Apple’s Tim Cook has kept his $50B services promises

With Apple TV+ about to arrive and lots of love already being shown for Apple Arcade, Apple’s services business now seems certain to exceed CEO Tim Cook’s 2017 $50-billion-per-year promise.

What did Cook say?

Back in early 2017, Cook made some pretty aggressive promises around how his company planned to build its services business: “Our goal is to double the size of the services business in the next four years,” he said at the time.

He was announcing the results of the company’s December quarter, in which services generated $7.17 billion. More recently, Apple generated $12.5 billion in services in its just-passed September quarter (announced here) for a 2019 total of $46.3 billion in services alone.

Apple’s annual services income 2016-2019

  • 2016: $24.3B
  • 2017: $29.97B
  • 2018: $37.1B
  • 2019: $46.3B (up  roughly 25% year over year).

Apple has more or less doubled its services income since 2016, a level of growth most companies (and certainly this impecunious individual) can only ever dream of.

To put this into perspective, Apple’s new Arcade service was only available for a few days during its most recent quarter (on a free trial basis), while the company’s Next Big Thing, Apple TV+, remains unavailable so far.

The bottom line seems to be that Apple’s smartphone sales seem to be stabilizing and its wearables business has also grown to become a $10 billion industry in its own right.