Peak Apple? — What will be the next big thing
When it launched on June 29th 2007, the iPhone shook up the technology sector, and the broader economy. Initially driven by Apple, the smartphone market has since been split among several tech giants. Year over year, smartphone sales have been on the rise, unfortunately, this growth cannot continue indefinitely. As the global smartphone market becomes more saturated, investors and consumers alike are waiting for the next big thing to come out of Silicon Valley. Technology enthusiast and fickle capitalist must be asking the same resounding question, “How long will the wait continue”. The answer to that question maybe several more years in the making; however 2017 might be the year that smartphones, particularly the iPhone, reaches its peak.
2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, where many anticipate the release of the iPhone 8. This new device will come with a rumored edge-to-edge, full glass OLED display, and progressive tech like wireless charging. Given the lack of a significant external redesign between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 launches, consumers may be highly anticipating the changes brought about by this years device. Equipping the iPhone with a full glass display, absent the traditional home button, would be arguably the most significant external change to Apple’s smartphone since the incorporation of plus-sized models several years ago. Appearance matters a lot to consumers, and with such significant changes to the external appearance of its flagship device, its hard to imagine that many Apple fan boys and girls won’t eagerly replace their current iPhone, with this years newer, shiner model.
In Q1 of 2017, Apple’s iPhone again broke sales records with revenues of 54.4 billion by selling 78.3 million units, up 5% from the previous year. Analyst from Forbes, Fortune, and other sources, predict that 2017’s iPhone sales could reach a record breaking tally of 80 million units, possibly close to 90 million units during this years iPhone launch. These sales figures will equate to huge profits for Apple, which will make investors very happy, but can this continue? With global smartphone demand reaching its peak, mobile applications becoming jaded, and innovation rolling along in a iterative, linear, un-exciting fashion, its difficult to imagine where Apple, and other technology companies will find their next big thing.