The New York Times: Apple won’t always rule

“Apple can’t grow like this forever. No company can,” Jeff Sommer reports for The New York Times. “Apple’s market capitalization — the value of all of the shares of its stock — is more than $758 billion, greater than any other company’s. Yet the Wall Street consensus is that Apple is still having a growth spurt. In fact, if Apple’s watches, phones, laptops and other gadgets and services keep generating favorable publicity — and if its quarterly earnings report on Monday is as strong as the market expects it to be — there’s a reasonable chance that Apple’s value will keep swelling. Not far down the road, it might even reach the $1 trillion level that some hedge funds predict.”

“But even if Apple still has some room to run, there are some early warning signs,” Sommer reports. “After all, the company has already crossed a significant threshold. In February, it grew to twice the size of the next biggest company in the S.&P. 500, a rare feat of financial dominance, and one that hasn’t happened since Ronald Reagan was president.”

“Now it’s Apple’s world. Apple is the most widely held stock in American mutual fund portfolios. IBM, the former undisputed heavyweight champion, isn’t even in the running anymore,” Sommer reports. “It ranks 62nd, according to a Morningstar analysis performed at my request. IBM is still an important company, but it is struggling. Investors judge it to be worth less than one-quarter of Apple’s market value today. What happened to IBM — how it became this small, in comparison with Apple — is worth remembering… Rapid growth, after all, isn’t a sure thing, especially when you’re already the biggest company in the world. IBM has proved that. Sooner or later, Apple investors will have to take that lesson to heart.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Nothing lasts forever, but Apple certainly isn’t IBM. What happened to IBM was allowed to happen by myopic, unfocused management. We simply do not see that with Apple currently. If anything, Apple is slamming the pedal to the metal. Jeff and the rest of the haters/doubters: You haven’t seen anything, yet!

56 Comments

            1. …and yet you did.

              The humor is the obvious fact The NYTimes has been going slowly out of business for years while Apple has been growing.

              Breeze, being a liberal, probably thinks The NYT is still relevant to the rest of the country. What he predicts to happen already has.

            2. Sorry that much certainly wasn’t obvious Captain. You could also take your remark as to mean people have been saying it for 5 years and it still isn’t true. In other words as actually a supportive NYT remark.

              I happen to agree with you and love humor at the NYT expense but your humor execution could have been a bit better. As in “said everyone when it happened 5 years ago.”

  1. IBM made the best early personal computer, but the mainframe managers saw the threat and defunded it. That was the day I sold my IBM PC and bought an Apple.

  2. IBM myopically sold the store to Microsoft. Apple still owes its store lock, stock and barrel. Absolutely no comparison.

    It’s very sad to see the decline of journalism these days reaches everywhere. Too sad…

  3. Well said, MDN, through and through.

    Thanks for covering the resurgence for well over a decade, arming people with the truth.

    By the way, now that Apple has become “personal” with Apple Watch, wouldn’t it be an appropriate time for you start revealing some personal details, like your names/faces? Why so shy?

    1. MDN is, for the most part, news aggregator. Every once in a while, there is an opinion piece by ‘Steve Jack’. But most of the time, it is links to news elsewhere. There are two main points of difference between MDN and other news aggregators, which are likely reasons for MDN’s solid traffic: the strong community that responds with comments (although discussion oftentimes devolves into an American political slug fest), and the other is MDn’s notes and takes delivered within the articles.

      However, you likely won’t see names / faces of ‘MDN editors’ (should there even be plural, when the only name we know is that of “Steve Jack”?). The contributions from editor(s) are not nearly frequent enough to require that.

      If you want names and faces, you can check out The Mac Observer. There, you have folks with proper names and pictures, and some of them even have a fan base…

      1. You’re right about The Mac Observer. Knowledgeable folks there (in no particular order) – Jeff Gamet, Bryan Chaffin, Kelly Guimont, John Martellaro. I read them all the time and listen to their podcasts.

      2. MDN is special, indeed. Grateful for it.

        I immediately caught my own irony in nudging MDN to reveal itself, having no identity on this site myself but a pseudonym. I guess I enjoy that privilege to comment preserving my identity.

        Being a follower for nearly 15 years, it can be strange assigning a voice to MDN’s take for so long without knowing any personal identity to it. Most recently I learned that MDN “loves their Apple Watches” …hmm. What color? Size? Now we’re getting personal. Ha. Which sparked my question.

        Anyway, news aggregator is basically true but largely not the appeal here. Without the clear thinking, generally very fair assessment of the news provided by the Take, I wouldn’t be here probably. It’s what stewards the conversation for this whole thing called MDN, and it’s what helped me communicate why Macs matter, Apple as well, when I bought a first Mac in 2001.

        I’m super fan boy today I guess. But re: to this article, long live MDN too!

  4. Nothing lasts forever, but the NY Times completely fails to realize that Apple still has room for growth AND the compelling reason IBM failed was called “personal computing” – not unwieldy market cap size or freshness dating. Apple excels at personal computing and until Apple stops trying and forgets its audience, that trend will remain strong.

  5. The NYT won’t always be published or be in business. The quality of work done by the NYT is (and has been) declining at a greater rate than any perceived decline at Apple. We’ll see who’ll be the last man standing..

  6. The Times has a point. The Apple software experience is suffering badly. Consider the two year ongoing failure of IMAP email, which appears to be acceptable to Apple management. Or the horrid appstore/itunes experience and the sorry state of trying to organize Photos or use legacy files in Pages. Then there’s the mac.com-me.com-icloud.com-whatcomesnext.com whiplash.

    1. Snoooore. Mark and his supposed imap problems. Mark, you are very, very welcome to start using Winblows or Linux.

      Oh! What’s that you say!? That in spite of not attaining utter perfection, Apple is way, way better than either of those? Yes, you are correct.

    2. Actually, Apple does not count on software sales – most of it is given away with the product and then refreshed for free.

      Apple’s strength is the very limited range of its business – you could fit every one of its products on a single table. And that it manufactures so many millions of each; such that it can afford to take high spec production techniques and ammortise the cost of the machinery over the vast numbers of sales.
      It’s what they don’t produce that makes them rarely miss a step.

    3. Mark, despite the predictable “Apple is perfect” responses from those who would extol a turd wrapped in gold cellophane with an Apple logo, you are correct. Apple’s software has become and continues to be awful: iWorks for the Fischer Price toy crowd; Photos for those who don’t care what their pictures look like; junk mail filter that hasn’t worked since the release of Yosemite; and on and on. No one would pay for this crap! Apple not only doesn’t listen to its users (just look at the criticisms on the App Store and various blogs), but it also doesn’t care what consumers think (remember MDN’s passionate letter complaining about iWorks?). It’s the software stupid! Listen to the national news lately: “Apple, the gadget company.” When the software on all these gadgets continues to get worse, let’s see how many “Apple can’t do anything wrong” supporters come its defense. Old adage: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Apple may turn out to be its own worst enemy.

  7. Apple doesn’t play according to the same rule book that other companies play by, so if you’re expecting to use other companies as a precedent for Apple, then it’s not going to work out like you expect.

  8. Apple’s stock price shouldn’t be judged against other companies’ market cap. It should be judged against the company’s own earnings, and by that measure, AAPL is still under-valued.

  9. It’s true that nothing lasts forever, but why is there a need for such an article about Apple when using Google or Microsoft would have worked just as well. What applies to Apple can apply to any number of companies who are leaders in their field. There are never any guarantees of staying on top. However, nothing is written in stone about the future. In theory, it could happen six months from now or six years from now, so there is no need to target Apple at this point in time. I would think an article like this merely states the obvious.

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