“Imagine, just imagine, that Apple had to take a one billion dollar write-down to cover repairs for the iPod or the iPhone. And, no, I’m not saying anything of that sort has ever occurred. But if it were to happen, you can bet it would be a headline story, carried on all the major, and not-so-major, media outlets around the world,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “If you think Apple’s stock price was somewhat low now, such a development would have vindicated all of those who claimed Apple was in deep trouble, and that they’d never regain their luster now that Steve Jobs was no longer piloting the ship.”
“Yet in 2007, Microsoft took a write-down of that amount to deal with repairing the Xbox, many of which suffered from premature hardware failures. It was reported in the media for a short time, but mostly ignored thereafter,” Steinberg writes. “Things happen, and Microsoft was large enough to sustain such a loss without suffering seriously. We forget that, these days, Apple is larger.”
“Now segue to 2013, where Microsoft takes another write-down, to the tune of $900 million, because the heavily promoted Surface tablet is an abject failure. The stock price, after falling for a few days, is increasing again,” Steinberg writes. “Clearly Wall Street wasn’t perturbed that much by Microsoft’s inability to make a dent in the tablet market. This is the future of PCs, after all, and the company that dominates the operating system business has been unable to demonstrate that the vision of PC anywhere has any basis.”
Steinberg writes, “And, again, if Apple took a comparable write-down because they couldn’t sell, say, the MacBook Air, you can’t imagine how much bad publicity the’d get. Microsoft? Well, that’s just business. Sure, Microsoft didn’t meet analyst estimates for revenue during the last quarter, but it’s no big deal. Maybe they’ll do better the next quarter, or perhaps the quarter after that.”
Much more in the full article – recommended – here.