Looking at Apple this way gives the impression that the company has a large number (nearly a billion) of repeat (subscribed to service) customers. These customers can be seen to spend a predictable recurring amount (average selling price) on Apple’s brand. The repetition of these metrics in public commentary suggests that customer acquisition and retention are among Apple’s goals.
The key question is whether this is Apple’s primary goal.
Seen this way each centralized resource allocation question can be assumed to be prefaced with “In order do create/preserve customers should we…?”
This leads to answers quite different from questions that start with “In order to sell/profit more should we…?”
For instance, offering education products, retail store experiences, healthcare products, green energy initiatives, accessories, content and services make sense even if they may have poor financial “returns”. These initiatives score highly on the customer retention and satisfaction. They may lead to engagement and repeat sales. Managers working on these initiatives would gain the respect of their peers, leading to more esteem and higher quality output. Finally, and most importantly, these efforts would be preserved regardless of cyclical downturns.