Two newsworthy items will hit the headlines this week. First, Apple’s quarterly earnings report on Tuesday. Sure, plenty of profit, but a revenue decline for the first time since 2001. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s not just Apple that is having trouble with growth in the technology sector. Second, new Macs will be introduced later this week and while we appreciate the effort– any effort to turnaround an aging and mostly moribund product line– it’s too little too late.
We’ve reached peak Apple. For now.
That does not mean Apple is doomed. Even in the best of businesses, what goes up, must come down. Apple has had a good run in the 21st century but a company cannot grow forever the way the Mac and iPhone maker has since Steve Jobs’ second coming.
Peak Apple means just that. Apple has hit a peak and only the future can tell whether it’s a plateau before future greatness, or the beginning of the end, or a comfortable valley where the company lives for decades. It’s safe to say that the iPhone is a once-in-a-lifetime product and Apple is not likely to grow the same way or at the same rate again unless the company comes up with electronic implants which stop aging and give us super hero strength.
Future growth will not come from Apple Watch or Apple Car.
Does Apple’s newest peak mean we’ve already hit peak technology? Yes. For now. Sure, technology is in a constant state of change but that’s not what we’re talking about. Apple changed the face of personal computing with the Mac and did so again with the iPhone. Today, thanks to Apple, a few billion people on planet earth have the power and ease of use of a Mac in their pocket; a small, handheld device that can communicate with nearly anyone anywhere on planet earth, take photos, play movies and music, and compute nearly as well as any modern laptop, diminished in power only by the small display (physics can be so troublesome).
What’s next? Where is the encore?
a repeated or additional performance of an item at the end of a concert, as called for by an audience.
What technology is lurking around the corner to change the lives of a few billion people? Or, is this just another episode of peak technology?
Let’s say it’s just a plateau. If so, what’s next? Bio-implants with an Apple logo that glows through the skin? A new generation of on skin sensors that can detect blood sugar, calculate blood pressure, and detect disease? Disruptive innovation changes the marketplace every so often and not according to any kind of schedule, but incremental innovation keeps it all moving forward and that’s where we are today.
We may be on a peak that looks and feels like a plateau or even a valley, but there are more peaks out there. The real questions are, ‘What are they?‘ And, ‘Where are they?‘ And, ‘Will Apple play a part?‘