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The overall interest in Apple products and the technology industry in general has been slowing over the years. While there is no obvious short -term impact, big technology is already beginning to shift some of its financial power and focus away from hardware and greener pastures.
According to Google’s own data, searches for technology companies like Apple and others have been on a generally downward trajectory since 2016. Even if that doesn’t prove anything in itself, it does and other data points suggest a general decrease in interest in the technology sphere from the population as a whole.
It is not possible to pinpoint a specific cause behind the overall decline. Of course, if you look at the state of the world between 2016 and 2022, it’s easy to see why there has been a decline in interest in technology, in general.
The overall decline in searches for consumer product companies like Apple and Google has been declining since 2016. It doesn’t take a good memory to know what else has happened in the year.
A lot has happened in the last four years, in the U.S. and around the world. Even people who aren’t plugged into the daily news cycle probably have more bandwidth taken up by controversies and disasters than normal.
Amid political scandals, European land wars, and world pandemics, there is no doubt that we are living in exciting times. If you only have several hours a day on the “doom scroll” and Google doesn’t know the political processes, you’ll have very little time to spend looking for the latest technology trends.
It is not necessary for a psychologist to realize that many people are prone to burnout. We have so much brain power to devote to ideas and concepts every day. Since the 2016 election and the global pandemic, many reserves of people caring for less important thoughts are likely to be spent.
Moreover, the devolution of political discourse has almost undoubtedly bled in other areas. You’re more likely to Google something – and possibly give it a hot take – if it’s bad or controversial than if it’s just good.
Take many of the times that technology has dominated the news cycle since 2016. In almost every case, it’s because of a controversial feature or a whistleblower report. Apple’s CSAM analysis system has gained more ground in the popular press than the Self-Service Improvement program, representing a significant policy change.
That brings us to another important fact to keep in mind. Technology has worked “just fine” for most people for many years.
Technology is no longer exciting
If you look at the kind of technology that has been released since 2016, most of it feels repetitive rather than new.
Even if AirPods are a runaway success, they don’t have the same kind of revolutionary impact as the iPod. The edge-to-edge display and Face ID on the iPhone X feels more like a natural evolution after the iPhone’s revolutionary first four years since 2007.
The latest technology being released these days feels to be expected. Some new innovations, such as the introduction of Apple Silicon, may go unnoticed by lay consumers who simply buy any usable MacBook Air without worrying about details.
In other words, the past few years have been a period of evolution and refinement for the technology industry rather than revolution. There is a cooling of innovation and a greater focus on fixing things. In the end, that’s a positive move.
The pandemic also played a part. Even the smallest technical knowledge of the workers is put in a technology -dependent situation. When the locks started, technology was our only real connection to the outside world.
During the pandemic, we all became very familiar with our tools. Our laptops, TVs, and smartphones enable us to work, stay informed, relax, and communicate. They become important – but boring.
However, despite the fact that technology rarely surprises us, the data proves that technology companies aren’t going anywhere. The importance of our consumer electronics cements it in our daily lives – and the tech industry has benefited from that.
Do a lot with little
There is also a case to be made that the latest and most advanced technology does not provide many enough benefits to justify upgrading every year or every two years. Amid the increasingly difficult economic situation and the increasingly increasing nature of iPhone flagships, many consumers are holding on to their devices for longer periods of time.
Apple stopped providing individual unit sales for most of its products, including the iPhone, in 2018. That came just a few years after the number of iPhone sales reached an all -time high. Based on revenue, sales have remained more or less strong when measured annually over the past seven years – but outside of Apple, there’s no clear picture of actual unit sales.
However, today’s iPhone devices have become more expensive, contributing to a higher average selling price. The high-end iPhone 6s Plus, for example, starts at $ 749, compared to the high-end iPhone 13 Pro Max which starts at $ 1,099. Most premium devices also sold the most, which explains why Apple’s revenues grew despite a likely decline in overall sales volume.
Apple saw the writing on the wall early on, so it chose not to report the number of iPhone sales. After increasing the volume of iPhone sales, Apple shifted most of its focus to recurring revenue streams like Services.
Since the inception of the iPhone, services and software revenue have seen huge growth that has not been seen slowly. Services saw steady double-digit growth year-on-year. In the three years leading up to October 2021, Services revenue nearly tripled.
That’s good for Apple because there are a dwindling number of users who need the latest and greatest hardware to do their usual day-to-day work. Most users will be fine with the hardware released over the past few years, meaning that frequent upgrades aren’t as a necessity as they used to be.
The upgrade cycle appeared to be slow at four years in 2018, and as such has remained strong since then. Even the launch of a program like Self-Service Repair is unlikely to have a material impact on upgrade times.
Other data proves that FAANG is okay
Since 2017, Apple shares have grown by around 399%. And in time, the company reached $ 1 trillion market capitalization, $ 2 trillion market capitalization, and – in a short time – a $ 3 trillion market value. That doesn’t happen with a company that dies on the vine.
The most recent quarters for Apple, including the second quarter of 2022, are record-breaking. The company still sees progress in every product, except for those constrained by ongoing supply issues and macroeconomic conditions.
Alphabet, Meta, Netflix, and Amazon all have the same data points and as many piles of money to swim in and use as they see fit to survive any decline in consumer sentiment. But given that we are AppleInsiderwe won’t break that.
As mentioned earlier, Apple is also not burning with innovation. AirPods may not be as exciting as the iPhone or iPod, but they dominate the wireless earbud market. The impact and engineering of Apple Silicon forced Intel to advance the relatively robust evolution of the x86 architecture.
Apple is also considering having several new products in the pipeline, including a pair of augmented reality “glasses” and a mixed-reality headset that will help start a new era of technology. compute. It may soon penetrate the auto industry as well.
What’s more, Apple’s services and software go beyond what the iPhone offers. Since 2015, Apple Services revenue has grown from a whopping $ 5 billion per square to $ 19.8 in the second quarter of 2022.
In a world connected to technology, hardware and software are important. But if hardware sales don’t stop, it’s the software that will provide long-term stability to technology companies. Of course, there are warning signs of App Store regulations and antitrust rule changes. Some analysts still believe that antitrust rules have no effect on the dissolution of Apple or other companies.
Even if the decline in hardware sales, or the App Store is hit by regulation, Apple still has an ace on its arm in terms of other services including a growing Apple TV +service. Nor does that account for the fact that hardware sales – and then revenue on Services – can be recovered when the next “big thing,” such as a usable AR device, is on the market.
Perhaps the tech industry and its products are more familiar and less recent, but every other data point is beyond the points of interest in the search towards a market segment that has been here for a long time. . These are small technology companies that are on a rough path.