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]