The New Year marks an interesting investment choice for Apple. The company confirmed today that it is investing up to a $1bn in Softbank vision fund to help finance technologies it can use in the future.
Apple Spokesman spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said, “We believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple”.
Over the weekend, Fred Wilson, one of America’s top venture capitalists, wrote that Apple’s business seemed wobbly, unlike that of its largest peers.
In his comments, Fred points out that
“They can’t make laptops that anyone wants to use anymore. It’s no longer a certainty that everyone is going to get a new iPhone when the new one ships. The iPad is a declining product. The watch is a mainstream flop. And Microsoft is making better computers than Apple (and maybe operating systems too) these days. You can’t make that kind of critique of Google, Amazon, or Facebook, who all had great years in my book.”
This timely large investment in Softbank could be a blessing in disguise as Apple struggles to look for growth opportunities beyond the iPhone platform.
The iPhone 8 is highly anticipated by many users who have owned the iPhone 6 models for years and are waiting on an upgrade. Since the new iPhone will launch marking the 10th anniversary of iPhone, there is a lot of expectation around it.
Among other tech players who have explored investing in the new Softbank offering, Qualcomm seems to be headed in acquiring a stake in this new fund.
Recently, SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son met with President – elect Donald Trumph and pledged to that $50 billion of the new fund will be invested in the US and create thousands of jobs. This would indirectly highlight Apple’s investment in creating US based jobs.
This large investment on the part of Apple is not without criticism. One wonders if the internal R&D pipeline is not efficient enough to produce products and technologies that can become blockbusters with the customers.
It is too early to guess how this $1bn from Apple will shape its product portfolio in the coming years.
For now, Apple seems to have started 2017 with a big bang of bucks!