“It must be tough being Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple. Well, perhaps we shouldn’t be too sympathetic: in 2018 he took home $15,682,219, and his earnings since 2011 are estimated to be not far south of three-quarters of a billion dollars,” John Naughton writes for The Guardian. “For that he has to run the world’s most successful tech company. But that’s probably a doddle compared with trying to manage the expectations of Wall Street and the world’s media, both of which have an obsession with Apple that sometimes borders on psychosis.”

“It’s not that long, for example, since the fevered speculation about whether Apple would be the first trillion-dollar company reached a climax on 2 August last year when it finally scaled that particular greasy pole. But since October its shares have dropped 20% and it’s been overtaken by Microsoft – yes, ye olde Microsoft! – as the world’s most valuable company,” Naughton writes. “What was most striking, though, was that the slowdown in iPhone sales should have taken journalists and analysts by surprise.”

“Everyday experience should have told them that the iPhone picture was changing. I’ve lost count of the number of friends, colleagues and acquaintances who are happily still using their four- or five-year-old iPhones,” Naughton writes. “There are 5.5 billion adults on Earth, of whom 5 billion have a mobile phone and between 3.5 billion and 4 billion have a smartphone, of which between 800 and 900m are iPhones.”

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.

iPhone has higher customer satisfaction than Android, meaning that Apple gains iPhone users from Andoird via normal churn as users graduate to real iPhones.

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

MacDailyNews Note: Today is Martin Luther King Day in the U.S. and the markets are closed. As usual on such trading holidays, we will have limited posting today.