Apple is insanely successful. They have managed to arrange things so that they make money from products sold within about 18 days. Meanwhile, they have up to 83 days to pay for manufacturing of their products. That’s a lot of leeway for making money and not having to pay it back immediately.
That’s a pretty awesome arrangement for Apple. Here’ s a portion of the original WSJ report (the article requires a subscription):
“On average, in fiscal 2011 it didn’t pay suppliers for 83 days after being invoiced, according to Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi. Yet Apple collected on its customer invoices much faster, 18 days on average.”