Oppenheimer: Apple too “reliant” on iPhone, unprepared for next decade

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After the iPhone 8, then what? That’s essentially the question that Oppenheimer’s Andrew Uerkwitz and others are now asking.

In an investment note, Uerkwitz and his colleagues remarked that Apple “lacks the courage to lead the next generation of innovation” in fields such as artificial intelligence, cloud services and messaging. The company “will become more reliant than ever on the iPhone,” something to be apparent over the next ten years of “malaise.”

In its fourth quarter earnings call, CEO Tim Cook said that Apple has “the strongest [product] pipeline that we’ve ever had,” though as usual, he declined to detail that path which supposedly includes more integrated multimedia and an autonomous car. Perhaps something we haven’t covered might take us by the feet, but from what we’ve heard, that Apple Car project has suffered some setbacks and is on a thin rope for its survival.

Infinite Loop has indeed been losing its grip on its stellar financial performance over the past decade and a half. Annual revenue was down for the first time in 15 years. That development followed iPhone sales hitting a ceiling over the last year or so.

The note, obtained by Business Insider, goes on to say that Uerkwitz continues to see hardware and software revenues attempt equilibrium as iPhone sales peak — forecast to happen in 2018 — while software and services are only just coalescing as a coherent package to consumers. That said, Oppenheimer retains a “perform” rating on AAPL stock.

“We believe [Apple’s] profitability,a cash hoard for protection, and one last ‘growth’ hurrah from the tenth-anniversary phone will keep investors interested in the company,” Uerkwitz noted.

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