"We believe the iPod lineup is attractive positioned for the holiday buying season," Oppenheimer told analysts during Monday's conference call. And that's critical for Apple, which traditionally sees its highest iPod sales during the December quarter. In the December 2008 quarter, for example, Apple sold 22.7 million music players.
Apple opened 15 brick-and-mortar stores during its fourth quarter, giving the company 273 retail outlets by quarter's end. For the entire 2009 fiscal year, Apple opened 26 stores and remodeled 72 existing outlets. In what Oppenheimer called a "milestone year" for Apple's retail efforts, the company opened more stores internationally than in the U.S.
Look for more stores to open in the current quarter. Oppenheimer said the company plans to open two retail outlets in France in November. That same month, a fourth Apple Store will open in Manhattan on New York's Upper West Side.
Average revenue per store was $7.1 million, down from $7.6 million a year ago in one of the few signs of how the recession negatively impacted Apple. The company saw 45.9 million visitors to its stores, up from 42.7 million in last year's quarter. Retail stores sold 670,000 Macs--an increase of 12 percent from last year--with about half of those sales to new Mac users.
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