One thing that Apple has always been good at is being doomed. They were doomed when the Macintosh was only a year old, when they didn’t sell as many Macs as the market analysts thought necessary.
Doomed when Windows exploded on the marketplace, even as Apple cultivated a growing set of lifelong passionate followers.
Doomed when Jobs left (Michael Dell famously said, “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”)
Doomed when the iPhone was a few years in, and the big players entered the market (there was even a funeral).
So much doom. Over and over and over again.
Ever reliable, here’s the New York Times headline reporting on yesterday’s Apple earnings: Apple Reports Declining Profits and Stagnant Growth, Again. Doomed, right?
To me, the story is much better told in the big pie chart in this 9to5Mac article, titled AAPL up 4% in pre-market trading despite iPhone revenue falling below 50% mark.
Click through the link and take a look at the chunk of the pie chart labeled Services. Year over year, that’s up about 13%. This is Apple shifting focus, recognizing the difficulty of sustaining iPhone’s explosive growth and sliding into other sources of revenue, a model started years ago.
And look at Wearables. From Jason Snell’s excellent analysis, Apple’s Q3 2019 results: Evolving from the iPhone to Wearables and Services:
While Services is still growing rapidly—it was up 13 percent over last year’s quarter—it’s not the fastest mover in Apple’s portfolio. That’s the category formerly known as Other, and recently relabeled as Wearable/Home/Accessories. The home of Apple Watch and AirPods has seen 10 straight quarters of double-digit percentage growth. After seven straight quarters with growth percentages in the 30s, the category revenue shot up 48 percent this quarter.
The doomed line used to bother me. But now I find it a valuable clue as to the level of understanding shown by the doomsayer. Crying doom is easy, but it missed the forest for the trees.
Apple continues to amaze me. Yes, there are flaws, unavoidable for a company this large, with products this complex. But one thing Apple ain’t, is doomed.