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People love to credit Apple for giving birth to new technologies: the iPhone, the iPad, the MacBook, the iPod. But Apple did not invent any of these revolutionary products.
The iPhone was not the first smartphone on the market. Not even close. IBM launched a smartphone in 1992 – fifteen years (!) Before the iPhone was put up for sale. Even Blackberry beat Apple on the market for five years. Where are these products now?
When Apple launched Apple Music in 2015, we saw the same alarming thoughts. The Verge said that “Apple has waited too long to stream music.” But it took only three years to get past Apple Spotify in the United States.
Apple Music passed Spotify subscription numbers in the United States just three years after launch. Source: Statesman
Startups like Spotify and Netflix could have a first mover advantage, but Apple is the largest company on the planet. This comes with immense power (and money) to override the early leaders.
Apple needs only 10% of these devices to subscribe to Apple’s new streaming service and will be the same as Netflix instantly. Apple doesn’t need a huge marketing campaign, it just needs a push notification.
Apple has a whopping $ 257 billion in cash reserves (enough to buy Netflix outright). To put things in perspective, Netflix’s free cash flow is negative by $ 1.3 billion.
Apple is currently spending a meager $ 2 billion of original content on its streaming service, which is dwarfed by Netflix’s $ 15 billion. Apple just needs to open the tap and it could eclipse Netflix’s spending power.
Apple has enough money to buy some of the largest companies on the planet. Source: Statesman
As reported by CCN, Apple’s services business is expected to increase by over $ 50 billion by 2020. With iPhone sales slowing, Apple is shifting focus to services (App Store, Apple Music and the new streaming service) .
With the packaging of many services, Apple could also devalue the growing subscription fees of Netflix.
It’s easy to criticize Apple for coming late to the party, but obviously they’re taking their time to do it right. Steve Jobs said he “cracked” the TV before he died. And Tim Cook said: “This is an area of intense interest,” in 2012. “We will continue to pull the rope and see where this takes us.”
Now it’s ready and Tim Cook is about to put the weight of a billion-dollar company behind the streaming. Netflix executives should not be complacent. They should be terrified.