“As far as Wall Street is concerned, Apple might as well rename itself The iPhone Company,” Richard Waters writes for the Financial Times. “Its stock market fortunes rise and fall with the rhythm of the iPhone product cycle: the last surges in its share price coincided with the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 releases — the big, biennial moments when the handset gets a full makeover.”

“In off-years like this, a different narrative takes hold. It runs like this. The smartphone market is maturing fast,” Waters writes. “As innovation in handsets slows and existing models start to look “good enough”, users hold on to their phones longer, extending the upgrade cycle (a trend accentuated by the ending of carrier subsidies). And a lack of exciting features in the newest phones opens the way for fast-followers to eat into the premium market with cheaper handsets.”

“No wonder Apple has been trying to change the narrative — primarily by highlighting its surging (and high-margin) services revenues. The trouble is, it has not hit on the right formulation to get investors to look beyond the iPhone cycle,” Waters writes. “But, to fire on all cylinders, Apple’s business needs more hit hardware products to cash in on the value of its burgeoning ecosystem… Nearly five years into his term, Mr Cook has shown himself an effective steward of the iPhone. Beyond that, the picture is mixed.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s the formula:

A new iPhone every year – death to the “S” — along with annual Mac, iPad, Apple Watch, Displays, and other products.

Apple, the world’s most valuable company, looks LAZY from the outside. Where is the Retina Thunderbolt Display for Mac users? Where are the new Macs? Why can’t Apple manage to make a new phone every year when far lesser companies can?

We get a lot of emails from AAPL shareholders here. Many in the last few days following Q216 earnings. They can be boiled down to this:

From Cook, we see lots of social justice crusading. Lots of personal and political opinions. (By the way, is the net effect of all that helping or hurting Apple’s business worldwide?) But, beyond Apple Watch, where are the new products? And where are the expected and necessary product updates – Macs, Apple displays, etc.? Apple’s CEO seems confused about his primary focus. – distilled from recent AAPL shareholder emails

SEE ALSO:
The iPhone 6s has been a major disappointment for Apple – April 27, 2016
Analyst: Apple to dump ‘iPhone 7s’ and jump straight to iPhone 8 next year – April 22, 2016
Analyst cuts Apple price target, says ‘iPhone 7’ doesn’t look like a must-have upgrade – April 20, 2016
Why the 2017 iPhone will be made of Liquidmetal – April 18, 2016
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple’s 2017 iPhone to feature new ‘all glass’ enclosure – April 18, 2016
75 percent of teens say their next phone will be an iPhone – April 13, 2016
Mossberg: Apple’s iPhone 7 had better be spectacular – March 23, 2016