Count Silicon Valley mover and shaker Peter Thiel among those unimpressed with the latest Apple products. The billionaire tech entrepreneur says Apple Pay and the Apple Watch are nothing compared to what something like an Apple Television could be.
Thiel, 46, appeared on CNN Tuesday night to promote his new book, "Zero to One: Startups, or How to Build the Future," and had some skeptical words for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which last week unveiled the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus along with a smartwatch and an entirely new payment system.
“You need to come up with something that is vastly better than the next best thing,” he told "OutFront" host Erin Burnett. “I think they’ll do a lot more with the bigger phone, but they probably need some new breakthrough product like an Apple Television or something like that, but it’s really hard to do that.”
The entrepreneur, who was a key early investor in Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), said he doubts that Apple Pay is different enough to turn customers away from credit cards and more traditional e-commerce payments like PayPal, which he co-founded.
Thiel also admitted being unimpressed with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE:BABA), the Chinese e-commerce giant expected to unveil the largest initial public offering in history on Thursday. Thiel, saying Alibaba is a “fundamentally political investment,” said he’s opted to put his own money behind still-growing startups like Lyft, ZocDoc and AirBnB.
“If you held a gun to my head and said, 'What’s the next $100 billion company?' I would say AirBnB,” he told CNN.