They say President Trump plays to his base whenever he heads out on the road to a political rally wherever. Well, duh. That’s a time honored posture to take in politics but we see something similar taking place in modern technology, too.
Other than stock market trickery and financial shenanigans, there are just a few ways for a company to increase revenue and profits. Here’s what I keep on my list but these could apply to almost any company you can think of these days, especially Apple, Inc.
Common sense, no?
- Increase product prices
- Decrease product costs
- Get more customers
- Get more revenue per customer
- Get customers to buy more frequently
How would my Gang Of Five compare to Apple’s fortunes in recent years?
The Steve Jobs era brought Apple from the brink of death as a footnote in technology history to a position of prominence and wealth. How? Apple Stores, iPod, iTunes, iTunes Music Store, Intel Inside the Mac, iPhone, iPad, iOS and Mac App Stores.
Apple’s business grew like crazy during Jobs’ era and brought Apple nearly 1-billion customers. Now, let’s compare that to the Tim Cook era of Accessories.
Yes, Cook is steward over Jobs’ legacy and has managed to make the company the wealthiest on planet earth– by selling what Jobs launched. Since then, Apple’s management team has figured out how to do #1 (iPhone X price), #2 (robot manufacturing), #4 (more revenue per customer), and #5 (customers buy more Apple-branded products).
What about #3? Get more customers? Actually, that has improved under Cook’s watch, too, but hasn’t exactly grown like the wildfire years of iPhone and iPad. Sales of every major product line have flattened in the past few years while Services– which are dependent upon hardware sales– have grown. That’s #4.
Apple has become an accessories company which sells to the customer base.
Just a few decades ago Apple and the Mac were synonymous. After Steve Jobs returned in 1997, Apple’s customers bought Macs. Then iPod, iTunes Music, iPhone, iPad, et al. The customer base expanded dramatically in the past decade but it seems more and more that Apple is selling to the base rather than growing the base with exciting new product categories.
Who buys Watch? Only iPhone customers. Who buys HomePod? Only Apple customers. Apple sits on riches that would make King David envious, but the company needs more than accessories for current products and current customers.