Apple (AAPL -2.54%) has stood as the world's most valuable public company for quite some time. With world-class products, global brand recognition, and customer loyalty that's second to none, it's easy to see why. Apple largely has one product to thank for its success: the iPhone.
You could argue that the iPhone is the greatest consumer product ever made. We often loosely say something has "changed the world," but in the iPhone's case, it's very true. And Apple, its equity-holding employees, and its investors have all benefited from it. The stock is up over 850% in the past decade.
After reportedly spending $150 million to develop the iPhone, Apple has since made well over $1 trillion from it. That's as good a return on investment as we've seen in the modern business world.
Apple's undisputed bread and butter
In its Q1 FY23, Apple's revenue decreased 5% year over year, largely due to a drop in iPhone sales. After it brought in more than $137.7 billion in 2020, $191.9 billion in 2021, and $205.4 billion in 2022, the iPhone's revenue dropped over 8% in this past quarter.
This can be attributed to a decline in overall smartphone sales this past year, but for Apple, it's another sign that expanding and tailoring its services options and becoming less dependent on the iPhone is the right move.
The iPhone is the company's undisputed bread and butter, accounting for well over half of its revenue. Although the drop in iPhone sales hurt Apple's revenue, investors should take comfort in the year-over-year increase in services revenue.
The signs have been pointing to financial services
When Apple announced Apple Pay in 2014, that was its first foray into the financial services space, but it was more about convenience. It didn't seem Apple was seriously attempting to enter the then-$12 billion fintech space. Fast-forward five years, and the point was made clear with the announcement of the Apple Card.
With the Apple Card, Apple used Goldman Sachs to approve applications and fund loans and credit lines, so they still relied on a financial institution. However, Apple Pay Later represents the first time Apple will be underwriting and funding loans and credit lines by itself.
Although this means having to absorb any losses that come along, it's a huge step for a tech giant with the resources to compete in a growing fintech space that's expected to hit $700 billion by 2030.
Healthcare may be inevitable
Healthcare is an industry that's long overdue for some serious disruption, and Apple is undoubtedly throwing its hat into the ring. The company has been slowly increasing its health-related offerings to approach the industry from multiple angles.
With the iPads you can find in many doctors' offices and hospitals, Apple Watches tracking daily movement, and the suite of activity, fitness, and health apps, Apple's ecosystem is continuing to collect valuable data that can empower healthcare workers and make their jobs much easier and more efficient.
In February, Bloomberg reported that Apple reached a major milestone in its efforts to bring nonprick blood glucose monitoring to life via its Apple Watch. The effectiveness of this method will soon be determined, but the more important part of this news is how technology can transform healthcare as we know it, making it more preventative than reactive.
U.S. healthcare is a multitrillion-dollar industry. If Apple can become a serious player in the space, its growth potential is vast. This is great news for long-term investors who may be concerned that Apple's hypergrowth days are behind it.