Appleis retail stores played an important role in the companyis record-breaking third quarter with revenue growing nearly 60 percent year over year. The Cupertino-based company reported US$1.44 billion in revenue for the quarter, and helped increase Mac market share by selling more than half of its computers to first-time Mac owners.
Appleis retail stores sold 476,000 Macs during the quarter, with strong interest in the iMac, MacBook, and MacBook Pro.
The company ended the quarter with 216 stores, including its first stores in Australia and China. Apple plans to end its fiscal year with 242 stores and will open locations in Switzerland and Germany some time during the second half of 2008.
Average revenue per store was up 33 percent at $6.8 million compared to last yearis $5.1 million per store. The retail segment margin was also up 61 percent year over year from $184 million to $297 million.
Appleis retail growth isnit limited to its own stores. The company also added its presence to 170 more Best Buy locations during the quarter for a total of about 570 stores, and it plans to grow that to 600 by the end of the summer.
Despite the strong year over year retail growth, Apple isnit ready to announce its plans for fiscal 2009. If the company continues on its current retail growth path, we can expect to see a jump in stores again by this time next year.<!--#include virtual="/includes/newsite/series/stockwatch.shtml"-->