Apple Battles "Mother of All Backlogs" With $11 Billion in Purchase Commitments
Apple may not have any particular plans for its cash abundance beyond the preservation of capital, but it’s not letting the $65.8 billion it had on hand at the end of the first quarter burn a hole in its pocket, either. The company continues to use it for supply chain investments, locking up component resources in an increasingly competitive market.
According to its latest 10-Q filing, Apple’s purchase commitments rose to $11 billion in the first quarter of 2011, up from $7.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010.
That’s a 39 percent increase and a record for the March quarter. Why the sudden uptick? Two reasons, most likely: the tight supply environment caused by recent calamities in Japan and the expected increases in iPad shipments.
Recall that during its last quarter, Apple sold every iPad 2 it could make and would have sold more had it been able to build them fast enough. The $11 billion in purchase commitments the company just made will likely make that possible. As COO Tim Cook said last week, “The iPad has the mother of all backlogs, but we’re working very hard to get [it] out to customers as quickly as we can.”