What Apple is, says Mark Hibben, is “one of the most successful fabless semiconductor companies on the planet.”
From “Why Apple Is Still A Growth Company,” posted Friday on Seeking Alpha:
Another misconception I frequently encounter among the bears is that “Apple is just a consumer goods company.” …
I’ll be blunt. Consumer goods are things like toothpaste and dish washing liquid. To call Apple a consumer goods company is to completely ignore the fact that Apple is one of the most successful fabless semiconductor companies on the planet…
Briefly, Apple became a fabless semiconductor company with the A4 system on chip (SOC) that powered the first iPad and iPhone 4.
Apple’s vertical integration of semiconductor engineering, device design, and operating system design has fueled the growth of iPhone and other iOS derived products such as iPad, Apple Watch and AirPods. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the products simply wouldn’t be possible at their current level of performance and functionality without Apple’s semiconductor prowess.
And if there’s still doubt about the significance of Apple’s business model, one only has to look at the way Apple’s key competitors try so hard to emulate it. Following Apple’s September iPhone event, both Microsoft and Google held events to feature their own self-designed hardware.
My take: Hibben is one of Seeking Alpha’s better Apple watchers.
See also: Ben Bajarin on Apple’s secret sauce.