Three years after Tim Cook began selling Apple as a services business, Barron’s is starting to buy it.
Shares of Apple are down 27% since hitting an all-time high in October.
Most of the pain has come since Nov. 1, when Apple said it would no longer be reporting unit sales for its iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices.
The announcement rattled investors, who have long focused on iPhone sales, often to the exclusion of everything else. A wave of Wall Street downgrades has hit Apple stock in recent weeks…
And yet no one is worried about a shrinking user base for iPhones. Consider that while sales of the devices were flat in Apple’s just-ended fiscal year, its services revenue—iCloud, iTunes, and Apple Music—jumped 24%, to $37.2 billion. Indeed, iPhone users may not be upgrading as frequently, but they’re spending more within the ecosystem than ever before. And that means they’re sticking around.
“If churning off the iPhone is becoming more difficult, then iPhone units may be less relevant,” Gill says.
Investors, with Apple’s help, need to find a better way to value the installed base. Enter subscriptions.
My take: Old story, new attitude. Remember Business Insider’s take on Cook’s Q1 2016 earnings call?