Another impressive set of results from Apple, another surge in the share price and another record for valuation. The world's biggest company is now worth $800 billion, but the AI revolution may mean we have seen nothing yet.
Nothing lasts forever, and one day Apple's shares will peak and will never rise higher again, when that comes, however, belongs in a box marked mystery. It may have dawned already, it may not dawn this side of the 22nd century. But it would be a brave analyst to bet against the company ever passing the one trillion dollar mark.
A more sensible question might be when is that likely to happen? Shares are up by almost a half in the last year, if they carry on rising at the pace we have seen over the last few months, it may even happen before this year is out.
What was impressive about the latest results, out last night (1st August), is how widespread throughtout the company they were. Revenue rose to $45.4 billion, and by seven per cent. Profits hit $8.7 billion, up by around 12 per cent. iPhone sales saw revenue up 3 per cent, iPad sales were up 22 per cent. Others devices: Beats, Apple Watch and Apple TV were up 23 per cent, but most important of all revenue from services rose 22 per cent to $7.3 billion.
The jump in services revenue is a big deal because if Apple can make more money from its existing hardware base, it is less reliant on coming up with a compelling reason for users to upgrade every two years, or so.
But thanks to AI, it seems a compelling reason will emerge all the same.
Rumour has it, Apple is working on a $1,000 smartphone. iPhones due to be released later this year are expected to include bezel-less, which means the screen bleeding to the edge of the product, no home button, and, or so the talk ground out by the rumour mill says, face recognition.
Face recognition means AI, of course.
The AI revolution is here. It has been said that in terms of impact, AI will be bigger than electricity. And Apple with its $261 billion cash pile and $3 billion spend on R&D is sitting pretty. Augmented reality and autonomous services (such as self-driving cars) loom large on Apple's plans.
Maybe, we should be asking how much Apple can grow beyond one trillion dollars, will it will even pass $2trillion. Maybe AI will soon have the predictive algorithms to tell us.