Dr. Aleksi Aaltonen, Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Warwick Business School and Apple researcher, says that some investors are starting to punish Apple for not being able to do the impossible.
He adds that the longer the company keeps breaking its iPhone records, the more likely the following quarter shows that the product has finally peaked. Lots of analysts predicting quarterly sales figures and pondering if the inevitable peaking has finally happened diverts attention from what really matters to the company.
"Things like Apple Music and Apple Pay are smart extensions to the product portfolio but not the kind of exciting products from which the company lives from. To me, the real reason to worry is if Apple starts trying to appease investors,” Aaltonen says. “The company could easily start focusing bit by bit on efficiency and shave off costs here and there to keep investors happy for quarters to come. Given the remarkably steady pattern of results for the last five years or so, let’s hope this is not already happening. Caving in to short-sighted investors would slowly suffocate Apple’s capacity to innovate.”
Naturally, there are unavoidable ups and downs in tech business that require long-term vision and risky projects to remain healthy. When maintaining a nice, predictable pattern of growth becomes a top priority, there is progressively less room for bold projects and the kind of people who are ready to undertake them in the company, Aaltonen says.
“Then, once the company finally realizes that it cannot live forever on old products, there are only those people left who are good at optimizing the business for investors."