One of Apple’s fastest growing revenue streams is the so-called Services group. I think of Services as a catch-all of products which Apple sells to its customers base and since product sales growth has hit a peak– iPhone, Mac, iPad sales are stalled on a lofty but profitable plateau– what’s left? Sell more to the customer base.
Frankly, it bothers me that Apple has yet to figure out a way to grow its customer base despite a diversified portfolio of products, but it makes sense to offer more products to current customers. Already the Services group of iCloud, Apple Care, Apple Pay, iTunes, Apple Music and others are larger in revenue and profits than iPad and Mac combined.
What could Apple add to the Service bundle to help grow revenue and create an ever sticky ecosystem?
A VPN. Virtual private network.
A virtual private network (VPN) is technology that connects a private network across a public network to enables users on the private network to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.
We all connect to the public internet over a local internet service provider (ISP) but a VPN rides on top of that connection in a more secure environment. Apple claims to be the privacy and security company and isn’t afraid to poke at those who abuse privacy, including Facebook, so why not give Apple’s customers a ride on a company managed VPN?
Sidebar: Note that Apple pokes at Facebook but does not poke as frequently at Google, though both companies have a similar business model– extracting private information to sell advertising. Why not? Apple gets billions in profits from Google to make the search engine giant the default on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
Online privacy is a growing concern among netizens of planet earth and who but Apple has the technology chops and cash hoard to bring it to customers willing to pay the piper? Privacy is such an issue that there are many hundreds of VPN business already hawking their wares online. How can you choose? Which one is best?
Even a Google search for something simple like top 10 VPNs or best virtual private networks turns up dozens of site run by the VPNs themselves. Which should you choose?
For that I turned to Reddit, or, rather the VPN Ranks website of Reddit users who tend to be critical of entities which are not what they claim. Two of the top four on their list are those I have tried and use– ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
What I want, though, is an Apple-backed VPN service, tied into my Apple ID the way that Apple Music and iCloud work. Fully optional, but with better assurances of privacy and security than a list of unknown VPNs. Apple could do this and with a customer base of nearly a billion, an extra $5 or so per month would keep Services growing.