With a leadership that’s been tarnished by slumping stock prices, Apple may be secretly looking to replace CEO Tim Cook who took over from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs since October 2011. According to a Forbes report, some undisclosed Wall Street sources are saying that Apple is quietly looking for a new leader to boost stock prices and regain investor confidence in the company, which had showed no slow downs in the Steve Jobs era with hit introductions of the MacBook, iPod, iMac, iPhone, and iPad.
The publication says that there is no such evidence that Apple’s board is considering such a coup. Though Apple investors may be skittish, industry observers and analysts are still bullish on the company’s stock prices. Despite the company’s stock prices declining to roughly half of their value under Cook’s watch–from a $702 high in September 2012 to the new 52-week low of $390 last week–analysts are hedging their bets on future Apple game-changers.
The company has been rumored to be exploring new technologies and new products that may revolutionize the industry. From a fingerprint sensor to push the iPhone further into the corporate and government sectors to new products that range from an iWatch smartwatch, more car technology in an iCar beyond the Siri Eyes-Free tech, and even an iTV HDTV unit that will become the hub of one’s digital home life. Apple may still have a lot under its sleeves that it has not yet shown.
And still, Apple has some $137 billion of cash in its pocket that it can use to save Tim Cook. The company can use that cash to purchase and acquire new technologies, invest in research and development, or in the short-term, offer fleeting investors more dividends in the hopes that they will remain loyal.
The next few years will be a period of flux for the mobile industry, and Apple is caught in the crossfire of change. As smartphone and tablet adoption is peaking, various industry watchers and leaders are looking towards new ways to mobilize legacy industries. Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T are turning their attention to the auto space with smart cars and connected vehicles. Infotainment systems are getting connectivity and perhaps an iCar will see Apple revolutionizing the telematics market with a simple UI that will help drivers stay safe while providing entertainment to passengers.
AT&T is also turning its attention to the home by bringing smart connectivity to home security, home automation, and remote monitoring through its Digital Life concept. Alarms, connected appliances that you can control remotely, and making home monitoring cheap will help the company sell more 4G and Uverse subscriptions. Nest, a company founded by Apple alums, is part of that revolution by allowing customers with smartphones to remotely control their home heating and cooling.
And though Apple hasn’t historically been first to any industry that it helps change–the Tablet PC was introduced about a decade ago by Microsoft and the iPhone is by no means the first smartphone–hopefully Tim Cook and team will continue to have the same disruptive influence and bring the next big thing.