Apple had another successful quarter, it reported yesterday, but there’s no denying that iPhone growth is approaching stagnancy. While September’s next-gen launch will again boost numbers, iPhone sales have declined for two quarters in a row and everyone is wondering: where will the world’s most valuable technology company turn to experience new growth?
One area we know Apple is investing is it autonomous vehicles, AKA the self-driving car. The company is silent on this project, which may not launch until 2021, but several sources over the last couple of years have confirmed Apple is brewing something big in that department.
Revealed this week by CEO Tim Cook are two more: augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
Augmented reality, perhaps best demonstrated by the global success of Pokémon Go, is something Apple believes in long-term, Cook says.
He also confirmed Apple is very interested in artifical intelligence—technology the company is already starting to use to curate content for users and identify usage patterns to improve battery life (not to mention Siri, its digital assistant).
It’s a slight departure from Apple, historically a hardware-first company that only adopts matured technologies. Consider NFC payments, which Apple Pay held back from for multiple years before it felt the technology was ready for mass usage. But with hardware sales growth slowing—the iPad, too, has stagnated—Apple must feel it is important to let investors know it has other tricks up its sleeve.
Regardless, it’s easy to see how both AR and AI will integrate effortlessly with devices like the iPhone and iPad.