It is January 1st 2019 so I better get you an update on how Apple is doing. Things got a little dicey in September and October when people worried that the iPhones weren’t selling as well and the trade situation with China and China’s economy were a concern. Apple had just hit its highest stock valuation and became the largest company in the world by stock valuation for a minute. Since then things have been going down a little worse than the rest of the stock market.
I think Apple is hitting a rougher spot than they’ve had to deal with for many years. I still like Tim at the wheel through this challenge, though. The smart mobile phone market is topping out which seems to mean that other than markets like China that has an expanding middle class, Apple needs to get some growth out of the edges that don’t have much money for expensive smart phones like the iPhone.
That need for selling to the “poor” isn’t exactly Apple’s strong suit. Apple is a luxury brand for the masses who have use for and enough money to afford an iPhone and Apple’s other pricey, worth it and groundbreaking products.
Can Apple Adapt and Rebound? I’ll get to some of my enthusiasms for the new products and other good stuff in a minute. But first lets go a little deeper. Apple has the resources to adapt and throw money at various opportunities, exotic staff people and small tech companies and research projects. And they are doing that. But it takes a bit of time to adjust and if you are used to success without having to compromise, it takes a while to switch things up. The question at Apple is do we have to stoop to the level of making more compromises?
I like the iPhone XR as part of this compromise. This is the new X version of the iPhone 9 let’s say. It has everything except for OLED screen a 2nd camera and it sells at a very non X price point — $749 for 64gb and $799 for 128. The XR has all the smarts of the XS and XS Max and Face ID. This thing rocks and should really soothe those who are getting tired of the last round of price hikes that started when the X came out. Yes, the tech fast lane has lots of people who can afford an iPhone XS or XS Max. But the middle class is hurting and is looking for places to save a few bucks here and there. The XR fits that bill nicely.
The China Problem. Well, like I said, China is the best problem to have in that Apple has already made great success there and China represents the best place to find some more middle class educated people for new iPhones. Except (1) their economy is stumbling a bit which might be giving some of the middle class second thoughts on price and (2) Trump’s Trade War is making China mad and making some of the Chinese a lot more interested in buying the reasonably cool and cheaper mobile phones made in China. Apple is caught in the middle here and will continue to lose some sales the longer this trade situation goes on.
What do I like about Apple right now? The iPad Pros rock pretty hard and I especially like the new 12.9″ with its improved attachable magnetic and charging #2 Apple Pencil. I absolutely love the Apple Watch Series 4 with its extra screen space and new Watch faces.
I love the speed of the iPhones and iPads. I love Face ID. I love the OLED so was willing to pay more to get one for personal and one for the business. I got a Max for personal 24/7 and a XS for the business. Definitely prefer the Max and use it more. I haven’t used the XR but as I said above, it rocks too. I like Apple having hired away the top AI guy from Google.
I like that Apple is looking good with its much better (but not perfect) privacy measures. While Facebook and Google are getting heat for exploiting our data, “selling” it to the highest bidders (like Russia).
I like that Apple is buying up little tech companies and associated geniuses from places like Israel to play full out to make the best tech on the planet.
Apple has too good of a track record right now to bet against. I bought my first Home Pod for $250 at Best Buy last week. It’s already in the #2 spot ahead of Google Home and rising as far as I’m concerned.
What I Don’t Like. High prices even though I think Apple makes it worth your while. And I don’t like the new policy to not announce unit sales of iPhone models. I don’t like the sound of Apple being a Service company. I like them as a product company the way Steve intended. They can probably win as a services company but the reason they win is keeping their giant-sized user base where it is now. I believe in Jony Ive as a designer — of products!
Happy New Year! I still welcome and take comments sans the spammers who never make it onto this page.