No one wants to be Apple

“Something has changed in 2016. As the smartphone growth era winds down and we begin to look for the next big thing in tech, there has been a surge in pessimism pointed towards Apple’s business model,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon. “With many of Silicon Valley’s software and services giants doubling down on their core competencies and becoming more vocal as to where technology may be headed, one thing is clear: No one wants to be Apple.”

“Apple peers are now becoming much more vocal that it is time we move beyond hardware and focus on the services and networks running on hardware,” Cybart writes. “No one wants anything to do with Apple’s hardware business.”

“Instead of wanting to be like Apple by doing hardware and getting into brick and mortar retail, Silicon Valley is now infatuated with data and the services meant to capture such valuable data,” Cybart writes. “As Apple envy winds down in Silicon Valley and Apple peers no longer see the allure of being like Apple, Tim Cook and the executive team are familiar with finding ways to prove skeptics wrong. The next big thing after the smartphone has not yet been figured out, and Apple has a few ideas on where it thinks the puck is headed. While everyone is headed in one direction, Apple thinks the intersection of technology and liberal arts will be found in a different place. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No one wants to own 95+% of the pocketable personal computer market’s profits? Of course they do. It’s just that they’ve (Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon, etc.) all failed miserably. It’s not that they don’t to be Apple, it’s that they now know they can’t.

That said, there are certainly questions about where and how Apple wants to go next. Hopefully, we’ll find out quite a bit about that at what promises to be a jam-packed WWDC this year!


  1. So what exactly has changed? The last 15 years has been constant “Apple is doomed”, “the whatever-slayer is going to destroy Apple’s profits”, “Apple can’t sustain the profits that exceeded what we predicted”, etc.

    1. What changed? Cook stopped making things that just work and is now chasing Google et al. into subscription-based computing. Formerly reliable personal Apple products haven’t been updated and in fact have been ruined by bloatware and buggy updates pushed onto users. That’s what happened.

  2. Looking at Apple’s stock price the last couple of years I would completely agree – not sure the current management team with unprecedented available capital has the capacity to release any such “next big thing”, hence the stock price will be stuck at these levels until such, wouldn’t hold your breath for any big news next week unfortunately.

  3. Apple Inc. are already deeply into AI in their partnership with IBM/Watson, where well over 100 industry vertical apps have already been written to make full use of the incredible Watson cognitive engine (Warren Buffet’s team have invested in IBM for years and just opened a fairly substantial position in Apple Inc., so they probably know something, right?).

    IBM are stating that their Watson cognitive engine will be helping us meer mortals make all sorts of decisions a few years from now, so buckle up and wait for the IBM/Apple Inc./Cisco/SAP roadshow to absolutely upend tech over the next few years.

    Google, Amazon, Microsoft et al will not know what bit them in the bum, all frothing at the mouth over their AI (Absolute Insanity) engines that garner every bit of your private information and flog it to the highest bidding advertiser and other rather more sinister forces potentially!

    1. If you think the world will work better or be more secure when all things are decided not by human judgment but instead some proprietary algorithm from a big-brother company, you will be sorely disappointed. We are witnessing a generation of people manipulated and brainwashed by companies into believing that whatever Google or Facebook or Fox or CNN flashes in front of your nose is truth. Now Apple wants in the game so it can “curate” what you see, what you learn, and what it wants to sell you.

      Devolution of the human species, sacrificing natural ability in exchange for the illusion of convenience and the vague promise of time saving seems to be all IBM and Apple and Google have to offer these days. Don’t use your brain to solve issues, just talk to Amazons spy-bot and be a dumb consumer, racking up bigger credit card bills for disposable Chinese toxic plastic junk. Because you know very well that these AI computers will not tell you how to maintain or fix anything, or how to get away from the consumerist treadmill and live in the real world.

      No thanks. AI for which the end user does not have complete control is not freedom, it is technical slavery. How ironic that Apple has partnered with the company it attacked in 1984 to become the big brother that Orwell warned us about.

      Read the user agreement on your iOS device. No guarantee of privacy, security, or data integrity. Siri, the half-deaf bumbling idiot, represents Apple’s best effort at natural language AI assistance — and somehow Apple thinks that marrying an idiot to Watson will produce geniuses.

      Doezens of companies, including Apple, are offering completely insecure “Internet of Things” devices that will overwhelm web traffic such that bots, not humans, will send you your speeding tickets, make your stock trades, manipulate your credit score, tell you what news you should read based on your proprietary profile that you can’t review or edit. What’s the first thing Apple requires you to do when you buy a Mac? You must sign up for an account. Do you really think this profile is secure and private? Why? Did Apple guarantee this?

      Since Apple and its competitors are more interested in hooking you into subscriptions than they are in providing the best possible user control and ease of use — why would anyone buy into the hype? Who would want to deal with that all the time?

      1. … totally agree with your thesis and the threads that refer to Google, Amazon et al and their sole intent on gathering date on ‘YOU’. Have to disagree that Apple Inc. and in their partnership with IBM, making use of the Watson Cognitive Engine, where the information will ‘Assist You’, that this is about gathering & disseminating personal data on ‘YOU’.

        Clearly, your paranoia is in an advanced state & needs urgent medical attention; I recommend at a minimum purchasing an Watch so that you are able to monitor your heartbeat!

        1. fanboy speaks. I read the iOS user agreement and it is clear that Apple is following the other companies. Apple’s iAd and iBeacon is proof they care more about profit than user experience. And since there is absolutely no user controls for Siri or any other artificial assistant, that means that the results the end user gets is entirely based on what the company wants to sell you, not what you actually want. The results are obvious. Microsoft’s bot became a Nazi, Siri is a bumbling snarky idiot, and politicos have all moved to the extreme wacko fringes. Human subtlety and thoughtfulness is on the wane.

        2. What is it with all these haters?? They only want perfect, super cheap, horrible actions to artificially raise the stock price. Just crazy stuff.

          Maybe Tim should just do a “Trump” and claim to make the world do what ever he says and brag and boast all kind of things.

          Who really needs reality when you can brag and boast and NEVER have to worry about actually delivering.

  4. This has be to be the dumbest news article I’ve read in a LONG time.

    EVERYBODY wants to BE Apple and make 40 BILLION in profit every year. They JUST CAN’T DO IT. It isn’t easy selling 233 billion per year. Just think how many little tiny screws they have to buy to do that AND all screws have to be the right size and strength and show up at the right factory at the right time. Forget about things, oh I don’t know, like complicated hardware, pleasing and functional design, great software, and, oh yeah, billing about 200 million people a year for SOMETHING correctly. You try that.

    Oh and PS: Apple is ALREADY doing things like what the article is talking about that everyone else wants to do on an even LARGER scale then most others- ever hear of iTunes and iCloud?

    This article was just DUMB.

    1. Did anyone actually read the article? Anyone who thinks the author is being critical of Apple’s future should read it more carefully.

      The thesis is that Apple’s competitors wasted a lot of time and money trying to copy Apple to great comedic effect, and now those same competitors are lining up to follow the next fashion trend of big data. The implication is that following industry fashion is not necessarily a strategy for success. The headline “No one wants to be Apple” is effectively mocking those companies decrying the sour grapes they couldn’t reach.

      Meanwhile, Apple is going its own way, for better or for worse — and historically, it has been for the better more often than not.

  5. Apple just leaves me scratching my head. All that wealth the company has amassed and investors treat the stock like it was poison. I understand that huge growth attracts investors but they’d have to be jumping from stock to stock to own the company with the highest growth ratios. I don’t even understand how Facebook has so much value. Although I have an account, I rarely ever use it except as a web site login. Facebook is spinning donuts around Apple in share gains and I just don’t know where all their revenue is going to come from.

    Current money doesn’t seem to mean much anymore. It’s all about future gains and I don’t understand that concept. It’s like paying big money for a horse that hasn’t won any races and sending an actual winning racehorse to the glue factory. Maybe I’m just disappointed because I’d grown up with different values and didn’t live by playing long-shots, so I no longer understand how things are being valued. I feel sort of stupid seeing Apple’s value constantly dropping when I don’t think there’s anything fundamentally wrong with the way the company is being run. Apple makes terrific profits and investors hate it. Tesla burns through cash and the investors love it. That’s so weird.

  6. “Apple peers are now becoming much more vocal that it is time we move beyond hardware and focus on the services and networks running on hardware,”

    Translation–We have no idea how to make money on hardware or start our own retail network and Apple is killing it with their App Store, so we sure hope our “services and networks” strategy works.

    And surely Apple could never copy a “services and network” strategy. Could they?

  7. I really don’t understand when posters say they “don’t understand what Apple is doing” and “why do investors and the market beat up on Apple”
    Quite simply, Apple, despite a much higher public profile compared with the SJ years, is a secret company. End of. There is no ‘Apple’ in Apple if they start behaving like everyone else. .
    Secondly, investors and the market are not the same thing.
    And, why do folk ignore the fact that market rules allow traders to make money by burning both ends of the same candle – bull or bear…they couldn’t care less.

  8. No author name on the article?
    WWDC starts next week?
    Apple continues to buy large chunks of their stock?
    Me thinks a massive short squeeze cometh. Might take a year or two, but it is coming.

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