Tim Cook believes too many people are focusing on the quarterly growth (or lack thereof) cycles of the smartphone market. But he told the Washington Post that "it is the greatest market on earth from a consumer electronics point of view," believing that over time everyone in the world will own a smartphone (1.4 billion do now). As for what will help drive that growth? New core technologies like artificial intelligence:
Look at the core technologies that make up the smartphone today and look at the ones that will be dominant in smartphones of the future — like AI. AI will make this product even more essential to you. It will become even a better assistant than it is today. So where you probably aren't leaving home without it today — you're really going to be connected to it in the future.
In a Fast Company interview, Cook also stressed that emerging markets will continue to drive smartphone growth for years to come:
Now, is the smartphone market going down? It currently may be down, or in the last quarter it may have been down. But if you look a little longer on the horizon, I see lots of emerging markets beginning to grow, where people are entering into middle class. It's currently happening in China, but it's going to be happening in India as well, which has as many people as China. Those are very young populations as well, so they desire technology even more. I think the smartphone itself as a window to the Internet, and as a window to people's digital life, has a lot of legs and a lot of innovation left.