Following Apple’s first down quarter in over a decade and mixed reviews for the company’s recent Worldwide Developers Conference, an ominous question is making the rounds.
Has Apple peaked?
Ask four people this question, and you’ll get four different answers.
“Apple peaked when [former CEO Steve] Jobs died,” said venture capitalist and tech writer Dileep Rao. “No one has been able to succeed with Apple's business model except Jobs. Tim Cook is a nice guy (as we always say in Minnesota), but he is no Steve Jobs.”
Tech entrepreneur Jerome Hardaway had a different peak in mind – in 2001, after the company released it’s first iPod. “It showcased an ability to enter new markets with fresh ideas and a true understanding of the consumer."
“I would say Apple’s peak, innovation-wise, was following the launch of the iPhone in 2007,” said Sagi Gidali, co-founder and CPO of SaferVPN. “This product was unlike anything else seen in the mobile arena and truly revolutionized the role of cellphones and popularity of personal devices.”
Tech writer Tayven James points to a far more recent peak. “It came at the time of the iPhone 6 launch in September of 2014,” he said. “The months following Apple's 2014 Keynote event marked the most profitable in Apple's history. iPhone 6 sales numbers led to the high-water mark for Apple's stock value.”
So which is it? Did Apple peak the day it launched the iPod? Right before Jobs died?
Graphiq sites SpecOut and FindTheCompany teamed up to break down eight different ways of thinking about Apple’s peak, some more data-driven, others more anecdotal.