Apple services growth is uncertain with Apple TV+ and more blocked in China

Apple in China
Apple in China (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple is pushing its services growth more and more.
  • Apple News +, Apple Arcade, and Apple TV+ have all launched in 2019.
  • But none of them are available in China, an important country for Apple.

Apple has spent much of 2019 pushing its services business and has launched three new ways for customers to give it monthly income. Apple News+, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade are all subscriptions that people can pay for and it all adds to Apple's services bottom line. Except in one of its most important markets – China.

As a Bloomberg report notes, nobody in China is able to enjoy any of those new services. They can't watch movies from iTunes, either. Or listen to music. And that's bad for Apple's services business.

With Apple leaning on services more and more both it and its investors are left with a conundrum. What do they do about China?

This is a concern for investors because Apple is relying on services to power future revenue and profit. If the company can't sell these offerings in the world's large internet market, it will be harder to keep growing. About 10% of Apple's services revenue comes from China, while the country accounts for roughly 18% of iPhone sales, according to Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. "The missing puzzle piece for services is China," he added. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

If Apple can find a way to work around China's issues, or work with the country in order to appease it, the potential for income is huge. But as with all things in China, that isn't going to be an easy feat at all.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.