Numbers matter. Every company, whether successful or not, deals with some big numbers. It might be a pencil company. 100,000 million pencils sold each year at 10-cents each. $100-million. Or, perhaps gold pencils– 1,000 sold at $10,000 each.
Big numbers. Apple sells perhaps 150-million iPhones a year, over 20-million Macs, and nearly 40-million iPads, but collectively those are big numbers. Even bigger is the total Apple customer base of about 1-billion.
What do such big numbers mean?
Let me give you some numbers from Facebook. The social media giant has perhaps 2.5-billion users worldwide. Big numbers. That’s why Facebook makes so much money. Ads to big numbers.
A recent news report said Facebook deals with 500,000 reports of revenge porn each month, and to combat such a stigma needed to build in tools to spot such nonconsensual intimate images even before users report the pictures to Facebook.
Apple has similar issues with some of its big numbers. The company sits on about $200-billion in cash and despite a growing hoard of intellectual property in the form of patents, Apple gets sued regularly because some patent holder somewhere wants to cash in on Apple’s riches
Those big numbers have value in the other direction, too. Enter Apple TV+, Apple’s $4.99 streaming video subscription service. Unique content available only for Apple customers. How much of Apple’s installed customer base would be required for success?
10-percent? That’s over 100-million customers paying $4.99 a month for unique TV shows, movies, and series. $500-million a month is $6-billion a year.
While Apple co-founder Steve Jobs could be considered the market disruption king with Mac, iPod, iTunes Music Store, iPhone, App Store, and iPad, current CEO Tim Cook has become the iPhone Accessories King by selling ever more gadgets and services to customers.
Apple Pay, Apple Music, AppleCare, Apple Watch, AirPods, Beats headphones, and, well, you get the idea.
None of that would matter much if Apple did not have 1.5-billion or so devices in the wild, mostly used by people with enough disposable income to handle an affordable luxury or two.
Big numbers mean big money.
That translates to others, too. Apple’s stock is at all-time record highs, and that means investors have plenty of profits, receive dividends thanks to the company’s profitability and cash hoard.
Big numbers mean big money for everyone except Apple’s customers who new are asked to subscribe to apps, subscribe to the iPhone, subscribe to AppleCare.
Oh, and pay more for hardware and more frequently for software and services and accessories.
Everyone seems to benefit with Apple’s big numbers except customers.