“Apple’s former retail chief, Ron Johnson, told CNBC on Wednesday that the tech giant’s stock is still a great bet for investors in the long run,” Tyler Clifford reports for CNBC. “‘I can’t imagine a better buy for your portfolio for the next decade,’ said Johnson, founder and current CEO of Enjoy, which aims to merge online convenience with personal shopping services for tech products.”

“He said he owns the stock. ‘I’m long. I love Apple,'” Clifford reports. “Shares of Apple, which has been in the hot seat in recent months due to slowing iPhone sales growth, is down about 12 percent over the past 12 months and off more than 30 percent since its all-time in October.”

“Johnson pointed to a silver lining in the results of the battery program. ‘Those 10 million didn’t upgrade their phone,’ he argued. ‘Next year, they’ll be ready, right? Apple’s a great buy,'” Clifford reports. “Leading Apple’s retail division from 2000 to 2011, Johnson designed what’s considered among the best retail store strategies in the world.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, units don’t matter. There are only so many quality users on the planet. Keeping them happy, as every measure of customer satisfaction shows Apple has amazingly well done to date, is what matters. As long as the users buy apps on the App Store, subscribe to Apple Music, add iCloud storage, use Apple Pay, etc., they can replace their hardware with Apple hardware at their own pace.

Yes, the iPhone replacement cycle is lengthening, but with so many iPhone (and iPad) users and with customer satisfaction so high, it really doesn’t matter. The market is mature and there are only so many quality users on the planet. Apple has that market cornered. The types of people who’ve settled for Android aren’t likely to buy as many apps or subscribe to services. They want free. They’re not worth much after the sale. The iPhone knockoff peddlers like Samsung can have them.

This is, of course, Apple’s point with ceasing the reporting of unit sales. It’s the user base, the quality of the user base, and services that matter more now. That’s where the growth is and where it will be for many, many years to come.MacDailyNews, January 5, 2019