“So, seriously Alex, do you think Apple has a problem?”
Financial analysts call me up some times for “insights”. It is usually when their job is on the line and/or they have to handle a really really big investor. The guy was worried and wanted me to give him something new to say in the big meeting, something none of the others in the office had thought about. And he came to the right place. I hate Apple, I have hated Apple since 1981 when I realized how little the company cares about technology. So the analyst got some dirt and we chatted away.
“OK, so I will tell them to buy Apple then” he concluded. I didn’t disagree. Because this is not about technology. Apple had the smallest research and development budget for many years. Apple has fallen way behind in artificial intelligence and the smart home. Apple’s new computers are a joke that took years coming and isn’t even funny if you are a professional that relies on them. No, this is not about technology. It is about the stock market. Apple is to stock what the dollar is to global currency markets. And all it needs to do every so often is produce a fairy tale.
Take the recent iPad launch. This is a a truly insignificant dying sector. About 4% of devices sold globally are tablets. Apple has a third of a market nobody wants. Apple is losing ground in education, medical and pretty much any vertical you want to pick. But what are the analysts saying? Every so often someone flashes that graph about revenue being too dependent on the iPhone but then they forget it like the Apple fan boys and girls they rely on in the media for information.
So don’t call me about Apple anymore. You don’t need my decades of experience in tech to guess what Apple will do next and how successful it will be. Tim Cook could present a half eaten moldy apple and sell it for a thousand dollars tomorrow. Nobody would care if he only sold five of them at a loss. Nobody cares about it working or actually helping somebody in the real world work. Antennagates, Batterygates and even Bill Gates knew what he was doing when he saved Apple. It was never about tech.
(That’s not an apple in the photo by the way. But who cares?)