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2019 Vault Rankings

At a Glance

Uppers

Working for a top brand that helps influence people's daily life

Working with the best and the brightest

Downers

Some employees say that promotion and finding a career path can be challenging

Negative press over supply chain issues in China and elsewhere

Demanding culture of perfectionism

The Bottom Line

You don't choose to work for Apple; the company chooses you-small wonder given that Apple is widely recognized as one of the most desirable companies in the world to work for.

About Apple Inc.

Ask Siri to name the most successful company in the world and it might respond: Apple. And it's not just out of familial pride. Apple consistently ranks highly in profit, revenue, market capitalization, and consumer cachet and it was the first to reach a trillion dollar market cap. The iPhone, in its 13th year, has been the company's golden goose, generating tens of billions in revenue and profit. Other Apple products and services include Mac computers and iPad tablets as well as the App Store, Apple Music, the Apple Watch, and other wearable devices. Apple has entered entertainment with the Apple TV+ streaming service. The company has inked alliances with corporations to deepen its penetration of the enterprise market. About 55% of Apple's revenue comes from outside the Americas.

Operations

Apple relies on the iPhone for 50% of sales, while its other hardware products, the Mac desktop and notebook computers and iPad tablets, account for 10% or less each. Services, which includes the App Store, iCloud, Apple Music, and Apple Pay mobile payment, is the second biggest revenue producer, 20% of revenue. The Wearables, Home and Accessories segment, which include the AppleWatch and HomePod, accounts for more than 10% of sales. 

Apple's hardware products are tightly integrated with the company's software, which helps its devices work smoothly, but in some ways limits its market reach and can frustrate users who would like to have access to more third-party products including hardware. The company's operating systems are iOS for mobile devices, MacOS for computers, Apple WatchOS for the watch, and iPadOS for the iPad. The company generally releases generational updates of its operating systems once a year. 

Apple outsources substantially all production to contractors located mainly in Asia, while some Mac components are made in the US and Ireland.

Geographic Reach

Apple, based on Cupertino, California, generates 45% of sales in the Americas, while Europe and Greater China contribute a quarter of revenue and about 15% of revenue, respectively. Japan also represents less than 10% of revenue. 

The company has facilities and land for corporate functions, R&D, data centers, retail and other purposes at locations throughout the US and in various places outside the US.

Sales and Marketing

The company sells its products and resells third-party products in most of its major markets directly to consumers, small and mid-sized businesses, and education, enterprise and government customers through its own retail stores and website, as well as through a direct sales force. The company also employs a variety of indirect distribution channels, such as third-party cellular network carriers, wholesalers, retailers and resellers. Direct and indirect channels accounted for about 35% and more than 65% of Apple's revenue, respectively.

Financial Performance

Apples net revenue has been stable for the last five years after experiencing an increase in all net sales category except for iPhone which dip to 3% 2020 as well as increase in reportable segments except in Greater China and Japan which fell for 8% and around 1% in the latest fiscal year. The weakness in foreign currencies relative to the US dollar had an unfavorable impact on Greater China net sales during 2020. Net income has also been stable and consistently climbing in the last five years except in 2019 which fell for about 7%.

Total net sales increased 6% or $14.3 billion during 2020 compared to 2019, primarily driven by higher net sales of Services and Wearables, Home and Accessories which increased by 25% from the previous year. 

The company's net income increased by $2.2 billion to $57.4 million in 2020. The increase was due to higher sales and lower provision for income taxes. 

Cash held by the company at the end of 2020 decreased by $14 billion to $191.8 billion. Cash provided by operations was $80.7 billion, while cash used for investing and financing activities were $4.3 billion and $86.8 billion, respectively. Main uses of cash for 2020 were for purchases of marketable securities and repurchased of common stock.

Strategy

The year-over-year growth in R&D expense in 2020 was driven primarily by increases in headcount-related expenses. The company continues to believe that focused investments in R&D are critical to its future growth and competitive position in the marketplace and to the development of new and updated products and services that are central to the company's core business strategy. 

Because the industries in which the company competes are characterized by rapid technological advances, the company's ability to compete successfully depends heavily upon its ability to ensure a continual and timely flow of competitive products, services and technologies to the marketplace. The company continues to develop new technologies to enhance existing products and services, and to expand the range of its offerings through research and development ("R&D"), licensing of intellectual property and acquisition of third-party businesses and technology.

Company Background

College dropouts Steve Jobs (1955-2011) and Steve Wozniak founded Apple in 1976 in California's Santa Clara Valley. After Jobs' first sales call brought an order for 50 units, the duo built the Apple I in his garage and sold it without a monitor, keyboard, or casing. Demand convinced Jobs there was a distinct market for small computers, and the company's name (a reference to Jobs' stint on an Oregon farm) and the computer's user-friendly look and feel set it apart from others.

The company's Macintosh made a splash in the mid-1980s, driven by its Super Bowl commercial in 1984. As the company grew, Jobs was forced from the company. Apple never matched the IBM PC in total sales, but it had a cultural cachet and ease-of-use that led to its foothold in education, publishing, and other creative industries.

In the 1990s, a succession of CEOs tried different strategies to increase sales, including licensing the company's technology to third-parties to produce Apple clones. The strategy never paid off.

Jobs returned in the late '90s as Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy. He slashed the company's bloated product portfolio and introduced a line of eye-catching Macintosh computers. Then came the iPod music player, which led to the iPhone, which became one of the world's most successful products, and the iPad tablet. More than 2 billion devices running on Apple's mobile operating system, iOS, have been sold. While iPhone sales have been surpassed by Android devices, the premium Apple charges for its products have driven record sales and profitability.

Jobs died in 2011 from pancreatic cancer. His successor, Tim Cook, has run the company since.

Apple Inc.

1 Apple Park Way
Cupertino, CA 95014-0642
Phone: 1 (408) 996-1010

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: AAPL
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
Chairman: Arthur D. Levinson
SVP and CFO: Luca Maestri
COO: Jeffrey E. Williams
Employees (This Location): 2,000
Employees (All Locations): 147,000

Major Office Locations

Cupertino, CA

Other Locations

Anchorage, AK
Huntsville, AL
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Little Rock, AR
Gilbert, AZ
Glendale, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Bakersfield, CA
Berkeley, CA
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Burlingame, CA
Canoga Park, CA
Carlsbad, CA
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Chino, CA
Chula Vista, CA
Corte Madera, CA
Costa Mesa, CA
Cupertino, CA
Elk Grove, CA
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Fresno, CA
Glendale, CA
Irvine, CA
Los Angeles, CA
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