Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2008 second quarter ended March 29, 2008, announcing a blowout revenue and profitability picture (revenues up 43% and profits up 36%),.  In a previous blog entry (Apple’s iPhone Shortage Dilemma), I cite Apple as a great example of a manufacturer who practices all the characteristics for an agile and responsive supply chain, in spite of product supply and/or demand imbalances.The latest quarterly results provide yet more evidence:

  • 10.6 million iPods shipped in latest quarter vs. 22.1 million in the previous holiday quarter
  • 2.3 million laptops and desktops, virtually the same as the previous holiday quarter, indicating building volumes in this segment
  • 1.7 million iPhones vs. 2.3 million in the previous quarter, somewhat reflecting the current shortage dilemma

To put this in some perspective, these shipment volumes represent an overall average of 235,500 shipments per day, from Apple’s direct sales outlets, retail partners, and other channels. Apple has additionally executed long-term supply contracts, in some cases up to the year 2010, for critical NAND memory and other supply.

Apple’s ability to ramp and sustain extraordinary high volumes of shipments, flex with market conditions, while maintaining an edge in truly innovative products is a benchmark for supply chain excellence.

Bob Ferrari