) has reportedly fired Richard Williamson, the man who oversaw
the mapping team that was responsible for building the company's
first Maps application. According to
, Apple Senior VP Eddy Cue pushed Williamson out of the company.
If the report is true, it would be the second time Apple
reportedly fired someone because of the failed mapping
The first incident resulted in the termination of Scott
Forstall, the former senior VP of iOS. Forstall was reportedly
difficult to work with and would not apologize for failing to
deliver a top-tier Maps app.
It is not clear how severely these developments have impacted
Apple's value -- or its bottom line. While investors have not
been thrilled with the corporate departures (shares are down
nearly one percent this afternoon), Apple
does not appear
to have lost any iPhone sales over the matter.
Regardless, Apple shares are still experiencing a three-month
decline of more than 13 percent. Year-to-date Apple is up more
than 42 percent. Over the past two years Apple has climbed more
than 85 percent.
This rise led many to believe that Apple would become the
first trillion-dollar company. Some critics still think that
stock could go to $1,000 in the next few years. But unless the
company finds a new avenue for growth, that goal may be
impossible to reach.
Apple currently relies on tablets and smartphones to derive
the majority of profits, and while neither market has peaked, it
is becoming increasingly difficult for the company to find new
buyers. Smartphones are an easy sell because Apple can convince
consumers to upgrade every two years or less. Tablets are much
less disposable. And unlike the smartphone market, which sells
somewhere around 600 million units annually, the tablet space
delivers less than 100 million units each year. Lower prices and
cheaper options could change that. But with 100 million iPads
already sold, it is going to become increasingly difficult for
Apple or anyone else to sell a new tablet.
Even if Apple could
the current sales of the iPad and iPhone, it would not provide
the company with meaningful growth. This is why many believe
Apple will branch out and launch a new TV -- or some other fresh
product -- in 2013.
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.