Thanks to link bait, click bait, and the era of faux news, many of us in the information game have become jaded by headlines and articles that drum up controversy where none exists, and pass it off as insightful analysis. It is not.
Insightful analysis attempts to explain complex issues so mere mortals can understand. The perfect example is the fake news which purports to be real, but is designed to mislead. Another example are the headlines which imply or state gloom and doom for the world’s most valuable and profitable technology company.
The Numbers Game
Writer Mark Twain is attributed to the old saying, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” The latter implies math, so let’s put the math against the perspective and increasingly common meme that Apple is having some kind of problems. Our favorite Apple-basher and misguided thespian technology writer, Adrian Kinglsey-Hughes cries out:
Is Apple Out Of The Woods Yet?
It’s a question, and Betteridge’s Law of Headlines states the headline should be answered with an unqualified ‘No,’ but that does not explain what happens if we apply some curiosity and analysis to both the title question and its implications.
Implications? The question implies that Apple is somehow ‘in the woods.’ Is it? The stock is on the rise. Revenue and profits, down in the recent year, seem to be moving in the right direction, and with every product category where Apple competes, the company takes the lion’s share of the segment’s profits; and that share is growing.
How is that status ‘in the woods?’
freed from a previous state of uncertainty or danger; no longer critical… past a critical phase; out of the unknown… free of a difficult or hazardous situation; in a position of safety or security
Perspective aside, just looking at Apple’s math (financial numbers, stock price, revenue and profit share of each product category), how does any of that ‘out of the woods‘ imply anything about Apple?
It does not.
Apple’s financials are just fine, thank you. The stock price is at a one year high, not far off the five year high, which is the all time high, and with stock buybacks and dividends, it’s not as if investors in AAPL have a problem beyond greediness.
Alright, what sort of woods is Apple in and what does the aforementioned nattering nabob of negativism think would get Apple out of so-called woods?
Somehow, for most of Apple’s many critics, it all has to do with, 1) growth, and 2) marketshare. The stock market likes growth. Apple isn’t growing anything but cash. Technology pundits with axes to grind like marketshare because that’s pretty much where Apple deigns to compete. As always.
Questions asked include:
- Will the iPhone return to growth?
- Will iPad sales show signs of an upgrade cycle kicking into motion?
- How are Average Selling Prices doing?
- Will Mac sales be hit as hard as PCs?
- How is the Apple Watch doing?
Apple’s most recent quarterly financials will be released next week and that will answer a few of the questions because Apple also releases unit sales numbers on major products. Major products? Yep. iPhone. Mac. iPad. Watch is not a major product. It’s an accessory for the iPhone so don’t look for numbers, look instead for superlatives. As to the ASP’s they will be stellar, as always. There is not one company Apple competes against that would not trade their numbers with Apple’s numbers in a New York Minute (defined by talk show host Johnny Carson as ‘the interval between a Manhattan traffic light turning green, and the guy behind you honking his horn‘).
Also of note is the quarter itself. It’s the holiday shopping season, and it’s a new iPhone, so it’s likely iPhone unit sales will return to growth. But the iPad remains in need of a refresh so there is no upgrade cycle. Yet. Mac sales have been down a bit in the past year, but over the past 10 years have outgrown the PC industry by a wide margin so why all the gloom and doom?
One day soon I expect all of ZDNet’s writers to join the growing ranks of unemployed technology writers around the world as chat bots evolve into minimal artificial intelligence bots to write that is at least as insightful and read worthy as today’s tech website headlines and articles.