CNBC's Fast Money devoted a segment of today's program to debating Peter Thiel's hypothesis that the era of Apple innovation is over. Kara Swisher of recode begged to differ in a phone interview. She made the point that the introduction of the iPhone, the first popularly accepted smartphone, was a game changer.
I'm with Kara. Consider the wheel. Had it been invented in today's environment, patented and incorporated and publicly traded, would Thiel be asking "what's next?" The reality is that the wheel was such a game changer that the millennia since its introduction were spent on applications--carts, wheelbarrows, carriages, chariots, locomotives, trucks, cars, roller skates, etc. The next breakthrough of the same magnitude didn't occur until the Wright brothers invented their breakthrough wing design, which led to another application of the wheel as undercarriage for airplanes.
I think the smartphone is an innovation of the same order as the wheel. Apple has a bright future creating and curating myriad applications on the iPhone within its seamless ecosystem. No one can predict future innovations, but even if it takes years, decades, or centuries to create another game changer like the iPhone, application innovations will enable Apple to continue to dominate and grow the upscale smartphone market for the foreseeable future, especially in light of the recent Samsung firestorm.
As always these views are solely mine and not necessarily reflective of any other entity.