Apple – A Disappointing Quarter?
Apple shipped 47.5 million iPhones in the quarter: 528 thousand every day, 22,000 every hour, 367 per minute, 6.1 per second. The results for Macs was also stunning: they grew 10%, while PCs fell 10%. Apple Music embraced. Apple Watch launched successfully. As usual after an Apple quarterly report, financial analysts were disappointed. As usual, I believe they are missing the point of Apple is all about. They seem to be focused on whether the profit margin next week will be 38.1% or 38.6%. Nothing can go straight up to the moon–as we learned from Sun, Cisco, Microsoft, and many others–but Apple still has a long way up, in my opinion. The reason is not the profit margin, although surely they will remain quite profitable. The point is that they make their products easy to use, cherished by users, and with great customer support. Whenever I have an occasion to talk to Apple customer support, I get the feeling they really care about my questions. One time a support rep did not know the answer to my question, and he immediately asked if I would mind if they got a colleague with more experience on the particular question to take over the call. Can you even imagine an AT&T or Comcast support rep doing that?
The point about ease of use is profound. The financial analysts don’t seem to get the seamless integration that Apple offers. You take a picture with your iPhone and then you pick up your iPad to look at it. Or you visit iCloud.com to look at it. Or on your Mac or your Apple Watch. Or your friend or family member can look at it in the Photo Stream you have shared with them in iCloud. You can text a friend from your iPhone and then when you get back home to your Mac, you can continue the dialog from the desktop or on your iPad. None of these things requires knowing much. As Steve Jobs used to say, “it just works”. Apple products not only work but they are all tied together through iCloud. The integration and ease of use create loyalty. Loyalty creates growth and profit. No company can grow to the moon, but it is quite likely, in my opinion and based on the “disappointing results”, Apple will soon be the first company to achieve a market capitalization of one trillion dollars.
Read about how mobile devices are revolutionizing healthcare in Health Attitude.