What should Apple do next?

“Apple reported its first fall in sales in 13 years on Tuesday. Sales were down around $8bn (£5.5bn) compared with this time last year and its shares have fallen nearly 20% in the last 12 months,” Zoe Kleinman reports for BBC News. “While it’s fair to say the firm is still a long way from the breadline – it has around $200bn in offshore reserves alone – many see the news as a sign that the winning formula it has upheld for so long is no longer enough.”

“So where next for the billion dollar business? The BBC asked the experts,” Kleinman reports. “Ben Wood from CCS Insight specialises in scrutinising the tech industry. Virtual reality, which chief executive Tim Cook has already declared an area of great potential, and the much-rumoured Apple car could both prove extremely lucrative for the tech giant, he believes.”

“Graham Seddon, partner and technology sector specialist at accountancy firm Menzies, also thinks the iPhone is entering its twilight years,” Kleinman reports. “”For the moment, Apple’s Tim Cook seems to be adamant that the dip in performance is merely a ‘pause’ in growth and he seems to be in denial that global demand for iPhones could at last be waning. ‘We will have to wait and see if products like the Apple Watch, iPad or even the ‘Apple Car’ can help to drive up revenues once again.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If theses are the Apple “experts,” we’d hate to hear from the neophytes.


    1. What should Apple do? It should buy its way into making Apple TV succeed. If I ran Apple I would buy video and film content, and bandwidth. I’d buy HBO from Time Warner and would acquire Netflix (market cap $38 billion) on the open market. And I’d create a MVNO (virtual network).

      Then I’d have all of the best TV production capacity on the planet, the biggest catalog of streamable content, and completely scalable bandwidth to the home. I’d proceed to do what Apple does best: hasten the demise of sluggish corporate behemoths that consumers hate. In this case, Comcast.

      Comcast’s market cap is $150 billion. Even for a company of Apple’s size, this is a tasty target. Apple needs to kill Comcast. Imagine the vast world of opportunity that would open up for Apple and for third-party innovators.

  1. So stupid. How’s Apple doing compared to other tech giants such as Microscum, HP, Dell and Samecopy? Oh, yeh… it’s the largest publicly traded company on the planet, makes more mobile profits than ALL other mobile companies combined, is far healthier than any other computer computer company, etc. etc.

    1. Do you think investors really care about Apple in comparison to other tech companies? Those companies aren’t Apple and they aren’t valued in the same way Apple is. Apple is only valued for its high profit margins and growth. Wall Street truly believes the growth is finished and profits margins will begin to shrink.

      It’s all about perceptions and Apple is perceived to be a failing company. I’m not sure how those perceptions can be changed. Apple will probably lose the market cap crown again because of its lousy P/E which indicates investors have no faith in the company going forward. Cheap stock, my foot. No one is buying Apple but Apple itself. Even the top execs are cashing out to protect themselves from further Apple devaluation.

    1. And announce some VR and/or AR hardware/OS.

      We hardly hear anything about their VR/AR efforts and no rumors of actual hardware that I am aware of.

      Which means they are certain to announce Apple VR in September! A new way to work without (screen) borders! /whishfulthinking

  2. Comments so far are dead on. 1). How about a true Apple TV that integrates feeds from the existing cable channels and provides an elegant a la cart multimedia service for cable cutters.
    2) Ship the Apple Watch health, a wearable extensible platform that integrates truly useful info to its wearers, things like blood pressure, blood glucose level, body weight index, physical activity. Some of these will require partnerships with sensor companies but Apple has done this before.
    3) Ship that A series Mac. Show the world the performance power and price point that apple’s silicon can achieve.
    4) How about an augmented reality platform that uses Siri input and projects iPhone data to properly enabled contact lenses instead of nerdy google glasses.
    Great artists ship! Function over fashion! Long live a better Apple!

    1. Aside from the performance and upgradeability difference, a major concern is software compatibility. Apple would need to make a compatibility layer like Rosetta to bridge the gap between Intel and ARM software during the period of transition. During that period of transition, Apple would need to work on getting big software companies (i.e Microsoft, Adobe and Blizzard) to compile their software for ARM CPUs. Either during or after that period of transition, you might have to re-buy your apps, or at least the ones which came from optical discs.

      1. They would also have to ditch Thunderbolt. It is proprietary Intel, even though it was originally an Apple design. Part of Apple’s design strategy for laptops is to ditch HHDs for SSDs and make up the lack of storage with the fastest connection to external storage. TB3 will have the USB-C connector, be a lot faster than USB 3, and can daisy chain. I don’t think Apple is going to give that up quickly.

        The A chips are for mobile and that is a different beast than personal computers. This whole thing about the Mac ditching Intel reminds me of the Apple HDTV BS. People writing stuff that made no sense if they took time to think about the whole picture.

    2. 1) Yes. Apple’s set-top box is easily outclassed by some of the competition. If Apple wants to be taken seriously, it needs to offer the best hardware and software. Since today the Apple TV doesn’t really do anything that you can’t get elsewhere, it’s a lost opportunity.

      2) Yes. Apple Watch today really doesn’t have the killer app. Health monitoring would be the future it needs to be the premier smartwatch. Q2 financial results show that Apple’s fashion play has petered out (“met internal expectations” is total BS, just look at how poorly the “other” category performed for Apple). Apple has to take the Watch out of the fashion realm and put it into the hands of professionals who need specific functions and software.

      3) Absolutely not. Apple hasn’t even kept pace with Intel updates. If they did, you would immediately see that A-series chips are nowhere even close to the capability of Intel’s chips. Switching to A-series chips now would be a money pit and a major software clusterf*ck. Since Mac software titles significantly lag what is available on Windows, there is no choice but to have Macs be able to seamlessly run alternate OSes. Making an A-chip Mac would put the Mac two steps behind the performance of Windows PCs.

      4) This seems like a moon shot rather than an attractive market opportunity. Siri needs a lot of work before it can even be trusted for basic tasks. Asking it to do more is laughable.

      Apple needs to re-start its new product development groups. Cook has coasted way too long. You can’t call yourself a premium company when you sell hardware that is years behind the competition, or when you intentionally restrict user options to the point where they can’t operate the way they want to.

      Finally – Apple needs to stop car development and other distractions and put its pile of cash to work impressing users with regular releases of shiny new hardware and super intuitive, user-friendly software. This has always been Cook’s problem. He thinks iCloud subscriptions are the future instead of continuous development of hardware and software.

  3. Seriously they are asking an Accountant? One can but roll one’s eyes. Every business that lets accountants run their business will at best stagnate after a few years of profit taking and at worst become totally irrelevant over time. My only worry is that Apple might be doing just that at the top.

      1. What will replace the iPhone hasn’t been imagined, unless it’s the chrysalis known as Apple Watch, still delicately emergent. I’d been hoping Apple would extend wearables to handbags, shoes, and clothing, but those rewards appear to remain nascent within their secret labs for now.

        Apple has a very tall order in its quest to reorganise computing: changing people’s everyday habits. That can, and has, been done but it takes time, every time. And Apple has time, all the time in the world, insulated from the shrieking of the hand-wringers outside the insulating walls of Apple Campus II.

        1. Well, what may be more useful to a lot of people than a iWatch is and iEar may be.

          Do a truly miniaturized nearly transparent earpiece, like some hearing aid companies do today and allow it to connect to the iPhone. Hearing balance and notifications have a large need, particularly for those who nuked their eardrums with the heavy metal music.

  4. Apple should do everything to get the shares go flat to zero, to get rid off the shareholders’ influence, and start doing bright stuff in the direct line of Apple’s stated ideal.

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