Fred Wilson on Apple’s Prospects

Ingrid Lunden, writing for AOL/TechCrunch:

Fred Wilson of New York’s Union Square Ventures, one of the top tech investors around, believes that by 2020, the biggest tech company in the world — Apple — will cease to be the most important, and won’t even be in the top three.

Speaking at today’s TC Disrupt conference in NYC, he predicted that the top three tech companies, instead, will be Google, Facebook “and one that we’ve never heard of.”

Why? Apple, he believes, is “too rooted to hardware,” with not enough tied into the cloud, and that will make it too much of a challenge for it to evolve going forward. “I think hardware is increasingly becoming a commodity,” he said. “Their stuff in the cloud is largely not good. I don’t think they think about data and the cloud.”

Anything could happen, especially if our measuring stick is stock price. Apple certainly won’t be the biggest tech company in the world forever.

But keep in mind, Fred Wilson is the guy who sold his Apple stock in 2009 for $91 per share (it closed at $601 today), and who started pushing for companies he invests in to develop for Android first back in 2010. His track record on Apple is rather spotty. And prognostications that hardware is becoming a commodity have been made for decades, and never seem to come true. There’s a big difference between a market that is largely commoditized and one that is entirely commoditized.

Monday, 5 May 2014