I did a couple of interviews today about the news that Apple’s market capitalization of $622 billion is the highest ever in absolute dollars (though not in inflation-adjusted terms). In the interview below I discuss some of the current landscape for Apple.
I was also interviewed for a segment on the 7pm News.
Here are a few of the thoughts I shared in my interviews, not all of which were included in the segments above.
Beyond Jobs. Apple’s share price is 76% higher than on the day of Steve Jobs’ death on October 5, 2011. This is a testament to his ability to build a company that thrives beyond his lifetime.
Riding mobile. The heart of Apple’s success is in how deftly it positioned itself to ride the extraordinary trend that is the shift to mobile everything. In the most recent quarter iPhone and iPad accounted for 72% of Apple’s revenue; it is today predominantly a mobile device company.
Pre-positioning platforms. In our Future of Media: Strategy Tools landscape I use our flow economy framework to analyze Apple’s success, showing how it has over the years shifted value from iPod to iTunes to iPhone, pre-building the platforms that have allowed its extraordinary success in mobile.
Pent-up demand. Apple’s most recent year-on-year growth rate of 23% was the lowest for three years, however that is largely due to people waiting for the release of the iPhone5 before buying Apple products.
Dividend distribution. Investors like dividends, so while the $2.5 billion distributed in its last dividend is only a fraction of the increase of its cash over a quarter (most recently standing at $118 billion), it helps to appeal to a broader pool of investors and support the stock price.
New vistas. While Apple has not really cracked the TV hardware or TV content markets, many believe they are well positioned to take significant value with new releases as the landscape of these markets shift dramatically in years ahead.
Extreme loyalty. Neuroscientists have likened Apple fanaticism to religious experience. In a world in which loyalty and brands are eroding on all sides, a significant proportion of Apple’s customer base do not seem likely to change buying habits soon.
Of course all this does not mean that Apple will necessarily keep its lead, however its position today is exceptional, as reflected in its stock price. It will be fascinating to see how it fares in the years ahead.