How does an organizations structure, resource allocation and measurement dictate its capabilities? Horace and Anders discuss Amazons AWS business in comparison to their traditional online retail business and the Apple and Google strategies.
Apples Services business is growing by leaps and bounds. How much of that can be attributed to iCloud? Horace and Anders consider how big the iCloud business is for Apple, as well as Apples recent stock price rise in this “rolling show” on the way to the airport.
Apple has declared that what used to be “Other Music Related Products and Services” plus “Software, Service and Other Sales” which was formerly known as “iTunes/Software/Services” is about to become “Services”.
“We’ll also have a category that we refer to as services and this will encompass everything we report under the heading of iTunes software and services today including content, apps, licensing and other services and beginning this month it will also include Apple Pay.”
“Services” will therefore encompass a massive amount of revenue. The reported revenues for the fiscal 2014 were $18 billion. Including all billings, the turnover in sales is over $28 billion. For next year, assuming that Apple Pay, which is just getting started, is unlikely to contribute greatly to revenues, Services turnover will top over $35 billion. That figure would make Apple Services alone one of the top 90 companies in the Fortune 500.
Regardless, as a component of overall sales, the group formerly known as iTunes/Software/Services (shown in red above) was a modest 7% of total sales in the last quarter. Using all available information regarding downloads, payouts and reported financials, an estimate can be obtained on how this 7% is itself divisible into nine sub-segments:Notes:
- Includes revenue from sales from the iTunes Store, App Store and iBookstore in addition to sales of iPod services and Apple-branded and third-party iPod accessories. [↩]
- Includes revenue from sales of Apple-branded and third-party Mac software, and services. [↩]
- Includes revenue from sales on the iTunes Store, the App Store, the Mac App Store, and the iBooks Store, and revenue from sales of AppleCare, licensing and other services [↩]
What motivates a company to destroy its brand?
We start with Mini’s plans to sell 100,000 cars in the States by 2020, nearly double today’s pace and remember how Cadillac destroyed their brand and how Mercedes, Porsche, Ferrari et. al. can’t wait to do the same.
Also, might retail power in the form of strong dealer regulation limit brand’s ability to improve or address customer experiences? What motivated Warren Buffet to enter the American car dealer business? (With a long aside on what Buffett investment logic is all about and why it’s not contradictory to a growth investor).
Horace and Anders discuss Apple Watch pricing, Consumerism and Planned Obsolescence. In the closing segment Horace presents a new dichotomy of company values.
We talk about Samsung, Apple Pay (vs. CurrentC) and Xiaomi.
When the Apple Watch was launched, all eyes turned to the Swiss watch industry. Analysts measured it and asked if it’s big enough to be interesting. Industry observers questioned the competitiveness of an entrant vis-à-vis the ancien régime. Marketers weighed in with segmentation hypotheses and how Apple’s queer new device might best fit.
These are all mistakes in analysis.
The market for Apple Watch is not the Swiss (or Chinese) watch market. The market for Apple Watch is the number of wrists in the world. To the extent that those wrists will be covered with Apple hardware will determine whether it is successful or not.
Measuring the existing market is a mistake because the existing products are hired for different jobs. Those measurements will yield only an answer to how big that job is.
Assessing competitiveness vs. incumbents is a mistake because incumbents have perfected solving the problems of wrist-worn timekeeping devices over a century. Apple’s watch is not a wrist-worn timekeeping device any more than the iPhone is a phone or the iPad is a pad.
Segmenting the market by whatever means are convenient today is irrelevant because the segments are currently positioned on the current jobs to be done. It’s no more relevant than classifying the iPhone along the segments defined for phones in 2007.
Some have tried to wedge the Apple Watch among the “fitness tracker” market. This is no more plausible given that fitness tracking is no more interesting than timekeeping is to Watch.
The best way to measure the opportunity is to quantify the “wrist-space-time” continuum and deciding what is and what isn’t addressable. The wrist is an interesting place to put a computer and Apple makes computers. The rest is left as an exercise to the reader.Notes:
- e.g. keyboard phones, flip phones, and feature phones [↩]
A few weeks back Horace Dediu of Asymco and I were having dinner and we got to discussing some of this updated thoughts on disruption theory. One bit in particular was how the luxury tech market was causing him to evolve some thinking on the theory as it relates to consumer markets. I thought it would be great to have him on and we could chat more about disruption and the role it plays in the technology industry in the 21st century.
Samsung’s smartphone ascent was breathtaking. From having essentially zero market share in the category in late 2010 to becoming the largest vendor took less than two years. In doing so it grew to become the largest phone vendor, smart or not–a goal which eluded them during the previous decade of effort. Samsung went on to capture not only the lion’s share of unit volumes, they also took almost all the profits in the Android mobile phone market.
And in a market filled with competitors. Literally hundreds of vendors and thousands of products were available at every conceivable price point. Samsung did away with HTC, LG, and Motorola. HTC, the first Android vendor (and first to market with Windows Mobile), Motorola, Google’s launch partner in the US and “Droid” brand partner (and future owner). Google’s own Nexus products. Samsung Galaxy ruled them all.
Galaxy swamped the Chinese market and the Indian market, the largest in the world. They were so powerful that they were singled out both by Microsoft and Apple for IP royalties.
All within two years or the average life-span of one smartphone.
But something went wrong in 2014. Growth in shipments suddenly stopped. This was not a problem with the overall market, which kept growing. The slowdown did not affect other vendors, especially the up-and-coming Lenovo and Xiaomi and the second and third tier vendors whose names are known only in the local markets they serve.
The result of this slowdown is shown in the following graphs:
12 months ago I asked How many iOS devices will be produced in the next 12 months?
Based on the analysis of Capital Expenditures (as forecast by Apple in their annual 10K report) I concluded “iOS unit shipments should be between 250 million and 285 million.”
The answer turned out to be 247 million. Including Apple TV the total would probably be around 251 million.
Since last year, I adjusted my model by observing corresponding iOS unit shipments for the calendar year corresponding to each fiscal year. Since the calendar year is offset by one quarter (FQ1 = CQ4) looking at calendar year means looking forward one quarter post-spending. I believe this is more accurate as spending generally happens in advance of production.
The resulting pattern is shown below:
- Including an iPod touch estimate of 9.5 million [↩]