Apple’s stumbles: Bumps in the road or more serious? What’s eating Apple?

“The question has been asked by nearly every Apple watcher following a brutal two-week stretch that began with a worse than expected earnings report, quickened after the ouster of a high-profile executive and culminated with news this week that it had fallen behind competitor Samsung in the smartphone wars,” Javier E. David writes for CNBC.

“For a company that could seemingly do no wrong up until a few short weeks ago, Apple’s dramatic reversal of fortune has jarred numerous analysts,” David writes. “Given that the company’s successful updates to its wildly popular iPhone and iPad, Apple seemed poised to dominate that [sic] digital wars that pitted it against competitors like Google and Samsung Electronics.”

MacDailyNews Take: We live in a bizarro universe where fiction if stated as if it’s fact and shorts and trolls abound. Apple isn’t poised to dominate the “digital wars,” they dominate them. Apple reaps the vast bulk of the smartphone industries profits. Google and their minions can give away as free phones as they can make, but market share doesn’t equal profit share. It never has and it never will. That’s why Apple’s Macs are still here, and why Macintosh has outgrown the Windows PC market as a whole for the last six years, after having been pronounced “dead” at least bi-weekly since 1984.

David writes, “Apple’s cratering stock price – which hit an all-time high above $700 as early as September – has become a proxy for what some investors think is a declining outlook ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season.”

MacDailyNews Take: No investor with a brain thinks that, and the rest are shorting the stock.

David writes, “In late October, Apple unfurled its fifth version of the iPhone, nearly a year after the unexpected demise of iconic CEO Steve Jobs.”

MacDailyNews Take: As “unexpected” as it could be after roughly 38,000 articles attempting to estimate his time left on earth during his last several years on it. Most were written in attempts to drive down the stock price. When Steve died, a little piece of the shorts did, too.

David writes, “Simultaneously, newly installed CEO Tim Cook wowed market participants with a mini version of its market beating iPad that sold three million units immediately out of the gate. In theory, the company should be riding high… Douglas Kass, founder of fund manager Seabreeze Partners, told CNBC last week that the company is no longer a buy and that Apple’s golden age is over. With the stock looking increasingly vulnerable, Kass said, ‘Some of its competitors are growing agile and Apple is losing its first-mover advantage.'”

MacDailyNews Take: That’s the best you’ve got, Dougie Shorty McShort?

How’s Dougie’s history with Apple predictions?

…Notwithstanding the previous successes of the Mac and iPod, there seem to be enough questions regarding the iPhone (is it really differentiated from products already on the market that have advanced features, strong operating systems, have penetrated enterprise and rely on email as their killer application?) — especially in light of the market’s starry-eyed reaction and Apple’s surge in value…Doug Kass, January 16, 2007

On that day, Apple shares closed at $97.10. Since its release in June 2007, iPhone has only transformed the mobile device industry, demolished those who “penetrated enterprise and rely on email as their killer application,” and sold over 200 million units to date while reaping the bulk of the smartphone industry’s profits, it has propelled Apple Inc. into the most valuable public company in world history.

David writes, “On Thursday, research firm Strategy Analytics said Samsung’s Galaxy S3 had surpassed the iPhone as the world’s bestselling smartphone model. The news heaped more pressure on Apple’s already beleaguered stock.”

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, wow. You mean some other firm (one that directly copies Apple, by the way) manages to move more units -via unending Buy One, Get X Number Free promos – during the annual iPhone model change pause? Wow, again. Like it’s never happened before. It has. In theory, this bearshit should never work, since we can see what’s been said before and also what happened following it. Luckily for the shorts, many people are idiots with the attention span of gnats. It’s amazing these people had any money to put into AAPL in the first place.

David writes, “‘Samsung’s Galaxy S3 has proven wildly popular with consumers and operators across North America, Europe and Asia,’ said analyst Neil Mawston, adding the new iPhone 5 would likely reclaim the top spot for Apple in the current quarter.”

MacDailyNews Take: “The new iPhone 5 [will] likely reclaim the top spot for Apple in the current quarter.” Gee, ya think?

David writes, “Apple’s mounting woes have made some warn that the company could face a similar fog of irrelevance that is shrouding both Microsoft and Yahoo! – both companies that, once upon a time, enjoyed dominant market share before falling from grace into an extended period of decline.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s enough to inspire us to ruin a classic song. Here’s a bit of “Manipulation” (sung to the music of “Anticipation” by Carly Simon):

Manipulation, manipulation
Is makin’ dupes sell
Is keepin’ us rich

(These are the good old days)
And stay right here ’cause these are the good old days
(These are the good old days)
(These are the good old days)
(These are the good old days)
(These are…..the good old days)

Wall Street is a game. Play it well (and don’t look gift horses in the mouth.)

By the way, we wrote the take above on September 26, 2011, during the last attempt to beat down Apple shares before the end of the year. Yes, we’ve seen this many times before and we expect we’ll see it many times again in the future.

In closing:

What’s important when you are in that hedge fund mode is to not do anything remotely truthful, because the truth is so against your view, that it’s important to create a new truth, to develop a fiction. – Jim Cramer, explaining how hedge-fund managers game the stock market, 2006

28 Comments

  1. Here’s the real world: the anchor on the local news read the story about the S3 outselling the 5. Her ad-lib afterward, “That’s funny, because I don’t know ANYONE who has that phone. I’m an Apple girl all the way.” The co-anchor nodded, because she has already told us in the past that she’s an iPhone user.

    iPhone owns the hearts of its users. The S3 is the one people settle for.

    The S3 is merely taking advantage of the calm between the storms.

  2. Analyst are idiots! The only earnings Apple fails to meet are the ones they pulled out of analyst asses. Apple is poised to have a record quarter and Oppenheimer has given guidance as such. What does Apple have going for it this quarter? Well, they updated pretty much every product. The iPhone 5, iPad mini, iPad 4, iPod touch, iMac, MacBook pros.

    1. But those are all evolutionary, not revolutionary. To survive, Apple needs to release a sector-defining, unparalleled, earth-shaking device every year. Like Steve did. What? He didn’t do that? Don’t tell the analysts. They hate to be confused by facts.

    2. problem is, when you go to an APPLE STORE, there’s nothing
      to buy, all those new iPhones and iPads mini had to be preordered
      and you walk out with nothing, Tim Cook must take note and X’mas
      shopping season is coming, you don’t want everything to be ordered online shipped 2 3 or 4 weeks.

      1. That’s a valid point. I accompanied a friend who wanted to buy a 28″ iMac after the new one was announced. You can’t do that. Apple recalls all the previous gen products after the new ones are announced. So what could my friend buy? Nothing for several weeks. Luckily we found one in stock at a local reseller.

  3. “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the ‘Makers of Inferior products’ can shield the consumer from the economic reality of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for Samsung and others to use all of its powers to repress the facts, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie”.

  4. It is no surprise that Apple has had some missteps after the loss of their guiding light, Steve Jobs. He was the captain of the team. However capable Tim Cook is, he is not the light that Steve Jobs was, and never will be. The company is now settling in to a new paradigm, and the best one should expect is competence, not brilliance. The management issues are no surprise – when the captain leaves the team, some of the players will drop the ball, just a little, and others will allow their egos and ambition to get the better of them. Jobs kept Forstall in line, Cook could not, but Cook could fire him, and did. Evidently Cook gives his team a longer rope, and was somehow unable to instil the Apple raison d’etre in his new retail chief, who just didn’t get it and is now gone as well. Apple, without Jobs, can never be the same. What Apple becomes without him will be fascinating to watch – this is still the best tech design house ever, and Cook’s administrative skills have built an extraordinary manufacturing machine. But the light has gone out at Apple.

  5. Browette it is gone. He would have been Apples biggest problem. I don’t know how they made such a mistake in hiring him? But at least that has finally been taken care of. Don’t know about Forstall? He must’ve been good or Steve Jobs wouldn’t have put him in that position. But I guess his ego just got to be too much for a well-run company like Apple. So he’s gone. I think they will do well with this management team going forward.

  6. I have purchased a ton of Apple products for myself, my family, my friends and my business. I am Apple friendly. However, I my Apple stock holdings have dropped about $40,000 over the past few weeks. I am not too concerned due to the quality of the company’s financials and especially to strength we see heading into the holiday quarter.

    But, I am very worried about the company in terms of product.

    Apple is dropping too many product farts lately. This is not the Apple way. Rather than zeroing in on the details and getting htem right, they appear to be forgetting many of the details or getting them wrong. This is terrible for the future of the company, in my view.

    Recently, Apple has dropped the ball on a number of areas that I are important.

    In my personal situation, I awating the announcement of the new MacBook Pro. I have purchased the last 4 (or 5) new MacBook Pros on their announcement. However, I only purchase the 17″ versions – I use them for development, conferencing, document review and creation – you name it.

    The announcement came without a 17″ version. For the first time since my first iMac purchase, I didn’t place an order for a newly announced MacBook Pro. I still have no plans to do so. That’s lost revenue that would have been automatic in past years.

    I have a MacPro that I use primarily for recording. I have bought each new MacPro since the PowerPC days. However, the last “update” of this model was a pathetic joke. It should have been a manufacturing engineering change rather than a product announcement. I didn’t buy one. That’s lost automatic revenue from me.

    I jumped into “the cloud” right off the bat. Now I rue that day. In theory I should have my “music library” wherever I am. Except I don’t have it when I need it most – in the air flying! Worse, because Apple hasn’t yet found the time to provide a new API, mobile apps can’t access this library. I have several apps that tap into my library and provide interesting an entertaining background to my activities. They are now silent – oh any track in “my library” that resides on my device can still be played but nothing from my “cloud” library is so fortunate. That means – stay with me here – my iPhone can play exactly 3 tracks on my car entertainment system (Mercedes)! So much for having my library where I am!

    I purchased the iPhone 5 from the Apple store on the presale launch day. I don’t have a problem with the new format Lightning nor even the new nano SIM. However, this is the first iPhone I have ever received that sat in its box for weeks until I could get one of these new nano SIMs. I live in Canada and unlocked phones make sense because I travel internationally. Apple has usually provided a new form SIM (like with the micro) compatible with my carrier in the past. Not this time. It might be a small detail but I was pissed off! Apple refused to correct the problem and my carrier was only interested in selling phones “locked” to them. I finally corrected the situation by asking a friend to go to an Apple store across the country and get one of these mystical nanoSIMs for me and mailing it to me. Oh, Apple stores had the nanoSIMs and were giving them away for free but Apple couldn’t send one to me. Now I worry about how bad the situation will be when I am other countries. I’ll let you know soon.

    These are just a few current detail oriented problems Apple has sprung recently. I wish these were all of problems but rather these barely scratch the surface.

    I worry that the detail things that initially lead me to the Apple product family and to embrace it whole heartedly appear to be in decline. For this reason I a more than little fearful of the future…

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