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VC Fred Wilson: In 20 Years Apple Won’t Be A Top-3 Tech Company, Google And Facebook Will

TechCrunch logo TechCrunch 5/05/2014 Ingrid Lunden

of New York’s , one of the top tech investors around, believes that in 20 years, the biggest tech company in the world — Apple — will cease to be the most important, and won’t even be in the top three. Speaking at today’s TC Disrupt conference in NYC, he predicted that the top three tech companies in two decades will be Google, Facebook “and one that we’ve never heard of.”

Why? Apple, he believes, is “too rooted to hardware,” with not enough investments in the cloud, and that will make it too much of a challenge for it to evolve going forward.

Twitter, meanwhile, he thinks will be “four, five, six, seven… but I’m not sure it will be number-two [or three].”

It’s an interesting sentiment that runs counter to what Apple’s stock has been doing in the past 12 months, where it has as the companies continue to grow sales of its iPhone smartphones and iPad tablets. But at the same time, Android has vastly overtaken iOS as the dominant smartphone platform, and with that a number of hardware makers, led by Samsung, building devices around the platform that are beating out Apple in winning new users.

Then again, it’s surprising to think that the ongoing trope that “software will eat the world,” championed by other investors like Marc Andreessen, will actually told true for years to come, with no one able to take hardware past the point of commodity status.

Speaking to Michael Arrington on stage, he said he had no idea what will occupy number-three in Apple’s place, “I sure hope that I’m an investor,” he added.

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