Apple filed its quarterly financial report yesterday – in which it cited chip shortages and the acceptance of Mac OS X as key factors for future growth.

The report offers insight into Apple's business up to December 30, 2000. Among the results, it shows Apple's unit sales in Japan fell 74 per cent year-on-year, and that iMac sales in the territory fell by 91 per cent.

The report confirms that the main obstacles to future growth foreseen by Apple execs include: microprocessor shortages; the successful launch and adoption of Mac OS X; Apple clawing back market-share in the education sector; and the continued decline of the personal computer industry.

Inventory move It also shows how, in a move to keep itself lean, Apple has again reduced its inventory and is engaged in several restructuring strategies - including the realignment of its educational sales-team. In total, the company managed to cut its operating costs by 7 per cent over the first quarter of its trading year 2001.

As of December 30, 2000 - the end of the first financial quarter of 2001 - the company had $4.065 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments. This is an increase of $38 million or 1 per cent over the end of the fiscal year in 2000.

The report is available in full online.