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: 苹果的下一项大业务已诞生

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Don Reisinger 2018年05月17日

实际上,所有对苹果iPhone的想象与担忧都被夸大了。

讨论iPhone遭遇的麻烦并质疑苹果(Apple)未来前景的报道已经堆积如山。但它们都忽略了一个要点:苹果已经打造了一项利润可观的大型业务。

在苹果于5月初发布财报之前的几周里,许多报道声称iPhone陷入了麻烦。它们猜测这种麻烦可能最终会给公司及其股东带来更加广泛的问题。

不过苹果随后在5月初发布了截至3月31日的季度财报。在iPhone表现强劲,部门收入突破380亿美元(同比增长14%)的同时,苹果还宣布公司的服务部门取得了骄人的增长。该业务包含苹果的App Store、AppleCare、Apple Pay等,收入增长31%,达到92亿美元。它是仅次于iPhone的苹果第二大部门,比Macs电脑创造的收入还多几十亿美元。

实际上,所有对苹果iPhone的想象与担忧都被夸大了。这些报道也没有意识到苹果已经在服务部门打造了新的业务,它似乎准备着承担更大的角色。

如果在今年剩余的时间里,苹果的服务部门能够保持现有的收入增长速度,到年底他们的季度收入就将高达150亿美元。诚然,与iPhone相比,这块收入仍然少得多,但收入不是我们应当考虑的唯一指标。

人们认为,苹果服务是公司利润最丰厚的业务。尽管公司没有公布各部门单独的利润数据,但分析师表示该部门近年来的利润率高达60%。在接受《财富》采访时,GBH Insights的分析师丹尼尔·艾维斯表示他认为苹果服务业务的毛利率“为55%左右”,轻松超过iPhone的利润率。此外,他相信服务部门的“利润率存在利好趋势”,在未来几年里还会进一步增加。

按照艾维斯的猜测推算,服务部门在第一季度产生了大约50亿美元的毛利润。据艾维斯所说,苹果138亿美元的净利润中有约20%,即约28亿美元要归功于服务部门。

这并不是说如果苹果的iPhone部门表现不佳,公司还会处于最好的状态。苹果还需要继续巩固iPhone部门来保持收入和利润数据的增长,也是不争的事实。

不过公司最新的财报已经表明,iPhone部门并非公司的生命线,业内的一些观察家也如此认为。可以推测的是,即使iPhone部门表现挣扎,苹果也有服务业务来提高利润。

所以下一次我们听闻iPhone的麻烦时(肯定会的),请不要忘记服务部门。随着时间的推移,这个稳定而迅速发展的部门对公司的重要性只会进一步提高。如果预测准确,在iPhone销量开始滑落后,它将成为苹果所需的保险措施。(财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

The number of reports discussing the iPhone’s troubles and questioning Apple’s future has mounted. But they’ve also missed an important point: Apple has already built a business inside its company that’s big, important, and driving profits.

Over the last several weeks in the lead-up to Apple’s earnings report on Tuesday, a slew of reports said the iPhone is in trouble. They reasoned that the iPhone’s problems could ultimately lead to broader issues for the company and its shareholders.

But then Apple released its earnings on Tuesday for the three-month period ended Mar. 31. And in addition to strong iPhone performance that saw the division’s revenue top $38 billion (a 14% jump year-over-year), Apple announced downright impressive growth in its Services division. That business, which includes Apple’s App Store, AppleCare, Apple Pay, and more, saw revenue jump 31% to $9.2 billion. It’s the second-largest Apple division behind the iPhone and generated billions more in revenue than Apple’s Macs.

The fact is, all of the paranoia and fretting about Apple’s iPhones was overblown. And the reports failed to realize that Apple has built a business in its Services division that seems poised to take on a bigger role.

If Apple keeps its pace of revenue growth in Services through the rest of the year, the division could hit $15 billion in quarterly revenue by the end of 2018. Granted, it’s still much smaller than the iPhone, but revenue isn’t the only metric we should consider.

Apple’s Services business is believed to be its most profitable division. Although Apple doesn’t share margin data by company segment, analysts have said over the years that its profit margin is as high as 60%. In an interview with Fortune, GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives said he believes Apple’s Services business generates gross margins in the “mid-50% range” and easily tops the iPhone’s margins. What’s more, he believes there’s a “tailwind for margins” in Services that will only push them higher in the next few years.

If we take Ives’ assumption, Services generated approximately $5 billion in gross margin during the period. According to Ives, about 20% of Apple’s net profit of $13.8 billion, or about $2.8 billion, can be attributed to Services.

This is not to say that Apple would be in the best of spots if its iPhone division faltered. And it’s true that Apple will need to continue bolstering its iPhone division to keep revenue and profit figures up.

But the company’s latest earnings report clearly shows that the iPhone division isn’t on life support, as some industry watchers have suggested. And it also suggests that in Services, Apple has a business that can keep the profits flowing, even if the iPhone stumbles.

So next time we hear about the iPhone’s troubles (and we will), let’s not forget Services. It’s the steady, rapidly-growing Apple division that as time goes on, is only becoming more important to the company. And if the predictions are accurate, it might be the hedge Apple needs if iPhone sales start to fall.

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