My record for prognosticating the future of technology is stellar. Most of the time I can foretell future events about as well as a politician tells the truth. Yet, I can see some handwriting on the wall these days– and it’s actually math.
Math speaks to me. Apple decided not to disclose how many iPhones, iPads, and Macs it sells each quarter, and to me, that’s math. Apple’s executives are not stupid. Selfish and greedy, perhaps. But not stupid. With nearly 3-billion smartphones on planet earth, Apple’s executives understand that technological gadget saturation is upon us.
iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales hit a plateau a few years ago, and while the company’s gadgets remain highly profitable, technology gadgets may have hit a point of diminishing returns. All new smartphones, tablets, and personal computers are good, and getting better, but we still conduct computing business like it’s 1999 all over again.
No. Peak technology. Apple is not in danger of going out of business. iPhone will continue to sell in great numbers and return a solid profit for the company for many years to come; even as it flails around trying to find the next great thing.
If I were Apple CEO Tim Cook I would invest a few tens of millions of R&D dollars on advanced methods to reanimate DNA in the hopes a breakthrough would bring a Steve Jobs clone back to the company. Jobs was the undisputed king of market disruptions and technology revolutions.
Cook is the undisputed king of iPhone accessories.
Yes, peak iPhone is a thing. Apple isn’t likely to sell the same number of iPhones in the future as it did in the past, but the company won’t go broke. Peak technology is a thing because of what I want to term technology fatigue.
The so-called smart home is an industry buzzword; certainly not a trend the great unwashed masses of humanity have signed up to participate in; despite Amazon selling a few dozen million Echo and Alexa devices. Siri has been around longer, runs on more devices, and is the most well known and popular of the intelligent personal assistants, and I never hear anyone using Siri anywhere.
Peak technology, indeed.
Where I see technology actually gaining on humanity is in artificial intelligent robots that step-by-step take away jobs from humans. At what point will we humans– without jobs– not be able to afford the gadgets those robots build?
Anybody see a problem on that horizon?
Technology will continue to advance, yes, but my ability and desire to implement such technological advances into my daily routine– and budget– is finite. Peak technology comes about when we have too much technology to manage.
We’re here. We can’t manage it all.