Why Apple is now focusing on users, not units

“Across the last 20 years, Apple has shifted from selling Macs in a world dominated by Windows PCs to being a dominant global brand that services a vast installed base that’s more valuable, influential, and lucrative than Windows was at its peak,” Daniel Eran Dilger writes for AppleInsider. “Apple wants its investors to understand that, and is now challenging the media narrative that suggests it running an unsustainable race against various manufacturers churning out ever-increasing volumes of hardware units.”

“Apple’s historical quarterly unit sales reporting has given analysts and pundits data that they frequently interpret incorrectly,” Dilger writes. “In doing so, they obscure the company’s actual performance and distract from its real value and potential.”

“Going forward, Apple’s revenue-only reporting will still provide a clear picture of the overall health of each of its business segments — the same way that Microsoft, Samsung Electronics and other large companies with multiple lines of business report their quarterly performance without necessarily enumerating any units sold,” Dilger writes. “The shift puts a new focus on what is really the most valuable aspect of Apple’s global operations… Essentially, Apple doesn’t sell people units. It sells units of people on Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Following many quarters of Apple’s admonitions to analysts to walk on their own, Apple has finally just kicked the crutch away. No pain, no gain.

As we wrote last week: We’ll gladly accept a nice AAPL discount sale that benefits not only smart investors but Apple’s buyback program as well. Tim Cook et al. are wise to clam up and let the manipulators and fools speciously talk down the stock in their fact-free echo chamber as loudly as possible before Apple reports all-time record holiday quarter earnings in January.

Eventually, the so-called analysts will wise up. As we all know, they’re always well behind the curve.

Analysts see Apple’s long-term potential despite recent overwrought selloff – November 30, 2018
Morgan Stanley projects Apple’s Services revenue to grow to $100 billion by 2023 – November 29, 2018
The pessimism and hypocrisy surrounding Apple is endless – November 28, 2018
In the darkest hour of Apple’s ‘white-knuckle period,’ some investors are loving it – November 21, 2018
Poor news curation at Bloomberg, CNBC, Reuters created misleading iPhone supply chain panic – November 19, 2018
WSJ: Apple slashes production orders for all three new iPhone models – November 19, 2018
Misreading Apple’s supply chain and iPhone XR demand – November 15, 2018
Apple: Ignore the noise – November 14, 2018
Dialog Semi says not seeing hit to demand from Apple – November 14, 2018
Don’t panic about iPhone sales just yet – November 14, 2018
Apple stock: This is not a repeat of 2015-16 – November 14, 2018
iPhone XR production cuts not due to soft demand – analyst – November 10, 2018
Apple’s Asian suppliers fall on report of canceled iPhone XR production boost – November 6, 2018
Nikkei claims iPhone XR production cuts, Apple stock drops over 3% – November 5, 2018


  1. “Apple has shifted from selling Macs…to being a dominant global brand that services a vast installed base that’s more valuable, influential, and lucrative than Windows was at its peak.”

    In a word, Bullshit.

    At it’s peak, Microsoft had the operating system on 97% – 98% of ALL PCs and workstations sold worldwide. At that time Microsoft had the office suite that was on over 95% of those systems. During that same period Microsoft had the operating system on over 60% of the servers sold worldwide. During that period Microsoft was able to get many government organizations (both U.S. and non U.S.) to declare themselves “Microsoft ONLY” and actively purge all non Microsoft systems. During that period Microsoft got the U.S. Navy to declare that all new warships would only have Microsoft systems on board and all warships would migrate to Microsoft systems.

    While Apple has an influence that far outstrips its market share, it has nowhere near the influence Microsoft had at its peak. Balmer blew that lead. Apple is currently blowing its lead in influence is too many areas.

    1. Yes, and it had that market share based on stealing Apple’s OS and forcing hardware manufactures (box assemblers) to make money by loading malware onto PCs that took the user forever to deinstall. Apple is a far better company and I don’t know of anyone who longs for the next iteration of Windows. Except maybe the sales people at Norton Anti-VIrus.

    2. MS should have been broken up precisely because of forced integration and leveraging OS to win in Applications. Apple forces integration AND forbids Applications. That’s sinking lower than MS ever did.

    3. Sure, but MS painted themselves into a corner. By attempting to convert the web into a proprietary MS implementation, they ended up with the worst web browser experience of all platforms. They failed miserably in the mobile market. They single-handedly created the least secure computing environment of all time. We are still dealing with the fallout from these poor decisions. Although I concur that their influence was enormous, there is no doubt that it has eroded to a fraction of what it used to represent.

      In today’s market, not everybody needs a computer. Not everybody needs to know how to program or create content. But everybody has a mobile device of some sort, and MS is completely shut out.

      I am a content creator. Sure, I wish Apple had the most potent content crating PC on the market, but let’s face it. I am not in the majority and the current iMac (2017 i7 with 64GB of RAM), is adequate for the 95% of my work. I also have a 2015 MacBook Pro that does whatever I needed to do.

      Has Apple made mistakes?, sure, the trash can Mac Pro was in my eyes, among the worst of them. No amount of marketing or hype managed to convince of getting one. Designed hardware with no viable software to make it shine just like the G5 touted as the first 64bit PC on the market. With no 64bit software to run on it. Useless specs with no real-world application or benefit. The trash can with dual GPU with very few applications genuinely taking advantage of them.

  2. They certainly aren’t focused on SATISFYING users. Their customer satisfaction ratings have plummeted, and their interfaces are more of a mess then System 9 ever was.

    The Mac is currently making more money for Apple then ever before, and yet it languishes in obscurity. What is the point of being a “bigger company” if you can’t do more things.

  3. Apple. Sadly – has let me down. Look this week at Google’s deep mind AI – predicting 3D proteins and helping advance human kind. Apple? Making a nicer display on a tablet. Where is the real push forward? Where is the real game changer? More and more Apple is all about the shine and damn the substance. Where is the idea to combat climate change? You think powering your stores with renewables will do that? Tesla are making home batteries. Apple – a nice new watch strap. Where is the software that can power a low income home around the developing world. Amazon are doing that. Apple – well you can pay $400 for a speaker. It’s fine saying you want to leave the world a better place – but the world isn’t just wealthy consumers. We’re the ones who are breaking it.
    Apples decision to hide iPhone numbers is to hide the fact that they have overpriced – and under innovated. The iPhone has made them fat and lazy. The quicker they really try to innovate and stop standing still, the better off we really all will be, because at their best, they could be amazing.

    1. I like Apple making great products and lots of money. I hate Google stealing personal information and using its platform to silence political views that are not common in the excrement filled streets of San Francisco. “Idea to combat climate change”??? When in the history of the planet was the climate ever not changing? What makes you think that the people who bring us the DMV and ethanol subsidies and a bankrupt Medicare and Social Security system can adjust the world temperature to some goofball ideal? Are you insane? Yes. Nevermind.

  4. I agree with Shadowself 100%. Well stated and correct!

    Sorry, K, can’t agree with your stance against Apple continuing to hand out “DO NOT PASS GO – – COLLECT $200” freebie ass-kicking passes to slant their click-bait headlines to profit off driving the stock prices down for no valid reason. Your other thoughts are valid IMHO.

  5. Kent: a truly logical and deductive reasoner. My kind of guy.

    So-called “scientists” shouting that there’s no further research needed to use climate change “deny-ers” as punching bags are government welfare stooges getting grants and grifting a living at universities getting federal monies.

    1. How dare those universities conduct research that for-profit companies refuse to do! Oh how evil that universities win research grants for the benefit of all humanity! How can we let this happen! We should just have a fit while the military industrial complex takes hundreds of times as much money from taxpayers in order to produce gold plated bayonets designed by idiots in profit maximizing companies to kill people using techniques from last century wars.

      Military is the very most costly form of socialism there is. But you never hear that from der citizen.

      1. Come on, another propagandized socialist tool. The military protection of the USA is the only constitutionally legitimate (along with the judiciary) and mandatory spending recipient without which you and your ignorant ilk would have no freedom of speech and likely have been in a gulag or executed long ago. Go pound sand ignoramus.

        1. Citizen ignoramus:

          You obviously don’t understand the difference between political systems and economic systems. You live in a mixed economy.

          The USA founding fathers specifically chose to enshrine much socialist funding into the nation even before your beloved Constitution was authorized. The Continental Army and every branch of the the military since has been funded by the people COLLECTIVELY, managed by the nonprofit state instead of a for-profit company. That is the very definition of socialism.

          Now if you want to keep making an ass of yourself, explain how America would be greater without libraries, common conveyance roads, a postal system and internet that connects everyone, an educational system that enables all citizens not just the rich to gain critical life skills, police enforcement to keep crime low, fire departments to put out forest fires, a federal bank that is independent of politicians, hospitals who treat everyone who needs care, etc. Shared burden minimizes costs to all for the huge unthankful tasks that corporations refuse to do.

          If you lived in an entirely capitalist society, greed would reign. Huge swathes of red states would never have telecommunications or grid connected electricity, it’s not profitable enough for a corporation to care. You would pay a toll to drive any street. Daily curbside delivery of your letters especially in rural regions would come only at exhorbitant personal cost. You would hire a body guard to defend against bandits and pay a subscription to a private firefighting brigade for protection. You would pay a small fortune to tutor your kids or if you were poor send them off to the local mill so you could avoid the cost. All able bodied people would spend several weeks every year training for defense because there would be no professional soldiers without public funding. Should you band together a militia and pass around the donation jar through the community to fund ammunition purchase, oops, that’s socialism. To be pure capitalist each man would have to buy or steal his own — borrowing from a private self governed (ofen mismanaged). bank for every project. When greed forces overleveraged banks to go under, too bad if you lose you farm. There would be no federal insurance. Isn’t that always better????

          Pure capitalism without restraints is madness. It also doesn’t save anyone money. Pure socialism isn’t preferred but it’s necessary to fund the common good in more ways than you care to admit.

      2. “Come on”, another propagandized socialist tool. The military protection of the USA is the only constitutionally legitimate (along with the judiciary) and mandatory spending recipient without which you and your ignorant ilk would have no freedom of speech and likely have been in a gulag or executed long ago. Go pound sand ignoramus.

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