Apple prunes the ecosystem
Last week Apple introduced a new subscription payment system for publishers using its devices, but also clamped down on publishers using their own payment systems, obliging them to offer Apple’s system (with a 30% commission) in parallel or leave the platform
For publishers selling their own content with no marginal cost, this is an extra cost that most will grudgingly accept. But aggregators obliged to pay rights-holders a fixed fee for each content sale, such as music or ebook vendors, face bigger problems: some will be forced off the platform
Apple is trying to strengthen its ecosystem, increasing the range and user-friendliness of apps and locking users in with content only usable on its devices. Yet it risks pushing some popular services off its platform entirely, increasing the appeal of the newly launched Android devices
|Mobile, Telecoms, Internet, Media||21 February 2011|
Apple Q1 FY2008 results
Powered by strong computer sales at Apple stores and surging European sales (and the weaker dollar), Apple’s dollar revenue for Q1 FY2008 rose 35% year-on-year to $9.6 billion, exceeding guidance of 29%
|Music and Radio, Media||31 January 2008|
Apple Q3 2006-07 results
Apple reported strong revenue growth for Q3 2006/07, up 23.8% year on year to $5.41 billion, powered mainly by strong computer sales
|Media||30 July 2007|
Apple Q3 2015: Watch this space
Apple delivered strong results in Q3 2015, selling a record number of iPhones for the June quarter, though iPad sales slid dramatically as consumers switch to ‘phablets’ and the company did not provide any detail on early sales of Watch, its biggest product launch since 2010
We remain bullish both on the iPhone and the Watch’s long term potential, though the latter remains a work in progress and, like many of Apple’s existing customers, we await the next iteration with interest; by contrast the iPad may have peaked already
Rising revenue from App Store, up 24% year-on-year, as well as new products like Apple Music and Apple Pay, should continue to boost the contribution from Services, and we expect this to evolve into a more material part of the business, but ultimately it’s still all about the iPhone
|Internet, Media, Mobile, Technology, Telecoms||24 July 2015|
Apple Q4 FY2007 results: can the iPod shine over Apple’s Christmas?
School’s back and strong computer sales drove Apple’s Q4 FY2007 revenue to $6.22 billion, up 28.5% year-on-year
|Media||30 October 2007|
Apple quarterly results
iPod volumes hit a record 21.1 million units sold in the key Christmas quarter, but year-over-year quarterly revenue growth declined again to 18% (from 29%) due to lower prices for all iPods and consumers’ drift to low priced flash memory based players (iPod Shuffle). Apple’s push on the iPhone limits the iPod’s future development and hence this segment’s future revenue growth
|Music and Radio, Media||30 January 2007|
Apple refreshes the iPhone
Apple will release the iPhone 4S later this month, with substantially upgraded internals but the same design. Despite disappointment at the lack of something with a ‘5’ on the box, this is a solid update that maintains Apple’s competitive positioning
The most significant omission was a lower-priced iPhone. Apple sells the 3GS and now the 4 at lower prices, but lacks a dedicated device to address the sub $300 (SIM-free) market where most future growth will come from. We think this is only a matter of time
Apple’s new ‘Siri’ voice assistant looks very impressive as a USP. If it works, and spreads, it will join apps as a structural problem for Google, drawing people away from web search
|Mobile, Telecoms, Technology||4 October 2011|
Apple rewrites the textbook
Apple has begun selling interactive textbooks via its iBookstore, a move which is likely to accelerate the digital transition in education
However, the pace of change will be slowed by the cost of devices and the limited number of textbooks that have been designed for tablet computers
By developing educational software and course materials, Apple is trying to position the iPad at the centre of students’ educational lives – a niche that could significantly boost its hardware sales
|Media, Technology||30 January 2012|
Apple Special Event 2016: a photo finish
Apple’s hardware progress at this year’s Special Event was more impressive than the software announcements at WWDC in June, though not at the level seen during the bumper launch of the iPhone 6
Improvements in camera technology and custom chips are preparing the iPhone for more drastic design changes and new location-based service categories in the future
Next year, faster development of both software and hardware is required to defend iPhone margins or user base growth, let alone both
|Mobile, Technology, Telecoms||12 September 2016|
Apple takes the high road
Apple’s two new iPhones both secure its grip on the high end (for now) and extend a cautious toe into (slightly) cheaper waters. They will not deliver a step change in global sales growth, but should deliver solid performance
9m unit sales at launch are impressive, but 200m updates to iOS 7 (double last year’s figure) point to the continuing strength of Apple’s ecosystem and its ability to deploy innovative new features
We continue to believe there is room in Apple’s portfolio for a $350-$450 phone without weakening Apple’s quality of experience or brand positioning, but this is clearly now off the agenda for another year
|Mobile, Telecoms, Technology, Internet, Media||20 October 2013|
Apple TV in the UK
Apple has now launched downloads of 28 US TV series in the UK, hoping to drive demand for portable video watching on iPod or for home viewing via Apple TV
|Media, TV||27 August 2007|
Apple updates the ecosystem, spurning Google
Apple has announced the features of the next version of iOS, the platform that runs the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Key steps includes the replacement of Google Maps with Apple’s own mapping service, Facebook integration and expanded features for the Chinese market.
By replacing Google Maps, and in numerous smaller ways, Apple is starting to direct its users away from Google: a key theme across many new features is moving search and discovery away from raw web search.
Apple also announced a solid refresh of its laptop line (though the Mac business is now only 13% of revenues) and did not announce a new television product, despite frantic rumours that it would.
|Mobile, Telecoms, Technology||17 June 2012|
Apple Watch: the next must-have device?
Apple has provided more details on its smartwatch range, on sale from April, priced between $350-$17,000 to appeal to a wide range of would-be buyers and initially focusing on enhancing the iPhone through added convenience.
The Watch is likely to develop quickly in the next few years, and has the potential to become an indispensable tool for managing payments, health data and identity, as well as controlling other connected devices.
The company is laying the foundations for Watch to become a must-have device, but the case is still to be made and ultimately its success depends on a number of key groups and factors outside Apple’s control.
|Mobile, Telecoms, Technology, Internet, Media||16 March 2015|
Apple's iPhone advantage
Apple’s results underlined its status as the tech industry’s biggest and most profitable company due to the iPhone, accounting for two thirds of the company’s revenue and capturing three quarters of all smartphone profits
While the iPhone dominates the $500+ handset market, the question is how will this segment develop as smartphone penetration approaches maturity in developed markets and mobile operators restructure handset subsidies
The shift to separate airtime and device plans could increase consumer price sensitivity, but leasing plans with annual replacement, supported by the iPhone’s strong second hand value, bring the opportunity of faster replacement cycles, with upside and downside risks matched
|Non-UK Telecoms, Internet, Media, Mobile, Technology, Telecoms||9 November 2015|
Apple's iPhone bargain
More attractively priced than previous entry level iPhones, the new SE extends Apple’s smartphone lineup down towards the mid-price segment to better compete with Android over price-sensitive users
At a time of investor concern over slowing down iPhone unit sales, the SE marks the first shift in Apple’s strategic calculus for the iPhone from gross margins to unit volumes
SE supports the iOS ecosystem in a crucial period of growth for mobile payment services, making the entire iPhone roster Apple Pay compatible
|Internet, Media, Mobile, Technology||23 March 2016|
Apple, Amazon and digital reading
The ebook market has broken out of its niche. Just 3% of the US consumer books market in 2009, ebooks are on track to hit 10% this year, with the UK following close behind. With global consumer books a $120 billion industry, disruption will have dramatic consequences
Amazon has sold perhaps 3-5m Kindles in 33 months – Apple sold 3m iPads in the first three months and 3m of the iPhone 4 in the first three weeks. Amazon might look as though it is on the back foot, but as this week’s £109 Kindle shows, the game isn’t over yet
We expect the ebook market to splinter, with tablets, ereaders and smartphones all playing important parts for different genres and demographics. This makes control of the Kindle platform a key advantage for Amazon
|Media||28 July 2010|
Apple, Android and tablet market share
Apple has now sold 25m iPads since launch, worth $15bn, and will probably sell 40-50m in 2011. Competing tablets have sold perhaps 2-3m in total so far and will not be competitive with the iPad until 2012 at the earliest
Android phones are now far outselling iPhones, but benefit from a narrower user experience gap and from selling at a half of the price. Android tablets must compete with the iPad at the same or higher price points, a far harder task. We believe it is possible the iPad will retain a 50%+ share
Media companies have veered from euphoria to outrage when contemplating the iPad and its autocratic creator. Android offers them little chance of either in the near future
|Mobile, Telecoms, Technology, Media||13 July 2011|
Apple, price and market share
Apple’s numbers have got so good they’re bad: after growing at over 50% for two years, relative revenue growth has, inevitably, slowed. The products remain very strong, and direct competitors continue to have little impact. (Apple’s mobile phone market share has never been higher, for example.) However, the premium phone market itself, which the iPhone dominates, is at a potential tipping point.
|Mobile, Telecoms, Technology, Media||28 April 2013|
Apple, Samsung, Patents and Android
A US jury has found Samsung infringed Apple’s patents with Android products and awarded $1bn damages. This is 17% of Samsung’s Q2 operating profit and would be crippling to any other Android OEM: it sends ripples of uncertainty through the ecosystem.
We expect the verdict to accelerate IP licensing between Apple and other Android OEMs, with Apple (like Nokia and other IP holders) levying a fee per device, though Google’s ownership of Motorola may mitigate this somewhat.
However, major changes in the Android proposition are unlikely to be necessary, and as long as the iPhone ASP is $650 and Android is $300 or below, market share is unlikely to shift much. Absent a cheaper iPhone, Android will continue to outsell iPhone 3:1 at much lower prices, especially outside the USA.
|Technology, Telecoms||30 August 2012|
Apple, television and disruption
The Apple rumour mill turns to television, with widespread speculation that Apple will shortly announce… something, that will offer a different approach to the TV experience.
However, if Apple distributes TV content in new ways, it will need to work with existing channels and often pay providers, who are unlikely to enable fundamental disruption to their business models.
We see plenty of scope for Apple to make a great TV product – which need not necessarily be an actual television. But we see far less scope for it to break apart the value chain of TV content – and Apple doesn’t need to
|Fixed Line, Telecoms, TV, Media||5 June 2012|