Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren for Macworld

Apple is quietly preparing for a future without the iPhone–or another big thing

Apple’s at the top of the world–and from this standpoint, it’s hard to see how the company could be anything other than the market leader and tastemaker that it’s been in recent memories. I’m not about to suggest that its decline and fall are imminent, but those who (like me) remember the dark days of the 1990s know that success is never guaranteed.

In any case, it’s unlikely that a company as massive and dominant as Apple would simply vanish into the ether–poof. But as the company’s grown and matured, it’s undeniable that its nature is changing.

Those changes aren’t without precedent. Over the last several decades, there’s been a pattern amongst dominant tech companies. Where once they might have ruled the world by producing the thing that everybody needed to have–whether it be a hardware product or a crucial piece of software–they seem to eventually evolve into a new form, one where they’re focused less on delivering a key product and more about what service they provide.

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