> Probably true but one has to account for all the possible outcomes.
Sure. On the basis of prior probabilities or actual events (assuming Apple Stores register buying intention that evaporates due to lack of stock at the moment). I.e. we apparently agree that it's not correct to just blindly calculate with the retail value.
> Yes Apple is self insured [wikipedia]
These links do little to further the claim that these represent self-insurance. I thought it's something more specific - as your wikipedia link seems to suggest too. With your quite broad definition of self-insurance, everyone is self-insuring left and right. For example, if I'm planning a vacation, but don't immediately reserve my flight, then I run the risk of a price hike. If I still don't act on it (by reserving, or by somehow insuring against the possibility of this loss, incurring some hedging cost in the process) then I could say, with your definition, that I self-insure myself, where my assets, future income or cancellation of flight plans act as backup options. Also, when I skip breakfast and am optimistic that I can go out for lunch at noon, I'm self-insuring myself against starvation by means of calorie reserves.
So I think it's quite meaningless to use this term unless there's wing to wing handling for specifically this risk category , e.g. AAPL formally managing a risk process with components such as FMEA, earmarking and pooling funds, making provisions that alter their periodic P&L, using periodic accruals/deferrals (to account for planned vs materialized losses), and incorporate it into their profitability analysis, profit center accounting or funds transfer pricing, all in the framework of comprehensive internal policies and accounting rules governing it. While all these are feasible, and I have no doubt AAPL does have risk management for diverse events, the link you provided is a wiki page that also talks of self-insurance as a specific concept (as opposed to an informal, uncontrolled way of absorbing residual risks) rather than an explanation on why it could be properly called self-insurance. I don't give a flying rat's ass but interested in learning, as I might be wrong on this, it's just I appreciate tangible backup. I think it's conceivable that with their very high gross margin they don't worry about store stealth to the extent a grocery chain would have to, and I believe most of their risk management priorities rarer and more impactful risks, mostly relating to their supply chain, and perhaps forex losses.