Headlines are a scourge upon humanity. Back in the day when all we had to read, view, or hear was news from the daily newspaper, a few TV stations, and a handful of radio stations it was easier to keep track of what was going on without much conflict. News was news.
These days when anything happens there are 174 different perspectives on what happened and they all get published within minutes of the action. Apple’s quarterly financials are no different. “Apple is doomed.” Or, “Apple beats the street.” Or, “iPhone sales continue to fall.”
Guess what? There was one big number that nobody paid much attention to.
Yeah, I know. iPhone sales are down. Hey, all smartphone sales are down, too. Get over it. Yeah, I know, iPhone sales dropped below 50-percent of Apple’s total revenue for the first time ever. Yet, guess which smartphone maker took home the prize of most revenue and most profit?
I looked through Jason Snell’s wonderfully crafted charts and graphs of Apple’s financials trying to find anything that looked bad. Nope. Nothing.
iPhone sales are mostly flat for the past few years. On average, Mac and iPad sales are up but mostly flat in recent years. As expected, Services revenue growth has slowed. Apple profits are still remarkably high in total. The new Wearables category continues to grow like crazy.
Is that it? Are Watch and AirPods the big numbers people forgot about?
What I didn’t hear or see anywhere in the numbers game was Apple’s continually growing customer base, now well over 1-billion with well over 1.5-billion devices in the wild, and that says something important.
Apple will continue to sell more than 20-million Macs a year, about 40-million iPads a year, and nearly 200-million iPhones a year, but now has a couple of businesses– Wearables with Watch and AirPods– already worth more than iPad and almost as much as the Mac.
Every year that customer base gets bigger and every year those customers keep buying Apple products; not just iPhone, but accessories, iPads, Macs, and apps. Plus, they buy wearables in the form of AirPods, Watch, Beats headphones, and since iPhone makes up less than half the company’s total revenue, it should come as no surprise that Apple is a well diversified company– good for customers, good for investors, bad for competition.
Customer base. You didn’t read, view, or hear much about those numbers but they are huge and hugely important to Apple.