[Update: These layoffs were first reported by Think Secret on January 20th. - Editor]
Dow Jones Business Wire is reporting that Apple has laid off workers in the companyis education division. The report says declining sales in the K-12 market are to blame, this despite an actual increase in education market share as recently as the June quarter of 2003.
The report cites Appleis SEC filings, which blamed weakness in the K-12 market on budget issues that face schools all across the US. The number of layoffs was not announced, but the report quotes an Apple spokesperson who called the layoffs "minor." This is in keeping with comments from Fred Anderson, who said that the June quarteris market share increase occurred because Appleis education sales declined less than the competitionis. From the article:
An Apple spokesperson confirmed there were "minor work-force reductions" but declined to say how many jobs were cut, or which area they came from. The spokesperson did say that headcount at the company continues to grow overall. Apple has around 10,000 employees overall.
A former employee said cuts have occurred in recent weeks, coming largely from the education unit.
Recent regulatory filings show the company had been planning to address weakness in that division. Analysts said the reported headcount reductions comes on the heels of tougher competition and tighter school budgets.
"The education market has been challenging as state budgets have been so strapped," said Shannon Cross, an analyst at Cross Research. Ms. Cross doesnit own shares and her firm doesnit do investment banking.
The report also notes that Apple has, alone among the major PC companies, heretofore avoided major layoffs. Thereis much more information in the full story, and we recommend it as a good report.