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The reason why the new iPhone SE is so cheap. Reading from Apple's financial results (Masahiro Sano)-Engadget Japan

Apple Masahiro Sano

On April 30, 2020, Apple announced its second quarter financial results. According to the content, sales for the current quarter increased 1% year on year to $ 58.3 billion, and earnings per share increased 4% year on year to $ 2.55, indicating that the spread of the new coronavirus is serious. However, it seems that it managed to make a slight increase.

However, it could be said that the sales amount of each product attracted more attention. Quarterly sales of Apple's flagship product, the iPhone, were $ 28,962 million, down about 7% year-over-year. Similarly, sales of Mac and iPad also seem to be falling.

On the other hand, wearables such as "Apple Watch" and home-related devices, and services such as "App Store" and "Apple Music" are growing.

Especially with regard to services, not only has it increased significantly by about 17% to $ 13,348 million compared to the same period of the previous year, but the amount is about half that of the iPhone, and it has become a big influence on the business You can see that

Apple Masahiro Sano▲ Looking at Apple's financial results for the second quarter of 2020, it can be seen that sales related to services such as "Apple Music" have grown significantly, compensating for the decline in iPhone sales.

Therefore, in a sense, Apple's current settlement of accounts covered the iPhone sales that fell due to the influence of the new coronavirus, on the contrary, because the number of people at home increased due to the influence of the new coronavirus and the use of content-related services increased. , It seems that it can be seen that it has only increased slightly.

And this can be said to be greatly influenced by the recent strengthening of the service business by Apple. For Apple, contents and services have been sub-positions that enhance the appeal of hardware such as the iPhone, but in recent years we have made a major shift in that direction and are rapidly advancing the business expansion of services.

A particular symbol of that was the company's presentation held in March 2019, about a year ago. Apple's announcements usually focus on hardware announcements, but at this time, we announce new hardware products one after another just before the announcement. It was surprising that only new services were announced on the day of the launch.

In fact, what was announced at this time was "Apple TV +" for video distribution, "Apple Arcade" for game subscription service, and other payment services such as "Apple Card" and magazines that are not provided in Japan All-you-can-use service such as "Apple News +". You can see how the service has been expanded at once in a year.

Apple Masahiro Sano▲ In March 2019, Apple held a presentation for new services such as "Apple Arcade." He had a clear attitude to focus on services

Moreover, Apple announced on April 21, 2020 that it will add 20 countries and regions that provide major services such as the App Store.

Above all, Apple Music will be newly provided in 52 countries and regions, and it can be seen that it is actively expanding the scale in order to further expand the service, which is growing rapidly.

Apple Masahiro Sano▲ Apple announced on April 21, 2020 that it will expand the service area such as the "App Store". We can see how we are putting more effort into expanding the service business.

And Apple's stance on strengthening the service business seems to change the hardware strategy. The second-generation new iPhone SE, which was launched in April 2020 and became a hot topic, clearly showed that.

The iPhone SE is based on the iPhone 8 and is equipped with the latest chipset "A13 Bionic", and although it has very high performance, it is the cheapest model from the 40,000 yen range, which is very cheap among iPhones. It's getting a lot of attention.

Even in Japan, the release from three mobile phones has been delayed due to the influence of the new coronavirus, but since the SIM free version sold at the Apple Store and some home electronics mass retailers is on sale as planned, it has already been There may be many people holding it.

Apple Masahiro Sano
▲ The second-generation "iPhone SE," which became a hot topic with the introduction of a new model for the first time in four years. Even on websites, it is very different from the conventional iPhone that a reasonable price is being appealed as "Easy to get what you want to get."

But until recently, Apple was never willing to offer a low-cost iPhone. Regarding the “iPhone 5c” in 2013 and the “iPhone XR” in 2019, which had a strong image of “cheap edition” in the market, I remember that Apple was focusing on eliminating such an image of high quality.

Because the iPhone has succeeded in generating amazing profits in the smartphone market through the efficient business of selling a large number of high-value, high-value-added models, the low-priced low-price model has been adopted. There was little reason to put it in.

In particular, Apple has strengthened this strategy since the price competition of smartphones has intensified due to the rise of Chinese manufacturers, and since the time of the iPhone X in 2017, we have not chased the share of sales volume, high priced, high value-added model The stance of pursuing profits was clarified.

But this line did not come with a consumer wallet. In fact, in the 2018 "iPhone XS" series that exceeded 100,000 yen across the board, due to the delay in the release of the iPhone XR, which is a lower model, the high price was taken up, and as a result, sales seemed to be sluggish.

Perhaps partly because of that, Apple has made a rapid move to revive not only high-priced models but also affordable models.

In 2018, new models of MacBook Air and Mac mini, new models of models that have not been introduced until now, such as iPod touch, iPad Air and iPad mini in 2019 will be introduced one after another. This made the fans excited, but it was the new iPhone SE that was the ultimate result.

Apple Masahiro Sano▲ Similar to the new iPhone SE, the “iPad mini” has long been a fan, but the new model has not been introduced for a long time. For that reason, it was a big surprise when the new model was announced in 2019.

As I mentioned earlier, it is the iPhone that is currently the pillar that supports Apple's business results, and that is why it was also Apple's most desire to avoid lowering profits due to lowering the price of the iPhone.

Nevertheless, we believe that the growth of the service business has had a significant influence on the availability of new low-priced iPhone SE models.

In other words, the service business is growing as another pillar after the iPhone, and it is possible to see the path that expanding the spread of Apple devices that are easy to use services will lead to growth. It can be said that it was able to throw in.

Of course, the high value-added route of the hardware is expected to continue in the future, such as Apple introducing the new MacBook Pro on May 4, 2020.

However, if a new axis of service grows and a system that does not necessarily need to be earned by hardware is prepared, it may be possible to increase the number of highly flexible devices such as the new iPhone SE in the future. ..

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