Apple’s biggest problem? My mom

“When Apple lost more than $75 billion in market value this past week after a surprise announcement that it is expecting lower iPhone sales than originally projected, the company put most of the blame for its troubles on China, where a slowing economy and the trade war with the United States have hurt sales,” Kevin Roose writes for The New York Times. “But a bigger issue for Apple might exist much closer to home, in a small, leafy town in Ohio.”

“That’s where my mom lives. She’s a relatively tech-savvy retiree and a longtime Apple fan who has used many of the company’s products over the years. I learned to type on an Apple IIGS at her office, and she was an early adopter of the original turquoise iMac,” Roose writes. “Her phone isn’t the latest model — it’s a three-year-old iPhone 6S — and it’s missing some of the latest features… But she’s happy with it, and doesn’t feel the need to upgrade.”

Apple's 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus debuted on September 25, 2015
Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus debuted on September 25, 2015

“But for my mom, and the many people who are probably in her situation, the company’s slowing iPhone sales aren’t at all a disaster. In fact, they make total sense, and they don’t have much to do with China,” Roose writes. “The most consequential hit to Apple’s bottom line may be from people who are holding on to their phones for longer.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: 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.


  1. I would trash the mom too, but my Mid 2009 Macbook Pro is running just fine. Matter of fact, a recent clean up of the unit netted me 35 additional GB of space. To old reliables, I tip my hat.

  2. is it really good enough? maybe I’m an outlier, maybe I’m early on a bigger defection trend?

    it just works…..not so much anymore…..

    insanely great…..nope

    I’m getting very close to being done with Apple.

    my 13-inch MacBook Pro crashes frequently (and probably more than all my Macs combined since 2001)
    anything that starts with iCloud and ends with Library is a dumpster fire. Add ‘family’ into that service and it burns even hotter. and Apple wants to see their growth driven by services? Their services are still a wreck.
    large photo libraries? forget it
    I hate big phones, but it seems nobody wants to make a good, small phone anymore. So a neutral for apple on this one…..
    iOS seems heading downhill too, the phone can’t decide if it wants to connect with CarPlay, bluetooth, or USB. never behaves the same way. I never know whether music will work without me tinkering while driving…..
    multi-factor authentication is another disaster waiting to happen. I see the day when I get locked out of everything…..

    If the alternatives weren’t Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, I’m pretty sure I’d have jumped ship already. FirefoxBook? – Sold! Some privacy friendly version of Android on a smaller device? – Sold!

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