“It’s open season on Apple these days. The stock is in a tailspin. Worries abound. The iPod market is saturated. The consumer wallet is pinched. It all adds up to an ugly stock chart. But it’s time for a reality check here,” Larry Dignan blogs for ZDNet. “Is all this angst really warranted?”
Dignan reports, “Of all the concerns about Apple, fears about market saturation and the iPod are the most on target. Everyone has an iPod and some folks have three.”
MacDailyNews Take: That last sentence can easily be disproved: Apple has sold approximately 140 million iPods to date. There are currently over 6.7 billion people on earth. Over 300 million are in the U.S. alone. The fact is: 2.1% of the world has an Apple iPod (it’s actually even less that that as many iPod owners have purchased more than one iPod). Let’s say, very conservatively, that 750 million of the 6.7 billion people on earth can afford an iPod and have the infrastructure available to support such a device: that’s still only 18.7% market saturation.
Dignan continues, “Apple’s outlook for the March quarter left a little to be desired, but the company has a history of being conservative. Underpromise and overdeliver is the mantra. Meanwhile, HP delivered a strong quarter that included big gains in notebook PCs. That bodes well for Apple’s refreshed MacBook line-up. Simply put, Mac momentum may be enough to offset any weakness elsewhere.”
“Handicapping whether Apple can hit the 10 million mark for iPhone units is a bit academic. Aside from a few Wall Street analysts, who have fancy spreadsheet models based on 10 million iPhones sold, no one cares if Apple sells 9 million or 10 million units. It’s a successful launch by any metric you use,” Dignan writes. “iPhone worrywarts need to relax a bit.”
“Let’s face it, Macworld 2008 couldn’t have lived up to the iPhone juiced 2007 version. But it would be foolish to fret about the MacBook Air’s demand yet. Apple has a nice cycle going with its MacBooks. Apple dominates Amazon’s best seller list, Best Buy is ramping up its Mac shelfspace and the MacBook Air has been well received,” Dignan writes.
“Add it up and there are reasons to worry about Apple, but let’s not get too overwrought about it. The next two quarters will tell the tale. Stay tuned,” Dignan writes.
Much more in the full article here.
Stay tuned. How perfectly appropriate!
Except for that bit of “everyone has an iPod” goofiness, Dignan is right on target.
Most analysts still haven’t even come close to grasping the iPhone’s impact on Apple. They continually underestimate the future potential of Apple’s Mac business. They fail to grasp that iPod is being transformed into a mobile computing platform. They ignore Apple TV (but they won’t be able to for much longer). They miss so much about Apple, so often, it makes us wonder just what the heck they’re analyzing! Are analysts supposed to simply analyze companies or do they really exist in order to attempt to move stock prices one way or another?
We suspect that – in order to move stock prices in a desired direction – some analysts “play dumb” and provide angst or hope based on half-formed analyses that sound perfectly plausible to those who are relatively unfamiliar with the company in question, but sound like pure idiocy to those who follow the company closely.