Editorial: Apple's super obvious secret -- Services is software

Posted:
in iCloud edited May 24
Over the past few years, Apple has increasingly directed analysts' attention to its growing revenues from a segment it calls Services. However, it's common to hear even Apple's happiest of customers frown at the idea, which is often cynically portrayed as an effort by the company to wring even more money from its premium hardware buyers. But the reality is that Services are largely software-- and Software Sells Systems.


In 1979, John Couch was in charge of all software at Apple Computer. He commissioned this poster: Software Sells Systems

Apple loves to talk about Services

In yesterday's FQ2 2019 earnings conference call, the word "services" was stated 26 times, compared to just 17 mentions of 'iPhone" and ten of "Mac."

Apple's Chief Executive Tim Cook noted that "it was our best quarter ever for Services, with revenue reaching $11.5 billion," detailing that success was broad-based across a variety of things that make up the company's Services segment.

"In fact," Cook added, "we had our best quarter ever for the App Store, Apple Music, Cloud services, and our App Store search ad business, and we set new March quarter revenue records for Apple Care and Apple Pay."

He also stated that "Subscriptions are a powerful driver of our Services business. We reached a new high of over 390 million paid subscriptions at the end of March, an increase of 30 million in the last quarter alone."

Apple's Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri added that Apple paid subscriptions were "growing in strong double-digits," predicting that "we expect the number of paid subscriptions to pass half a billion in 2020." In other words, next year.

Cook spoke of Services as if they were an entirely new category of thing, stating that "they actually help to eliminate the boundary between hardware, software, and service, creating a singularly exceptional experience for our users."

That's some rather creative wording, but the reality is that the Services Cook was describing are effectively software, valuable applications for the hardware products Apple sells. That's important because it helps to clarify that Services is not really some uncharted new territory for Apple where we're waiting to understand how things might work, but rather a quite well-known subject.


Why Apple likes to talk about Services

The changing climate in Apple's ecosystem

Over its long history as a computer maker, Apple's strategies related to software have shifted dramatically. It was among the first hardware makers to recognize the importance of building relationships with third-party developers way back in the late 1970s. It then actually built some of the most critical software shaping the hardware business in the 1980s: the Macintosh platform that was used by developers to build modern, uniform, predictable, intuitive desktop software.

However, in the mid-'80s, Apple turned around and began to downplay its role as a software maker to avoid contention with its outside developers, a move that-- quite counterintuitively-- ultimately almost destroyed the company in the 1990s.

It was only in the 2000s-- after Apple returned to taking the lead in creating new software for its own platforms-- that third parties again began seeing the Mac, iOS and Apple's other new platforms as something worth investing their own resources into.

With Services today, the real question isn't "why is Apple distracting itself in trying to make television, video games, payment systems, news and other practical applications of the hardware it builds." Instead, it's "why hasn't Apple already invested even more into making its hardware inherently and uniquely valuable to users?"

Apple's Services Event flew over many heads

When Apple invited the media to its March event this year, it was clear from the start it would be focusing on a variety of new subscription services rather than any new hardware. After all, it updated its iPads and iMacs and released new AirPods in the week prior to the event just using Twitter and a few press releases. Apple's events exist to drum up excitement for new product releases, but nobody needed to be walked through why faster iMacs or updated iPads were necessary. Did they need that for these new Services?

Steve Jobs Theater
There was nothing to handle in the "hands on area" of the Steve Jobs Theater


Apple reserved the entire event to talk about its new Services, leaving the "hands-on area" of the Steve Jobs Theater completely unused for anything but attendee selfies (above). This was perhaps the first time Apple had ever devoted so much attention to Services since Steve Jobs presented-- in his final keynote at WWDC 2011-- that Apple's new iCloud services were as monumentally important to the company as a strategy as macOS and iOS were. The three were literally given equal standing in WWDC banners and Jobs chose to present iCloud himself, while delegating the other two keynote subjects to his team.

My experience at that event, as well as this year's March event, reminded me a lot of Jobs' 2010 presentation of the first iPad: he clearly articulated how things were going to develop into the future, yet many if not most in attendance couldn't grasp what was being outlined. An overwhelming number of the hot takes scribbled up afterward largely sounded like pretentious clowns desperately trying to appear relevant by insisting that Apple had really jumped the shark this time and was just wasting our time without really offering anything new or compelling.

This year, you could almost feel the audience demanding to know, with crossed arms, "yeah but where's the thick new MacBook keyboard that can eat a bagel and still never miss a keystroke? And where's Apple's response to the Galaxy Fold? And when will Apple ship a 5G iPhone that is as urgently, critically needed right now as WiFi 7 and Bluetooth 6?" The media is sick of being Apple's lapdog, but can't get enough of serving that role for Microsoft, Samsung, and Qualcomm.

The tech media's overwhelming inability to "get" iPad, or iCloud, or today's Services feels like willful ignorance dressed up as condescension from people who think they know what Apple should be doing. Yet clearly they haven't managed to successfully pick up what Apple's been putting down for a decade now while carrying water for rivals that have actually been repeatedly wrong over the same period. That also applies to Apple's Services.

Apple's new Services of software is not just a Netflix

Apple's big push into new Services are often equated with Netflix. And often, Apple is portrayed as making a desperate stab at catching up to the perceived leader in subscription television content. That's not really accurate though.

Netflix has many fans. That includes me; I've subscribed to Netflix since its mailed-in DVD days. But Netflix as a business is a high cost, high-risk enterprise that doesn't actually make very much money. And Netflix largely exists to sell subscription access to the original content it produces. It doesn't really have a hardware business and increasingly is less about other studio's movies and more about its own in-house content, some of which is really great and might never have been produced elsewhere if Netflix wasn't funding its development.

Apple is developing new Services-- including Apple TV+-- to similarly earn ongoing subscription revenue. But it's pretty clear that Apple TV+ is less like Netflix and more like iTunes: a business that's designed not just to sell access to content, but to produce original content that is tightly linked to Apple's platforms in a way that helps to sell Apple hardware.

Like iTunes, Apple could earn nothing from Apple TV+ and still be creating content that helps sell its sustainably profitable hardware. In fact, iTunes was operated as a revenue-neutral enterprise for some time before Apple couldn't help but make money from it. The point of iTunes was initially to make sure commercial music and later TV and movies were available for Macs and iPods. If Apple had left that up to Microsoft or Sony, it risked having those outside players yank their content from Apple's platforms, or dictate what form of DRM Apple would have to support.

iTunes slowly grew into a viable music business of its own. But the iTunes Store really got valuable once Apple expanded its content sales into iPod Games and then iPhone Apps, which contributed a larger profit margin to Apple as a storekeeper, and also created a universally unique new category of content that only benefitted Apple. When Apple sold a U2 album, Mac and iPod users could play the same songs that Windows PC users could buy elsewhere. But when developers created titles like Angry Birds for iOS, it was content that Symbian, Palm, and Windows Mobile phones couldn't use unless the developer decided to also invest in porting the same content to their other platforms.


Apple's hardware-free March presentation was actually all about its hardware


So while iTunes kept Macs and iPods relevant in a world dominated by Windows and enabled users the option to choose Apple's hardware, the App Store helped to make iOS dominate in mobile devices, and actively drove sales of iPhones and iPads while making it harder to chose a device running a fringe platform like webOS, WP7, or Tizen. And even with huge volumes of Android sales globally, Apple continues to maintain a lock on software app sales that set iOS apart. Hit games arrive on iOS first. Even Microsoft brought its Office apps to iPad first, despite pundits shouting that Android was leading market share in tablet sales.

A significant chunk of Apple's existing Services is subscription apps. Apple also throws in some licensing revenue, the company's income from its agreement to keep Google integrated into its Safari search, and some other non-hardware revenue such as Apple Care.

But overall, all of its new Services and most of its existing Services business are purely software-- useful applications of hardware that help drive hardware purchases in addition to generating revenue on their own. Take a look at what these new services mean for Apple, starting with the first segment on Apple Arcade and then looking at News+ periodicals and TV+ original content.
lolliver

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,970member
    Good observation. I'd propose one tweak: "Services is a Software Subscription" 

    That is, you don't pay once and have an app on your computer. You pay a monthly fee, so it turns into a steady revenue stream for Apple. 

    That's all great, but I think hardware will still be the main driver for Apple in the long term. Tim Cook has previously said AR will be bigger than iPhone, and I presume he means the cool AR glasses that Apple will be releasing sometime in the next couple of years. After that we will move onto neural interfaces, and that will be even bigger. 


    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 767member
    Service subscriptions is a great thing. I pay a monthly fee and get video content, or virus definitions, or storage space, or e-mail, or something like that. Software subscriptions, on the other hand are a total rip off for users. They want me to pay a monthly fee to keep using the same exact software I had last month and if I stop paying suddenly my documents are inaccessible. The argument that it pays for updates is vacuous. There is no impetus for the developers to update because they have a secure revenue stream. Example I paid for 1Blocker. After a couple of years they came out with 1BlockerX a significantly updated version and I paid for that. I have no problem paying for actual updates, real improvements in software. I will however, NOT give up my power as a consumer and buy into this rental software protection racket. There's a lot of sound a fury in the industry about Right to Repair laws. THIS is the subject that consumer protection activists should be looking into. Rental software is literally money for nothing and they hold your documents hostage.
    StrangeDayslostkiwicornchipwatto_cobramattinoz
  • Reply 3 of 16
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,307member
    Apple's services are weak.   It's the faithful that deal with the shortcoming of Apple Music or iCloud when better options exists.  Apple's Services success is essentially a Mercy F***K from consumers.  None of their services are indispensable.  This is why they have to keep bleating out "Services"..to reinforce the idea that they are important when in fact great products tend to sell themselves. 

    Let me not crap on Apple too much however.  The entire Tech industry is in a state confusion about the next big thing.   At first I thought is was just keeping their cards close to their chest but I'm beginning to realize that they really don't know what's next and are trying to build out marginal services and maintain marketshare in a saturate mobile arena until they can figure out what consumers are going to want next. 



    bakedbananasLatko
  • Reply 4 of 16
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,463member
    Services are largely unnecessary and mostly unwanted.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 185member
    knowitall said:
    Services are largely unnecessary and mostly unwanted.
    Services help sell products and without them you are limited having a phone, calculator and some crappy free apps that keep asking for money. The money for services is going to be spend somewhere so it might as well be with Apple enabling them to keep spending money to improve other products. 
    n2itivguylolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    Apple's services are weak.   It's the faithful that deal with the shortcoming of Apple Music or iCloud when better options exists.  Apple's Services success is essentially a Mercy F***K from consumers.  None of their services are indispensable.  This is why they have to keep bleating out "Services"..to reinforce the idea that they are important when in fact great products tend to sell themselves. 

    Let me not crap on Apple too much however.  The entire Tech industry is in a state confusion about the next big thing.   At first I thought is was just keeping their cards close to their chest but I'm beginning to realize that they really don't know what's next and are trying to build out marginal services and maintain marketshare in a saturate mobile arena until they can figure out what consumers are going to want next. 



    It’s all about the sweet spot for charging you a monthly fee for a service. If you look how Apple re-priced iCloud storage, you see how now, people don’t have a problem spending a modest amount of money to keep their data safe. 
    The same goes for Apple Music. If you would have told me 5 years ago that Apple would sell you a subscription to rent your music I would have called it total BS. Now look how popular it has become. 

    Apple has gone from selling you something physical to selling you something that you emotionally want and need. 

    Btw, the reason why you haven’t seen any new thing technology-wise besides the broken Samsung taco, is cost. 
    There are tons of new technologies out there that Apple is working on in its R&D lab. It’s just not cost effective yet to make anything with it. 
    After all, people were bitching about spending $29 for a battery a year ago and today they are bitching about a $1k iPhone, but they want something cutting edge for a modest amount.

    Good luck with all that!!
    hmurchisonStrangeDayslollivercornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    FolioFolio Posts: 653member
    I hope Tim Cook sits down with Mr. Cue, holding ipad pro yet playing Amazon Prime Video. He whispers into Eddy's ear, "Let's get ours this fluid by next year, or we may have to have our next meeting in the Steve Woz woodshed."
    Latko
  • Reply 8 of 16
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,307member




    It’s all about the sweet spot for charging you a monthly fee for a service. If you look how Apple re-priced iCloud storage, you see how now, people don’t have a problem spending a modest amount of money to keep their data safe. 
    The same goes for Apple Music. If you would have told me 5 years ago that Apple would sell you a subscription to rent your music I would have called it total BS. Now look how popular it has become. 

    Apple has gone from selling you something physical to selling you something that you emotionally want and need. 

    Btw, the reason why you haven’t seen any new thing technology-wise besides the broken Samsung taco, is cost. 
    There are tons of new technologies out there that Apple is working on in its R&D lab. It’s just not cost effective yet to make anything with it. 
    After all, people were bitching about spending $29 for a battery a year ago and today they are bitching about a $1k iPhone, but they want something cutting edge for a modest amount.

    Good luck with all that!!
    iCloud is priced well I do the 200MB and I'm largely happy enough so far for my 3 bucks a month.   The key here is to understand that iCloud serves and important task in that it safely backups my families photos offsite.  I can directly correlate a benefit to the service with the addressing of a possible pain point for my family. 

    Apple Music doesn't solve anything in fact it makes things worse with its limited distribution .   Doesn't work on my Bose SoundTouch directly,  Doesn't work on my Google Home devices,  I'm literally giving Apple money for a substandard product (for now).   I LOVE streaming because I'm a music lover but there needs to be a balance between streaming and ownership.  No one has managed to straddle both needs with a clear marketing message. 

    Google has also had their misses but I do like what they've done to reduce the cost of runaway cellular costs 
    https://fi.google.com/about/

    I think TV and Movie media needs to join Music, Books and other forms of entertainment that have gone digital with the ability to space shift.  I'm a fan of streaming music but when I want to purchase a song/album I get to play it everywhere.   TV and Movie content is under a draconian lockdown.  Fix it 
  • Reply 9 of 16
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,491member

    After all, people were bitching about spending $29 for a battery a year ago and today they are bitching about a $1k iPhone, but they want something cutting edge for a modest amount.
    I don't know anyone  who bitched about a $29 battery.  As far as I'm concerned, that was the deal of a lifetime. it enabled me to keep using my iPhone6 and because of that, it raised my admiration of Apple.   On the other hand, it hurt Apple's iPhone sales because without that deal, I probably would have been forced to buy a new phone, but Apple will eventually get my money anyway, probably this Fall.  The problem isn't so much the list price of the phones (although I do bitch about a $1K phone) -- it's that the carriers mostly no longer subsidize them.  I used to be able to walk out with phone for $200 or $300.  (And no, I wasn't paying out the cost of the phone with the service, because my price never went down after the phone would have been paid for.)

    And I also believe that Apple Care is mostly unethical.   Apple charges a LOT of money for their products - more than most everyone else.  Base configuration of a MBP (16GB/256GB SSD) is $2399 and with a 512GB SSD $2799, but I don't consider those machines well equipped.  With a 1TB drive, it's $3299 and with a 2TB SSD, it's $3999.    For that money, Apple should have enough faith in the reliability of its hardware to provide AT LEAST a two year warranty.   They should't be relying upon Apple Care as a profit center when most of the repairs are due to Apple's own design failures.   

    My MBP screen failed under warranty.   Didn't cost me anything to have it fixed and Apple fixed it in a day, but if it had been out-of-warranty, it would have cost something like $800.   If that ever happened to me, it would be my last Apple machine.   

    Back in the day I owned an Acura, which came with a 5-year warranty.   The cars were so reliable, Acura increased the warranty to six years for existing customers at no charge.  It didn't cost them much because the cars weren't breaking down anyway, but you really felt that the company had your back.   The one time the car did break down, it was because of a part that had been recalled, but I hadn't gotten the notice yet.   I had to have the car towed from New Jersey to my home in NYC and then towed from my home to the dealer.   Acura paid all of those costs as well as the repair costs without any hassle whatsoever.   Now that's service and I didn't pay for any kind of extra warranty.
    Latkocolinngcornchip
  • Reply 10 of 16
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,816member
    Apple's services are weak.   It's the faithful that deal with the shortcoming of Apple Music or iCloud when better options exists.  Apple's Services success is essentially a Mercy F***K from consumers.  None of their services are indispensable.  This is why they have to keep bleating out "Services"..to reinforce the idea that they are important when in fact great products tend to sell themselves
    Yeah so "weak" they're hauling in more than Macs & iPads combined. Oops. Most companies could only fantasize about earning such revenue. 

    By your dim logic on products, Coke needn't have an advertising or marketing budget, right? Just sells itself? Yeah no...I'm gonna guess you haven't been in business or product. I have, produced a great product sold retail across the country. But when marketing went down, sales went down. You have to market it. Doesn't matter how good it is, you have to market it.

    Also, you opinion on Music is just that -- another random opinion. I prefer it to Spotify because I prefer the way AM integrates with my existing music library. My music and AM are indistinguishable, it doesn't even matter to me which source the tracks are from. 

    jdb8167cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,816member

    knowitall said:
    Services are largely unnecessary and mostly unwanted.
    Great. Planning on giving up every and any insurance you've ever had? Cable TV? Netflix or any streaming services? Ride sharing? Cloud storage? Etc etc... The world is filled with services, and I certainly want them.
    edited May 1 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 16
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,816member

    zoetmb said:

    After all, people were bitching about spending $29 for a battery a year ago and today they are bitching about a $1k iPhone, but they want something cutting edge for a modest amount.
    And I also believe that Apple Care is mostly unethical.   Apple charges a LOT of money for their products - more than most everyone else.  Base configuration of a MBP (16GB/256GB SSD) is $2399 and with a 512GB SSD $2799, but I don't consider those machines well equipped.  With a 1TB drive, it's $3299 and with a 2TB SSD, it's $3999.    For that money, Apple should have enough faith in the reliability of its hardware to provide AT LEAST a two year warranty.   They should't be relying upon Apple Care as a profit center when most of the repairs are due to Apple's own design failures.   

    My MBP screen failed under warranty.   Didn't cost me anything to have it fixed and Apple fixed it in a day, but if it had been out-of-warranty, it would have cost something like $800.   If that ever happened to me, it would be my last Apple machine.   

    Back in the day I owned an Acura, which came with a 5-year warranty.   The cars were so reliable, Acura increased the warranty to six years for existing customers at no charge.  It didn't cost them much because the cars weren't breaking down anyway, but you really felt that the company had your back.   The one time the car did break down, it was because of a part that had been recalled, but I hadn't gotten the notice yet.   I had to have the car towed from New Jersey to my home in NYC and then towed from my home to the dealer.   Acura paid all of those costs as well as the repair costs without any hassle whatsoever.   Now that's service and I didn't pay for any kind of extra warranty.
    So you believe extended warranties are unethical? Why, because you're paying for something you likely won't use? Ok then, don't buy it and sleep soundly in knowing your product is very likely going to last you a long time. Great. Oh, but you also believe most repairs are design flaws -- in which case, the devices are not reliable, and thus extended warranties aren't an unethical ripoff. So which is it? Are they a ripoff because you don't need them, or are Macs a ripoff because they break down? Can't be both. 

    My 2011 iMac had it's graphics card break down a couple years ago and I paid several hundred bucks to have it serviced. Not a big deal, not a design flaw...shit doesn't last forever, I'm afraid. Now I spray-air its vents more often (pets). 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,151moderator
    From Gene Munster: ““If I look at the broader analysis across Wall Street today, I think that there is a critical missing piece specifically about what’s the proper multiple to put on this company,” Gene Munster, Loup Ventures managing partner, told Yahoo Finance’s On The Move Wednesday. “The key distinction here is that investors typically think of this as a hardware business. Understandable, given that 80% of its revenue is hardware. But keep in mind, 35% of earnings are services-based and over the next few years, the company is progressively going to start to sell a hardware as a service.”

    Long-time AI readers will note that I’ve been pushing this line of reasoning for a few years.  I learned in my decades building software startups that venture capital typically gives a higher sales multiple to software/services businesses versus hardware/physical-product businesses, because the revenue of the former is recurring and more predictable.  Services gets around 7x revenue versus 4x for makers of physical products.  And if you look back at Apple’s valuation on a multiple of revenue basis you’ll see that it’s been valued in the 3.5-4x range for a decade (currently at 3.8x).  A decade of astounding growth; the market is simply myopic in adherence to these revenue multipliers.  Netflix, a pure services business with far less profit per share and less assurance of ever getting to a low P/E ratio, has consistently been valued up at 7x Revenue.  

    So what Munster is saying, and I’ve been saying for at least three years in comments here, is that it’s inevitable that the services side of Apple’s business, as it becomes a more significant portion of total revenue and therefore comes onto the radar of analysts and investing institutions, will get a higher valuation and will therefore raise the valuation multiple of the entire company.  This will affect P/E, but it’s not a P/E-focused valuation.  It’s about revenue; recurring, predictable revenue.  

    Watch the revenue (Price/Sales) multiple, currently at 3.79x, climb beyond 4x to something that reflects the services portion of Apple’s revenue being valued close to 7x.

    An overall valuation of 4.5x during the next year while Apple continues to work through the smartphone market slowdown gets the stock to $250.

    And then a 5x revenue valuation after that as hardware stabilizes and begins to grow again gets the stock to $277, climbing higher as services grows as a percentage of total revenue.  

    Eventually a 5.5x valuation mix, and a bit of overall revenue growth (up 15% two years from now versus today), results in a stock price of, remarkably I just did this math and the result is... $350.46.   Munster is saying $350.

    Maybe higher with buybacks and some excitement over new product categories.  And you can watch it play out simply by monitoring the Price/Sales metric under Yahoo Finance’s Apple Statistics page, or your preferred financial website that reports the same stats.  

    See you at $350! 
    edited May 1 colinngcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    Unlike the story of the iPad, Apple has been way behind the curve on software services for years. They’re playing catch-up, not blazing a new trail. Many of Apple’s software services were disastrous at launch (MobileMe, Maps), some have improved but still aren’t great experiences (iCloud, Apple Music). Messages is really the only service that has been a runaway success and is truly pleasant to use.

    When people and the press look at Apple’s services play with a critical eye, it’s not because they aren’t smart enough to imagine a world in which Apple makes a fortune from services, it’s because Apple has historically been bad at services and other companies (Amazon, Netflix, Google, Facebook) are way ahead. Apple has the money to figure it out and make boatloads of cash, but they’ve yet to prove it’s in their DNA the way hardware and software design are. In fact, they seem to be outright bad at expansive projects that require loosening the reigns to account for a huge variety of user need. It’s almost as if they give up when they realize they can’t have finite control down to the nth detail and you get sloppy garbage like the iTunes Store or Music. The good news in there is lots of room for improvement in the world of software services and Apple is great at reinvention, I just wonder if their heart is in it.
    Latko
  • Reply 15 of 16
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,201member




    It’s all about the sweet spot for charging you a monthly fee for a service. If you look how Apple re-priced iCloud storage, you see how now, people don’t have a problem spending a modest amount of money to keep their data safe. 
    The same goes for Apple Music. If you would have told me 5 years ago that Apple would sell you a subscription to rent your music I would have called it total BS. Now look how popular it has become. 

    Apple has gone from selling you something physical to selling you something that you emotionally want and need. 

    Btw, the reason why you haven’t seen any new thing technology-wise besides the broken Samsung taco, is cost. 
    There are tons of new technologies out there that Apple is working on in its R&D lab. It’s just not cost effective yet to make anything with it. 
    After all, people were bitching about spending $29 for a battery a year ago and today they are bitching about a $1k iPhone, but they want something cutting edge for a modest amount.

    Good luck with all that!!
    iCloud is priced well I do the 200MB and I'm largely happy enough so far for my 3 bucks a month.   The key here is to understand that iCloud serves and important task in that it safely backups my families photos offsite.  I can directly correlate a benefit to the service with the addressing of a possible pain point for my family. 

    Apple Music doesn't solve anything in fact it makes things worse with its limited distribution .   Doesn't work on my Bose SoundTouch directly,  Doesn't work on my Google Home devices,  I'm literally giving Apple money for a substandard product (for now).   I LOVE streaming because I'm a music lover but there needs to be a balance between streaming and ownership.  No one has managed to straddle both needs with a clear marketing message. 

    Google has also had their misses but I do like what they've done to reduce the cost of runaway cellular costs 
    https://fi.google.com/about/

    I think TV and Movie media needs to join Music, Books and other forms of entertainment that have gone digital with the ability to space shift.  I'm a fan of streaming music but when I want to purchase a song/album I get to play it everywhere.   TV and Movie content is under a draconian lockdown.
    If you value choice over quality, don’t buy Apple.  They never pretended to support a fully inter-operable product model as it rarely produces a better outcome.

    Also, you’re wrong about not nailing subscription+ownership; Apple Music does it fantastically.  If it doesn’t work with your speakers - don’t buy the wrong speakers.  That’s like buying tyres then complaining they don’t fit the car!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 16
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,201member
    Apple's services are weak.   It's the faithful that deal with the shortcoming of Apple Music or iCloud when better options exists.  Apple's Services success is essentially a Mercy F***K from consumers.  None of their services are indispensable.  This is why they have to keep bleating out "Services"..to reinforce the idea that they are important when in fact great products tend to sell themselves. 

    Let me not crap on Apple too much however.  The entire Tech industry is in a state confusion about the next big thing.   At first I thought is was just keeping their cards close to their chest but I'm beginning to realize that they really don't know what's next and are trying to build out marginal services and maintain marketshare in a saturate mobile arena until they can figure out what consumers are going to want next. 



    Their services are truly lacking especially Pro services which are critical to push IPad Pros.

    The push to services makes sense as they deconstruct the Mac to dedicated devices.  What will hold these devices together? Services.
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