Apple’s New Launches May Drive Shift to Services Ecosystem

For Apple, Tuesday (Sept. 12) will mark the latest launch of its latest slate of hardware updates.

And while the world will be watching and parsing the details and the price tags of what’s on offer, particularly the iPhone 15, the devices themselves continue to serve as an onramp to the services ecosystem.

Services, of course, has been the revenue driver that has been outpacing the earnings from the screens and watches that adorn our palms and wrists.

The iPhone is widely anticipated to be the centerpiece of the broadcast event Tuesday, but as noted by sites such as CNBC, the event may offer additional insight into other devices, such as the company’s Vision Pro VR headset, as well as its Apple Watches and AirPods.

Moving Beyond the Specs 

Beyond the specs on camera resolution and RAM, among other details, Apple’s announcement also will give some roadmap into what users might be able to do with the new iterations. Better camera resolutions, faster charging — and the looming iOS 17 — might lend themselves to more content creation, content consumption and, by extension, more activity conducted via those devices.

That includes payments, of course. 

PYMNTS reported in its most recent coverage of Apple’s quarterly results that revenues from hardware waned 4.7%, while services-related sales were up 8.2%. And the company has noted that it has passed the 1 billion paid subscription mark, adding 150 million subscriptions through the trailing 12 months. 

In reference to the financial services part of Apple’s operating portfolio, CEO Tim Cook noted that Apple Pay continues gaining traction, with Apple Card logging $10 billion in deposits.

CFO Luca Maestri said during the earnings call that within services, the June quarter set records for advertising-related sales and the company’s App store and music.

The company tends to offer quantitative detail on its call rather than hard numbers, and the CFO said that transacting accounts and paid accounts “grew double digits” year over year.  

Pricing, as always, will be scrutinized on Tuesday. Cook said on the latest call that most iPhones are being sold using installments and other financing programs in both developed and emerging markets too. As reported in March, Apple began rolling out an installment payments program that’s built into the Apple Wallet. 

Apple Pay Later lets users can split purchases into four payments spread over six weeks while paying no interest and no fees. They can apply for Apple Pay Later loans of $50 to $1,000, use them for online and in-app purchases made on iPhone and iPad, and then track, manage and repay the loans in Apple Wallet.