Apple's financials looked pretty spectacular this quarter, with a total profit in excess of $US1.2 billion despite the gruesome economy. They also exceeded expectations for iPod and iPhone sales, laptop sales, and layoffs. Wait, what?
CNET reports, via an SEC filing, that Apple has cut back their full-time retail workforce by a full 1600 employees—from 15600 to 14000—in the last quarter alone, during which they only opened one new retail outlet.
The press narrative so far this year has been that Apple has bucked the recession, outperforming the industry and minimising an inevitable sales slowdown after an impressive Q1. And this narrative holds: Apple has done well on paper while its competitors haven't. It's just, now we sort of know how. [CNET][Note: Some have suggested that some employees have scaled back their hours and been subtracted from the "full-time" figure. This is plausible, but either way it's a pretty rough cutback.]