Apple has rescued itself from the brink of insolvency by consistently innovating, chief financial officer Fred Anderson has said.

Speaking to an audience of US business students Anderson said that "a few years ago people thought Apple was in a death spiral – they didn’t think we’d make it.

He revealed how three weeks after joining Apple in 1996 he was confronted with a $325 billion loss. He attributed this to a general decline in the computer industry, and the company’s poor connection with its customers, reports The Michigan Daily.

Anderson added: "Apple is an innovator, and we refused to mortgage our future. One of the ways in which we are doing this is by focusing on popular digital-lifestyle innovations, such as the iPod and iTunes Music Store.

"The recording industry has experienced a 10-to-15-per cent decline in revenue over recent years. They said it was due to stealing music, but it was really consumers saying they did not have a way to purchase music that was compatible to their needs. We came up with a new concept that more consumers wanted."

Anderson admitted that Apple has not been very successful in converting PC users to date: "There has been no real marketing effort and poor distribution, and now we’re making changes to address that."