We are at a time when sales of its best product, the iPhone, seem to have hit a ceiling and even begin to resent, and Apple has to face a new era in which hardware will continue to have great importance, but in which it will be difficult to repeat the sales results of recent years.
With a user base envied by any company, and a fidelity of them almost more typical of a religion than of a technology company, it's time for Apple to turn its strategy around and focus on something that can secure millions of dollars in revenue for the next years: Services.
Preparing the way
It is not something new at Apple, which has been expanding its services for years to the point that its revenues have gone from being almost anecdotal in 2013 (about $ 4 billion per quarter) to constitute one of the main sources in the first quarter of 2019 with more than $ 10,000 million. In just five years, service revenues have almost tripled, and almost without realizing it.
Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Care, Apple Music … are businesses that have been growing over the years, and have been giving more and more income. But it is time to take a major leap and definitely turn to this business, something that seems to be what we see this Monday. There are 1.4 billion active Apple devices today, all of them potential customers of everything Apple offers this Monday.
Apple Video, a new platform
We've been months, I would say even years, talking about Apple's streaming service. At the time he had to make the change with music on iTunes and make the leap to streaming music. Now it is the turn of the movies and television series. If Spotify makes things very difficult for Apple Music, the same thing will happen now with Netflix, the giant of video streaming, and to a lesser extent with Amazon Video.
However, Apple's strategy may be different from Netflix. Apple could choose to become a platform that encompasses other services, rather than a service in itself. Obviously it will have its own exclusive productions that serve as an attraction for many customers, but it is difficult to compete with the large producers that already invest billions of dollars a year in products for television and cinema.
The audiovisual market is constantly changing, and if a few years ago what we asked for is that a streaming service arrived in Spain, now we begin to have problems choosing which one to subscribe to. The contents are fragmenting, and to Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video and other small streaming services, in the next few years a few more will join, each with its streaming content. If you want to watch Marvel, Star Wars or Pixar movies, you can no longer search for them on Netflix or HBO, you will have to hire the Disney + service, for example.
Apple will include channel packages in its Streaming service
Apple would become a platform where different services could be contracted, at a price presumably lower through the "packages", and all this included in an application and a device. You won't have to worry about where the Game of Thrones series is, or where I can watch the last Tarantino movie, because all this will be centralized in the TV application that you can use on your Apple TV, on your iPhone and on your iPad, and soon on your smart TV. At least this is what those who say they know what Apple will present on Monday tell us.
News, games and credit card
Although it seems that the protagonist of the event on March 25 will be the streaming video service, there will be other developments that will complement this turn towards services. Apple launched its News application several years ago, and during this time it has been preparing its subscription service for this application. Pay a monthly fee that would allow you to access content from publications such as Wall Street Journal and Vox, as well as countless magazines.
Something similar could happen with video games from the App Store. A monthly fee that will allow you to access a selection of video games from different developers on all your devices. They say Apple would distribute the revenue to each developer based on how long their video games are played.
And finally this Monday we could also see a new credit card in Apple Pay, but this time an own Apple card. David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, is expected to be in Monday's presentation, to introduce this new card that would be available only within Wallet, Apple's application to manage credit cards. Apple Pay is now available worldwide with millions of users who use it daily, and why keep only a small commission when you can have your own card for people to make payments.
Doubts to clear
All this seems great, but there are many doubts to clear that we will see resolved without any doubt in just over 24 hours. The main thing is to know the agreements that Apple has achieved with the main content providers, not only for your video service but for the News application, and for that flat rate of games that say you have us ready. But no less important is knowing the availability of all these services.
After a long time after its launch, TV and News applications are available in few countries outside the United States (and one of them is not Spain). Launching a service of the magnitude that we have described and that is restricted to a couple of English-speaking countries is of little use, only to frustrate users who ask outside of those countries. Worst of all, we've seen that movie before, and we fear that it has the same end.
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