When Jim Cramer reviewed the latest quarter from Apple, it was clear that the company finally took control of its narrative.
This isn't just a device maker, he said. Apple's service stream revenue makes it something much larger. It's a software and subscription company, and investors have finally figured that out.
"What has dogged Apple's stock for ages, what has kept its share price so low, at least in terms of its valuation, is the 'Blackberry-ization' issue. The notion that in the end, the iPhone is just a device and device companies eventually get wasted as Blackberry did," the "Mad Money" host said.
For the last two years Apple has struggled to explain why its service revenue stream business is so important. As a result, investors did not take it seriously.
This time, it made it clear that its service stream is growing, and it was time to recognize it. Apple's service revenue encompasses 150 million people paying every month, both directly and indirectly, and the company expects it will double in four years.
So while the major focus of the conference call was Apple's record-breaking iPhone sales, as it should have been, Cramer was most impressed with the service aspect because of what it means for the the future.
Service companies can grow without anyone having to do anything. They have rising gross margins. This can grow over time as more people sign up.
Cramer compared iPhone to buying a razor, and the services and apps to being the razor blade of Apple's platform.
"That is what happened this quarter. That is the switched narrative," Cramer said.
And that is precisely why Cramer thinks earnings can go higher, and the stock multiple, too. He said it is no longer insane to believe Apple can trade up to its old highs of $134, or even breach it. And yes, he said to own it, not trade it.