Apple is on an unbelievable run right now. It seems like the company has been on a hot streak ever since they unveiled the original iPod back in 2001. This can’t possibly last forever, can it? What is it they say, all good things must come to an end?

But with $75 billion in the bank, and anticipation for the next Apple product stronger than ever, you’d think Apple’s inevitable decline was still years away. That’s not the case, according to Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins. He thinks Apple’s epic run will come to an end in the next 24 months…

Several tech-focused media outlets have picked up on comments made by Trip in a recent interview with Edge Magazine:

“The thing is, it may take another year or two before Apple starts to decline, but it has to — everything does. Everything revolves so much around Steve, and no matter how good his lieutenants are, they’re not Steve. None of us is going to live forever, though I hope he lives for a really long time.”

The comments obviously come in wake of Jobs’ recent leave of absence from Apple due to ongoing health issues, but Hawkins also speculates that there are other reasons why Apple’s success can’t last:

“They invented this tablet thing that’s going to be really big. They’ve done really well by reinventing the phone. They breathed new life in the Mac. They’ve got this super-high marketing. All these things are about as good as they can ever be — how much better can they get?”

Trip Hawkins actually worked for Apple as director of strategy and marketing back in the early 80’s, but left to start Electronic Arts. These days he is CEO of Digital Chocolate, a game developing firm focused on mobile platforms, like iOS.

If you ask me, the whole thing is ridiculous. You’d obviously be a fool to think that Apple wasn’t going to falter one day, but you’re an even bigger fool if you think it’ll happen in the next 2 years.

Even if he doesn’t end up returning to Apple full time, Steve Jobs has spent years training his up-and-comers to eat, sleep, and breath the “Apple” way. Besides that, you don’t think the company already has a roadmap for their products over the next 3-5 years?

With rumors of an iPhone 5, iPad 3, and an Apple-branded TV flying about, the next 12 months will certainly be interesting. But I wouldn’t bet against the company with $75 billion dollars in the bank for a long time.

Thoughts?

[The Loop]

  • Never.

  • MS

    I think he meant that Apple is at the top, it will get better. But competitors are not set in stone. They will try to catch up. If not, they might pursue other means like try to hire Apple’s top management personnel.

    Yes it is unbelievable Apple have 75b in cash, but all it takes is one big loss to have that go away. Just like in gambling…..

  • Chris

    If they implement jailbreak tweaks into ios and actually listen to what peope want from their device I don’t ever see them declining but if’s are no guarantee lol

    • andrew

      because their market share has been declining due to them not listening. Funny how they have always not listened to what people said and amassed 75B.

      Just think if they listened to the public who knows better.

  • William

    One thing… Android

    • Chris

      Do you say the same thing in every post you idiot, it doesn’t matter how good Android is, it will always be in shit, plastic handsets the size of an A4 sheet of paper.

    • andrew

      you watch, the first time someone puts out a bogus app on the android market that actually phishes your login data, the limits will come. Android is nice because anyone can play. Thats why they crash, break down. I have gone threw 5 Mytouch 4s. The Tmobile tech has had 3 replaced…

      Apple products just work. While Apple keeps being innovative, all the Android manufacturers keep fighting it out and splitting the remainder of the pie.

      I can’t wait to see whats next.

  • Ethan

    As always, good things must come to an end but when? And how? Only time will tell.

  • Andrew

    At this point, it’s tough to imagine them getting any more dominant, or losing much in the near term. They’re in a great position. It’s theirs to lose. Maybe not continual impressive growth, but at least a market leader.

    I don’t like the argument of “how much better can it get,” though. Can you imagine how many times this must have been said over the course of history when new inventions seem to be so great that you can’t imagine better?

  • Jason Masters

    Who ever thought borders would close or circuit city? It might actually have weight I pray it doesn’t for a long long time though!!!!

  • It’s hard for me to the idea of Apple declining but it’s unfortunately going to happen, eventually, hopefully later rather than sooner.

    • Ethan

      Agree,

  • I certainly don’t think it will be within the next two years. Like one post mention, they probably (most likely) have a 3-5 year plan in the works. Not to mention, just the things brought out in the 2011 WWDC take Apple past the two year mark and SINCE then, more expectations on the iPhone 5, the iPad 3 (mad ’cause I just got my 2), and their “lighter than air” latest edition laptops! Please!! Oh, and what about the price dropping for the software and the cloud storage being free??? These things “lock in” their immediate-beyond-two year future.

  • Ace

    You never know what Apple may have up their sleeve in the future. I mean, we never saw the iPhone coming, until it did and…WOW! It was amazing… then the iPad and the iPhone 4…WOW again! If they keep improving the same products, we will keep buying them because we’re always craving the latest in technology.

  • andrew

    Lets face it, at some point someone will make a better wheel. Sorta. But I don’t see it coming from the guys who are out there playing catch-up. Apple is definitely on a run but the mentality of “if we can imagine it, we can build it” is imbedded in every employee.

    Who was the first to say, despite public complaints, we are not putting in floppy drives anymore. Who decided to take on BB which everyone thought was a gift from the Gods. Who else has Brand recognition and loyalty with lines around the corner every time they bring out a new product? They are here for a long time to come. When they continue to create new products and move into the entertainment, ie movies, tv sets, watch out.

  • Apple will be another Microsoft, it will go downhill eventually.

    • Mike

      Microsoft haven’t exactly gone downhill, they may not be the top as far as smartphones go but I think you’ll find their market share for pc’s isn’t too shabby.

    • JWalker

      That’s a reach. Microsoft and Google are more alike then Apple. Microsoft has never been a company pushing the envelope. They buy good ideals never made them, thats a BIG diff. Apple builds their hardware and software and i don’t think ppl get how big a deal that is. NO I mean No company should rely heavy on another for anything. Business 101.

  • Reno

    If Apple can maintain the strategy and discipline they are doing now I can’t foresee their decline even in the long term. They have at least three things others don’t have- innovation, quality and marketing techniques. People all over the world line up to stores whenever an Apple product is going to be launch. People are always curious of what Apple is going to do next and they wait patiently. And people don’t mind paying whatever price Apple put on their products because they know how good the buy would be, not to mention the prestige it carries. I can only agree to Steve Job’s comment. “Never”

  • Me

    To be fair, it does only take Apple slipping in one “next big thing” for them not to be on top anymore. Would the iPad have been so big if it had been released 3 years earlier with the lesser tech that existed then? Would it have been so big if the release date for the iPad2 had really been their first release?

    Things change fast in this game, you never know what the next craze will be. Maybe Google will pioneer a small box with direct brain connectivity within 5 years and be the first to release it, maybe it’ll be a new startup. You just never know what’s going on in corporate RnD right now.

    But 2 years? I can’t see it.

  • Vj

    Hard for me to digest that apple will falter in 24 months. A company sitting on $75 billion cash reserve surely has has enough for R&D. Think of R&D as way of inventing new things. And when inventions happen, success follows. They will not be the only leading player, that i believe, but sure they will still be rocking a major market share, that i am pretty sure of.