Although Google holds the absolute record with over 2.5 billion connected devices, Apple’s announcement carries more weight. The 2 billion active devices are all delivered by a single company and attached to an ecosystem of services even more geared towards generating revenue. Either directly to Apple, or to app and service developers who have geared their business to Apple consumers.
Apple announces it has crossed a psychological threshold, targeting the number of monthly active users who own iPhones, iPads, Macs, or other devices in the US company’s portfolio. With 2 billion active users (up from a reported 1.8 billion last year, or 1.5 billion in 2020), Apple is now only surpassed by Google, but only numerically. Focused on expanding the Android ecosystem to all possible user categories, Google’s ecosystem is inherently less profitable.
Remarkably, reaching the 2 billion active device threshold is confirmed simultaneously with the first reduction in Apple’s profits in four years, occurring amid the deepening contraction of the global economy. No doubt the success is largely due to the very good sales achieved with the iPhone 14 range of phones, with Apple managing to “dribble out” all sorts of constraints on component supply chains as well as prolonged bottlenecks in partner factories in China resulting from the COVID pandemic measures.
Even if iPhone 14 inventories are still not at an optimal level, with measurable effects on realized sales, it is certain that Apple is in a stronger position than other players in the industry. Even Samsung, Apple’s direct rival, has kicked off the Galaxy S23 launch with an aggressive promotional campaign and deep discounts off the list price, hoping to consolidate as strong a start as possible in the opening of an economically challenging 2023.
Coming as a boost for the new year, the 2 billion monthly active device threshold was reached as early as December and included in the year-end balance sheet to investors.