Apple's Retail Revenue Hits Record High of $58 Per Visitor, Credit the iPad?

Apple's financial figures have a way of defying logic time and again. The company's iconic co-founder, Steve Jobs, passed away at a relatively early age due to pancreatic cancer, leaving the company in the hands of Tim Cook, a smart man in his own right but with gigantic shoes to fill. Then there was the iPhone 5 release and the all the criticisms that followed: It didn't take great pictures when you pointed it close to the sun, there weren't any groundbreaking new features, and it wasn't scratch-proof. Toss in a heaping dose of negative publicity over Apple's falling share price and it would seem that the Cupertino company's best days were in its rear-view mirror. Nope.

From a financial standpoint, Apple continues to rake in record revenues, netting itself a $9.5 billion profit last quarter, which is nearly 16x the most recent record-setting Powerball jackpot. As improbable as that might have seemed, it happened, and things are only getting better for Apple.

Asymco analyst Horace Dediu announced on Monday that Apple saw a 7 percent growth in visitors to its brick-and-mortar stores last quarter. Not only are more people coming in, but they're spending larger sums of money, too. The average Apple customer who set foot into one of the company's retail stores last quarter spent $57.60, a new record and twice as much as the next most lucrative outlet, Tiffany & Co.

Apple Store

"Average visitors per store has steadied to 250,000 per store per quarter (average for trailing 12 months). This is a quantum increase from about 170,000 per store per quarter in the twelve months ending Q1 2010," Dediu noted in his blog. "The reason for this might be the increase in floor space of newer stores and the renovation of older stores. The new store throughput rate might be an upper bound due to fire regulations."

What's not so easy to explain is how Apple can continue to squeeze more money out of its customers. It's not as simple as chalking it up to the so-called Apple Tax, a term used to describe the pricing premiums Apple products and components carry over its competitors. One possible explanation is the success of Apple's iPad line, which is still the top selling tablet family, though lower priced Android slates are carving away significant market share.

Whatever the reason, Apple investors should sit back and enjoy the ride rather than panicking over every bit of news.