The Quantum Leap in Retail

In fiscal 2013 there were 395 million visits to Apple retail stores. In 2012 there were 372 million.

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The difference is approximately the population of Australia. This was in addition to the population of the US and Canada already passing through. Although this is a fun way to think about total traffic, it does not reflect performance of the stores themselves since new stores are always being opened. 21 new stores in 2013, to be precise.

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The better benchmark should be the number of visitors per store.

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This shows that, except for seasonal peaks, the visitors per store per quarter has been a fairly steady 240k since mid-2010. What’s more, this rate was also remarkably steady at around 160k/store/quarter from 2007 to 2010.

So what caused this quantum jump1 in traffic? Continue reading “The Quantum Leap in Retail”

  1. “Quantum leap” is often used to mean “giant leap” but in the original usage it meant a specific, discrete jump []

How many iOS devices will be produced in the next 12 months?

Apple’s capital expenditures for product tooling, manufacturing process equipment, corporate facilities and infrastructure has followed very closely their production of iOS devices. The pattern is shown in the graph below.

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Note that although reported expenditures did not match forecasts for 2012 and 2013, the differences nearly cancel each other.1 The company’s forecast for fiscal 2014 is shown as well.

The orange line shows iOS unit production2 with the scale on the right-side axis. Note the correlation with forecasts on CapEx. The relationship can be seen more clearly in the following scatter plot.

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I added the 2014 Forecast ($10.5 billion from the latest 10-K filing). If the relationship holds into next year then the iOS unit shipments should be between 250 million and 285 million.3.

  1. I suspect that the difference might be caused by a payment being brought forward in 2012. []
  2. Technically, shipments []
  3. The equation for the trend line shown suggests 285,908,000 units []