Can there ever be another Apple?

I often look at Apple and what it has been able to accomplish over the last decade with amazement. Who would have thought that a technology company – especially one that was extremely close to failure – could become the world's most valuable firm? But Apple has. And with over $100 billion in cash on hand, the chances of it going back to the old days of failure and despair seem unlikely.[Original image: Photon_de]

Still, Apple's meteoric rise from obscurity to household name is by no means unique. Several companies over the years have been able to land themselves at the top of the corporate world with a proper combination of innovation and outstanding leadership.

Realizing that, I can't help but wonder if there will ever be another Apple. I'm not saying that the next Apple will be another company that builds smartphones and tablets, but one that can see the future and deliver it now.

Of course, many Apple fans would say that there isn't any room for another Apple. After all, the company has the innovative insight to deliver the latest and greatest products already. And with enough cash on hand to buy up, well, just about anybody, Apple can insulate itself from losing ground to another firm.

[aquote]Apple might be big and popular, but it's not invincible[/aquote]

But holding such beliefs on the ultimate power of corporations is a dangerous game. Major companies can be huge and powerful, but a few wrong moves, and they will fail.

Make no mistake – Apple might be big and popular, but it's not invincible.

So, that's precisely why I think there can be another Apple. In fact, I'm a firm believer that there eventually will be another Apple. The company will find a way to innovate beyond what others in the industry have. And with a loyal following, it might just be able to surpass what Apple has achieved so far.

That said, I have no clue what company will be able to be the next Apple. And as much as I'd like to see a startup climb its way to the top of the technology world, I'm starting to think more and more that the next Apple will be a company that has already solidified its position as a trustworthy vendor in the marketplace. The way the industry works at this point, there's really no easy way to reach the top without an already trusted brand behind it.

Still, it's possible. Apple might own the mobile space for the next several years, but what's to say some other company might not do something similarly special in the living room? Or perhaps a firm will come along that transforms how we use computers. It's easy to say that no more innovation is possible beyond what Apple can deliver, but such claims are nonsense. This is the technology industry. With the right mind and enough cash, anything is possible. And to not believe so is to not acknowledge how far we've come over the last few decades.

Apple is special. Apple is impressive. But it's not the end. And we must all remember that.