No company on planet earth is richer than Apple and it doesn’t matter how you slice and dice the numbers. Rich is rich. A billion customers. A trillion dollar market valuation. A few hundred billion in hard, cold cash.
Apple is rich and it got that way– Betteridge’s Law of Headlines applied to the title above notwithstanding– through a process of designing, manufacturing, and cultivating customers willing to pay a premium for the privilege of owning such products.
Has Apple gone too far with higher prices on every new product this year? Is Apple all about selling to the rich?
As much as yellow journalism is alive and well in the 21st century, and as much as the information superhighway has become a toxic hell stew of misinformation, fake news, fake outrage, and an inability to police itself from the worst of humanity, headlines still rule.
Betteridge’s Law of Headlines is simple. No.
Betteridge’s law of headlines is an adage that states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” It is named after Ian Betteridge, a British technology journalist who wrote about it in 2009, although the principle is much older. As with similar “laws” (e.g., Murphy’s law), it is intended to be humorous rather than the literal truth.
Fair enough. What about this Wired headline.
Apple Is Ditching The Mass Market And Focusing On Rich People
That’s not news. That’s an opinion, a sensationalist, albeit somewhat misguided perspective, perhaps, because Apple under Steve Jobs and the decades since is all about making a profit with products on the premium end of the spectrum.
Nothing has changed, right? Or, has it?
Apple has gradually been shifting its strategy away from grabbing ever-more market share and focusing instead on dominating the higher end of its markets.
Rubbish. Apple has never been about grabbing marketshare. Ever. Never. What Apple product is marketshare driven? iPod? Apple’s diminutive portable media player was tops but also the most expensive among many. iPhone? Please. iPhone enjoys strong marketshare relative to Android devices in various locales throughout the world, but to say Apple is gradually moving away from a position it never owned to a position it owned already is anemic analysis at best, and still just as incorrect.
Apple’s iPhone has been on a plateau for a few years, even while annual sales of Android-based smartphones have suffered; yet, that has not helped the company’s marketshare. So, what has kept iPhone a profitable line?
Average selling price—nearly $800 per device rather than the $750 that many had anticipated.
The average selling price has been going up since iPhone was launched in 2007. Move along. Nothing to see here.
If its average selling price continues on that trajectory, Apple could realize close to $1,000 per iPhone in the current quarter. It doesn’t take a CPA to recognize how significant that is for the company’s bottom line.
Uh huh. Sure. If its average selling price continues on that trajectory, Apple could realize close to $10,000 per iPhone. One day. Maybe. Or, not. Common sense prevails, folks. Occam’s Razor is a thing.
It takes a writer with little common sense to miss what’s really going on.
Apple designs, manufactures, and sells products that are priced based upon what the market will bear. It’s a capitalist world and everyone is out to get your money, but to determine that Apple is abandoning the mass market (which Apple has never been about) to focus on rich people is sheer headline grabbing, link-bait nonsense.
Apple is gravitating to its strength—selling a commoditized product at a very high price as a part of a semi-open (or partly closed) ecosystem of services.
Wait. I’m getting mixed signals here.
Is Apple gravitating? Or, is Apple abandoning? If what Apple sells is a commodity then how is that rich people are the only target?
Zachary Karabell’s argument is flawed and falls apart with little effort because it’s nothing more than a headline designed to grab your eyeballs, titillate some anti-Apple sentiment, that then displays a flawed analysis of reality not beheld.
Apple has elected to be more like Tiffany or Mercedes rather than Walmart or Hyundai. That means speaking to as an aspirational clientele for whom brand, form, and function are all of a part, and where the higher price point is at times a sotto voce aspect of the appeal.
That sounds pretty much like Apple has been since Jobs returned in 1997. What has changed? Higher prices? Samsung has a $1,000 Galaxy-whatever, too. In fact, the rest of the smartphone industry should thank Apple for raising prices (so they can continue to mop up the leftover crumbs Apple and Samsung leave behind).
Rife with cash and focused on honing and defending a premier brand, it is more like a dynamic retailer than a tech disrupter.
What? Apple cannot be both? Yet it is. My most noteworthy grumble about Apple in the Tim Cook era is the company’s inability to deliver a mass market disruption on the scale of iPhone or iPad. Watch? Apple Pay? AirPods? Beats headphones? Apple Music? Those are iPhone accessories.
Yet, as with all Apple products, they exist as affordable luxuries, not mere electronic baubles for the rich. I suspect that Wired’s editors and their lame contributors know that, but a headline that feigns reality is just too easy to pass up. Wired is wrong. Karabell is wrong. I am right.