt margins
Apple had another record-breaking year overall in fiscal 2013, which for the iPhone maker ended on September 30 -- but all was not perfectly rosy in Cupertino. While the company reached new highs in overall revenue -- some $15 billion more than in 2012 -- profits were noticeably down, mostly due to the declining PC market as well as the more-competitive mobile market. Apple made $35 billion in profits on $170.9 billion of income compared to $41.7 billion on $156.5 billion last year.
The company opted for growth rather than profit in 2013, cutting margins rather than using cheaper parts (to the surprise of many) with the iPhone 5c and selling the iPad mini at lower-than-normal markups. Another record smashed was the overall 2013 total of 71 million iPads sold, up from 58.31 million in 2012. Since their introduction in 2010, over 169.2 million iPads have been sold.
The iPhone was also up, again about 25 million more than 2012 for a total of 150 million for 2013 and over 421 million smartphones overall. Mac sales and iPod sales, however, were down -- though the Mac sales were more affected by the worldwide slump in desktop and notebook PCs (16.34 million Macs compared to 18.5 million a year ago).
The mature iPod market that provided the most dramatic drop in Apple's fiscal 2013 sales -- down to 26.4 million iPods from 35.16 million in 2012. While the falling Mac numbers are cause for some concern, the drop is less than the overall sales decline of the PC industry as a whole. Apple is also planning only 30 new retail stores in 2014, with 20 of them opening overseas. This is down three stores from last year, though Apple is planning to renovate a number of existing stores, mostly in the US, this year.