We have long since established that Apple is a hardware company. Look at the big sources of revenue. First, iPhone; almost half. Second, Services; growing but all based upon hardware sales. Next, Mac; just barely above another rapidly growing stack– Wearables; itself hardware. Finally, the iPad.
It appears as if Apple has figured out that it remains a hardware company despite Services growth, but the basic hardware line has not changed much since Steve Jobs introduced the iPad in 2010. While Jobs reigned as the King of Market Disruption, what of replacement CEO Tim Cook?
Apple’s revenue and profits have grown to massive levels under Cook; so massive that Apple cannot figure out what to do with all the money so it gives it away with stock buybacks and dividends. So many giveaways that Google has more cash on hand than Apple.
The product line?
It’s still iPhone, Mac, and iPad; in that order. Based on all the sales I see for Macs on Amazon and Best Buy, and the sales I see for iPads on Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and everywhere else, it looks to me as if Apple intends to remain a hardware company and is shopping– with lower prices– for new customers to add to the billion-plus customers already in the ecosystem.
That makes sense, right?
OK, with all those big hardware products raking in the cash, what hath Tim Cook wrought since he took over from Steve Jobs? Did he continue the reign of market disruptions?
Uh, kinda, sorta, almost mostly; a little bit.
Tim Cook is the reigning King of Accessories for iPhone. Apple Pay, Apple Music, Apple Watch, AirPods, Beats headphones, Apple Card, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Apple News+.
Those products are far different than Jobs’ products but combined they bring ever more revenue and profits from Apple’s billion or so customers. That looks like a good product line to me. No, it isn’t groundbreaking market disruption products on the order of iPod, Mac, iPhone, and iPad, because Cook is moving those products along in a highly profitable if not simply iterative fashion.
Jobs was the King of Market Disruption while Cook reigns as the King of iPhone Accessories; a line that is long and growing. Apple Pay, Apple Watch, Apple Music, AirPods, Beats headphones, and then products that work across all products– Apple News+, Apple TV+, and, now AppleCare+, a monthly subscription service for almost everything except the Mac.
Deep thinking Apple’s product line is not a difficult endeavor, but doing so points out just how compact and compressed Apple’s revenue and profit streams are– diversified, too– when compared to competition.