Apple Stock: Could This Be Apple Inc.’s Biggest Weakness?

Apple StockApple Stock (AAPL Stock) Is Looking Forward to a Game Changer

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock has been gaining ground of late, and AAPL stock is trading at around $119.00-plus levels now. As the company and its fans celebrate the 10th anniversary of the iconic “iPhone,” it is the right time to ponder what lies ahead for the company that has been defined by its smartphone. 

There seems to be a clear problem ahead for the company, which was conspicuous by its absence from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2017) trade show in Las Vegas.

This problem has been mentioned in a report from The Wall Street Journal, which explains how the company seems to be lagging behind in executing its vision for artificial intelligence (AI), specifically voice-based interfaces. (Source: “Why Apple’s Critics Are Right This Time,” The Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2017.)

AI is important to the company, as this technology is most likely to disrupt Apple the same way that Apple disrupted the smartphone industry. AAPL stock has been riding high for too long on the phenomenal success of the iPhone. 

AI-powered voice assistants are capable of replacing interactions with mobile devices. It does not mean that screens will not be needed anymore. However, users will become more inclined to talk to objects that can listen and interact with them. This is what is behind the success of Amazon.com, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) voice-based assistant “Alexa.”

Apple appears to be way behind in this race, and this is not good for Apple stock going forward. Amazon’s Alexa was a huge hit at the just-concluded CES 2017. At that trade show, a number of companies announced their devices that would be powered by Alexa. 

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has also launched its “Pixel” smartphone that has “Google Assistant” running the show. Alphabet executives were also there at the CES 2017 tech show, where they unveiled a number of devices that would be run on with Google Assistant. AAPL stock came under pressure last year when the Pixel got better reviews than Apple’s “iPhone 7.”

The Challenge for Apple Stock in 2017

Contrast this with the way things have been running at Apple Inc. on the AI front. Apple’s “Siri” has been around for a longer time, but still could never grab the attention that its competitors have been able to command. The company has been on an acquisition spree to strengthen its presence in AI but still does not have a serious contender to Amazon, Alphabet, or even Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

As investors look forward to the quarterly results of Apple Inc., the whole focus will be on what plans that management has to keep itself ahead in the consumer technology space. AAPL stock is unlikely to grow much under the shadow of the iPhone now.