From David to Goliath

A strange thing happened this week. Apple announced its quarterly results and the iPhone is down 10%, yet Wall Street didn’t entirely lose its mind. It appears Apple is no longer is just the iPhone company. Thank God.

It seems that just about everything else Apple makes is growing in sales. iPad sales are up 8%, Services, which don’t even include Apple TV+ yet, are up 20%. Best of all, wearables (things like the Apple Watch, AirPods, and HomePod) are up 50%.

So what does all of this mean? For me, as an Apple consumer, it’s a really good thing. For years, Apple was focused entirely on the iPhone. They couldn’t make the iPad better because the iPhone was their meal ticket, and all focus had to be on the iPhone. While the iPhone blasted off like a rocket ship, all other things Apple suffered.

Well, now the rocket ship has reached orbit. Apple is not going to continue to get significant growth from the iPhone unless they can discover new markets on Mars or Jupiter. In my headcanon, that resulted in a meeting at Apple a few years ago where Tim Cook said, “Hey guys, the iPhone can’t do much better. We’ve got to find some other stuff to sell.” While I’m sure that hypothetical meeting will result in new product categories, Apple didn’t have to look far to get more out of their existing products. The iPad (both hardware and software) suddenly got better. The same goes for the Apple Watch. The Mac appears to have Apple’s attention again with a rumored new laptop (and new keyboard!) and an expected ship date of a screaming new Mac Pro. And don’t forget services, because Apple surely never will again.

Overall, I think this is good news. The one piece that concerns me is the sheer diversity of products being created and sold by Apple at this point. Now they are a company that sells everything from watches to computers to television shows. I suspect focus is going to be a challenge. Likewise, all the little details that Apple always got right are going to be a lot more difficult given the increasing number of plates they have to keep in the air. So how does Apple survive this transition from David into Goliath while sticking with its core values? That’s an excellent question, and one Tim Cook and the rest of his team are going to have to struggle with over the next several years.