Tim Cook: "North America was a challenge. We had no growth"

easy-peasy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 31, 2014
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No growth? :eek:

http://www.businessinsider.com/tim-cook-apple-has-stopped-growing-in-north-america-2014-2

The market tends not to ignore 80% dominance for long. (You can debate just how dominant Android is in various countries. Here are some market share charts. But there is broad agreement that Android has more users in than Apple in huge stretches of the world.)

But Apple fans ought to worry that Cook has a mistaken view of how powerful Android is. Android phones — particularly the high-end ones — can do 95% of what iPhones can do, at a fraction of the cost. There is a good chance that many of those users are simply never going to convert to Apple, for the same reason that Ford drivers never convert to Rolls Royce. Sure, a Rolls is nicer than a Ford. But both get from A to B equally fast, and the Ford does it cheaper.

This goes to the core of Apple's growth problem. Growth has halted in North America, yet Apple does not see Android as a threat.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
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Sensationalist dreck, meant to attract link clicks rather than actually inform anyone with facts.

From the same article:

Postscript: Cook also made it obvious that Apple was working on at least one brand new product category. In recent years, Apple has gotten all its growth from simply inventing new products that didn't exist before like the iPhone, the iPod and the iPad. So this entire debate may be moot — Apple may shrug at declining growth in mobile device sales the same way it shrugs at the dwindling desktop and laptop business, because in the future it will be generating its new sales from Apple TV or iWatch or some other amazing new gadget
Not only is the author pretty much qualifying his article to the point of making it meaningless, he's also completely ignorant of the fact that while the PC market was shrinking for non-Apple vendors, the Mac market was actually growing quite a bit.

Of course, that's common sense that's lost on most short term investors: one does not need to overwhelmingly, almost-monopolistically, dominate a market in order to continue to be successful. Apple has proven this over and over again with the Mac product line. It has survived for nearly two decades without even cracking double-digit market share, yet continues to turn profits and lead the industry in terms of financial performance.

It's just more of the same attempts at creating panic in the market. Evidently, $13.1 billion dollars in profit over the last three months means only one thing:

 
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nfl46

macrumors 604
Oct 5, 2008
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Let me say it before someone says it, "IF the iPhone screen was bigger then sales would pick up." Smh. I can't stand hearing that. Something like that would be a top comment on BGR by Android fan boys.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,086
2,055
Oregon
Let me say it before someone says it, "IF the iPhone screen was bigger then sales would pick up." Smh. I can't stand hearing that. Something like that would be a top comment on BGR by Android fan boys.
Every time Apple releases a new iPhone, sales DO pick up. It would be interesting to see what would happen if they moved away from their yearly upgrade cycle. I don't see the need for a larger screen, but if one was available, there are a lot of people who'd buy one.
 

rmhop81

macrumors 68020
Apr 4, 2005
2,243
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Dallas, TX
Let me say it before someone says it, "IF the iPhone screen was bigger then sales would pick up." Smh. I can't stand hearing that. Something like that would be a top comment on BGR by Android fan boys.
I'm not an android fan boy.....

They need to mix it up a little. I only get iPhone 3, 4, and 5 as I don't get the point of upgrading to a the S model that looks exactly the same. Provide a different look, make the screen bigger....do something!

I'm not saying we need a galaxy note 3 size phone, but give some kind of upgrade or change that will make consumers happy.

Just Bc u are happy with what they offer doesn't mean others can't disagree. They offer a bigger screen? So what, don't buy it!

They don't cater to the tech savvy....they cater to the "I got to have an iPhone so bad I don't care if the iPhone 4 is 3 years old". Those people don't buy new iPhones every year. They buy it once and don't get another one for 2-3 years. Tech savvy folks would upgrade all the time if they felt the upgrades were necessary. But when u keep doing the same predictable upgrades there isn't going to be a ton of new growth.
 

I7guy

macrumors Core
Nov 30, 2013
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Gotta be in it to win it
I'm not an android fan boy.....

They need to mix it up a little. I only get iPhone 3, 4, and 5 as I don't get the point of upgrading to a the S model that looks exactly the same. Provide a different look, make the screen bigger....do something!

I'm not saying we need a galaxy note 3 size phone, but give some kind of upgrade or change that will make consumers happy.

Just Bc u are happy with what they offer doesn't mean others can't disagree. They offer a bigger screen? So what, don't buy it!

They don't cater to the tech savvy....they cater to the "I got to have an iPhone so bad I don't care if the iPhone 4 is 3 years old". Those people don't buy new iPhones every year. They buy it once and don't get another one for 2-3 years. Tech savvy folks would upgrade all the time if they felt the upgrades were necessary. But when u keep doing the same predictable upgrades there isn't going to be a ton of new growth.
13.1 billion does not cater to the "I'll die unless I get an iPhone" crowd. They will not follow the android model. And what makes you think their customers aren't happy? The ones that aren't go somewhere else. In the meantime apple seems to be bringing in new business with decent profits.
 

rmhop81

macrumors 68020
Apr 4, 2005
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13.1 billion does not cater to the "I'll die unless I get an iPhone" crowd. They will not follow the android model. And what makes you think their customers aren't happy? The ones that aren't go somewhere else. In the meantime apple seems to be bringing in new business with decent profits.
Once these people get an iPhone they aren't buying another one for many years....they said the growth wasn't there. I'm not going android, but I see no point of upgrading every time a new iPhone comes out. The S model is barely an upgrade. Some people buy no matter what. Doesn't hurt to offer some variety.
Their variety is the 5c that no one wants.

Don't get me wrong I spend big money on apple gear and constantly upgrade when it's worth it. But most people once they get the iPhone won't upgrade for awhile. Sure some people upgrade all the time, but that isn't going to be a massive growth for apple.
 
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I7guy

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Nov 30, 2013
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Gotta be in it to win it
Once these people get an iPhone they aren't buying another one for many years....they said the growth wasn't there. I'm not going android, but I see no point of upgrading every time a new iPhone comes out. The S model is barely an upgrade. Some people buy no matter what. Doesn't hurt to offer some variety.
Their variety is the 5c that no one wants.

Don't get me wrong I spend big money on apple gear and constantly upgrade when it's worth it. But most people once they get the iPhone won't upgrade for awhile. Sure some people upgrade all the time, but that isn't going to be a massive growth for apple.
I would say two year upgrade cycle for most people from what I've seen from my iPhone owning friends. Actually two years on general from people who own cell phones.

There are always junkies and fanatics that upgrade every two minutes but it seems apple introduces enough new features in the "s" model to draw new customers or customers wanting an upgrade.

Seems between the 5c and 5s they covered a wider swath than previously covered with "s" models alone.
 

rmhop81

macrumors 68020
Apr 4, 2005
2,243
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Dallas, TX
I would say two year upgrade cycle for most people from what I've seen from my iPhone owning friends. Actually two years on general from people who own cell phones.

There are always junkies and fanatics that upgrade every two minutes but it seems apple introduces enough new features in the "s" model to draw new customers or customers wanting an upgrade.

Seems between the 5c and 5s they covered a wider swath than previously covered with "s" models alone.
There's also a whole other segment that don't upgrade based on contract cycle. Plenty of older people will keep them until the device just doesn't work. My MIL had a hard time spending $50 on her iPhone 4 and had talked about getting one for years. She won't get a new one for a very long time. My parents are the same way. So if most upgrade every 2 years or more, where is new growth gonna come from?
 

I7guy

macrumors Core
Nov 30, 2013
20,452
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Gotta be in it to win it
There's also a whole other segment that don't upgrade based on contract cycle. Plenty of older people will keep them until the device just doesn't work. My MIL had a hard time spending $50 on her iPhone 4 and had talked about getting one for years. She won't get a new one for a very long time. My parents are the same way. So if most upgrade every 2 years or more, where is new growth gonna come from?
I kept my blackberry for four years. 13.1 billion when people like your parents, MIL and me don't upgrade often indicates plenty of people buy apple products. I'm probably going to upgrade to the iPhone 6 assuming apple has a screen size small enough for me.
 

rmhop81

macrumors 68020
Apr 4, 2005
2,243
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Dallas, TX
I kept my blackberry for four years. 13.1 billion when people like your parents, MIL and me don't upgrade often indicates plenty of people buy apple products. I'm probably going to upgrade to the iPhone 6 assuming apple has a screen size small enough for me.
Yeah, but they aren't gonna upgrade again for a very long time since they now own an iPhone. Adding more variety would help. But slapping a colorful back plate and calling it a new phone is pretty ridiculous.
 

PNutts

macrumors 601
Jul 24, 2008
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Yeah, but they aren't gonna upgrade again for a very long time since they now own an iPhone. Adding more variety would help. But slapping a colorful back plate and calling it a new phone is pretty ridiculous.
Yes, there's been less innovation and more incremental upgrades for the past couple of iPhones.
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
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Let me say it before someone says it, "IF the iPhone screen was bigger then sales would pick up." Smh. I can't stand hearing that. Something like that would be a top comment on BGR by Android fan boys.
Yes, it is the biggest lie out there. Years of 3.5" screen still sold several million iPhones in the world filled with 4.5"+ phones from Android.
 

chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
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Android phones — particularly the high-end ones — can do 95% of what iPhones can do, at a fraction of the cost.
This comment is also highly questionable, and should not be taken as truth. Don't high end Android phone cost the same as an iPhone?
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
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This comment is also highly questionable, and should not be taken as truth. Don't high end Android phone cost the same as an iPhone?
Depends, what "Android device" are you comparing to. It's easy to compare an Andoird tablet to an iPhone and that might hold true. Or you might as well compare small Android phone and it also might be true.

It's always nice to see what the "Android device" is. Otherwise, pure BS.
 

PNutts

macrumors 601
Jul 24, 2008
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IMO, the 5s has been one of the most innovative phones released of late.
Yeah, I was too quick on the trigger for the 5s: Touch ID, 64 bit, motion chip.

That's what "innovation" is.
Innovation. From the link (emphasis mine), "Innovation differs from improvement in that innovation refers to the notion of doing something different rather than doing the same thing better." Innovation was the first iPhone when everyone else was trying to make a perfect keyboard.
 

chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
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OK. By that definition there has been less innovation. Who cares? iPhones got better.
 

jamezr

macrumors G5
Aug 7, 2011
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Yes, it is the biggest lie out there. Years of 3.5" screen still sold several million iPhones in the world filled with 4.5"+ phones from Android.
That is the biggest misconception out there…. Apple says a 3.5 inch screen is perfect. We know better what you need and want. Then along comes the 4 inch iPhone …oh ya…this one is best for you see we made it longer for you….we know better what you want. But in the meantime Android caught up and passed the iPhone. The larger screen phones are outselling the iPhone and dominating worldwide sales and closing the gap in the US market. But once Apple releases a larger screen iPhone all you naysayers will be back on the wagon….."see we told you Apple knows best what we need"
Clearly there is a rather large market for a larger screen phones world wide. No growth in the US? Give the buying public what they want……release a larger screen phone. Go to a twice yearly release cycle. See how growth in the US is after that…..
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
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Innovation. From the link (emphasis mine), "Innovation differs from improvement in that innovation refers to the notion of doing something different rather than doing the same thing better." Innovation was the first iPhone when everyone else was trying to make a perfect keyboard.
Would TouchID also not be an innovation? There's wasn't something like it on smartphones before this to make "better;" it's a "different" approach to authentication.

The motion chip in itself might not be an innovation if you're extremely strict about the word, but it certainly is a foundation for other innovations: the Fit Bit, Nike Fuel Band, and apparently the upcoming iWatch to name a few.

Don't buy this? Then if we go that route, *I* don't buy that the iPhone was an innovation at all. Since we're splitting hairs, the iPhone at its core is just a "different" way of doing something that had been done for years before Apple even tried: a smartphone. Which by the way, was pretty half-baked and of lower functionality than its peers when it first came out: no apps, no cut and paste, no 3G, no MMS, and a less-than-standard headphone jack that required an adapter for most headphones. How can we not call Touch ID and M7 innovations, while a glorified, revamped smartphone with a marginally better touch screen from previous generations gets a pass?

It all boils down, once again, to innovation being subjective and judged by people with agendas. Depending on who you're rooting for in this race, either every tiny new feature is innovative, or a complete reinvention of the smartphone is merely a natural iterative progression. Which is why the results are what matters, more than what it took to get there.
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
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That is the biggest misconception out there…. Apple says a 3.5 inch screen is perfect. We know better what you need and want. Then along comes the 4 inch iPhone …oh ya…this one is best for you see we made it longer for you….we know better what you want. But in the meantime Android caught up and passed the iPhone. The larger screen phones are outselling the iPhone and dominating worldwide sales and closing the gap in the US market. But once Apple releases a larger screen iPhone all you naysayers will be back on the wagon….."see we told you Apple knows best what we need"
Clearly there is a rather large market for a larger screen phones world wide. No growth in the US? Give the buying public what they want……release a larger screen phone. Go to a twice yearly release cycle. See how growth in the US is after that…..
I love the 3.5" form factor. Don't get me wrong. I think Steve got it right off the bat and a bigger screen (even today's iPhones) is a mistake.

I feel that a bigger screen selling point is more of a "what else can we do to sell more" rather than a true feature that people can love and get behind.

Now, a bigger screen does help people with big fingers, but that is just a small percentage of people. I don't need a phablet in my pocket, I need my phone that just happens to do these awesome things on a screen size.
 

jamezr

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I love the 3.5" form factor. Don't get me wrong. I think Steve got it right off the bat and a bigger screen (even today's iPhones) is a mistake.

I feel that a bigger screen selling point is more of a "what else can we do to sell more" rather than a true feature that people can love and get behind.

Now, a bigger screen does help people with big fingers, but that is just a small percentage of people. I don't need a phablet in my pocket, I need my phone that just happens to do these awesome things on a screen size.
I don't see it that way...the sales of larger screen phones in 5 inch range bear this out. I am not talking about phablets........5.5 or larger.....that is a separate niche space. But look at the sales figures that have been posted on MR numerous times. They all lead to 4.7 to 5.5 inch phones out selling all others. Given the sales figures....the consumers want a larger phone. Why would Apple not give the consumer what they want? Would that not lead to more sales in the US? Would that be considered growth?
So releasing a larger screen iPhone would be to meet consumer demand and not just to do so because the an can.....
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
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You keep forgetting one important aspect. Apple has never released something upfront that the consumers wanted. After all, it was Steve's and Apple's motto that the consumer doesn't know what they want; and they'd be right. There is always someone who is never satisfied.

So going bigger, while it makes sense due to sales of larger devices, is not the way to go.

I can see mobile payments as an area that would bring to the iPhone much more features than just a a screen increase.
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,617
804
Los Angeles, CA
Every time Apple releases a new iPhone, sales DO pick up. It would be interesting to see what would happen if they moved away from their yearly upgrade cycle. I don't see the need for a larger screen, but if one was available, there are a lot of people who'd buy one.
While that might be true, it isn't necessarily because it's bigger. Could just be it's new. Apple could possibly release a dumb flip phone and make tons of sales.