“Can Apple regain its status as a Wall Street darling?” Jon Fortt asks for Fortune.

“So far 2008 has not been kind to the technology trendsetter. With U.S. iPod sales slowing and iPhone hype fading, investors have been seized by worries that the crew in Cupertino isn’t much of a growth story anymore. The stock has fallen 40 percent from its recent highs, losing some $50 billion in market value –and it isn’t clear what could turn things around,” Fortt reports.

“It does seem certain that relief won’t come from Apple’s newest products. The super-slim but pricey MacBook Air laptop that CEO Steve Jobs unveiled in January has met with mixed reviews, and won’t provide enough of a boost to make up for the iPod slowdown. And Apple TV, the second incarnation of Apple’s failed attempt to bring digital downloads to the television, doesn’t seem to be attracting an iPod-like following either; on Amazon, it’s about as popular as a niche backup hard drive,” Fortt reports.

Forrt writes, “So where will Apple go for a sales boost to lift its stock? Perhaps overseas.”

Full article here.

MacBook Air was never meant to “make up” for any so-called “iPod slowdown.” It’s simply a certain type of notebook for a certain type of user. Apple has other notebooks designed to cover the needs of users not addressed by MacBook Air. “iPhone hype fading” = Pointless filler. As for the so-called “iPod slowdown,” we prefer to deal in facts instead of meaningless bullshit, so please see iPod quarterly unit sales below (organized by quarter which clearly illustrates seasonality and continuous, uninterrupted growth, among other things). We won’t even get into how Apple is in the process of establishing iPod as a new mobile platform (iPod touch) and reaping higher margins along the way. The jury’s still out on Apple TV, which is currently earning excellent reviews; it usually takes quite some time for new products/concepts to seep into the consciousness of the general consumer.

iPod unit sales:
Q1:
• 2008 (ended 12/29/07): 22.121 million iPods
• 2007 (ended 12/30/06): 21.066 million iPods
• 2006 (ended 12/31/05): 14.043 million iPods
• 2005 (ended 12/25/04): 04.580 million iPods
• 2004 (ended 12/27/03): 733,000 iPods

Q2:
• 2007 (ended 03/07/07): 10.549 million iPods
• 2006 (ended 04/01/06): 08.526 million iPods
• 2005 (ended 03/26/05): 05.311 million iPods
• 2004 (ended 03/27/04): 807,000 iPods

Q3:
• 2007 (ended 06/30/07): 09.815 million iPods
• 2006 (ended 07/01/06): 08.111 million iPods
• 2005 (ended 07/13/05): 06.155 million iPods
• 2004 (ended 06/26/04): 860,000 iPods

Q4:
• 2007 (ended 09/29/07): 10.200 million iPods
• 2006 (ended 09/30/06): 08.729 million iPods
• 2005 (ended 10/11/05): 06.451 million iPods
• 2004 (ended 09/25/04): 02.016 million iPods