steve jobs
 

Is This The End of Apple? iPhone sales down 17% in 1Q

Posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

On January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs stepped out onto a well-lit stage in Cupertino, California and changed the world forever.

Always a master of presentation and surprise, he held up the iPhone.

No one had ever seen anything like it before. When Jobs presented a new device, it was as though he had made a trip to Area 51 and taken some alien piece of technology from the far future and delivered it to us, nicely packaged.

The iPhone was no exception.

The world of 2007 was then dominated by Nokia, who had most of the cell phone business.  Nokia's best trick was the game snake.

Jobs explained the phone to the adoring crowd thusly: It combined, he said, three things - a telephone, an iPod (and in a stroke, he was rendering his most recent creation dead) and an internet connection.

What he failed to mention was his new phone also had a camera. In time this would become, at least to us, its most powerful aspect.  It suddenly placed the power to create video and television into a billion hands. Now, THAT'S a revolution.

That revolution may not have come to a halt last week, but it certainly lost a lot of its revolutionary verve.

Apple announced that its iPhone sales had declined 17% in the first three months of this year.

I would not worry too much about Apple, per se; at least not yet.  The tech company reported revenues of $31.05bn in iPhone revenues for the quarter, the majority of the $58.bn in revenues Apple brought in over the three months.

But one is left to wonder whether the bag of tricks that Steve Jobs left behind at his death is finally empty.

How many minor tweaks and iterations of the iPhone do you really need? How many will motivate you to go out and spend $1000 (or £1000 - strangely the cost seems to be completely separated from the actual rate of exchange)?

The answer is, apparently, not enough.

Unless Apple can continue to come up with another amazing piece of gear taken from the crashed alien spacecraft at Area 51, it may be that we are looking at peak tech from Apple. 

That would be too bad, and maybe I am wrong, but Apple's announcement in January that they would be moving in the TV production business does not bode well.

Technicians and engineers are great at designing gear, they have a less stellar record in the world of entertainment.