Apple CFO Luca Maestri comments on Apple, growth

Apple CFO Luca Maestri spoke at yesterday’s Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. If you are interested in where Apple is going as a company and the potential for growth, take a few minutes to listen to Luca speak. Here’s a link to the audio, found on Apple’s web site.

One set of comments I found particularly interesting was Luca addressing the question, “Is the iPhone still a growth business?” Luca’s (slightly edited) response:

I want to point out that during the December quarter, we went back to growth with iPhone, and it was actually was very good for us to see. We definitely continue to believe that there’s a lot of room for growth with our iPhone business.


When we look at the smartphone as a consumer product, we really believe it’s become more relevant to people’s lives than it was, ten years ago, five years ago, and two years ago, when you look at how much people rely on their iPhones in every aspect of life, from payments, in the car, in the home, and that’s a great foundation, the fact that the product is extremely relevant to people’s lives is very important.

We also believe that there is a lot of innovation left in the iPhone, when we look at the key foundational technologies that go into the product. When you look at processors, look at sensors, displays, batteries, cameras, we made a lot of progress during that last few years on those dimensions and we think there is a lot that is left. Innovation can help us continue to grow the business.

When we look at markets around the world, there’s a lot of growth that is available to us in emerging markets, starting from China, to India, many places around the world, the demographics are such that we can expect a rise in the middle class, we can expect that LTE adoption and smartphone penetration will increase over time and our market share is extremely low in a lot of these emerging markets.

Luca is not in marketing. He’s the Chief Financial Officer, a numbers guy. This take seems objective, based on demographics, and gives me a sense that there’s still a lot of room for future iPhone growth.

  • Mo

    I suppose it’s an indication of balance that China’s and India’s middle class are growing while we’re destroying ours.

  • Gregg_Thurman

    Its important to note that while it seems that cellular growth has stalled, half the planet is still primarily 2G and 3G. China was virtually all 2G when China Mobile signed with Apple. iPhone growth in China was tied directly to the speed of China Mobile’s network upgrade to 4G. That is essentially complete now.

    India’s cellular network today is where Chinas network was 5 years ago (primarily 2G). The big difference between the 2 countries is that all cellular companies in China are government owned Upgrading to 4G was facilitated by government financial resources. This is not the case in India. Expanding/upgrading India’s cellular network will be accomplished with the resources of private enterprise and heidi back by a multi-layer protectionist bureaucracy. Still, a rising political class not beholding to the past is making good progress in knocking down commercial barriers.

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