Apple shareholders yesterday re-elected the company's six-member board and voted down a proposal to restrict executive pay.
MacCentral is also carrying an excellent report in which it gathers highlights taken during Apple CEO Steve Jobs' 45 minute question and answer session during the shareholder's event, which Apple chose not to webcast.
US bias claim denied One shareholder accused Apple of having a US-centric approach to business – something he denied. "You're just dead wrong," he said. "Apple ships localized versions of its products at the same time as the US version in most cases. Apple has online stores in many international markets, and a Apple retail store in Tokyo Japan, and plans to open a second in Osaka and in London later this year.
"We pay a lot of attention to our international market because it accounts for a large percentage of our sales. I don't know where your conclusion comes from, but it's just wrong."
Digital music, not budget PCs Apple is focused on growing iPod sales instead of reaching into the entry-level desktop computer market, explained Apple executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations Tim Cook.
"We decided as a company that instead of going into the low-end desktop market, we would invest in the iPod business. If you look at the marketshare on the iPod, it's enormous," he said.
Promising no salvation to the digital music distribution format wars, Jobs admitted that RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser had been in touch with regard to working with Apple, but said: "Their music store has been less than a success, so far. To be honest, it's just not worth it. This is not the first request Rob has made, he has made many, but it doesn't make any business sense."
The truth about product announcements Asked about delays in product shipment Jobs said: "Sometimes it's better to announce a product before it can ship in a timely manner, and sometimes it's not. On occasion, we have large events where we are going to get lots of press, but the product isn't going to be ready. Often times, it's better to announce it at that event, get the press and ship it a month or later – hopefully not too much later."
He added: "Engineering isn't just a science, it's an art. Sometimes art happens on a schedule and sometimes it doesn't. Part of what you pay us for is to optimize the decisions as best as we know how, when the world isn't perfect."
Of marketshare, Jobs said: "We have 25 million loyal customers. Our number-one concern is that they are happy. The number-two consideration is growing that number of customers, and the third thing is marketshare. If Apple is growing its customer base but the market is growing faster, it is cause for concern, but it's not their primary two concerns.
Jobs stressed that because Apple doesn't compete in the corporate desktop market, when the overall market goes up it doesn't see the same amount of growth.
Apple plans 64-bit power marketing for G5s
He admitted that the Power Mac G5 has not met the sales expectations of the company. He and senior VP Phil Schiller said the company would have some "very intense marketing" initiatives in the coming months.
Continuing on the sales theme Schiller said: "Apple and Dell make money selling personal computers but it's hard to tell if anyone else in the entire industry makes any money. Would you rather Apple has Apple's share of the personal computer market or Gateway's? I would rather have Apple's."
Apple executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations Tim Cook indicated explained that by closing down its Elk Grove manufacturing facility in Sacramento, California, Apple was able to save $3 million per quarter.
Former owner of Cupertino-based Elite Computers Thomas Armes asked why Apple was putting independent resellers out of business. Cook said: "A total of 58 per cent of Apple's revenue came from the indirect market. The indirect channel is very important to us and I don't see that changing."
Jobs announced Apple is investigating whether it has the fastest growth in retail history, going from $0 to $1 billion. The old record was held by Gap subsidiary Old Navy.