What the future of Apple looks like
iPhone growth is slowing, and Apple won't be able to rely on the device forever. So, what's next for the tech giant? Gene Munster, former Apple analyst and Loup Ventures Head of Research, sat down with Steve Kovach to talk about what to expect from Apple in the coming years, including possible products and acquisitions. Following is a transcript of the video.
Steve Kovach: How do you view Apple maybe 10 years from now? What does it look like and how is it different than Apple today in 2018?
Gene Munster: Right now, it's really the phone that's the primary way that people experience Apple. But in the future, when you think about what they're doing around hearables and wearables and the watch, despite having a slow start, it's starting to get some--Steve Kovach: It's turning into a nice business for them.
Gene Munster: Turning into a nice business. I think that even then when you put on glasses on top of that and potentially something around autonomous, I think there's just gonna be more touch points. And when you put it all together, they're really gonna emerge as, today they're the window into your mobile world and I think that in the future they're just gonna be more the window of the world. And I think that they're gonna have a lot of products that surround us that we're gonna experience that through and then they're gonna make money on the services side of that.
Steve Kovach: So what it sounds like you're describing to me is that concept of ambient computing where--
Gene Munster: Ambient computing.
Steve Kovach: You might not be gawking at a screen all day but you go somewhere in a car or in your home and you wanna listen to music, Apple will be there.
Gene Munster: It's not gonna be computing for everybody though too. This is, I think they're still gonna stick to their higher margins and the idea that they wanna create great products and beautiful products that generally work and I think that they're not gonna change that approach and that's gonna mean that they will still be kind of limited to this 15-25% market share of where we're gonna be in 10 years.Steve Kovach: Where are the weak spots you see in Apple? Who are their biggest competitors and biggest threats?
Gene Munster: I think the biggest threat is around A.I. and how that changes the utility around these devices. Let's say Google is successful at creating some remarkable 10X better difference in terms of how easy it is to send a text message or just little nuances of your phone knowing what you want to do. That potentially is a threat.
Steve Kovach: And their own hardware business which it seems to be going nicely as well.
Gene Munster: Yes. So that's probably the biggest threat. There's also a threat around the handoff between eventually the smartphone iPhone to glasses and how that's probably gonna be the next big shift in terms of computing at least on a hardware side. They believe in this, this painful process of phasing out successful products. But whenever you do that, it creates room for somebody else to enter stage left.
Steve Kovach: Let's talk about acquisition. Historically, Apple doesn't like buying companies that large. They spend maybe tens or hundreds of millions, not tens or hundreds of billions on companies. So what kind of companies do you think they would look at to acquire or maybe name some specific ones you think should be on the radar.
Gene Munster: So I think the type of acquisitions, the kind of the two that by name I think make a ton of sense. One is Magic Leap, separately is companies like Peloton which is a, you think of it as more of a exercise, home exercise in the home type of business. But really, it's the content played. It also plays into some of the things that Apple does just around--
Steve Kovach: Health and fitness.
Gene Munster: Health and fitness, one of Tim Cook's personal passions and it also is kind of attention to detail with the way they build their hardware. But I think there is things that they could do in the several billion dollar type of range that could really enhance how you think about Apple.