Unfortunately for Apple, there’s only so many people can or want to drop the best part of a grand on a phone, and only so many times those people can or will keep doing so. Apple now seems to have hit that barrier: the number of iPhones being sold is dropping, even as new models are released.
So Apple has come up with a two-pronged strategy to keep its profits up even as it sell less stuff: charge the people still buying iPhones more (the new iPhone X costs 50 percent more than the last iPhone 8) and create new stuff to make money from. What stuff specifically? A credit card, a digital equivalent of a magazine stand, a video games arcade and a TV streaming service. Basically, it wants “to become a Netflix of everything”, according to an analyst called Paolo Pescatore.
In the short term at least, Apple getting into all these things could make all versions of them cheaper to buy. That’s because companies, especially rich ones like Apple and Netflix, will often try to win or keep customers by giving them a better deal than their competitor. Of course, if one company ‘wins’ by forcing rivals out of business, it could then jack up prices knowing customers have nowhere else to go.
…So where next? Not only do economic ideas shape the institutions and communities we live in, they also influence our own ideas of personal success – be it earning well, achieving a ‘Dr.’ or ‘CEO’ at the front of our label, or living a sustainable life. But what with the speed at which technology is transforming our economies, we can barely predict what ‘s in store for our economies and where we’ll fit in…