“Apple customers have previously been known for an almost fanatical devotion,” Matthew Field writes for The Telegraph. “Thousands of product designers, developers and fans flock for a glimpse of the latest phones, amid standing ovations and a blizzard of Apple-logo T-shirts.”

“This week, that rich corporate mythology suffered a blow. In a long-winded 1,400 word letter to investors, Mr Cook admitted sales of the iPhone – Apple’s core product which still generates two thirds of revenues – had fallen below expectations at the end of 2018, from $93bn to $84bn,” Field writes. “Apple stock plummeted 10 percent on Thursday, wiping out more than $74 billion of the company’s market value.”

“For Apple, its Apple Stores – now known as ‘Town Squares’ – are its temples, clean, white, palaces of worship with devoted attendants. One executive even described them in the semi-religious language of ‘gathering places. ‘That mystique has worn thin as Apple battles growing headwinds,” Field writes. “It is only Apple’s second earnings warning since 2002. Then, Steve Jobs succinctly and dismissively wrote-off the dip in 200 words as a bump in the road, a prediction that proved correct.”

“Cook has promised to ‘take advantage of our culture of flexibility, adaptability and creativity’ and said he was ‘confident and excited’ about its upcoming products. However, any attempt to drive up new revenue areas may take some time,” Field writes. “And as to its celebrated cult status, that may be trickier to refresh.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Steve Jobs could make a power cord seem insanely great. Tim Cook could put a room to sleep while unveiling teleportation; he makes watching paint dry seem like must-see event.

Apple is currently helmed by a charisma black hole. Sparks are therefor not emitted.

Lacking a charismatic leader who could sell ice cubes to eskimos, execution is the key. High quality products and services that just work with timely updates in sufficient supply at launch would be more than enough to keep us excited, satisfied, and loyal. Strong marketing wouldn’t hurt, either. With excellent products and execution, the weak keynote presentations would be bearable. Apple’s issues with late, old, sometimes problematic products and services do more to dampen excitement and devotion than anything.

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