Apple could be 'obsolete' in two years
Technology sector is so competitive that iPhone giant Apple could be driven out of business, warns hedge fund boss
Apple could become "obsolete" in two years because the technology sector is so competitive, according to one hedge fund boss.
Despite the US giant announcing profits of $7.7bn on sales of $37.4bn on Tuesday, Pedro de Noronha, managing partner at hedge fund Noster Capital, said it was impossible to know how it would perform long term.
"I’m a value investor and I’m a medium- to long-term investor," he told CNBC. "I need to know where a company is going to be in five to 10 years. I don’t know where these companies [are going to be].
"I mean, look at Apple, a company that we all admire. I love Apple. I don’t own its shares but I own a lot of their products. I don’t know where they are going to be in three years. It’s a very competitive landscape. They might become obsolete in two to three years, as we’ve seen dozens and dozens of technology companies."
Apple, which faces competition from Google, Samsung, Microsoft, BlackBerry and even Facebook, is widely expected to release a new version of its ubiquitous iPhone later this year, with a smartwatch and televison also in the pipeline.
Earlier this week chief executive Tim Cook told investors that he was “incredibly excited” about the new products and services around the corner, “that we can’t wait to introduce”.
The company sold more than 35.2m iPhones during the third quarter – some 13pc more than it managed in the same period last year, as a deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile network, started to pay off.
“China was surprising to us – we thought it would be strong but it went well past what we thought,” said Mr Cook.
Further growth is expected in the country, as Apple now has access to some 700m new potential customers. In September last year, Apple had nearly 53pc of the mobile market in America, compared with just 5pc of mobile sales in China, according to figures from analysis firm IDC.
Earlier this month Apple also agreed a “landmark deal” that will see the it work with IBM to develop apps for iPhones and iPads.