Yes, the iPhone growth has plateaued. And Apple's stock is falling. But here's a little note about why you shouldn't be panicking.
- The iPhone growth rates were stupidly high – since the release of the iPhone it has broken all sales records
- The iPhone 7 is faster, but doesn't really offer a new "must have" feature
- The Mac is doing fine with consumers, they just can't crack the big business code (and maybe that's okay)
- The iPad Pro is selling well, and sports a custom-designed Apple chip that's faster than the Intel i7 in this Macbook Pro I use.
But there's one other factor you have to keep in mind. Apple's products are so superior, that anyone buying their own computer is willing to splurge the extra bucks to get the Mac. And they are rewarded for their loyalty. Everything in the Mac world works well together. Your iPhone really loves your MacBook Air. You're iCloud account ties all of your messaging services together very nicely. Apple products just work better than 90% of the korean-made plastics being sold by its competitors.
Let me share a little story about how Apple does business in 2016 that just might convince you to dig deeper into your pocket next time you're looking to buy a laptop for yourself or your kid.
Here are the specs on my MacBook Pro, bought 4 years ago.
And are the reasons this is so amazing.
- Intel hasn't really boosted the speed of the mobile chipset that much.
- The form factor of the MacBook Pro has not changed in that 4 years
- 16 gigs of ram seems like a lot until you use a laptop with 4 gigs (at work) or even 8 gigs.
But there's more.
A month ago I was looking to replace the internal battery on this laptop. I wasn't disappointed in the good 4 years of use I got, but I was a little frustrated that I couldn't buy a replacement battery and install it myself. So I huffed it over to my Apple Store to get a Genius to tell me I needed a new internal battery. Okay. Here's the great news. It was only $200. (The replacement for a non-retina Mac was $150, so I was only out $50 for the install.)
And then it got better.
The Genius said they were running behind on repairs at the store and would likely need to send mine to Cupertino. That meant 4 – 5 days without a laptop. Okay, well, you do what you gotta do. Turns out, my laptop was back in Austin in 3 days, including a Sunday. And they essentially replaced my keyboard, my aluminum case, the top case behind the display, and the internal display cards. All for $200. I pretty much got a new Mac, four years in, for $200.
Was I a happy customer? Yes, yes I was.
When considering a new laptop, phone, tablet, you have to make decisions based on more than price. If you must have Windows for some arcane reason, you can run it as an application on a Mac using Parallels. And then think about the service and support. And then, even more important, think about the durability of your purchase. Does a plastic Dell hold up over time? I'd say if you consider a single semester in high school a good length of time, yes. But, in general, when you buy a cheap plastic laptop what you get is cheap plastic, cheap components, and cheaper service and support.
It's no mystery why 90% of laptops in coffee shops are Macs. It's because the people who bought their own bought Macs.