Apple is changing, and everyone knows it except Apple itself or something

“Apple Inc. is changing, and everyone knows it except Apple itself,” Shira Ovide writes for Bloomberg Gadfly. “Apple executives consistently fail to be straightforward about significant technology trends and how they affect the company. The biggest of the big trends: Growth in the smartphone market is gone, at least for now. The likeliest buyers now own at least one of the devices. Smartphone owners are holding onto their devices for longer than they used to before buying newer models.”

“The result is that sales of new smartphones have ground to a halt globally, and Apple isn’t immune,” Ovide writes. “Analysts on average expect Apple to sell 3 percent more smartphones in the current fiscal year than it did in 2017, and they’re forecasting a 1 percent bump in fiscal 2019. That slow growth isn’t great for Apple’s business, although the company’s revenue is expected to grow more quickly this year thanks to price increases and new products.”

MacDailyNews Take: Analysts’ consensus expectations for iPhone unit sales aren’t worth a bucket of warm spit.

“The reality is that the easy growth is over for the iPhone, which generates the majority of Apple’s revenue,” Ovide writes. “In an August conference call with stock analysts, one of them asked Apple CEO Tim Cook whether the company could continue to sell more iPhones in a few years in light of the smartphone market’s stagnation. Cook said he thought Apple could sell more phones to people who already own iPhones, to those who have competing devices and to people who have never owned a smartphone before. It was an answer straight out of 2015, when everything Cook said was true.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple knows their iPhone business, at least, inside and out.

Apple’s forgotten more about their iPhone business than Shira Ovide will ever know about Apple’s iPhone business.

We’ll see what iPhone lineup Apple brings to market later this year. Apple success at growing iPhone sales despite “the smartphone market’s stagnation” may surprise the naysayers.

And, by the way, Apple’s installed base is huge, with an active installed base of devices reaching 1.3 billion in January, which is an increase of 30% in just two years.

17 Comments

  1. at some point, and the fragrance is getting stronger, the “or something” sarcasm is going to be a joke on the Apple aficionados. The phone market seems pretty safe now, but many other sectors are corroding.

    1. In comparison to who? Google Hardware? Samsung or Amazon hardware? Google or Amazon can’t make a profit on any hardware even if it ran up and bit them on the ass.

      1. You make a huge mistake of using competitors as the yardstick. Apple has never done it that way and that’s the reason it’s been a market leader. If you honestly read product reviews about products other than the iPhone and the Air Buds, using Apple’s own moniker “It just works,” is a stretch. No review is the gospel, but take it as a valid general statement, at least; today’s review of Apple’s laptops is harsh. One cannot say that was just based on bias. It would have to be a lie to be dismissed. Since Apple has dropped the ball on all of its OSX machines, except for laptops, this is it devastating review.

          1. Depends on whether you think mindshare matters. The fewer Apple products exposed to the general public in tandem with perceived lower quality and higher prices than in the past will have a negative effect on Apple. Siri is not helping things and it may be time for Apple to overhaul their Assistant.

          2. You make another mistake that’s never been the Apple way. To use you logic, here’s two relevant examples….
            Cisco was killing it at one point, now they’re midlin’. Microsoft was was once the richest co’s in the world and what’s the description of their products by most? Both cases money/profit is not the best ruler.
            Per stock price, Steve HATED the market and the so-called “truth” it transmitted. When the market was challenged back in the early 2Ks, he didn’t say we’re going to get the CFO to make cuts and direct resources to the most profitable sector of the biz. No, he told the company, “we are going to innovate ourselves out of this situation”. The focus was quality of product, not the balance sheet.
            One last example to use your logic, all Apple would have needed to do with the 1st iPh was to just make a phone with a better physical keyboard. That would have beaten the competitors at that point in time.
            Your way of measurement is based on relativity, not excellence.

  2. They shifted the handset business from utilitarian to fashion/ego driven. They shifted music retail from purchase to subscription. The laptop and desktop markets no longer fit their business appetite, the recurring revenue business model. Too bad, it was a good run while it lasted, but it will chromebooks for everybody when the current batch of 6th graders have jobs in Procurement and know they did everything they needed to on their chromebook. Last one out, turn off the lights, okay?

  3. Peak iPhone has already happened and Apple is still rearranging deck chairs. 70% of Apple’s profit comes from the iPhone per their last public statement- everything else is crammed into the rest, yet Apple lets the Mac twist in the wind and has not run a Mac ad campaign in years.

    1. After that “What’s a Computer?” ad it may be difficult for Apple to make a course correction that says “Macs are not computers, they’re ‘better'”.

    1. Maybe Apple doesn’t get out of the PC business because they make hundreds of millions of dollars in profit in it, it also supports their retail stores and services market, and their market share is growing. And it helps iPhone sales.

  4. I don’t believe all Apple stuff is bad, they are still coming up with some good stuff but it’s undeniable they have many issues.

    The really sad thing is that a lot of the problems isn’t lack of SEER-LIKE ability i.e it’s not Jobsion see-round corners things but simply LACK of PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE in LEADERSHIP.

    It doesn’t take a seer to see issues in the Mac line (which makes the most hardware money after iPhone) or to keep the line UPDATED. Various Macs are easily out performed by PCs today and those companies don’t have Steve Jobs either. Many products on the Mac line have not been updated for years. It would so easy to pop in more RAM, new processors when they became available but no…

    It’s like Apple today has NO ADULT SUPERVISION , it’s being run by Nerds indulging in hobbies. You almost think for example there is an internal competition to make things THINNER (“hey I can make it thinner than yours”) even if it cuts FUNCTIONALITY like the Mac Mini , as a DESKTOP there is no reason to make the Mini an inch or so thinner and throw away the Quad option and seal in the RAM (you don’t carry the suckers around like a phone)… The mini a former Amazon best seller is now languishing.

    Is it that Tim Cook is confused about INNOVATION ? Are designers getting bonuses for innovation REGARDLESS of the SIGNIFICANCE , i.e you get a bonus for a NEW WATCH BAND , as much as designing a new Mac ? (alright I’m being sarcastic but it’s so bad I don’t know what to imagine… ). Note Macs make more money than Watch, AirPods, Beats, TV, accessories like bands etc COMBINED but Macs languish…

    Are they just allowed to indulge in hobbies just because it’s fun? (what is the coffee table book, ‘milled from special Maple’ furniture, animatronic Christmas trees, one and half years to design door handles but ‘hobbies’ in the scheme of a COMMERCIAL — i.e sell product — company ?)

    Tim Cook now has like a dozen VPs including the new advertising VP (Tor Myhren ) , the TV guys etc REPORTING DIRECTLY to him rather than the SVPs, is it because he can’t control or trust his SVPs like Cue or Schiller (marketing) or Ive anymore ?

  5. Apple under Tim Cook has all by abandoned the movie streaming market. Remember Apple was 4 years ahead of Netflix I’m renting a movie online to stream. Purchased Beats for 3B when at the same time could have purchased Netflix for 20B. Years late on Apple Music. Gave Spotify a 5 yesterday start. 4 and 5 years respectively ahead of Google and Amazon on AI voice, Siri. But has not focused and is years behind Has let the Pro market which saved Apple back in the 90s to rot. Has let the router market rot. Is letting laptops rot. Tim Cook is Steve Ballmer unfortunely as a 17 year holder. Fat lazy out of touch executives. Apple needs new management and will eventually get it

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