27 June 2012TechCrunch:
“There are emerging signs that the iPhone’s next five years could get tougher,” analyst Neil Mawston said in an emailed statement. “Some mobile operators are becoming concerned about the high level of subsidies they spend on the iPhone, while Samsung is expanding its popular Galaxy portfolio and providing Apple with more credible competition.“
Although I think any predictions that span five years are stupid to begin with, let’s assume the prediction is correct. Imagine in 2017, the iPhone is no more and Apple is selling precisely 0 of them a year.
Does it matter? Not really1. Apple has already moved on to their next $150billion dollar project, the iPad. If, as Strategy Analytics believes, smartphone growth is nearing the end of its life, it affects other manufacturers much more significantly than it does Apple.
Other manufacturers are struggling to maintain profitability today2, in the supposed boom of this market. By contrast, if demand for iPhone collapses, Apple is by no means doomed. The Mac business alone would keep them in the Fortune 500, for goodness sake.
1 Not saying Apple’s growth would be impervious to changes in iPhone demand; naturally, they wouldn’t be making as much money. However, it’s not like Apple will be financially destroyed because of it; they are agile enough to find and exploit other revenue streams, like iPad.
2 Any handset manufacturer other than Apple and Samsung are on the brink right now.