From iPhones To Tesla? What Next For Apple?

Let's face it. The last time we all bought an iPhone, our previous model wasn't smashed or not working. We didn't really have to upgrade. Now that the improvements are fairly minor, that voice is telling us the iPhone 5 or 6 we already own will do us for another year or so. To be blunt, the figures don't lie -- the iPhone has hit a saturation point, as 51m were shipped in the first quarter compared to 75m for the same period a year ago. This means Apple's numbers have moved in the wrong direction.

What is interesting to note, however, is that Apple's second-biggest revenue stream is now services. It makes more out of iTunes, the App Store, Apple Music and Apple Care than it does selling computers -- nearly $6bn dollars in the last quarter alone, to be precise, 20% up year-on-year.

It's fair to say, then, that as analysts suggest the iPhone 7 is going to be a bit of a damp squib that offers precious little new that the iPhone's dip in sales will continue or at least stagnate. A new model will always bring a little bit of excitement and life to the market, but the huge strides made by previous models are a thing of the past. There's likely to be a new Apple Watch out for Christmas, but to be honest, I don't see anyone queuing the length of Regent Street to be among the first to wear an expensive gizmo on their wrist.

This brings us to the obvious way forward for Apple -- services and acquisitions. It can turn over a very nice profit selling us apps and movies, but the real change will surely be acquisitions. By aggressively avoiding tax on its mega billions, Apple has a war chest like no other, and clearly it believes larger acquisitions are in the cards.

The elephant in the room has to be Tesla, doesn't it? Maybe Faraday, but surely far more likely it is Tesla? Apple has made no secret of its intent to design and build an electric car, and has been courting the great and the good in that industry.

Without a doubt the car industry is going to experience huge technological change over the next decade, and you can clearly see how Apple would love to be part of that action.

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