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Friday, September 24, 2021

Apple must end its iPhone obsession to avoid an existential crisis

On Tuesday, the iPhone 13 – the latest iteration of the device – was released to the world. Yet with every new model that is released, Apple becomes that little bit less exciting and supremo Tim Cook knows that it cannot continue to rely on one product forever.

With competition problems building, Apple is under growing pressure to come up with the next big idea. The growth story of the last few years has been its “services” arm – chiefly the App Store, iCloud and Apple Music – but that is under threat too. The tech giant is facing multiple competition investigations and lawsuits alleging monopoly abuse.

Its Airpod headphones have been an undeniable success. The Apple Watch has done well too. But both are small fry compared to the iPhone. “Wearables” and “accessories” accounted for just short of $9bn of sales in the last quarter, compared to $40bn for the iPhone.

Yet, for all the hype about innovation, the reality is that Apple continues to be massively over-reliant on its primary cash cow, pumping out slightly improved smartphones once a year to diminishing fanfare, if you discount a loyal legion of tech blog fanboys.

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