Donald Luskin: Apple a cult that will someday be buried in tech graveyard

“Trend Macro chief investment officer, Don Luskin, is not all happy about Apple’s market valuation,” Viraj Shah reports for Insider Monkey. “During an interview on CNBC, Luskin, called Apple a cult that should succumb to competition going forward as more inventions hit the tech space from other companies.”

They always seem to find something to do for none core I have to admit, they always surprises me. But one of these days somebody other than Apple is going to invent something and when that day happens we are going to throw away our Apple’s. We are going to buy something else, and that will be it for Apple Inc., and it will just be in the graveyard like all the other tech companies that used to rule the world and don’t anymore. I am too tired of calling them the top, but I am also tired of this cult. — Donald Luskin, Trend Macro CIO

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple cultists, the annual indoctrination ceremony will be held in San Francisco this June! Following the event, we’ll hop into the vans and go door to door selling Apple Store Gift Cards and soliciting Windows to Mac and Android to iPhone switchers. As usual, the Kool-aid reception is planned for later that evening – all are welcome. Do not forget your robes!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Rik T.” for the heads up.]

72 Comments

    1. Um, is English this guy’s first language? If not, does someone at his firm proofread/edit his communictions? This diatribe is almost nonsensical, making me wonder if someone hasn’t punked the good Mr. Luskin. What a maroon! (ala Bugs Bunny)

      1. My thoughts exactly.

        But, he’s exactly right. EVENTUALLY, Apple will go away. It might take 100 years. It might take 500 years. But, EVENTUALLY, Apple will go crater.

        However, I see *absolutely zero* reason to believe Apple will crater (or even be supplanted as the top innovator and vendor) within the next 5 to 10 years.

    2. Must be another guy who ridiculed Apple and Apple fans in the 1990’s, screaming with delight, “See, I told you Apple was doomed!” And now, he is too embarrassed to ever admit he was SO utterly wrong… 🙂

  1. In one sense he’s right: there will be, one day, a company that destroys all Apple products. He’s just wrong about which company that will be. It will be Apple. They are their own toughest competition: unafraid to cannibalize their own hottest device for the next hottest device. So, essentially, he’s right… 🙂

    1. He fails to understand _why_ Apple has achieved such success – because of an insane addiction to achieving perfection, coupled with awesome people. Look at the morons at other companies for comparison. Many of them are now no longer executives because of their lack of understanding Apple.

    2. I agree that *pedantically* he is correct .. and if we pedantically extend out the timeline far enough, even the “It will be Apple cannibalizing Apple” has to eventually fall too.

      Thus said, all that he is really saying is that he’s become loathsomely tired of Apple being the top dog…and then he tries to imply that their success to some supposed ‘cult’.

      The problem with the latter is that the ‘Law of Large Numbers’ belie his inference that only a trivially small handful of kooks are what’s keeping Apple afloat. But if we tuse the metric of just the total units of iOS sales, we find that roughly 14% of the entire world’s population have bought one to have become members of this ‘cult’. Or if we say that every cult member has purchased three (3) iOS devices, it is still 5% of the World’s population – – even before we subtract out the non-consumers (children and elderly).

      Similarly, if we use a fiscal (revenues) metric, Apple’s $75B last quarter means that their size is comparable to Hong Kong.

      So!

      If Luskin really wants to talk about Apple, he can start by discussing the manipulation of their stock and why it is still at 14:1 P/E instead of much higher. While he’s at it, also explain why it is that some other tech stocks have utterly irrational ratios … Amazon’s P/E has at times exceeded 500:1

  2. That is one of the most inarticulate criticisms of Apple I have ever read. He needs a proof reader.

    I suspect Mr.Luskin will have shuffled off this mortal coil long before Apple dies.

  3. I would LOVE to talk with this guy to dig down deep and find out what is eating him up so much? What, exactly, is his problem? Why is he so irrationally passionate about hating Apple? What IS it with these people? What did Apple ever do to them? I honestly don’t get it (I’ll admit that I’ve been drinking Apple Kool-Aid since 1985, but still…).

  4. Not a cultist here.

    If someone can build a better desktop/laptop/tablet/phone/media player offering supporting software that integrates well at a reasonable price- bring it on. I will take a serious look at it and would be more than willing to consider it.

    So far that is not happening.

    1. Agreed. And, while I’m a huge Linux N00b, I keep trying different variants that will work easily out-of-the-box. I have found some that come close, but still aren’t up to the OS X ease-of-use.

      Honestly, I look at Linux as Windows replacements for people who aren’t quite at the “buy a Mac” step yet.

      As for the hardware itself, I haven’t seen any laptops that compare to Apple’s (though ASUS comes close sometimes).

    2. Apple may go away but the cult will never go away. It’s the cult of people who prefer a better product. When you make a better product (good luck with that!), the cult will come to you.

  5. Methinks this Luskin got seriously butt-hurt by investing in Google and Android and possibly Microsoft. I realize in the world of tech anything can change but Apple is in a position to ride with the change. Unfortunately, I can’t imagine what this device is that comes along and puts Apple out of business. This device would have to excel in so many ways and be distributed to the masses. It wouldn’t likely happen in a six months’ period. Apple would at least have time to adapt.

    I certainly can’t imagine consumers simply throwing away their good Apple products to get their hands on this new and exciting product after they’ve already invested in Apple’s ecosystem. I’ve already tried to hash out some scenarios where Apple quickly becomes completely irrelevant but I just don’t see it happening. Anything in this world is possible but I just can’t envision it. Apple seems to be a very unique company and maybe they’re also lucky to have gotten to where they have. If Apple goes down, I think a lot of other companies would also be taken down before Apple.

    1. Mac, iPhone, iPad, iWatch, Apple TV, HomeKit, CarPlay, Apple Pay, all are part of an expanding ecosystem. It’s going to be almost impossible for anyone else to catch up. While everyone else was busy copying iPhones and iPads, Apple has been quietly laying the ground to have products that all talk to one another in every phase of life. What else they are planning, who knows? I don’t think anyone has the faintest clue as to how big Apple can grow to be. Certainly not Mr. Luskin. Too bad his business is dependent upon systems being inherently insecure.

    2. Add to that the Apple logo is soon going to be on most Contactless Card Readers around the world, with Apple getting a small cut for each sale conducted on one of their hundreds of millions of devices… yeh I can’t see this guys prediction coming true anytime in the next 10 years, maybe 20.

      But hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day 🙂

      I’ll have some of what he’s smoking!!!

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