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Apple’s Motivation for Services

I enjoyed reading Nick Heer’s thoughts on yesterday’s Apple event. I recommend you read the whole thing, but this last part stuck out to me:

…there’s little wrong with Apple wanting a slice of the services pie. But I truly hope that it’s driven by passion for news, games, and television; it would be shameful and worrying if this was a financial decision first and foremost. To paraphrase Walt Disney, they shouldn’t create services to make money; they should make money to create more great products and services.

Tim Cook has made it clear that services are the next category they’re going after. Which makes a lot of sense. There isn’t much growth to be had in the iPhone space anymore. But throughout yesterday’s event, I couldn’t help thinking, “This is a whole new Apple.” They effectively set the tone for who they’re going to be in the next decade.

And frankly, it worries me. As someone who has felt neglected in the last few years by the markets Apple is already in, I feel a bit nervous about them entering entirely new ones. To Nick’s point, however, it would seem the people at Apple are creating services in areas that they genuinely care about. That was most evident as they talked about Apple News+ and Apple Card.

But the word “focus” keeps coming to mind. Can the same company that creates innovative hardware also produce quality streaming content? Can Apple ship reliable software (on five different platforms) and run a credit card business? My gut reaction is no, but we’ll have to wait and see.