In a bold move that will potentially redefine Wall Street measurements, Apple has said that it will no longer be releasing its unit sales for iPhones, iPads and Macs.
The announcement came on the back of a 7% drop in the Apple stock price, following revenues that were above expectation, and unit sales that were below. In other words, Apple has decided that “units sold,” is not a good measurement of whether the company is performing well or not.
It’s important to note that Samsung and Google do not share their per unit sales, and it is highly likely that Apple looked at this example and decided that it was unfair for the value of the business to be based on a measure that only they are liable for. Furthermore, the most recent Apple product release showed a broader intention – increasing prices that would, by their own definition, reduce per unit sales while maintaining or increasing revenue.
It’s hard to argue that this is not a smart move for Apple, whose core value proposition has moved from dominating the entire mobile market – iPhone, iPad, Mac – to building brand loyalty within the top tier of consumers and aspirational top-tier consumers.
But, an interesting twist, this will have potentially positive repercussions for smaller players. With per unit sales no longer being an active measure across all of the major brands, smaller manufacturers can focus on developing a better product without needing to build the substantial market share that has been required to reach a tipping point of customers in the past. In fact, new entrants to the marketplace no longer need to sell hundreds of millions of units in order to gain credibility – they can focus on a particular niche, and grow year-on-year from there.
Of course, Apple’s intention was only to level the playing field in their particular direction. And, with higher pricing and clever design, it is likely that the new generation of Apple products will bring in the revenues expected.