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Apple, the business-focused company, threw a party Wednesday to release new, bigger, speedier, pricier phones and juiced-up smart watches.
I say “business-focused” because it was the kind of product-launch event technologists greet with ennui even as investors and mass affluent consumers cheer. (Apple’s stock dipped, but that was after a healthy run.) Enthusiasts don’t get excited by bigger “form factors” and incrementally higher prices. They want new offerings: a car, say, or a video subscription service. Never mind that the technology behind bigger, faster phones and watches is immensely sophisticated and expensive. These traits have become table stakes for Apple.
But oh, the business. Analyst Gene Munster estimates the average selling price of an iPhone to be $765, up 20% from a year ago. That’s how Apple continues to grow revenues even as its iPhone shipments have flatlined. The Apple Watch, a wearables punchline shortly after it debuted, now dominates its field and is inching closer to fulfilling Apple’s dream of being a legitimate health-monitoring device.
We are slowly moving past the era when Apple (AAPL) fans bemoan the lack of innovation at Apple. Its evolutionary approach is common knowledge now. There are trillion-plus reasons the strategy is working.