Apple has plans to push its services revenue into hyper growth — but it won't be able to do it without improving iPhone battery life, said former Apple CEO John Sculley.
"I think the iPhone is still, probably, the most valuable product in the world, and should continue that way for some time," Sculley told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Tuesday. "The iPhone has more and more services, and more of them are video, the battery life becomes a big issue."
Reports about the next iPhone have centered around features like a flexible organic LED screen, wireless charging and the bigger batteries allowed by the lack of a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, Sculley said. In part, that's because those features allow batteries to last longer for draining activities, like watching movies from the cloud, Sculley said.
These kinds of questions translate to big money for Apple. Last week, the tech giant reported that services revenue —sales from the App Store, digital content, AppleCare, Apple Pay and licensing — rose 18 percent year over year, the fastest growth rate of any segment Apple disclosed. Plus, current CEO Tim Cook said that rumors about the next iPhone may have led to delayed purchases in the first three months of the year.
"I think everyone is anticipating a huge refresh cycle when the next iPhone comes out," Sculley said. "Also, the iPhone becomes more valuable as new services become more attractive, even ones not offered by Apple. And, of course, Apple is growing its service revenue as well."
Shares of Apple hit yet another all-time intraday high Tuesday, reaching $154.88 a share. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite also broke records.
With a whopping $256.8 billion in cash, Apple has invested in new content, like a Tribeca Film Festival movie, for Apple Music.
"I'm not involved with Apple, but it would be logical for them to want to move into content," Sculley said. "I mean, look at the activity that's going on with Amazon: They're getting deep into content, some very high quality, which is always an Apple benchmark."
Sculley, who was once a marketing guru at PepsiCo, made headlines at the helm of Apple for his close relationship — and subsequent fallout with — founder Steve Jobs. When asked, Sculley dismissed the idea that Apple has failed to innovate without Jobs, saying he thinks new products like cars and artificial intelligence are likely to come from Apple in the 2020s.
"I think the company is extremely well-led — I think Tim Cook's done a great job," Sculley said. "The bigger question I think is, 'What happens after the iPhone .... and will it still look like an iPhone?' Or will it have a completely different form factor?"