iPhone 6 Won’t Save Apple, But That’s No Problem

Rumored image of iPhone 6. Via nowhereelse.fr

The iPhone needs a larger screen. That’s been the bottom line from analysts across the board for the last two years. Since the success of the Samsung Galaxy Note, among other jumbo smartphones, designs have ballooned in size. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is behind on this front, but it’s about to catch up. The iPhone 6 won’t spur growth at Apple, however, though that may not be too much of a problem.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) can no longer rely on the smartphone market for growth. The iPhone 5s was the first major Apple release on China Mobile, but, judging by the company’s earnings reports, that boon never quite arrived. The iPhone 6 is likely to meet the same fate. The smartphone market is saturated. That doesn’t mean the smartphone market is stuck, however. The company has many other opportunities to grow.

iPhone 6 Will Not Bring Growth To Cupertino

Though analysts and many investors may be concentrated on the next smartphone release out of Cupertino, the iPhone 6, but there is little chance of major growth returning to the smartphone market. The days of outsized profit in the mobile hardware market appear to be over, and it’s services companies, like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) that are reaping dividends from the mobile boom right now.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) makes its fair share out of services, but there’s a reason that the hardware company became the most valuable in the world. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) ARPU is around $30. Apple’s Average revenue per user hits a base of $650 every time somebody buys an iPhone. The days of forever increasing iPhone sales are over, however, and margins are being compressed at the same time. This leaves Apple with a worsening profit outlook on the iPhone range.

This isn’t the end for Apple, and it’s not even a strong negative. The unprecedented growth in smartphone sales led the market to maturity in an unexpectedly short length of time. This probably let Apple pull more profit out of sales than a slower growth curve would have. This is the natural state of the market and Apple investors need to look beyond the iPhone 6.

Apple Opportunities Beyond The iPhone 6

Apple offers a closed ecosystem. The company is unlikely to offer services to everyone and anyone like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). It’s also unlikely to become enterprise-facing like its old enemy Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Profit will come to Cupertino by way of hardware.

Shares in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are currently trading at less than 13 times last year’s earnings. That price level counts very little expected growth, but that doesn’t reflect the situation at Apple. In order to grow its value Apple needs to keep the smartphone market stable, which it’s shown great competence in achieving, and use its cash pile to grow in other areas.

With $100 million dollars and an incredible array of engineering talent, it would be foolish to think that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hardware efforts will not meet success ever again. The company has had a couple of years of less than surprising output, but that doesn’t mean it’s become too conservative.

Apple will produce excellent hardware, and the company is likely to grow as a result. Investors shouldn’t expect much financial reward from the iPhone 6, however. Right now the smartphone market pays for the dividends and the buybacks. New hardware is needed to pay for capital gains.

Disclosure: Author represents that he has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article at the time this article was submitted.