Apple stock’s problem isn’t iMac delay, it’s the P/E ratio

“So Apple won’t be delivering its next-generation iMacs in time for the early school season? Is this delay really worth all the panicked headlines, fret, and a hefty trim in the stock price? I don’t think so,” Seth Jayson writes for The Motley Fool.

“Sure, I’ve argued in the past that Apple’s stock has gotten a bit frothy, but I’m willing to cut Cupertino a little slack on this particular stumble. After all, Apple has a tiny, but loyal following in the computer market. To judge by the angry email that flows my way whenever I criticize Jobs and Co., most Mac fans would crawl over a mile of gravel and broken glass in order to get their new machines

38 Comments

  1. I concur with Charko,
    we have an iMac DV-SE in our living room, it fits perfectly. I try to argue in favour of an eMac to replace it, but my wife finds the white plastic less than appealing. A choice of colours would do the trick.

  2. >it looks a bit sony-ish

    Yeah, I meant using the design as a starting point, not a solution. The iMac does double duty — the mid-price desktop for home AND enterprise. I’d put the support staff on a down-scaled derivative of the eMac and the execs on a derivative of the Pomona. The execs want a “power look” a cut above what the secretary pool is running.

    The last iMac was a great design — functional but almost too cute. Apple should apply some actual market research rather than rely on internal “plans.” The cheapest way to do it would have been to make the low-end iMac white and the higher end some other non-candy color. And puh-leeze adhere to some reasonable power to price relationship.

  3. Less is more,
    >>The execs want a “power look” a cut above what the secretary pool is running.
    What about a 15″ or 17″ Powerbook, sitting on a stylish acryl stand with a keyboard, it’s the perfect computer for the exec office.

  4. Yeah — PB15 is probably the best PB ever made. If I could afford a third Mac I’d get a PB15, but I need my body-board-sized screen. PBs are not a problem; the question is why didn’t the iMac do better than it did — there are a number of opinions I wanted to hear from the MDN community.

  5. Toyota was once a small part of the US market and GM was over twice as large as Ford, Chrysler, & American Motors combined. This year, Toyota passed Ford (it passed Chevrolet earlier) and became the #1 line of autos in the US. It took years and a lot of self-destruction by GM, but it has a way of happening.
    Apple is maturing OS X at just the right time as Microsoft seems to be stalled on development and discontent is building in the IT world. The PPC G5 and future families are well ahead of Intel & AMD’s 64-bit offerings. Apple is proving with iTunes, iTunes Music Store, iPod, and AirPort/AirPort Express that it can diversify it’s product base and serve the larger market. Expect to see iSight Windows software and maybe Safari for Windows in the not too distant future.
    The Apple of today is not the Apple that lost the OS Wars, it is a dynamic and creative enterprise on the cutting edge of digital media and our more ever networked computing world. All of the emerging technology bases and current issues in IT (Windows insecurity) have been, and are being taken care of. The P/E ratio is a little ahead of the curve, but Apple is a definite buy.
    Sell at your own risk…

  6. Toyota sold to the mass market; Apple sells to a niche market; but yes, Apple has a strong product and Microsoft is doing a “GM.” Yet people bought hordes of Fords and GMs when they were putting out their worst product in terms of design and quality.

    Also, there’s an extra switching inelasticity because of software and OS knowledge.

  7. Less is more

    Yes, I like it. But I’d also like it to fold up all neatly and easily for transport. Not necessarily as a portable, but as an easily moveable, computer with a DVI connector for an additional monitor. Oh yes, some degree of expandibility is important also. I think Apple is mistaken to think that consumers do not need or want to add internal cards. I’d like a TV card in mine for example.

    By the way, I like the current iMac design, too, and the machine I was trying out at the Apple Store recently had plenty of power. So why don’t I buy one? Because I’m torn between a consumer portable and a desktop. The G4 iBook is a fine machine in all but one crucial respect: no DVI port to support Apple’s beautiful flat panel monitors so I can use it at the desktop. Should these monitors be reserved just for professional customers?

    If Apple were to bridge effectively the gap between a desktop and a laptop consumer machine, I’d buy one.

  8. Further Thoughts on iMac Design

    The 20th anniversary Mac might be a good starting point for an easily moveable machine. Suppose the back had a lower panel that folded down for access for expansion? And the front center panel below the screen could fold down to reveal the keyboard. This panel would also contain slot-loading CD or DVD drives in its top edge, so they are invisible when the panel is folded up. The sides of the case should contain USB and Firewire and other ports for easy access for attaching peripherals.

    Color choice is imporant. The original 20th Anniversary Mac was far more impressive in photos than in actual physical presence. At least the one I saw once was a sickly gold-bronze color that I find very off-putting. And it seemed much larger and more cumbersome as well.

  9. What stock problem?

    The price recovered much of the overnight loss on Friday:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=AAPL&t=1d&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=dell,msft,gtw,^IXIC

    Wall Street always initially overreacts to AAPL bad news. Apple is both a fast growing newcomer (iPod) and a juggernaut (Mac) – not faultless maybe (near faultless with Jobs at the helm) but a 25 year old company (older than Dell, Gateway) that in some respects dominates the industry. Sure the P/E ratio is not so good but is supported by insurance of $4.5B in the bank.

  10. Maybe the 25th Anniversary iMac, eh? (drools, wipes) and just one more thing, I wouldn’t mind seeing a CD, DVD, or even Maria Sharapova spin [transparent covers].

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