To hear charter members of the technorati elite politburo tell it, Apple needs to focus less on iPhone and more on the rest of the company’s businesses. Why? The nattering nabobs of negativism never answer that simple question. It isn’t as if the rest of Apple’s businesses are falling apart.
The real problem is more obvious. Apple is a hardware company and the hardware business has stalled. Mac, iPhone, and iPad are not growing unit sales, which may explain why the Cupertino tech giant will not report quarterly unit sales. Apple isn’t required to do what its competitors have never done. True numbers (other than revenue, profits, and margins; areas where Apple already excels).
What is the state of Apple’s non-iPhone business? It depends.
What do you want it to be?
Either it’s sad because the Mac and iPad are not growing marketshare, or it’s good because Watch and Services are growing faster than any other segment of the company’s revenue streams. Steve Jobs:
If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it’s worth – and get busy on the next great thing. The PC wars are over. Done. Microsoft won a long time ago.
Is Tim Cook’s Apple following Jobs advice? Is Apple milking the iPhone for all its worth?
In essence, smartphone growth on planet earth is over. Apple won. It’s time to move on.
Where? Is it not obvious that Apple’s executives do no know where the future lies?
Therein lies Apple’s biggest problem. Apple remained revolutionary under Steve Jobs and upended one industry after another. Retail stores, iPad and iTunes, iTunes Music Store, iPhone, iPad. Tim Cook’s Apple remains evolutionary, carrying forward on each of Jobs notable disruptions, yet, but only able to add iPhone accessories to Apple’s revenue and profits; Beats headphones, Apple Pay, Apple Music, Watch, AirPods et al.
Jobs was the market disruption king. Cook is the accessories king. The rest of Apple’s business line– the hardware– has plateaued (which differs from flatline, which is dead; iPhone, Mac, and iPad are not dead businesses as they command the most revenue and profits in their respective industries).
Yes, Apple makes money like no other company on planet earth, but the current state of affairs remains mere status quo with no future growth in sight. Wait. Is not Apple’s Services business the fastest growing segment in the company’s profits arsenal?
Just remember that those services are wholly dependent upon hardware sales and major hardware products are not growing in unit sales. Maybe we should change Jobs’ mantra to fit Tim Cook.
I’m running Apple today and I’m going to milk iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Services (accessories) for all they’re worth– and hope someone comes up with the next great thing.