While it does indeed seem ludicrous that investors would abandon a company that is still growing because of something seeming innocuous like less-growth-than-expected, it makes total sense. Growth is an exponential function, and slowing growth is actually a pretty big deal. It certainly cannot keep up forever, and this might be Apple hitting the limits of reality. Expansion into the Chinese market can probably provide a good bump in growth, for a while. It is a very different market, though. Apple will probably make a good long term dividend-return stock once they accept that they are no longer a growth story. They are a solid business, and although their new-stuff-every-6-months business model offends my common sense as far as sustainability goes, I think that they will be around for a very long time.
I have seen it firsthabnd with my own habits, bye bye target, best buys, home depot, Bloomingdales, any retailer, its all Amazon.
There will always be a competitor in any market. The AMD to Intel, Samsung to Sony, Coke to Pepsi, Netgear to Linksys, Home Depot to Lowes, etc. etc.
Amazon has a bright future, but do not count out that competitor. It could be Walmart, Target, Ebay, etc. But it will be someone. Amazon's future is bright, but its stock price is only for the people that can afford the risk. I'd pay double for Apple at today's prices before buying Amazon. That's just me.
Apple is going through what Microsoft went through, their growth is getting close to topping out and it impossible to meet historical comps. They have to excecute at a level that is unprecended. They earned 50B more last year after tax, pretty hard to just make 10B more.
I agree, but with all that cash, and huge profit margins.. couldn't they easily lower prices dramatically.. take smaller profits and CRUSH their competition in volume by offering a premium product priced more competitively than all the competition. Their margins are obscene compared to all other electronic companies. They have far more wiggle room when it comes time to go "thermonuclear" so to speak.
Not that I think it's in their culture to do so.. But with Jobs gone... and with growth going stagnant. I could see Apple going in a pure AMAZON marketshare direction.
Amazon is selling their Kindles practically at cost, marketshare and volume is all they have.. Apple still makes 30% margins on their iPhones... lots of room to put pressure on the competition.
I agree, but with all that cash, and huge profit margins.. couldn't they easily lower prices dramatically.. take smaller profits and CRUSH their competition in volume by offering a premium product priced more competitively than all the competition.
The gravy train won't last for ever. Somebody will start to discount and offer the same product for lower. Their saving grace is the "it" factor. That is hard to build.
They do have a massive cash buildup. But they are esentially in the business of making fancy chinese made junk and selling it at premium prices. Who really needs a phone every year?? You do-until you don't. For now, it is a very strong company and they can take on tremendous hits over the next few years. But we will have to wait and see.
The Surface really is a top-notch piece of hardware. I know that MSFT specifically set a goal to have the hardware quality exceed that of Apple. While that is important, it doesn't address the fact that the Surface has to break into an already competitive, and somewhat saturated market. Doing that requires a huge software ("app") selection and brand recognition. I am very curious to see how those obstacles are handled.
Apple isn't going anywhere. They will remain highly profitable for at least a decade, unless a reincarnation of Steve Jobs starts a company that manages to disrupt Apple's entire market. It is not out of the realm of possibility, but it is also not very likely.
I love it when a company that's already over leveraged to the hilt, their innovation days are long behind them and their chief visionary dies, the stocks at 700 and people still pretend that there's still room to grow.
If Steve Jobs never got sick, I think he would have realized by now, that Apple's days would be severely numbered, if he sat idly by and watched the Android OS marriage into every third party appliance and electronic device capable of being managed by yet another hand held Android device of multiple platforms and manufacturer. While Apple continued to be a limited Fanboy club, with limited distribution outlets.
Even today, Apple talks about releasing more ultra proprietary devices, with very limited distribution.