A period of transition for Apple
So Apple reported its first drop in profit and sales for over 10 years following its first quarterly sales forecast cut in 16 years earlier this month.
Revenues from China fell by almost 27% in the latest quarter but only slightly in Europe and Japan while they were actually up in America.
Separately, the company announced a tie-up with US insurer Aetna for a new health app called Attain which will be available in the next few months. The idea is that the app will track and reward healthy behaviour as well as giving users personalised notifications like when to take meds.
The area of personalised healthcare using wearable technology has been identified by Apple – as well as other tech companies – as a potential area of growth and so this seems to be a move in the right direction.
Overall, I think that Apple is entering a period of transition where they are trying to shift revenues away from reliance on hardware to services and software – and the fact of the matter is that it is going to take time.
I think that areas like healthcare have huge potential for Apple given the trust in the brand and the user-friendliness of their wearables, but there is also an outside chance that handset revenues could increase again IF we see a step-change in technology – and this is possible given the potential advent of bendy phones.
Mike Ashley’s interest in Sofa.com
The other thing I wanted to mention briefly was the news that Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley is at it again!
Fresh from popping House of Fraser and Evans Cycles in his shopping basket, he’s currently in negotiations to buy HMV and is now taking some time to bid in an auction for Sofa.com that was put up for sale recently.
He’s in the last two of the bidding and will be up against ScS. If he wins, it’ll be interesting to see what he does with all these retail assets and how and if he will combine them.