All of a Sudden, Apple 'Sucks'
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- By the time you read this, it's quite possible I will have already appeared on CNBC to discuss Apple and the crazy notion that it's finished as an innovative and dominant company.
The thought is as absurd as it is depressing. Mind-numbingly melancholy to even think it has come to this. But, as I explained last week, don't dig in. It's the absolute worst thing you can do right now as an investor. As a consumer, you still win -- for the foreseeable future -- if you buy Apple products, but it's folly -- pure poppycock -- to stamp the stock with the same air of approval.
If you're an investor, just swallow your pride and hop on the Apple sucks worse than the Toronto Maple Leafs bandwagon. In an article that works in concert with this one, I dig into the pure investing angle of that sentiment. Here I tell you why -- from a company standpoint -- it's so.
I've made this argument in bits and pieces over the last several weeks and months. You know, like, way back, shortly after Steve Jobs died, when the I wonder if Tim Cook can innovate speculation wasn't as well-received as it is now.
But wait! Stop, drop and roll. That's the whole point. Right there.
That argument is chic now. It has become hipster cool in the hyper-geeky world of tech and the financial media to dog Apple. Yeah, man, Apple sucks. It's so last year, brah.
But, here's the deal: Other than flimsy cases for the lady of the night of mobile operating systems -- Google's Android -- false optimism over Research in Motion's Blackberry 10 and way below the radar hype for strong-selling Samsung phones, the haters ain't got nothing to legitimately replace Apple with.
As Tim Cook has indicated in recent days, Apple could very easily slum it like Google and Samsung. Dilute the living snot out of their product and OS, spreading it as thin as a layer of $39.99 per pound brie on a ham sandwich. But it won't. So, plenty of lame rumors out there, but nothing from Apple. Nothing I attach much, if any, validity to.
Just like Apple did the right thing with iPad mini -- keeping the quality high and the price at a premium -- it will with whatever it has in the pipeline. I know this. Many of you know this. We see the ubiquity of Apple products daily. This company owns mindshare -- by a mile. That's what it's all about. Not cheap grabs of marketshare, which mean little to building and sustaining a truly special and dominant brand.
But that's too rational for this market, the financial media and the tech world. It doesn't sell papers like the unsubstantiated Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs meme. And, let's be clear, I am one of the primary authors of that thesis; however, I talk the game alongside context, proper perspective and a reasonable timeline.
I was at a Social Distortion concert over the weekend at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. This diverse crowd of Harley Davidson types, people like me, punk rockers, mosh-pit freaks and young-to-old (some extremely California cool) music lovers -- practically all of them spent their evening taking pictures and/or using Facebook on their iPhones. Some random kid next to me had a Samsung Galaxy, but his Dad was still using a dumbphone to send texts.
The point is everybody's trying to tell you Apple's dead and Facebook's a dying fad, but, when you hit the streets and talk to your friends, you see the opposite. That's half the battle -- mindshare and social cachet. And, in Apple's case, you have a company putting up better numbers -- in an apparently disappointing quarter -- than any other company in the history of the world. But ignore all of that because ...
And, also, it doesn't know how to properly manage the billions upon billions in cash it continues to amass. Plus anything else equally-as-irrelevant you can come up with to run with the cool anti-Apple crowd.
That's the game people talk about Apple now. It's sexy. It creates fear. It's the thing irrational stock sell-offs are made of. As I note in the above-mentioned companion article, it's not your job to play hero, defend Apple and buy the stock at what you perceive as the bottom or on a dip. That's a fool's game.
I know. The real fool's game should be the line they sold that snowballed into a $250 per share crash in AAPL's share price. But it's not.
Apple sucks. Say it out loud. Live it. Breathe it. Tim Cook won't hold it against you. Neither will your iPhone.