These excerpts taken from the AAPL 10-K filed Dec 19, 2003.
The market for personal computers and related peripherals and services is highly competitive. If the Company is unable to effectively compete in these markets, its results of operations could be adversely affected.
The personal computer industry is highly competitive and is characterized by aggressive pricing practices, downward pressure on gross margins, frequent introduction of new products, short product life cycles, evolving industry standards, continual improvement in product price/performance characteristics, rapid adoption of technological and product advancements by competitors, price sensitivity on the part of consumers, and a large number of competitors. Over the past several years, price competition in the market for personal computers and related peripherals has been particularly intense. The Company's competitors who sell Windows-based personal computers have aggressively cut prices and lowered their product margins in order to gain or maintain market share in response to the weakness in demand that began in the second half of calendar 2000 for personal computing products. The Company's results of operations and financial condition have been, and in the future may continue to be, adversely affected by these and other industry-wide pricing pressures and downward pressures on gross margins.
The personal computer industry has also been characterized by rapid technological advances in software functionality, hardware performance, and features based on existing or emerging industry standards. Further, as the personal computer industry and its customers place more reliance on the Internet, an increasing number of Internet devices that are smaller and simpler than traditional personal computers may compete for market share with the Company's existing products. Several competitors of the Company have either targeted or announced their intention to target certain of the Company's key market segments, including consumer, education, professional and consumer digital video editing, and design and publishing. Several of the Company's competitors have introduced or announced plans to introduce digital music products that mimic many of the unique design, technical features, and solutions of the Company's products. The Company has a significant number of competitors, many of whom have greater financial, marketing, manufacturing, and technological resources, as well as broader product lines and larger installed customer bases than those of the Company. Additionally, there has been a trend towards consolidation in the personal computer industry that has resulted in larger and potentially stronger competitors in the Company's markets.
The Company is currently the only maker of hardware using the Mac OS. The Mac OS has a minority market share in the personal computer market, which is dominated by makers of computers utilizing Microsoft's Windows operating systems. The Company's future operating results and financial condition
are substantially dependent on its ability to continue to develop improvements to the Macintosh platform in order to maintain perceived design and functional advantages over competing platforms, including Windows.
The Company is currently focused on market opportunities related to digital music distribution and related consumer electronic devices including iPods. The Company faces increasing competition from other companies promoting their own digital music distribution services, free peer-to-peer music services, emerging companies, and larger companies that may have greater resources, including technical and marketing resources, and supplier relationships. There can be no assurance that the Company will be able to provide products and services that effectively compete in these markets. Failure to effectively compete could negatively affect the Company's operating results and financial position.
The market for personal computers and related peripherals and services is highly competitive. If the Company is unable to effectively compete in these markets, its results of
The personal computer industry is highly competitive and is characterized by aggressive pricing practices, downward pressure on gross margins, frequent introduction of new