Is Apple lost or gearing up for a reinvention?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Is Apple lost or gearing up for a reinvention?
The news and rumors surrounding Apple have been very strange recently. The company is still the most valuable in the world, despite reporting lower iPhone sales for the first time in its latest earnings call. That's not terribly surprising of course, because the expectations on Apple are often very high and given the company's size, at some point growth had to stop. Consider this: Apple's fiscal 2015 total revenue was around $210 billion. If Apple were its own country, that revenue would have made the company the 45th largest country in the world, just behind Finland. That's pretty insane and impossible to maintain. Frankly, it's amazing Apple held it this long. 

The rumors about upcoming products are more strange and confusing though. The standard operating procedure for Apple since the iPhone 3G was introduced eight years ago has been to give a new phone design one year and a refinement and performance boost the next. After the refinement last year with the iPhone 6s, the expectation was for a redesigned iPhone 7 this year. However, that doesn't appear to be what we'll get. Instead, the majority of rumors and leaks imply the iPhone 7 to be a minor redesign in general though it should include the usual performance boost, and word has it there will be a dual-camera system. The big redesign for the iPhone is now expected in 2017 and could include an all-glass enclosure.

If you're not growing, you're dying


This is especially troublesome for Apple because the iPhone made up about 73% of Apple's revenue in 2015. Apple just announced a decline in iPhone sales. The newly released iPhone SE may slow the decline a bit, but without a new flagship iPhone coming for another five months or so the declines are likely to continue. Add in the fact that the iPhone 7 will look very similar to the iPhone 6 and 6s and Apple may well fail to impress customers. 


iPad sales are still slow, just like all tablets. The Apple Watch has done far better than any other single smartwatch, but it's not a product that's going to move the needle much for Apple. Macbooks continue to outperform PCs, but again that doesn't do much for the bottom line. All that to say, without the iPhone, Apple doesn't have anything else that can keep the revenue up. 

Overall, that makes the future sound like trouble for Apple. There's a fair chance Apple could keep revenue up enough so when the redesigned iPhone hits in 2017 things aren't too bad, and in general while the iPhone may no longer be a growth product, it is still going to bring in huge revenue for the foreseeable future.. But, the bigger issue for Apple is that the high-end smartphone market is completely saturated. Keeping up sales there can only happen by getting customers on an annual upgrade plan, or by convincing users to switch from Android. Even if the 2017 iPhone wows the world, Apple still needs something new to keep investors happy because the iPhone will sustain the company but in the U.S. economy, if you're not growing, you're dying. 


Can Apple reinvent another market?


Apple undoubtedly wants to reinvent itself and come up with another consumer device smash hit and the company has been working on trying to figure out what that might be. There have been slight rumors that Apple is looking into VR as well as the constant rumors of Apple making its own self-driving car. VR is unlikely to be a massive consumer hit all that soon and the automotive business wouldn't just be adding a new product to Apple's lineup, that would be a massive shift in what Apple is as a company. And, the automotive business is very competitive and only likely to get more tough as Google and Uber work on self-driving cars, and Tesla continues its push with electric cars. 

There are also the pretty consistent rumors that Apple will make a TV or turn its Apple TV into a true gaming console competitor, but those rumors have been going long enough that we need to see more before we believe anything. There's also the burgeoning market for home automation products, but Google has more headway into that space with its Nest purchase and Apple has no real news in the space.


And, regardless of if Apple gets into VR, cars, TVs, gaming, or home automation, none of those markets have the stagnancy or mismanagement on which Apple has been so good at capitalizing in the past. Consumer electronics has been looking for a new revolutionary product and no one knows what that might be. Wearables aren't becoming the behemoth that analysts expected at first. Facebook and Microsoft are betting on bots right now, but it's unclear how that will work out. In general, if there is a revolution coming with consumer electronics, it's more likely to come on the software side than hardware. Apple has been a solid software company, but almost all of its profits and revenue come from hardware so that future doesn't inspire confidence either. 

It's possible Apple is gearing up to revamp its product lineup next year, but it's hard to imagine the kind of changes that could keep Apple's numbers as high as the iPhone has. The iPhone isn't going away any time soon though, so the situation is far from dire. Apple's numbers may level out or even drop, but that still leaves Apple as an immensely profitable company. Eventually the company is going to need a big win in a new market, it's just hard to imagine what that might be. 

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97 Comments

1. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

iPhones are the past, they have no future! And yes Apple is slowly dying!

23. QWERTYphone

Posts: 654; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Apple is dead. Good Riddance !!!!

65. sgodsell

Posts: 7621; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I would never say Apple is dead. But if Apple's major focus is profits, then Apple will slowly die. When Apple charges notebook prices for their flagship iPhone devices. Yet the specs clearly do not warrant laptop type pricing. Apple has a loyal following, and they proved that with their watches. Their watches are slower and offer less features than many smart watches that are currently on the market. They even charge a lot more with their accessories. Apple truely hasn't innovated in years. Apple keeps looking to the competition where the real innovations come.

73. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 974; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

With the processing performance, battery life, camera, and audio quality of a high-end device, iPhone 6S Plus should be as expensive as it is. About the same price as the Note 5.

76. kiko007

Posts: 7525; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Exactly. Everyone keeps throwing around the word "innovation" like that happens every yearly cycle. The truth is, no one is innovating within the smartphone industry. NO ONE!!! They are all slabs of glass and metal and/or plastic. An IPhone 6S Plus (brand new) will run you 750 USD unlocked through 3rd party resellers. Compare that to the 450 USD price tag from 3rd party resellers for the Note 5, and it sounds like the better deal. However, ask yourself "Why is the Note 5 so much cheaper when these two phones came out at basically the same time?". The same is simple, depreciating brand value. Within a span of half a year that note 5 will be around 300 USD if that, but you can resell that 6S Plus for twice that easily. Another issue arises with software maintenance. At&t Note 5 users have still yet to receive the MM update (me included) as of April 28th ,2016. Android 6.0 came out, IN F*****G OCTOBER OF LAST YEAR. Android 7.0 is due out this fall, and who knows when we'll see it lol. IOS doesn't have that problem at all. IOS 10 will be out for all eligible models after the launch of the IPhone 7. Then there are displays. Samsung's is indeed better (amoled duh) but the amount of content rendering at 2k at the moment is fledgling outside of YouTube. At about six or so inches from your face, you can't see a difference between the two screens outside of Samsung and their superior saturation. Audio quality on the IPhone is second only to HTC (audiophile wetdreams) and Samsung doesn't come close. Browser performance for the IPhone is second to none due to innate integration. Battery life on the 6S Plus is outstanding. Camera quality is subjective (I prefer Samsung's saturation levels but I love the IPhones ease of use) and with that, I declare the IPhone very much worth it's weight in salt. TL;DR If you think the 6S Plus is overpriced, you are a happy go lucky fanboy without any perception of your own biases. Both products are great, you get to choose which ecosystem you prefer without feeling like you are comprimising. If you expect one OEM (APPLE) to reinvent the wheel every year while everybody else maintans status quo you're delusional. That's the same as saying "Ford should reinvent the car every other model" and do so with a straight face.

94. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The difference is, you can buy lots of phones similar to the Note 5, while the iPhone is exclusive to Apple. Oh and your claim of a $450 Note 5? I want to see it. Is it new or used? You're full of crap. On eBay which is full of 3rd party selling. A brand new Note 5 unlocked is hovering $560 to $600. The iPhone 6S is $599 whiel the 6S+ is $689 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-iPhone-6S-Plus-Latest-Model-16GB-Rose-Gold-T-Mobile-Smartphone-/262375046239?hash=item3d16c57c5f:g:LDoAAOSw~bFWONRm http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-iPhone-6S-Latest-Model-16GB-Gold-Factory-Unlocked-Smart-Phone-/321960274875?hash=item4af653ebbb:g:QRAAAOSwo3pWgLqI http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Samsung-Galaxy-Note-5-SM-N920C-Octa-5-7-16MP-FACTORY-UNLOCKED-32GB-Phone-/251847767600?var=&hash=item3aa34bf630:m:m40AnRbucRxF4ZApbDFjMvw So yeah, you're full of sh!t which is what I expected.

95. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

On Amazon, a brand new International Unlocked Note 5 is $550http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-N920-Unlocked-Note-Factory/dp/B00WJE3B38/ref=sr_1_4?s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1461940929&sr=1-4&keywords=Note+5 On Amazon the iPhone are running around retail pricing. The iPhone pricing rarely goes down until the next model comes out. Yeah, thats why Apple lost 10M sales in year over year while Samsung only lost 500k. Sure Apple can retain a high sale value because price by Apple never fall until the new model. But Samsung has heavier competition. THERE ARE OTHER ANDROID PHONES THAY HAVE TO COMPETE WITH. Apple doesn't have another competitor with an iOS device. If their were the iPhone woudlnt even be selling period. Again you know nothign about marketing and selling products. When you have an "exclusive" item you can sell for a bit more. But you don't see Apple selling 300M phone either. Do you? Another Exmaple? The Mac at $1500? I can buy a better spec'd x86/64 computer from any brand for 40-60% less. That doesn't mean that brand has less value. It just means with so many brands also offerign a Windows PC, you have to be price competitive. A better example. I bought an HP Envy with a 250GB Samsung SSD (hard card) + 1TB second SSD/HDD Hybrid with 16GB of RAM, dual video card (one Intel + Nvidia GTX 850 + 3xUSB3.0 + BlueRay reader/writer + HDMI 1920x1080 + Beats Audio for $1800. I can't even get a 17" Mac at that cost and definitely not with those specs. A 15" Macbook with 8GB of RAm would have cost me $1700. look how much MORE I got. I don't need OSX that bad. I have it as a VM running on my HP with no issue and I have the latest version and yes it legal I imaged the drive off a Macbook we have in the office that no one is using. You seem to be confused with exclusive pricing vs volume availability pricing.

106. kiko007

Posts: 7525; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

I was generalizing man. Calm the f**k down. And you seem to have forgotten several well known third party resellers in your "eloquent" expose. You know Swappa, Newegg, Craigslist. Be reasonable and look at depreciating statistics. The depreciating value of a Note 5 is around $15 a month. The IPhone 6S Plus sits around $9. That long ass rant doesn't change anything. The IPhone is still going to sell for more each iteration, and that is fact.

107. kiko007

Posts: 7525; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Also your delusional hatred and rambling is only steering any evidence you may have. You are cherry picking information to suit your less than informed understanding of brand value and maintenance. Samsung offers brand value, but not brand maintenance. That's why people would rather buy IPhones. You having trouble with your phone, call Apple support. Samsung's support line isn't even open 60% of the time. Not to mention the issue of replacing faulty products. Apple has the best support in the industry..... PERIOD. There is no arguing that or them holding product value longer than other consumer electronics brands.

27. French_Toast

Posts: 98; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Apple is not able to evolve quickly enough to remain competitive in the electronic product, maybe he should try the toilet paper market. Many people would be willing to pay double the price to wipe the Apple logo.

50. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

The could reinvent the iPhone itself just sayin. I'm definitely not getting the iP7 but 2017's iP8 could very well be amazing.

124. emmawilliam834

Posts: 241; Member since: Feb 09, 2016

You mean to say like nokia ?

2. Unordinary unregistered

It's that time of year again. When PA turns something silly into great clickbait. Last year it was that "is Samsung doomed?" article lmfao, now this. I suggest to everyone reading this, turn on add blocking / content blockers for PA until we see more quality headlines. Feels like I'm sitting in a grocery store isle reading tabloid covers lol.

11. tedkord

Posts: 17513; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You should try BGR. You'll appreciate PA again.

16. Unordinary unregistered

PA is on the road to BGR

18. tedkord

Posts: 17513; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Maybe, but it's a loooooong way down that road.

3. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

tl;dr apple is dying

36. bubblechaos

Posts: 114; Member since: May 04, 2015

investors are crying with $100 bills to wipe their tears.

5. Awaragardiyan unregistered

this clickbait article has 17 blocked ads in my browser

6. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

And that's why i use addblocker! Hate these clickbait articles, 99% of Apple articles are clickbait!

7. Awaragardiyan unregistered

including the " adblock hurting us" message. LOL

12. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

and dont forget to block manually that message.. right click > block element, lol

55. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Nice i did not know i could block it lol.

98. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I didnt when he mentioned it in another thread. VERY USEFUL tip bruh. Kudos!

29. ProblemSolver15

Posts: 372; Member since: Jun 14, 2010

Lol, 23 for me. 24 if you count them crying about it.

8. Landon

Posts: 1248; Member since: May 07, 2015

In my opinion, I think there's no way an Apple Car can be as successful, if not more successful than what Tesla has already achieved and will achieve in the future. The scale of a car and production compared to a phone is astronomical.

13. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

yeah right.. apple can just order parts from various manufacturers and mass produce their phone in china.. but they cant do that for cars, they need their own assembly line.. they even need to build their own engine if they really want to compete with other car manufacturers

9. tedkord

Posts: 17513; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Likely neither. They're going to settle into the niche market, like they've done historically. You'll always have your core Apple fans who will insist that their products are magical, and they'll continue to buy.

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 31765; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Apple users are speaking with their wallets. Give us a major reason to upgrade the phone, or we'll just upgrade the software...it's free. Start by getting rid of that ridiculous 2 year design refresh cycle. C'mon Apple, a new formula is needed, this current one had run its course.

15. NexusX

Posts: 613; Member since: May 16, 2013

haters gonna hate touch ID, 3D touch, 64 bit processor these are all industry-changing albeit small features that critics like to discredit. Chinese and Koreans are all looking at Apple for next trend setting feature. The best they can do is play safe and give their smartphones higher resolution and better processors, more camera megapixel counts that don't really matter much in real usage

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