In a "Confirm or Deny" feature by The New York Times this week, PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel "confirmed" that "the age of Apple is over" based on his belief that smartphones will lack further innovation.
The age of Apple is over.
Confirm. We know what a smartphone looks like and does. It’s not the fault of Tim Cook, but it’s not an area where there will be any more innovation.
While the iPhone has become a familiar product as it turns ten, which perhaps makes it less exciting to some, to say smartphones are not an area where there will be any more innovation will certainly fuel a debate. And, of course, while the iPhone is Apple's most profitable product, it's not its only.
Thiel's comment can be argued one way or the other, but it does raise the question of what Apple's next "one more thing" will be after annual iPhone sales declined for the first time amid an uncharacteristically down year for Apple—perhaps something in the augmented reality or electric vehicle spaces? Will this be the year Apple pushes deeper into artificial intelligence with Siri and an Echo-like device?
Apple chief executive Tim Cook has routinely teased about what's around the corner. Last year, he said Apple has "great innovation in the pipeline," including "things you can't live without that you just don't know you need today." Likewise, he told employees last month that Apple has "great desktops in our roadmap," and earlier this week he said "the best is yet to come" for iPhone.