Where Apple makes its money

November 8, 2011: 10:32 AM ET

 The company's quarterly income statement at a glance via Asymco's Horace Dediu

Click to enlarge. Source: Asymco

This "cascade" chart of Apple's (AAPL) fourth fiscal quarter of 2011, posted Monday by Asymco's Horace Dediu, takes some explanation.

At the simplest level, the height of the first column represents the company's top line ($28.27 billion total revenue) and the last column, in green, represents its bottom line ($6.62 billion profit).

As for the rest, Dediu offers some handy tips: (edited slightly)

  • The blank areas are what Apple pays suppliers.
  • The red area on the right is what Apple pays the government.
  • The peach and pale blue areas are what Apple pays its "exempt" employees for R&D and selling, general and administrative expenses.
  • The colored areas in the first column labeled with product name and "GM" (for gross margin) represent what Apple keeps from the sale of each product after paying expenses tied to producing that product.
For more detail, and to see how this quarter stacked up against the previous two quarters, click here.
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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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