Dear Friends,

I am still shaking off the effects of the long night of election returns and the emotional high of the historic moment we have been privileged to witness. As I watched Barack & Michelle Obama and their daughters walk onto the stage in Grant Park in my home town of Chicago, I was overcome with strong emotions and memories. My thoughts immediately went to my three grandchildren who, as African Americans, are the newest generation and our future. I know that as I talk to them about the future, my words to them carry so much more meaning. I have the ultimate example when I tell them that they can be anything that they want to be, even the President of the United States. I can point to Barack and say, “see, look at that family—it is just like your family.”

To think about the struggle that led to this pinnacle is mind-boggling to me; I remember working in the Civil Rights movement in the ’60s, hanging out with my friend Ken Boozer, and talking about what could/should be—and just trying to understand what it was like to be a young black man. I remember going to Martin Luther King Jr. speeches, meeting him and shaking his hand and then watching him change the consciousness of a nation. What a momentous time for all of us and for the world. I was chatting with some of our suppliers in the far east and they were thrilled with the election. My wife watched the returns in Australia while she was on vacation, and the Aussies were excited, too. Hope is a heady thing.

In addition to the Apple financial report for the quarter that came out a couple weeks back, Apple also released their 10-K filing to the SEC for their Annual Report. (Remember that Apple’s fiscal year ended at the end of September.) One of the highlights of that report was a significant increase (42%) in research and development expenditures. While some of this may be one-time charges, it is an indication that Apple will continue to innovate to grow, even in a down economy.

You can see the whole report here.

There is also an interesting section that talks about the risks of a down economy and how the strengthening of the US dollar might impact Apple’s rapidly expanding international market. The report gives you a great insight both into Apple’s plans and the depth of analysis that Apple uses to assess its operational future.

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