After 13 years of record-breaking revenue growth, Apple finally fell back to Earth this year. iPhone sales slumped, and the company's revenue fell 13 percent compared with the same period last year. As the warning signs emerged about this slowdown, the stock fell about 30 percent over the last year.
Tonight Apple CEO Tim Cook, who rarely makes appearances in the press, will appear on CNBC's Mad Money to chat with host Jim Cramer about "Apple’s future in China, Cook’s outlook on innovation, what’s next for iPhone, the Apple Watch, growth of Apple services and whether there are any potential acquisitions coming, among others." It's a list of topics that all speak to the company's ability to find fresh growth, and Cook will no doubt have some strong talking points prepared.
As we wrote last week, Apple is by most measures still one of the most successful companies in the history of business. Its biggest challenge is that it's competing with itself. It reinvented consumer electronics with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad — a streak of commercial successes that is, understandably, hard to keep going. Its most recent release, the iPhone SE, did little to quell chatter about its growing lack of innovation. Mad Money is widely watched by retail investors, and Cook is likely looking to ease concerns and shift the narrative around Apple's momentum.
It will be interesting to see if Cook tips his hand around any potential acquisitions. Apple has a massive stockpile of cash, but the company has always been far more conservative around acquisitions than Silicon Valley peers like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. Many investors will no doubt be hoping that Cook has plans to supercharge growth through more aggressive purchases — perhaps aimed at sectors like virtual reality or automobiles, two markets where Apple has shown some interest but not yet revealed firm plans for new products.