My research into Most Things Apple™ has revealed what I believe to be a new disease. I call it APPL Success-ophobia. It is an inordinate fear of Apple Inc. actually succeeding as a company with publicly traded stock.
Look, humans have all kinds of phobias that seem to be built into our genetic makeup. So, why not have a genetic fear of Apple’s success among technology and market critics, writers, and analysts?
Fear Of Fear
Some scientists claim we humans have only two natural fears. The fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Perhaps, but every child I’m related to or know is afraid of my aunt Imelda, so there’s that. Some human fears seem to be natural while others are man made. The fear of flying, for example. Perhaps the fear of germs, too. Snakes and spiders are easily understood.
What about the fear of Apple becoming a successful technology company? APPL Success-ophobia. It’s a thing. Critics and market analysts have predicted Apple’s demise for decades. What do the numbers show? Well, the most recent numbers, released Thursday, indicate a very healthy APPL and Apple Inc.
- Q4 EPS: $2.07 per share, up 24-percent year-over-year, versus Wall Street expectations of $1.87 per share
- Q4 Revenue: $52.6 billion, up 12-percent, versus expectations of $50.5 billion and Apple’s own forecast of between $50-$52 billion
- Gross Margin: 37.9-percent, flat, year over year
- iPhone Units: 46.7 million, up 2-percent, year over year, versus expectations of 46.1 million
- iPad Units: 10.3 million, up 11-percent, year over year
- Mac Units: 5.3 million, up 10-percent, year over year
- Q1 2018 Forecast: $84 billion to $87 billion (Apple’s largest quarter)
In other words, across the board, Apple did a little better than Apple said it would do last quarter, and did all that without a single iPhone X being sold. The upcoming holiday quarter Apple could have revenue in the $85-billion range. That means only Walmart and Berkshire Hathaway have higher revenue than Apple, according to the Fortune 500, and no company will bank as much profit.
What do you think? And this is since iPhone launched in mid-2007.
By the numbers, Apple and APPL seem to be doing well. So, where’s the big fail? Ewan Spence, writing for the Forbes Techno-Circus Train and Caboose Graveyard:
Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus handsets are a core part of the iPhone offering in Q4 2017. Perhaps foolishly launched moments before the iPhone X redefined what Apple considered a smartphone to be, the iPhone 8’s retail performance is not matching that of previous launches.
Perhaps. Yet, not one number backs up the assertion and with iPhone X sales on fire (vs. fire sale; they are not the same) Q1 looks pretty good.
Despite demanding the near impossible, Apple didn’t add extra time to get it right—giving suppliers the typical two-year lead time.
Apple’s own top engineer said the hardware was locked down about a year ago. Some person somewhere was quoted and supposedly said:
It’s an aggressive design… and it’s a very aggressive schedule.
Uh huh. And, yet, here we are. iPhone X has shipped and reviewers love it. Go figure, amirite? Worse, the iPad, left for dead barely six months ago is up double figures and with nearly double the Mac’s sales, again up double figures.
I can Google apple fail and get a long list of websites, articles, news, and commentary about how Apple is flailing and failing but I just cannot find any numbers anywhere to support such a contention.
What am I missing?
Yeah, I’m not happy that Apple sells old products as if they are new– think iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, or Mac mini and Mac Pro and MacBook Air, or iPad mini 4— but customers don’t seem to mind or don’t know despite my efforts at mass education.