UBS: Facebook’s ‘bots’ could erode Apple’s app economy

“Is Apple in trouble with Facebook’s announcement yesterday of a platform for chat ‘bots’ that can respond to requests and conduct transactions?” Tiernan Ray reports for Barron’s.

“Perhaps, is the view of UBS’s Steve Milunovich,” Ray reports, “who reiterates a Buy rating and a $120 price target on Apple, but warns that the reliance of Apple on ‘apps’ over the years has to give one pause when considering the prospect of bots taking over.”

The App Store, a $50bn economy according to App Annie, has been critical in transforming Apple from a linear pipeline to a platform company. However, messaging could take on many of the roles apps provide. In China WeChat provides high functionality, such as paying bills, hailing a cab, and checking into flights through apps within apps. Bots—software that automates tasks—mostly reside in messaging apps (apps within apps). Facebook just announced the Messenger Bot Store, a bot platform that allows businesses to interact with consumers. Could the App Store lose share? — UBS analyst Steve Milunovich

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No. And a grain of sand won’t stop Niagara Falls, either.


  1. What a truly ridiculous premise. Sometimes I think these jokers who call themselves tech analysts have a running competition to see who can write the most retarded article.

  2. Apple is still first and foremost a hardware company. That’s where most of its revenues come from. If Facebook wants to put bots inside of their iOS apps, that doesn’t really hurt Apple. That gives people one more reason to own a smartphone, and one more reason that the smartphone be the best on the market, namely the iPhone.

    Sure, Apple makes money off of the App store. But this concept of bots is not going to end all App sales, maybe only a small minority of it. So instead of downloading my cell phone provider app, I can pay via text message (oh wait, I can already do that, and Apple is doing fine).

    So basically, this whole theory is bogus: Apple makes most of its money selling hardware, and these things called bots are not going to replace all apps. In fact, perhaps the one who should be worried is Google, since one could do all types of searches through bots.

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