Let's face it: Apple hasn't been doing too well lately. Its stock keeps dropping, and AAPL as fallen to the fourth most valuable company by market capitalization after hitting the $1 trillion mark back in August. Apple even sent out a warning to investors before its earnings call for the first time in over 15 years.
The biggest culprit of this is obvious: price hikes in Apple hardware. Almost all of Apple's new products released in late 2018 were more expensive than their predecessors, including the MacBook Air, Mac mini, and iPad Pro (along with its additional accessories such as the Keyboard Folio and Apple Pencil). However, the iPhone is by far Apple's most popular product, and it simply hasn't been selling well. For many users, Apple's flagship iPhones are simply too expensive, and not enough compelling features were added this year to make the price justifiable for most users. Another factor is Apple's commitment to the longevity of their products. Apple started offering $29 battery replacements this year and released iOS 12, which sacrificed new features for stability and performance on older devices.
However, there is one area in which Apple is doing better than ever: services. The App Store had record-breaking revenue this holiday season, and the number of Apple Music subscribers is at an all-time high. In addition, more users are taking advantage of the HomeKit ecosystem and specifically looking for speakers that support AirPlay 2.
Before Christmas, Apple made Apple Music available for Amazon Echo, an unprecedented move. Plus, at CES 2019, Vizio, LG, Samsung, and Sony revealed that native AirPlay 2 support will be making its way to their higher-end TVs along with Screen Mirroring and iTunes Store. Both of these decisions will certainly cannibalize sales of both the HomePod and Apple TV, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If Apple is willing to sacrifice sales of their premium products in order to make their services available on more platforms, what implications does this have for the future? Will Apple begin to offer apps like GarageBand and Final Cut Pro on Windows? Let us know what you think in the comments below!