Avoiding BlackBerry's fate

Marco Arment on BlackBerry’s demise once the iPhone came along:

No new initiative, management change, or acquisition in 2007 could’ve saved the BlackBerry. It was too late, and the gulf was too wide.

And how Apple are lagging behind on future technologies:

Today, Amazon, Facebook, and Google are placing large bets on advanced AI, ubiquitous assistants, and voice interfaces, hoping that these will become the next thing that our devices are for.

If they’re right — and that’s a big “if” — I’m worried for Apple.

It’s obviously too early to say that Apple are doomed to BlackBerry’s fate, but there is no doubt that the gap is widening between Apple and and other technology companies when it comes to these new areas. We are seeing more and more emphasis that AI and virtual reality are the future of computing from the like of Facebook and Google.

If that is the case, and Apple have yet to start making any inroads into these areas, then I think that is a big problem for their future success. Google are probably best placed for this kind of future having already spent years working on natural language processing, big data and AI. These are not areas that take just two, three or five years to perfect. They require huge resources and a significant amount of attention from a company in order to become useful in the real world.

I don’t see anything rivaling what Google have unveiled at I/O when Apple showcases what’s new at WWDC next month, but I do hope that they show signs of moving into these areas in a meaningful way.