The iPhone Franchise – Stratechery by Ben Thompson


62 bookmarks. First posted by kohlmannj 9 weeks ago.


Mission Impossible iPhone
This is what I meant when I said Apple’s second iPhone models capture how the company has changed not only its strategy but how the company seems to view itself:
2013 was a time of uncertainty, with a sliding stock price and a steadily building clamor heralding Apple doom via low-end disruption; the company, though, found its voice with the 5C and declared its intentions to be unapologetically high-end; the 5C’s failure, such that it was, only cemented the rightness of that decision.
In 2017 the company, for the first time in ten years, started to truly test the price elasticity of demand for the iPhone: given its commitment to being the best, just how much could Apple charge for an iPhone X?
This year, then, comes the fully-formed iPhone juggernaut: an even more expensive phone, with arguably one of the weaker feature-driven reasons-to-buy to date, but for the fact it is Apple’s newest, and best, iPhone. And below that, a cheaper iPhone XR that is nearly as good, but neatly segmented primarily by virtue of not being the best, yet close enough to be a force in the market for years to come.
The strategy is, dare I say, bordering on over-confidence. Apple is raising prices on its best product even as that product’s relative differentiation from the company’s next best model is the smallest it has ever been.
Here, though, I thought the keynote’s “Mission: Impossible”-themed opening really hit the mark: the reason why franchises rule Hollywood is their dependability. Sure, they cost a fortune to make and to market, but they are known quantities that sell all over the world — $735 million-to-date for the latest Tom Cruise thriller, to take a pertinent example.
That is the iPhone: it is a franchise, the closest thing to a hardware annuity stream tech has ever seen. Some people buy an iPhone every year; some are on a two-year cycle; others wait for screens to crack, batteries to die, or apps to slow. Nearly all, though, buy another iPhone, making the purpose of yesterday’s keynote less an exercise in selling a device and more a matter of informing self-selected segments which device they will ultimately buy, and for what price.
iphone  business  strategy  apple 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Apple released a new flagship iPhone yesterday, the iPhone XS. This isn’t exactly ground-breaking news: it is exactly what the company has done for eleven years…
from instapaper
7 weeks ago by adamparnes
I’m still catching up on coverage of Apple’s iPhone and Apple Watch event last month. Ben Thompson makes some excellent points:

The strategy is, dare I say, bordering on over-confidence. Apple is raising prices on its best product even as that product’s relative differentiation from the company’s next best model is the smallest it has ever been.

Here, though, I thought the keynote’s “Mission: Impossible”-themed opening really hit the mark: the reason why franchises rule Hollywood is their dependability. Sure, they cost a fortune to make and to market, but they are known quantities that sell all over the world — $735 million-to-date for the latest Tom Cruise thriller, to take a pertinent example.

That is the iPhone: it is a franchise, the closest thing to a hardware annuity stream tech has ever seen. Some people buy an iPhone every year; some are on a two-year cycle; others wait for screens to crack, batteries to die, or apps to slow. Nearly all, though, buy another iPhone, making the purpose of yesterday’s keynote less an exercise in selling a device and more a matter of informing self-selected segments which device they will ultimately buy, and for what price.

How long does this continue? Ten years? Longer?

 ★ 
via:daringfireball 
7 weeks ago by rufous
from Daring Fireball

I’m still catching up on coverage of Apple’s iPhone and Apple Watch event last month. Ben Thompson makes some excellent points:

The strategy is, dare I say, bordering on over-confidence. Apple is raising prices on its best product even as that product’s relative differentiation from the company’s next best model is the smallest it has ever been.

Here, though, I thought the keynote’s “Mission: Impossible”-themed opening really hit the mark: the reason why franchises rule Hollywood is their dependability. Sure, they cost a fortune to make and to market, but they are known quantities that sell all over the world — $735 million-to-date for the latest Tom Cruise thriller, to take a pertinent example.

That is the iPhone: it is a franchise, the closest thing to a hardware annuity stream tech has ever seen. Some people buy an iPhone every year; some are on a two-year cycle; others wait for screens to crack, batteries to die, or apps to slow. Nearly all, though, buy another iPhone, making the purpose of yesterday’s keynote less an exercise in selling a device and more a matter of informing self-selected segments which device they will ultimately buy, and for what price.

How long does this continue? Ten years? Longer?

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
7 weeks ago by josephschmitt
Apple released a new flagship iPhone yesterday, the iPhone XS. This isn’t exactly ground-breaking news: it is exactly what the company has done for eleven years…
from instapaper
8 weeks ago by ree
The iPhone is a franchise, a product that will make money in well-defined ways; Apple understands that and is exploiting it more than ever before with the iPhones XS and XR.
apple  business  iphone  analysis 
8 weeks ago by bradbarrish
Apple released a new flagship iPhone yesterday, the iPhone XS. This isn’t exactly ground-breaking news: it is exactly what the company has done for eleven years now (matching the 11-year run of non-iOS iPods, by the way1). via Pocket
Pocket 
8 weeks ago by driptray
The iPhone Franchise

The iPhone is a franchise, a product that will make money in well-de…
via:kohlmannj  apple  iphone  tech 
9 weeks ago by amwelles
via Stratechery by Ben Thompson Member Feed https://stratechery.com
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9 weeks ago by sbmandal
Apple released a new flagship iPhone yesterday, the iPhone XS. This isn’t exactly ground-breaking news: it is exactly what the company has done for eleven years now (matching the 11-year run of non-iOS iPods, by the way1).
Archive 
9 weeks ago by fraz87
Apple released a new flagship iPhone yesterday, the iPhone XS. This isn’t exactly ground-breaking news: it is exactly what the company has done for eleven years now (matching the 11-year run of non-iOS iPods, by the way1). via Pocket
Pocket 
9 weeks ago by tonyhue
RT metavital : 2018년 아이폰 제품들의 가격 전략은 애플이 아이폰5C의 실패에서 얻은 교훈 때문이라는 분석 칼럼 http://bit.ly/2Os58v2 아이폰을 사는 고객들은 하이엔드 아이폰의 특징들을 제거한 '값싼 아이폰'을 원하지 않으며, 가격은 부차적인 고려사항일 뿐이라고... September 14, 2018 at 12:15PM http://twitter.com/metavital/status/1040438738768326656
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9 weeks ago by seoulrain
Apple released a new flagship iPhone yesterday, the iPhone XS. This isn’t exactly ground-breaking news: it is exactly what the company has done for eleven years now (matching the 11-year run of non-iOS iPods, by the way1). via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket 
9 weeks ago by keithprime
Apple released a new flagship iPhone yesterday, the iPhone XS. This isn’t exactly ground-breaking news: it is exactly what the company has done for eleven years…
from instapaper
9 weeks ago by elliottwilliams
That is the iPhone: it is a franchise, the closest thing to a hardware annuity stream tech has ever seen. Some people buy an iPhone every year; some are on a two-year cycle; others wait for screens to crack, batteries to die, or apps to slow. Nearly all, though, buy another iPhone, making the purpose of yesterday’s keynote less an exercise in selling a device and more a matter of informing self-selected segments which device they will ultimately buy, and for what price.
apple  iphone 
9 weeks ago by dancall
Aaaand here we go. Validation is a lovely feeling. - This year, then, comes the fully-formed iPhone juggernaut: an even more expensive phone, with arguably one of the weaker feature-driven reasons-to-buy to date, but for the fact it is Apple’s newest, and best, iPhone. And below that, a cheaper iPhone XR that is nearly as good, but neatly segmented primarily by virtue of not being the best, yet close enough to be a force in the market for years to come.
IFTTT  Facebook 
9 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Ben Thompson:
<p>probably the biggest surprise from these announcements (well, other than the name “XS Max”) is just how good of a smartphone the XR is.

• The XR has Apple’s industry-leading A12 chip, which is so far ahead of the industry that it will still be competitive with the best Android smartphones in two years, and massively more powerful than lower-end phones.<br />• The XR has the same wide-angle camera as the XS, and the same iteration of Face ID. Both, again, are industry-leading and will be more than competitive two years from now.<br />• The biggest differences from the XS are the aforementioned case materials, an LCD screen, and the lack of 3D Touch. Again, though, aluminum is still a premium material, Apple’s LCD screens are — and yes there is a theme here — the best in the industry, and 3D Touch is a feature that is so fiddly and undiscoverable that one could make the case XR owners are actually better off.

There really is no other way to put it: the XR is a fantastic phone, one that would be more than sufficient to maintain Apple’s position atop the industry were it the flagship. And yet, in the context of Apple’s strategy, it is best thought of as being quite literally ahead of its time.</p>

Reading this - in which he points out that smartphone strategies are worked out years in advance - I began to suspect that Apple's long-term strategy for India and other countries which have big markets but where it has negligible share is to let the XR age, and keep offering it more and more cheaply in those markets. The SE tried, but simply wasn't big enough; those markets demand big screens.
Iphone  india  xr 
9 weeks ago by charlesarthur
It’s hard to not share every article that Ben Thompson writes. Some great observations on Apple's iPhone lineup in here.
9 weeks ago by thingles
The iPhone Franchise via Instapaper https://ift.tt/2p59lJW
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9 weeks ago by TypingPixels
The iPhone Franchise // Smart. Interesting to consider the iPhone annuity stre…
from twitter_favs
9 weeks ago by ilicco
Apple released a new flagship iPhone yesterday, the iPhone XS. This isn’t exactly ground-breaking news: it is exactly what the company has done for eleven years…
from instapaper
9 weeks ago by hiroprot
There really is no other way to put it: the XR is a fantastic phone, one that would be more than sufficient to maintain Apple’s position atop the industry were it the flagship. And yet, in the context of Apple’s strategy, it is best thought of as being quite literally ahead of its time.
business  apple  iphone 
9 weeks ago by crankyuser
Apple released a new flagship iPhone yesterday, the iPhone XS. This isn’t exactly ground-breaking news: it is exactly what the company has done for eleven years…
from instapaper
9 weeks ago by toph
Apple released a new flagship iPhone yesterday, the iPhone XS. This isn’t exactly ground-breaking news: it is exactly what the company has done for eleven years…
from instapaper
9 weeks ago by drcraig
Apple released a new flagship iPhone yesterday, the iPhone XS. This isn’t exactly ground-breaking news: it is exactly what the company has done for eleven years…
from instapaper
9 weeks ago by hybridsolidr
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9 weeks ago by stinkingpig
The iPhone Franchise via
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9 weeks ago by Creativebloke
RT : The iPhone Franchise

The iPhone is a franchise, a product that will make money in well-de…
from twitter
9 weeks ago by jackveiga
Apple released a new flagship iPhone yesterday, the iPhone XS. This isn’t exactly ground-breaking news: it is exactly what the company has done for eleven years…
from instapaper
9 weeks ago by joeybaker
The iPhone Franchise

The iPhone is a franchise, a product that will make money in well-de…
from twitter_favs
9 weeks ago by kohlmannj
The iPhone Franchise

The iPhone is a franchise, a product that will make money in well-de…
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9 weeks ago by freddles
The iPhone Franchise

The iPhone is a franchise, a product that will make money in well-de…
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9 weeks ago by danielcurran