Do you remember Apple’s China problem? If you don’t remember, it was a huge problem.
In early 2021, savvy sleuths noticed iPhone sales rose a ridiculous 155 percent in January and a recursively ridiculous 320 percent in February. Great news, right?! Wrong! Why? Because the sale was then down in March.
10 percent lower.
Enormous issue. Forget January and February what have you done for us lately, apple? Like in recent weeks. Preferably the last five minutes.
So. We will. It did indeed look bad for our business in Cupertino. A delay was certainly imminent. March wasn’t the glitch, experts explained, it was January and February that were the glitch. If you want it to be explained to you why one bad one is right and the other two wrong, well, then… well, then.
Needless to say, this pointed expert didn’t take these dire warnings very seriously at the time, and it was a position that was later rewarded when Apple became China’s largest smartphone brand in October 2021. It was then rewarded again when Apple also became the largest smartphone brand in China in November 2021.
Of course you know what they say about two good months for Apple. Absolutely bad news.
Not yet, of course, because Canalys now claims that while total smartphone shipments in China fell 11 percent in the third quarter of this year, iPhone shipments grew 36 percent.
Hey. Well, maybe it’s two good years that are bad news for Apple. It probably is.
However, Apple’s most recent quarterly results weren’t all alfalfa and Aperol, as Jason Snell explains. Tim Cook’s beloved services revenue has seemingly stalled in recent quarters. “There, there,” Cook has to whisper to the revenue from services as he tucks it in at night. ‘One day you will show them. One day we will show them both.“
Good news: Apple is raising prices on Apple TV+ and Apple Music. Problem solved!
Oh, problem solved for Apple. Not for you. Sorry, the Macalope wasn’t clear on that particular point.
The company has also decided to take some of the “boosts” on social media platforms. The Macalope was initially deterred by this as yet another money grab by the company, but he was happy to hear that it mainly affected Facebook and Instagram, so he was suddenly less concerned. It’s a shame it can hurt mostly benign platforms like Tumblr, but if it hurts Meta… well… it couldn’t have happened to a nicer detriment to society.
Cook was also probably very stunned this week by the big stench that arose over ads for online gambling apps appearing in the App Store listing. In one casean app that helps to recover from a gambling addiction, served ad for a gambling app!
[Turns to the camera] The apps you love. From a place you can trust.
As Federico Viticci put it:
Can you imagine having $48.2 billion in cash on hand and still thinking “ah yeah those House of Fun Casino ads are going to boost our profits let’s do it”
Apple was chastised enough by the backlash to temporarily suspend gambling ads, but it’s unclear for how long it plans to do so. When service revenues decline, it can be tempting to turn the faucet back on as soon as people look the other way.
The Macalope would like to suggest that such ads — or, frankly, App Store ads of any kind — are damaging enough to Apple’s image that it isn’t worth the revenue. But then he’s a terrible business person and Tim Cook is a very good one.