iPhone 7 Sales Cool Faster than Expected

Posted on May 3, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in iOS, Mobile with 39 Comments

iPhone 7 Sales Cool Faster than Expected

Apple surprised analysts by announcing lower-than-expected iPhone sales in its quarterly financial results this week. Is this just the latest chink in the armor of a firm that was once viewed as invincible?

No. Instead it’s important to view these results in perspective: Apple is still minting money, with net income of $11 billion on revenues of $52.9 billion, both of which are higher than a year earlier. And with almost 50.7 million iPhones sold in the quarter—basically flat compared to 51.2 million a year earlier—Apple’s phone business is hardly in disarray.

I’m amused to see reports suggest that this “shortfall” is due to customers waiting on an anticipated 10th anniversary iPhone this fall, and even Apple CEO Tim Cook got in on that convenient excuse during a post-earnings conference call. But that’s ridiculous: Apple’s mainstream customers aren’t that tuned-in to anything, let alone tech rumors. What we should all be doing here is applauding Apple for milking its iPhone 6 generation of products for three generations instead of the usual two and still driving such heady sales.

To that end, Cook correctly lauded the “continued robust demand for iPhone 7 Plus” in particular. Apple generated $12.5 billion in operating cash flow in and returned over $10 billion to investors in the quarter. Its total cash hoard is now $256.8 billion, a record.

That said, I understand why everyone is over-analyzing Apple: This is the biggest tech company in the world and its product launches, no matter how minor, generate incredible interest and, more important, enviable sales. But what I think is perhaps more relevant is Apple’s continued inability to augment iPhone with another blockbuster business. Its other products, successes all for sure, just can’t measure up to the impossibly high standards of the iPhone. This is the same problem Microsoft faced with Windows a few decades ago.

In Apple’s case, the “game changing” iPad was supposed to usher in the post-PC era and relegate Windows-based PCs to the dustbin of history. PC sales have absolutely fallen over these years—have in fact collapsed in many ways—but the culprit here is iPhone, not iPad. In fact, iPad sales have now fallen, year-over-year, for an astonishing three and a half years. This quarter, Apple sold 8.9 million iPads, down 13 percent from the 10.3 million units it sold in FQ2 2016 a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Mac sales were up, but just by 4 percent: Apple sold almost 4.2 million Macs in the quarter, compared to 4 million in the year-ago quarter. It looks like the new MacBook Pro hasn’t moved the needle much on Mac sales despite a years-long wait for a new model. And with 61.25 million PCs sold in the quarter, Mac accounted for just 6.85 percent of the market. Speaking of not moving the needle.

I’m sure there is a ton of nuance to evaluate here, including the ongoing growth of Apple’s services business and the lagging Apple Watch and Apple TV. But whatever. Apple is Apple, and it remains unique in the industry. And it will continue to be unique for the foreseeable future, no matter what you or I may think of the company, its products, or its strategy. Let’s not invent a narrative where there isn’t one.


Tagged with , , , , ,

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (39)

39 responses to “iPhone 7 Sales Cool Faster than Expected”

  1. Ugur

    I think you under estimate the average non geek a bit there Paul =)

    I mean my Mom is not a geek at all and uses the iPad i bought her mostly to read in newspaper apps.

    But guess what? Of course, at least the major tech headlines make it in there sooner or later, too and so she is of course aware that there will be a bigger iPhone upgrade towards the end of the year.

    Heck, she even told me the other day that there were news that the bigger upgrade will maybe be delayed to 2018 because they have supply and manufacturing issues.

    So yeah, unless not watching/reading any news at all in mainstream media, most average joes/janes nowadays at least have an idea around when a new iPhone comes out or when there is for example news in mainstream media that a new samsung phone "has redefined how a smartphone will look from now on".

    That type of stuff totally makes it into the mainstream media and gospel nowadays.

    That said, i don't think besides hardcore Apple lovers many are holding out for the next iPhone so long due to thinking it will be a huge leap, more likely to me that more and more are buying other devices like the S8 due to that being the hyped up thing right now and yes, also due to, as you said, Apple having reused that meanwhile bulky outdated looking iPhone design so long again now, it's just stale and boring and compared to other devices the bezels are huge and hence the device with larger screen is extremely bulky.

    I bought my Mom an iPhone 7 plus because she can read better on a large screen but yeah, the shell/body feels quite bulky to her, too.

    Maybe i'll buy her an S8 plus and sell the 7 plus while it's still worth anything..

    Overall Apple is still best at maximizing profit margins per device and that is the main reason they have such huge profits, if one looks at purely device unit numbers, they shrink further and further compared to many others, especially outside the US they shrink further and further in market share compared to Android.

    Now it has hit the level where the thinness and profit maximizing per unit has gone so far that there was a major uproar among mac users and even among iPhone fans the talk about stale and bulky seeming outdated iPhone design gets louder and louder, so the next iteration of iPhones and Macs is really a very important one for Apple to avoid too many more jumping ship.

    Up to now Apple always got the memo right when it was the gen where one further gen of missing the times would have been disastrous (see when they got the memos for smaller tablets, larger phones etc all just the gen when the moaning started to get loud), so i'm curiously expecting to see what they deliver with the next iPhones and macs.

    But likely if i need a new phone for someone in the family, no, of course i won't wait for what Apple may or may not deliver by the end of the year and instead buy the S8(+) or one of the many other great options.

  2. jwpear

    I'm one of those still on the iPhone 6, which by the way, I bought used to replace my Lumia Icon.  It has been three years since I have made a new phone purchase.  I just haven't found any of Apple's latest hardware to be all the interesting.  The iPhone 7 definitely wasn't all that compelling over the 6 and 6S.  I feel like most of their hardware of late have some form of compromise.  The lack of an audio port on the iPhone 7 was a big one for me. 

    Probably foolish, but I'm still holding out hope that Apple comes to its senses with the audio port, particularly with the recent trend of going back to slightly thicker devices.

    It does feel like folks are just hanging on to their devices longer these days, including phones.  They're so expensive and the changes with each new generation are not significant.

    I'm curious to see what the fall iPhone hardware brings.  If it lacks compelling features and includes more compromises, I'll pass again.  The loss of convenient Touch ID would be a big one for me.  I really enjoy the ease of using it to unlock the phone, authenticating in apps, and using it for Apple Pay. 

  3. cyloncat

    As a life-long contrarian, I decided to upgrade to the 7 Plus instead of waiting for 8 or whatever they call it. So many things are still open to massive change on the next iPhone, that I figured it might be better to give it a year to shake out before stepping on the upgrade treadmill again. Kind of a reverse Obsborne effect.

    As for the watch, I have a Series 2 Apple Watch and I really like it; I'm wearing a watch again for the first time in many years, and I find that I missed having a watch more than I realized. Plus, using the watch for Apple Pay isn't going to get old any time soon. As far as I'm concerned, this is a product that deserves success.

    • Delmont

      In reply to cyloncat:

      So many things are still open to massive change on the next iPhone, that I figured it might be better to give it a year to shake out before stepping on the upgrade treadmill again. Kind of a reverse Obsborne effect.

      That's the stupidest thing I've read. What are you living in 2001 and waiting for the next Pentium III?

  4. Minok

    So long as there is no 3.5mm audio jack on the phones, the one I have will have to do since bluetooth streaming isn't an option on my cars and I'm not upgrading my cars to be compatible with a phone.

    Hardware features that are missing on the current phones that would interest me: wireless charging, and zoom lense that would make taking shots at 4x or 6x good. Edge-to-edge screen, curves, all that doesn't mater, its cosmetic. I've got to hold the phone and put my fingers somewhere. The phone lives in a wallet-case and so what the back or edges look like are irrelevant.

    • Darmok N Jalad

      In reply to Minok:

      We bought a Bluetooth-to-headphone-jack adapter for the car from Amazon. It was under $20, so, much cheaper than a new car. I didn't get it because of a lack of a headphone jack on the phone, but because every cable we had tried before would wear out from the constant plugging and unplugging and abuse. The Bluetooth adapter has lasted a couple years now, and you can even use it for hands free calls and skipping song tracks. It also automatically connects to the phone, so one less thing to mess with every time I go somewhere, and the cable clutter can be managed, making the interior cleaner and safer.

  5. glenn8878

    Seems like Apple is leaving money on the table by not tricking out the best specs for its Macs and MacBooks. So what if they don't like ports. Why not just do a port and peripheral heavy version? Prices are already sky high. iPhones are also restrained in how far they can go. Adding a few extra features isn't going far enough. Go even larger and larger storage and more ports. I wish they have user replaceable SIM slots or dual SIM slots.

  6. Bdsrev

    Wow, how low will iPad sales go? It's not leveling out! At this point, they should be very concerned about the iPad.

    • robsanders247

      In reply to Bdsrev:

      And yet the iPad generated $3B more in revenue for Apple than all Surface models combined for Microsoft last quarter. Yes, compared to other products in Apple's portfolio that's not great, but we need to maintain the correct perspective. Any vendor would be very happy to have a product that generated that amount of revenue at a growing average sales price.

  7. jamiet

    The Post-PC era no longer includes iPads, it seems. I guess people have realized that they are an expensive toy made primarily for consuming media

    • Jorge Garcia

      In reply to jamiet:

      One product category which I think Apple is missing out on is a "laptop for normal people/millennials". In my opinion, they should make a (fairly ho-hum) clam-shell laptop that runs a version of iOS that is customized to allow for windowed apps and is also mouse + right-click friendly. If they started it at $699 or so, I think would appeal to A LOT of people who aren't really interested in learning all the ins-and-outs of MacOS. I'd call it the iBook, and it would sell like crazy.

  8. Jorge Garcia

    Regarding MacBooks and iPads : IMO people still like the laptop form factor very much...it's just hard to sell normal people on an OS that works for them in 2017, their needs are just not that "pro" that they need to deal with the "weight" of a full OS. Consequently, MacOS, just like Windows, is still bit overkill for them. If Apple would simply make a fork of iOS that had a windowed, semi-productive interface, and some moderate mouse/trackpad support, then an iPad-ish clamshell laptop would sell very well IMO. They are probably working on this, but it should have come out in 2014...it just seems like a no-brainer to me. The Apple App Store is so powerful, but you can't really access it from a laptop. And, of course, since a lot of folks couldn't afford this iPad laptop of which I speak, Google -or anybody else- should really be making an alternative laptop running windowed Android. Right now if you want this, you need to buy a crappy Chinese laptop. (Yes, I know about Chromebooks :))

  9. robsanders247

    I agree for the most part with this. But not on the Apple Watch being lagging. For an add-on product to the iPhone and with an estimated 24M units shipped in the past 24 months, I would say they're doing just fine. And becoming the second largest watch company in the world, behind Rolex, is no small thing to achieve. I think any company that enters a mature market and becomes the number two player in that timeframe, would be very happy. It's not selling the numbers that iPhones do, but that product is a category of its own.

    • JudaZuk

      In reply to robsanders247:

      Problem I see is that being one of the biggest players in a market that is getting smaller and smaller is not big of a deal . Watch makers have become less and less relevant the past decade at least .. not that many people buy regular watches anymore, like they did last century. So the fact that Apple is the second largest watch company in the world does not say much .. and I would not even call them a watch company, because they really are not making any watches. They make a smart devices for your wrist that is called Watch .. that is not even showing the time unless you move your arm correctly. You can not have it rested on your desk and see what time it is without moving it for instance.

      I can say it's a smart watch (but not a watch), but smartwatches is also a segment that really have not taken off in any meaningful way. Fitness trackers have in their specific segment, but that is because it fills its function .. Apple Watch does fitness as well, but it is really not optimal for the fitness purpose either as it is just not rugged enough for it. It is made to be pretty, the least important part for a fitness devices.

      What Apple should do , (imo) is make a proper fitness tracker, then they might have something. Apple Watch just try to do to much, and do none really that good.... and that is the same for almost all smartwatches today, and that is why very few people buy them ..and if they bought one, even less buy one again after the first one .

  10. mjw149

    I'd love it if someone looked into the corporate sales aspect of this. If they're on two year cycles, too, which year gets the bulk of sales, etc. It's not just consumers now. Ipad Pro in some ways came from success with iphones.

  11. red.radar

    I wonder if the lagging iPhone sales are just the realization the smartphone has matured. There are "as good" alternatives and phones last longer from a feature and software lifecycle.

    Unless your phone is broken or you need an improvement in some area (camera). There isn't a big reason to spend 700+ dollars to upgrade something that is likely to experience some accidental damage.

    I love to believe people are revolting on the headphone jack. But I am sure that is only wishful thinking on my part.

    I so wonder when apple will make the jump away from lightening to usb-c.

  12. helix2301

    But in Apples defense there Air pod head phones have been selling so fast most people are waiting a month for them that has to be a huge revenue for them.

  13. nwebster

    I think you're wrong that people don't know a new iPhone is coming. It is not relegated to tech blogs and industry insiders/followers. Its all over the web. iPhone news is big news, and people have been hearing for a long time about the special new iPhone.

  14. PincasX

    Looking at Apple's revenue data it looks like China remains the largest challenge for the iPhone. It was the only geo that saw a dip in iPhone revenue yoy. Some of that is due to a stronger dollar but Apple can't seem to get any traction there. 

    I'm not sure how services is a nuance when it is Apple's second largest revenue generator. It is larger than the Mac business and the iPad + Other combined. It has also been growing at about 20% yoy for six quarters straight. This isn't nuance this is where Apple is planning to grow revenue now that the iPhone appears to have hit it’s saturation point. 

    On a kind of funny note, Macs were only up 4% but MBP was up 10%. The weird thing is that Microsoft was trying to spin some tale about how MacBook users were so disappointed with the new product that they were switching to Surface Pro in huge numbers. I'm not sure how that works with Surface sales going down while MBP is going up but I'm sure someone will do the mental gymnastics required to make that all square. 

    • obarthelemy

      In reply to PincasX:

      The issue with services is that they're not a sales driver, but just a mechanical consequence of devices' installed base. Nobody buys Apple services but iDevices owners (as opposed to Google, FB, MS, Amazon, Adobe... services).

      Apple is good at milking its userbase via services, but it depends on the iOS/MacOS installed base. If device sales falter, installed base will eventually shrink, and services sales follow.

      • PincasX

        In reply to obarthelemy:

        I don't disagree but I'm not sure how this is relvant to what I said. Yes, servies are largely dependent on the Apple userbase but it doesn't make their revenue impact irrelevant. It's a big part of Apple's revenue growth strategy and not a "nuance".

      • robsanders247

        In reply to obarthelemy:

        With the amount of iPhone users out there, there is no shortage in potential customers for services. And with the catalogues of Apple Music and Spotify being almost identical, switching to Apple Music is a no-brainer to get a more integrated experience.

        • obarthelemy

          In reply to robsanders247:

          Yes and no: Apple services are either impossible to use or sub-par on non-Apple devices. Even w/o debating the relative merits of iOS/MacOS vs Android and Windows, the mere fact that Apple only make luxury devices makes getting locked into their services an expensive proposition: costs quickly pile up when you've got a whole family to outfit w/ a phone a tablet, and a laptop or desktop.. or both per person. And it might be sub-optimal, say if they're a gamer teen in the mix.

          • PincasX

            In reply to obarthelemy:

            This is really easy and has nothing to do with arguing the merits of Apples services. It's basic math, Apple servcies may be crap, they may be okay, they may be great but whatever they are they make up for 13% of Apple revenue. 13% isn't insignificant (nuaunce as Paul put it). If you are doing due diligence on covering Apple then you can't act like that part of the revenue doesn't matter.

          • nbplopes

            In reply to obarthelemy:

            I would not say they are luxury. I'm a tech guy and tech guys tend to buy stuff based tech decision. When I go to tech / development conferences outside MS focuses tech I see a a ver arge volume of MacBooks, equaling or surpassing Windows PCs. This are basically fueled from developers that come from Linux/Unix, and focus their development efforts using tech built not from MS, say Javascript, nodejs, docker, kubernetes, electron so on and so forth. MS move to support Bash/Linux subsystem, integrate this artifacts in Visual Studio as first citizens, Visual Studio Code, opening .NET Core etc, is done to to capture these people into Windows or keep them at bay. Still the effect as not been so much as a cross pollination into UWP unfortunately.

            If one is short in cash I personally I find hard to justify the cost of MacBook, any of them, simply to work with tools such as Office and Homegrown Photography efforts. Heck, I find it hard to justify paying more than $1000 for any Laptop for those purposes while keeping it light weight.

            Unfortunately sub $1000 from Apple are still not able to replace a laptop for those purposes. And sub $1000 light weight PCs do not offer enough power to perform those tasks smoothly to a point where tech disappears out of the way. That is the area that needs a technical / business model breakthrough.

            There is where Chromebook seam to be caching up.

            I just don't see the mass market for over $1000 Chromebooks or iPads. At least I don't see what problems these devices solve in that price range. But between $500 and $1000, it can solve a lot of problems.

            But has I said all this as to do with profit margins too. Don't see Apple interested in a business model based on %4 profit margin per device, not even MS is really. So it all comes downs to ARM in way or another. Will ARM become powerful and cheap enough so that quality devices can be built in that price range to replace Intel based PCs while still providing 20% profit margin. Will we have a break through in materials?

            Who knows.

            PS: Of course the success of Apple services are fully indexed on the success of its devices and OS. Unlike Google, MS or Amazon ...

            • nbplopes

              In reply to nbplopes:

              Why is this observation voted down I have no clue. It's the truth of the matter.

              The idea that tech people don't buy MacBooks Pros, iPads and iPhones or if they do its because they have been brainwashed or love nail polishers its ludicrous. Its an exercise in sticking the heads on the sand. In other words, not a very smart observation.

              The vast majority buy Windows because:

              1) Its what they learned to use and don't feel the urge to learn something new

              2) Because everyone uses it

              3) Companies at large use it

              4) From a usability perspective is not bad. Its probably all most people know

              5) It has diversified hardware ecosystems (OEMs and DYI) aka more price competition in the hardware front

              6) They are basically everywhere, in every store, every tech mall. Yes, Apple has shops all over the place, but so do PC's and PC Clinics. PC Vendor support varies in highly in quality even the same Vendor can vary in quality depending on the region.

              That is basically it.

              Due to the above, to buy anything but Windows there is usually a far more solid reasons to do it than Windows it self. And these reasons aren't only intangible. Yes people might end up doing the same thing, but the journey is as important as the destination.

    • Darmok N Jalad

      In reply to PincasX:

      Yeah, the problem Surface brand brings to MS is that they can't market it for what it really is, a direct competitor to Windows OEMs. Whenever they talk Surface sales, the fall all over themselves to avoid this. When Surface sells well, it's because "more people than ever" are leaving Mac. When Surface sales are down, it's because their Windows partners are doing so well.

      Surface has been a giant investment, so I don't buy that it is strictly an aspirational product. If that were the case, why not also still have a Windows Mobile device to purchase? Surface Laptop offers nothing aspirational other than a new and limited OS version (one that makes more sense on Surface tablet, IMO). Without the "new" OS, it would just be another ultrabook, just directly from MS.

  15. obarthelemy

    A lot of iUsers around me are aware of the upcoming iPhone redesign. Not so much for the hardware inside nor functionnality, but for the new, not-last-season, look.

  16. Bats

    You know what? I am not an Apple fan. I used to be, when I was frustrated with Windows XP and saw how different, simple and easy to use a Powerbook was, but I came back to the Windows PC side, because of the hardware innovations from PC makers.

    However, this article...is just so bitter and vile.

    It's true. People were put off with buying the iPhone 7 because of the rumors of the 10th Anniversay iPhone 8. In my attempts to get people to switch from the iPhone to the superior Android Nexus and Pixel phones, I recommended to those iPhone loyalists to stay with their current iPhones and just wait for the 10th Anniversary edition. Because they trusted me, they did.

    My analysis and recommendations are not something that I came to all by myself. Rather, it comes from reading and listening from various "trusted" sources throughout the internet. It's something Paul Thurrott, clearly does not do.

    Boy, this guy is so bitter, dare I say "ignorant?" He says that the iPad was not a game changer, but it was!!! Paul Thurrott clearly does not understand that the iPad led to the Galaxies that led to the Surfaces. The same Surfaces that failed three times and took the 4th generation to actually be "good." Let's not forget, what Paul said a few years ago. The Surface was not a tablet (which it clearly was). Rather it was an ultraportable. I think Paul knew it was a tablet, but just towing the company narrative, so the Surface wouldn't be compared to the iPad at the time. I'm sorry, but to me, this phony slanted journalism is was undercuts any kind of credibility Paul has when it comes to technology. Let's not forget, the guy is a stay home blogger does know how the real world acts and behaves. The proof is to just look at his record of recommendations...which happen to be all wrong.

    LOL...I can't believe that I actually have to defend Apple because of this post.

    • nbplopes

      In reply to Bats:

      A tend to read Paul thoughts with large pits of salt. I find him to be more sober when he talks than when he writes. The second he tends to think too much about his audience, but still he manages to cross some unpopular observations amongst the Windows community.

      I remember just a few weeks ago he was shaking is head of disbelief over Windows Cloud, we already knew it would allow only Windows Store apps. But now seams that he saw the light as the future of Windows and argues he has been thinking in those terms all along point to snipets of simple facts sustaining is support from inception. Who follows this site know very well that is not the case.

      Apple is not the largest tech company in absolute terms as Paul seams to entice users to think. It is the largest tech company in revenue but not in people and product reach.

      Most people talk about these companies without understanding their profit margins arriving to really wrong conclusions.

      For instance, Paula and others say that Apple success is based on huge profit margins by misleading users and leading them to buy legacy hardware at high prices when compared to Windows PC.

      So here are the profit margins:

      Microsoft: https://ycharts.com/companies/MSFT/profit_margin

      Apple: https://ycharts.com/companies/AAPL/profit_margin

      Apple revenue comes from a combination of high volume of sales, price and smaller operational costs when compared to MS. 20% of 100 is 20, but 20% of 1000 is $200. The operational costs of Apple are also lower than MS. Yes they have stores in a lot of countries, but there are no Apple Centers such as the ones MS has spread across the Globe.

      But let's go further. Let's talk about Windows PC OEMs. Say HP:


      See 4%. One can see that here that MS PC business is riding on the back of a lot of this low profit margin companies.

      Lenovo: https://ycharts.com/companies/LNVGY/profit_margin

      Yes even worst than HP in terms of profit margin.

      The question is what would happen if Apple decides to use its huge cash reserves grow the Mac/Macbook market share? In other words, what would happen if Apple decides to reduce its profit margin down by 15%?

      This means that a MacBook Pro instead selling for $1500 would be sold by $1300 give or take. This would make it around the price of a Surface Laptop with comparable specs (forgiving the touch vs non touch differences). Which means that either MS is subsidizing the Surface Laptop or its profit margin is around 5%.

      With such incredible volume in cash reserves if they want to increase the OS X marketshare could easily be done by reducing they OSX hardware margins to %4 or %5 like everyone seams to have when it comes to hardware. But would be enough? I think we can agree that it would not and keep on producing laptops with premium materials. They would need to go plastic ....

      The only way for Apple seams to be keeping on optimizing its iPad / ARM combination and hope that ARM will get even more efficient so that eventually in the near future it can replace sub $1000 laptops while offering superior performance and quality. Notice that what you in this presentations can already be done with an $600 iPad smoothly. For instance that Human skeleton app demonstrated.

      Still Apple is not there yet due to lack of Mouse Support and suboptimal laptop input output, needs a mouse at least.

      Microsoft with its ARM bet its preparing itself for the day it will happen. The question is, will MS be able to optimize Windows 10 fast enough for that time.

      The iPhone growth none this year. Is still hard to arrive to any kind of conclusion why. Will see in a year or so. The company does not have a problem in the iPhone. In the iPad front, considering the above it seams that its kind of waiting form ARM ramp up the power. But if takes too long for ARM to achieve the levels of performance as Apple intended, the company might be in trouble in the future as Phone / PC integration evolves outside Apple ecosystem.

      There is no doubt for me that Apple needs a successful sub $1000 laptop alternative while keeping margins ar %20+ if it is planing on keeping on growing as fast has they have been. But until iPad proves that it replaces a laptop and it better within that price range there is noway. "Can replace" it is just not good enough for people that cannot afford or don't need to have a tablet and a laptop.



    • Daekar

      In reply to Bats:

      I think you're pounding on Paul a bit unnecessarily hard. The iPad was only a game changer in that it was a large iPhone. If the iPhone was capable of doing what you needed but you wanted a bigger screen, then the iPad was useful. Otherwise, it wasn't groundbreaking at all - all the ground was broken with the iPhone.

      The iPad didn't lead to the Surface. Existing tablet PC technology led to the iPad, and Surface has far more in its DNA from that existing tablet PC technology than the iPad.

      Unless you're working in Silicon Valley, the corporate world still runs on Windows. In fact, where I work quite a bit of it runs on Surfaces. The only reason they issue iPhones is because Microsoft completely, totally, and inexcusably missed the boat on mobile, and Android just isn't stable enough (I say that as a devoted user of Samsung products).

      Apple is still ultimately a one-trick pony. Their one trick, however, is a complete freaking beast. As Paul said, they're hardly in disarray, and I expect that they will continue to bring in mind boggling amounts of money for the foreseeable future.

      • Darmok N Jalad

        In reply to Daekar:

        I don't think Apple is a one trick pony. Absolutely, iPhone stands way above the rest. As a consequence, people expect every other product from them to see iPhone-like success. Watch is growing significantly (doubled sales in one year). MacOS division has remained stable in an era of declining desktop sales (Surface took a 26% hit last quarter). The EarPods have been huge. Seeing growth in all these segments isn't a given anymore as hardware advancements are leveling off.

        There's only so much admiring you can do of a Galaxy S8 or Surface Laptop or iPhone 7. Maybe people are finally realizing that the luster fades and the device in their hand is good enough. I think iPads have definitely fallen into this camp. The Air and Air 2 are still perfectly good for their purposes--good performance, nice screens, slim form factor. Just because sales are down doesn't mean the devices aren't being used or have no value. There just isn't as much incentive to upgrade them. We have so many devices in our lives, there has to be a tipping point on how much each consumer has to spend.

        • Jorge Garcia

          In reply to Darmok N Jalad: I think that fundamentally, they ARE a one-trick pony, but due to their massive cash reserves and the (easily foreseeable) continued sales of iPhones...they will be able to "purchase" themselves a few more tricks to keep their party going a very long time. The concept of "luxury, but commonplace electronics" is absurd and there is only so much you can milk that, but the iPhone is such a hit that they'll be able to milk their silly premise for many years to come.

      • wolters

        In reply to Bats:

        The iPad was only a game changer in that it was a large iPhone. If the iPhone was capable of doing what you needed but you wanted a bigger screen, then the iPad was useful."

        I firmly believe if UWP (Windows Store) would have taken off, the Surface or "Windows Tablet's" in general would have redefined tablets. There are some good ideas with Windows as a tablet (inking for one) but all of it is struggling. Which makes me wonder what of Windows 10s? The Windows Store is going to have to EXPLODE!

      • PincasX

        In reply to Daekar: "I think you're pounding on Paul a bit unnecessarily hard." 

        Ahhh haaaaa.. the 13 year old in me just pissed himself.

    • RobertJasiek

      In reply to Bats:

      The major differences between iPads and Surfaces are: iPads up to 9.7" are hand-holding tablets while Surface and Surface Pro are, by design and weight, first of all table-bound tablets; operating system; without versus with general file management; software (and / or its functionality) mostly mainstream versus also covering every productive specialised purpose and every driver for special purpose hardware.

      • irfaanwahid

        In reply to RobertJasiek:

        For home use, iPads are ideal. When it comes to actual/business productivity, iPad sucks. And I'm not only referring to iOS single minded apps like CRM (Sales Force), etc, but LOB applications such as full fledge Dynamics, SAP, Oracle ERP systems, developers with VS etc. For such scenarios Surfaces are miles ahead. There are lots apps like described above that is used day to day by business customers. Until iPad doesn't fit that bill, they won't attract businesses apart from in meetings checking mails and calendars.

      • Jorge Garcia

        In reply to RobertJasiek: This is true, and it's what makes the Surface great IN THAT WAY, however, Legacy Windows is just too much OS for a lot of people in 2017. In a perfect world, where Windows Mobile had succeeded in generating robust ecosystem, and not Android, there would be variants of all the Surface Machines that ran a beefed up (still windowed, but simplified) Windows Mobile interface with its good App Store, and none of the ills of Legacy Windows. But, alas...

  17. Narg

    Is it me, or is Apple just not that exciting any more...

    Seriously, once they started removing features some folks wanted, and not adding stuff they did, Apple became just another smartphone on the market. Nothing noteworthy to stand out any more.

Leave a Reply