Production and marketing of products in certain states and countries may subject the Company to environmental, product safety and other regulations including, in some instances, the requirement to provide customers the ability to return product at the end of its useful life, and place responsibility for environmentally safe disposal or recycling with the Company. Such laws and regulations have been passed in several jurisdictions in which the Company operates, including various countries within Europe and Asia and certain states and provinces within North America. Although the Company does not anticipate any material adverse effects in the future based on the nature of its operations and the thrust of such laws, there can be no assurance that such existing laws or future laws will not materially adversely affect the Company’s financial condition or operating results.
Note 7 – Segment Information and Geographic Data
The Company reports segment information based on the “management” approach. The management approach designates the internal reporting used by management for making decisions and assessing performance as the source of the Company’s reportable segments.
The Company manages its business primarily on a geographic basis. Accordingly, the Company determined its operating and reporting segments, which are generally based on the nature and location of its customers, to be the Americas, Europe, Japan, Asia- Pacific and Retail operations. The Americas, Europe, Japan and Asia-Pacific reportable segment results do not include results of the Retail segment. The Americas segment includes both North and South America. The Europe segment includes European countries, as well as the Middle East and Africa. The Asia-Pacific segment includes Australia and Asia, but does not include Japan. The Retail segment operates Apple retail stores in 11 countries, including the U.S. Each reportable operating segment provides similar hardware and software products and similar services. The accounting policies of the various segments are the same as those described in Note 1, “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” of this Form 10-Q and in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in the Company’s 2010 Form 10-K.
The Company evaluates the performance of its operating segments based on net sales and operating income. Net sales for geographic segments are generally based on the location of customers, while Retail segment net sales are based on sales from the Company’s retail stores. Operating income for each segment includes net sales to third parties, related cost of sales and operating expenses directly attributable to the segment. Advertising expenses are generally included in the geographic segment in which the advertising occurs. Operating income for each segment excludes other income and expense and certain expenses managed outside the operating segments. Costs excluded from segment operating income include various corporate expenses such as manufacturing costs and variances not included in standard costs, research and development, corporate marketing expenses, stock-based compensation expense, income taxes, various nonrecurring charges, and other separately managed general and administrative costs. The Company does not include intercompany transfers between segments for management reporting purposes. Segment assets exclude corporate assets, such as cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments, manufacturing and corporate facilities, miscellaneous corporate infrastructure, goodwill and other acquired intangible assets. Except for the Retail segment, capital expenditures for long- lived assets are not reported to management by segment.
The Company has certain retail stores that have been designed and built to serve as high-profile venues to promote brand awareness and serve as vehicles for corporate sales and marketing activities. Because of their unique design elements, locations and size, these stores require substantially more investment than the Company’s more typical retail stores. The Company allocates certain operating expenses associated with its high-profile stores to corporate expense to reflect the estimated Company-wide benefit. The allocation of these operating costs to corporate expense is based on the amount incurred for a high-profile store in excess of that incurred by a more typical Company retail location. The Company had opened a total of 16 high-profile stores as of March 26, 2011. Amounts allocated to corporate expense resulting from the operations of high-profile stores were $25 million and $49 million during the three- and six- month periods ended March 26, 2011, respectively, and $19 million and $36 million during the three- and six-month periods ended March 27, 2010, respectively.