How can Apple (AAPL) maintain its parabolic growth rates and continue to thrive in the post-Steve Jobs era? Those are the central questions Piper Jaffray Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst Gene Munster and Horace Dediu, author and founder of tech research firm Asymco, tackle in this illuminating Fortune Conference “Future of Apple” panel discussion hosted by the business magazine’s editor-at- large (and longtime Apple beat reporter) Adam Lashinsky. The video is embedded below.
Munster, broadly acknowledged as the top sell-side analyst on Apple, has a $910 per share price target on the stock, which closed at $603 on July 23. Munster is also forecasting 20%-plus revenue growth over the next three years. “The roadmap over the next two to three years is really on the hardware side,” he says.
Munster doesn’t think the next iPhone will be smaller than the current version. However, he does think Apple’s CEO Tim Cook will unveil a smaller version of the iPad tablet.
After recently travelling around Asia and visiting with Samsung and assorted Apple manufacturing partners, Munster is convinced the company is moving forward with plans to jump into the TV market. “There are going to be a lot of manufacturers involved,” Munster says.
He’s less certain what sort of TV content strategy the company is mulling.
For his part, Dediu doesn’t see Apple losing stride in the post-Jobs era. Apple’s ability to innovate and create entirely new product categories is unrivaled, he says. “It’s a repeatable disruptive engine,” he says. “We might be looking at beyond 20% a year (growth rates).”
Dediu also thinks the company can thrive without Jobs, at least for a while. “There's DNA in the company that has been developed for more than a decade,” he says.
What could trip Apple up? For Munster, “the biggest risk is ultimately Android.” Dediu is more worried about Apple losing its killer instinct and becoming more conservative down the road. “There is the possibility of entropy and politics taking over,” says Dediu.