This year, March came in like a lion-of-expectation but left like a lamb-of-disappointment. Apple’s stock price reflects growing disappointment in the company’s ability to deliver the next great thing. Yes, the natives are restless, and that includes me.
Waiting. Still Waiting.
If perception is reality, and expectations drive the stock market, then it’s no wonder that Apple stock remains deep in the doldrums.
It’s easy to perceive that Apple’s recent products are not much more than a little shine, some extra spit and polish.
Alright, to be fair, last year Apple did a commendable job refreshing almost everything in the line (sans the Mac Pro). From the svelte and trim iMac to MacBook with Retina display to iPod touch to iPhone to iPad (both models), Apple did a complete refresh.
A refresh isn’t what’s making the natives restless, and has little impact on the stock price (other than to keep it down). The closest thing we have to a new product since last fall is the iMac. It’s still an iMac, though.
The MacBook Pro line was refreshed, but they all look and work much like last year’s models (or, the year before). The iPhone 5 didn’t blaze any new trails. It’s better in every respect than the predecessor iPhone 4S, but, well, it’s still just an iPhone.
How about the iPad mini? It was roundly criticized as being anemic and overpriced. In true Apple fashion, the mini has become the best seller in the line, but it’s still just an iPad.
Apple seems to be deliberately obtuse and extraordinarily quiet about what’s in that famed product pipeline. Something’s in there. Apple keeps saying it. But what? iTV? iWatch? iRadio? Cheaper iPhone? iHybrid (MacBook, meet iPad)?
Whatever it is, Apple isn’t saying, and that’s adding to the pressure on the stock price, increasing criticism of the company, and damaging Apple’s reputation as an innovator. It seems to me as if Apple is delaying the product pipeline while it cleans up after a rash of recent messes in an attempt to get the house back in order.
Messes? Mapsgate. iOS chief fired. Samsung (Apple likes suppliers it can trust) and patent lawsuits.
In the meantime, Apple’s legions of customers await news about the upgrade to OS X Lynx (or Cougar, or whatever cat isn’t out of the bag yet), WWDC 2013, iOS 7, and a long list of products that make the news but are not yet part of reality.
The natives are restless. What is Apple doing?