Why 90% of What You Read About Apple is Crap

| Editorial

Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985) was an American science fiction writer who, amongst his many achievements, also noted that "ninety percent of everything is crap." Coined as "Sturgeon's Law", it applies to fiction, but has come to be applied to most anything else. From what I've been reading, it also applies to current day writing about Apple.

I suppose some writers feel that by writing about Apple, some of Apple's success rubs off on them. More often, however, we see that other forces are at work. For example, the author, sometimes an outsider to the world of Apple, has been manipulated by a more senior editor to go with a particular slant. Or perhaps they don't have enough time to do research, they don't have enough experience with Apple, or they're just looking for some shock value and cash hits.

Many of these authors suggest that Apple should race to the bottom in order to appeal to the widest possible audience, just as they are doing with their writing. But when Apple stubbornly ignores their advice, it seems to bring out the worst in technical writing about Apple. See, for example, "Why Is So Much Stupid Being Written About Apple?"

Certainly there are terrific authors who write about Apple, but it seems lately that their voices are being drowned out by an increasing number of writers who are writing crap.  And even there, a few writers can take the credit for the Lyons share of stupidity.

I prefer to focus on the good stuff, and I have my own list of authors whom I respect. They get Apple when they write about Apple. Their writing is authoritative, reasoned and intelligent.

Several of us at The Mac Observer made a list this morning of those authors who should be added to my own list, the A-list. These are Apple observers, in our opinion, with a track record of excellence. I've tried to keep the list fairly short, and if any are missing here, I take responsibility. But if you read something from people on this A-list (below), you know it'll be good.

Also, there is a vastly larger number of technical writers who really, really know Apple technologies. But that's too large a list to get into. (You could look at who I follow on Twitter.) Instead, I'm thinking about superb writers who analyze Apple and editorialize about the company and its products. So here it is:

The A-list (version 1.0): Ben Bajarin, Bryan Chaffin, Philip Elmer-DeWitt, Daniel Eran Dilger, Jonny Evans, Jeff Gamet, John Gruber, Mark Gurman, Arik Hesseldahl, John Kirk, Ted Landau, Harry McCracken, David Pogue, Rene Ritchie, M.G. Siegler and Federico Viticci.

Unfortunately, as I noted above, there is a vastly larger number (Sturgeon's Law again) who are writing nonsense about Apple. I've noticed certain trends in their writing, and one is to ignore facts about Apple for the sake of making an outrageous statement that will grab attention. But, hey, money, flash and trash is always more important than respectability these days.

Impoverished Logic

Here are some examples of the distorted logic I see in many articles by writers on the, if you will, D-list. The first two items are frequently seen, often conflicting themes. Analysis follows in item #3.

  1. Apple's legal campaign to protect its inventions and IP is a failure and should be abandoned.
  2. All tablets seem to look alike, so Apple should compete on price.
  3. Analysis: The writer complains that tablets generally look alike, then complains when Apple seeks to preserve its hard work and differentiation.

________________

  1. Apple builds premium products designed for people who want to own and use the very best.
  2. Apple needs to appeal to the widest possible audience or it can't compete and maintain market share.
  3. Analysis: Apple, the writer claims, should drive to the bottom to become more popular and make more money. But Apple is already wildly popular and raking in the bucks. The argument is silly.

________________

  1. After selling Macs for 26 years, Apple launched the Post-PC era with the iPad in 2010.
  2. Apple needs to launch a new era every few years now to keep us entertained and help it stay ahead of the competition.
  3. Analysis: The pace of technology development, available in two year intervals, is conveniently overlooked. Still, Apple is told to jump to the writer's own technical schedule.

________________

  1. Apple continues to generate record revenues and cannot keep up with demand for its products.
  2. Steve Jobs was a singular visionary and Apple can no longer succeed without him.
  3. Analysis: Apple customers are basing their decisions on the quality of the products, not on a writer's fixation with Apple's cofounder.

________________

  1. Apple continus to sell a record number of iOS devices.
  2. Apple maps and Siri are a failure.
  3. Analysis: The writer is suggesting that a simple condemnation contains within it a deep understanding of the product and the marketplace. But that is never demonstrated. However, we're supposed to take his word for it.

________________

  1. Apple makes more money than any other competitor.
  2. Apple should do what the other companies are doing.
  3. Analysis: The writer is disconnected from reality. A winner never copies the losers.

________________

And finally:

  1. Apple should do X and perhaps Y.
  2. Apple has done Z.
  3. Analysis: Apple is declared to be doomed because, of course, the writer knows more about Apple than Apple's seasoned leadership.

Theodore Sturgeon was right. In every endeavor, there's the very best and then there's all the rest of the crap, driving to the bottom. What gives me no cheer is that all these writers, racing to the bottom, want to take Apple with them.

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44 Comments Leave Your Own

Lee Dronick

I am afraid that the headline will bring out the trolls.

Anyway, for a lot of the media it is about getting viewers, clicks, to help sell advertising. So they probably don’t care what that they are publishing as long it helps bring in the money.

DocRoss

“After all, once you saddle up a pig for flight, it’s no further stretch of the imagination to soar into the air and grab that gold at the end of the rainbow, and then its just a matter of picking out which unicorn you want to buy with your unlimited new wealth.”

From Dilger’s recent article at http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2013/02/12/bloombergs-breathtaking-propaganda-piece-suggests-trouble-for-samsung/

Brilliant!

Brutno

“a few writers can take the credit for the Lyons share of stupidity.”

Touché, John.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

1. Apple continues to generate record revenues and cannot keep up with demand for its products.

2. Apple has one hundred and whatever billion in the bank.

3. Could that mean that Apple is actually inefficiently tying up capital that could be better used by other companies?!?

3a. Why if Apple went to war with its key supplier didn’t it use that capital to ensure that it could still meet demand without said key supplier?!?

(This is fun, John. Don’t get me started…)

Frog42

Could I suggest Jim Dalrymple for the ‘A’ list? I have found his information to be pretty spot-on.

Walt French

I would add Asymco.Com’s, @Asymco = Horace Dediu.

He doesn’t get dragged into the Apple-vs-X mud-slinging fests, which makes him less interesting to Apple partisans in need of a flag-bearer. But his “I’m trying to see how they’re doing that and why it works” approach is really what appeals to me, rather than all the Monday-morning quarterbacking or back-patting that it stands in such sharp contrast to.

He’s going a dozen different directions at once these days: analyzing the media biz, retail, product management… and related business strategies: Google’s, Amazon’s, Samsung’s… to try to get the big picture. Hope he can keep it up.

Constable Odo

Lies or not, the fact of the matter is that over the short-term Apple’s share price caved in dramatically and over the longer term, the P/E has compressed dramatically.  Don’t blame rumors and lies on that.  Apple’s loss of value is due to being beaten by lesser companies that are more aggressive and are willing to cut corners by way of quality and price.  It’s a known fact that Wall Street always chooses the company who has the highest market share and is willing to sell a product at a lower price.  In other ways Apple has shot itself is by not acquiring small companies that could prove to be a threat to future Apple products.

Apple could have easily eaten up Netflix with little effort, but instead let Netflix take all the easy money.  Why? Apple is probably one of the wealthiest tightwad companies on the planet.  They never want to spend money on anything and end up giving shareholders increased worry as Apple’s future becomes more and more uncertain by the day.  If there is so much nonsense written about Apple, then why doesn’t the company hire a crack public relations team to douse out all that nonsense.  Hire a bunch of bloggers to counteract all the FUD being spread about the company.  Apple has the money to do so many things, but instead holds on to its cash hoard and now the company’s stock has become nearly worthless.

Almost every well-known tech company has made share gains last year and definitely this year, while Apple lies in a damn ditch.  Apple management is made up of a bunch of spineless individuals with a loser’s attitude who care little about what happens to shareholders.  Rumors and lies hurting Apple?  I don’t think so.  Most of this downfall is due to Apple’s non-aggressive stance to rival companies.

Dediu?  All that dude does is point out how great Apple appears to be doing while rival companies are eating Apple’s lunch and Apple’s share value falls off the table.  A tech company doing as well as Dediu says in the tech industry would never, ever have a P/E of 9.  Even Microsoft’s P/E is around 15 and they’ve been on decline for a few years now.  Apple absolutely has to be doing something very wrong to lose 40% in value in a blink of an eye while the P/E descends to the depths of hell.

RonMacGuy

“1. Apple continues to generate record revenues and cannot keep up with demand for its products.”

Wow Brad, I am proud of you.  An entire post and no mention of people rejecting Apple’s ‘walled garden’ business model?  You are maturing.  Very nice.

“3a. Why if Apple went to war with its key supplier didn’t it use that capital to ensure that it could still meet demand without said key supplier?!?”

Tell me, what product or products are you referring to?  As I’ve said several times before, Apple pulling billions in revenue/profit from Samsung hurts them much more than it hurts Apple.  The iMac supply issues were in large part due to the new design and change in manufacturing process.  I think Apple has done an excellent job pulling away from the unethical Samsung.  Have there been issues and disruptions?  Sure.  But look at the volume growth rates of Apple’s products - you can hardly blame the way Apple is handling the Samsung situation for everything.  Apple is doing the right thing here, and is now handling demand pretty well.  From Apple.com, all iPads shipping within 24 hours.  All iPad Minis shipping within 24 hours.  All new iMacs 21.5” and 27” available to ship within 24 hours.  All iPhones 5/4S/4 shipping within 24 hours.  Plus, Apple has expanded to dozens of new countries while still handling supply in the US and other established countries.  I think Apple has handled screwing Samsung’s component business admirably!!

RonMacGuy

As for you Constable, all I can say is, wow.  You are very short-sighted here.  But to each their own.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Ron, I don’t need to discuss the fundamental product mistakes Apple is making for the time being. People are more interested in why you keep losing money every time you brag about buying AAPL at the bottom. Wall Street is loud and clear about one thing: Apple is wasting precious capital. Even Warren Buffet thinks they should buy back stock, which is the ultimate admission by a public company that it has run out of ideas.

Paul Goodwin

Constable. You sound just like the very writers John is talking about. You’ve listened to so many of them, you now believe them…

“Apple’s loss of value is due to being beaten by lesser companies that are more aggressive and are willing to cut corners by way of quality and price.” 

No. The stock has been driven down by the constant drivel about what Apple is doing wrong, or not doing that the pundits think they should be doing. None of which has anything to do with why Apple was and still is so successful. In most product categories that Apple is competing in, they are still eating everybody else’s lunch where it counts…. The bottom line.

And Bosco. What product mistakes are you talking about? And as for going to war with Samsung, why would Apple stay with Scamscum and let them know what hardware was going into their products? That company has proven itself unable to produce world class products without resorting to illegal behavior. They can’t be trusted with IP….in any of their divisions.

Apple sets their targets for Wall St, who promptly inflate it by some baseless factor, then when Apple doesn’t meet the inflated targets, the gloom and doom articles come pouring out. There are still more hold and buy ratings on Apple than dump ratings. But the negative ratings are the ones getting the news stories. IMO, Wall St is so full of rich crooks that are nay saying about Apple to get the price down by scaring the little guy suckers into selling, so that they can buy it cheap and rake in more millions like they did last year.

The whole idea that Apple is doing badly is so distorted. Even at today’s price, AAPL has doubled it’s value in 3 years. And I don’t care what business you’re in, accomplishing that for a company Apple’s size and value is still astounding. Even when Jack Welsh was running General Electric, it doubled in 5 years.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

And Bosco. What product mistakes are you talking about?

I guess you missed my point. I’m not talking about them. As for Samsung… If Apple had to go to go to war against its most important supplier, Apple needed to be prepared to use its cash to create an alternative supply line. Not doing this resulted in fulfillment delays with both iPhone 5 and the newest iMac. Selling them as fast as they can make them is not something to brag about. It’s a supply chain shortcoming.

I’ll throw out another thing I don’t really understand. Unless you’re on the sell side of AAPL, a low stock price should be a good thing. If you feel that AAPL is at $431 because of malicious press coverage, then you should be stealing money fro old ladies at gunpoint to buy as much AAPL as you can! The fact that people generally aren’t doing that tells me that Wall Street has this valuation about right for the time being. It’s a lot like people getting all giddy about record stock market highs or housing prices increasing. That’s only good for those on the sell side.

RonMacGuy

“Ron, I don’t need to discuss the fundamental product mistakes Apple is making for the time being.”

Why not?  Because you’re not capable of it?

“People are more interested in why you keep losing money every time you brag about buying AAPL at the bottom. “

LOL, I am not losing money.  I rode the wave from double-digit purchases to selling in mid-$600 range on the way down from 700.  Yes, I bought back in higher than it is now, but I have years to sit on it if necessary.  I still believe in the company.  I won’t lose money.  In fact, the dividends I am making are incredible, and the odds of those dividends going up makes sitting on the stock even more valuable to me.

“Wall Street is loud and clear about one thing: Apple is wasting precious capital. Even Warren Buffet thinks they should buy back stock, which is the ultimate admission by a public company that it has run out of ideas.”

No it isn’t.  It is your short-sighted and biased interpretation of your resentment of Apple.  You are picking one analysis and doing what you do best - taking a stand where there are two options:  1) It turns out wrong, and you cower from any reference to it again, until it is forgotten, or 2) It turns out right, and you thump your chest proudly.  Your refusal to acknowledge all of your past mistakes proves this.

There are plenty on Wall Street that are stating how undervalued AAPL is right now.  But keep hanging your hat on one aspect of stock valuation - it’s adorable.

RonMacGuy

“Selling them as fast as they can make them is not something to brag about. It’s a supply chain shortcoming.”

LOL, tell that to Samsung when they flopped on their first tab sales.  I bet they wished they didn’t have such a good supply chain - they had millions of tabs returned when customers had no interest in buying them until they were able to better copy the iPad in their second generation.  Oh wait, did he say that sales were “quite small” or “quite smooth”.  LMAO.

Paul Goodwin

If I had any more money to buy AAPL right now I would. I bought mine at an average of about $325, but don’t have very many shares.

It’s not just malicious press coverage. As I said, it’s also Wall st putting inflated targets out there for Apple and then when Apple meets their own but misses the inflated targets, Apple gets hammered. IMO, some of those crooks I was talking about are manipulating the market by getting Billy sucker to sell when he shouldn’t with the bogus targets and the mass negative hype that puts enough fear into the fish in the barrel that they bail out when they shouldn’t, not knowing anything about the real Apple and why they’re still a solid investment.

Ric Day

Bosco: “Apple needed to be prepared to use its cash to create an alternative supply line. Not doing this resulted in fulfillment delays”

You seem to assume that it is possible to move from one set of suppliers to another almost instantly, so long as you throw enough money at the process. This might be true for someone like Dell, assembling basic, cheap PCs from bog standard, off-the-shelf parts and components. It is not at all true for a company like Apple, whose designs are built on custom parts and components and whose quality standards require very precise processes.

I lived and worked in Asia for 22 years, all of which were spent in close involvement with manufacturers in the electronics sector - Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, and on down to India. I saw, repeatedly, how hard it was to achieve consistent quality in the production of custom products.

I am was amazed (awed might be a better word) at the speed with which Apple adjusted its manufacturing supply chain over the past year. They performed something nearly miraculous. Something which one day will likely be used in grad school class case studies on process management.

To say they could have made it happen faster by throwing more money at it suggests a complete lack of understanding of the subject.

RonMacGuy

“The fact that people generally aren’t doing that tells me that Wall Street has this valuation about right for the time being.”

Very good, Bosco.  You are correct.  Key phrase is, “for the time being.”  Based on available information, I can’t argue with you here.  But all it will take is an exciting new product announcement, or some new service or major acquisition, or an incredible quarter that outperforms expectations, and AAPL will skyrocket again.  Am I saying that any of these are guaranteed?  No.  I actually share some of your concerns a bit about what new and exciting products Apple has in the pipeline.  I’m not crazy about the idea of the iWatch.  To be honest, I’m more impressed with google glass, although we don’t have the full story yet on iWatch other than rumors.  Apple TV - box or set?  A bit ho hum on that too.  So, of the three potentials I listed, I suspect it will get back to an incredible quarter that outperforms expectations.  Maybe the major acquisition.  It is so hilarious that everyone thinks that Apple doesn’t have plans for the cash.  It’s a ton of money to spend, but the opportunities are limitless on what they can do.  They could buy Verizon Wireless, phase out all android devices, and include full US internet coverage as part of the ‘walled garden’.  Every iDevice, from iPods to iPads to iPhones to MacBooks and iMacs to iTV, all with direct unlimited cellular connectivity for iCloud, iTunes Match/music streaming, iChat, FaceTime, etc.

But, for the time being, all is perfectly fine with the stock.  The only worry I have is if it never increases in the next 40 years…

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

You seem to assume that it is possible to move from one set of suppliers to another almost instantly, so long as you throw enough money at the process.

Appearances can be deceiving. I don’t assume that at all. In fact, I said at the time that Apple couldn’t buy the efficiencies that Samsung brought to the table at any price over any time horizon that wouldn’t hurt Apple. What compounds that move from stupid to flagrant is having enough cash that the discussion wasn’t just hypothetical. That shows investors that not only is Apple unwilling to do anything with its cash, the cash is impotent to solve Apple’s core problems. It’s badly allocated capital.

To those who say that Samsung stole from Apple and Apple could not tolerate that despite any cost. We are talking about IP here. You may have strong moral views one way or the other about IP. But what counts is how the courts sort it out. $600M (current verdict in Apple v. Samsung) is but a drop on the seat after a horse borrows your toilet compared to the overall market. Injunctions on relevant products aren’t going to happen. Execution is far more important than invention. 50 years hence, we might dedicate March as “Apple History Month” in honor of the wonderful things they popularized, but today, in the now, selling is about giving people what they want. Litigation is but a tiny cost of doing business where Apple claims to be first mover.

ViewRoyal

Bosco (the chocolate syrup?): “I’ll throw out another thing I don’t really understand. Unless you’re on the sell side of AAPL, a low stock price should be a good thing. If you feel that AAPL is at $431 because of malicious press coverage, then you should be stealing money fro old ladies at gunpoint to buy as much AAPL as you can!”

Yes Bosco, I agree with you… you really don’t understand things. wink

Just because people are making money driving the stock price down (negatively affecting long-term investors) does not make it rational, nor does it have any affect on Apple’s business successes.

Apple Inc. and the stock market are two different things… they are NOT one and the same.

The stock market can be equated to a casino on the outskirts of town. On the other hand, Apple Inc. can be equated to the most successful and profitable company in the business section downtown.

What goes on in the casino, stays in the casino. It is unrelated to Apple’s continued successes and growth.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Just because people are making money driving the stock price down (negatively affecting long-term investors)

Apple’s stock price today only effects buyers and sellers today. Holders get their dividends. If long term investors believe that AAPL is artificially low, they should be buying. Even if the downward trend in AAPL is completely artificial is absolutely zero negative effect on holders of AAPL who don’t plan to sell in the short/medium term. Well, other than having to explain to their buddies why they are holding a crap sandwich…

Reiterating the the point nobody wants to acknowledge… Apple’s record absolute profits are, at best, run-of-the-mill when you consider the cash tied up to achieve those record absolute profits. <–– That is why Wall Street is upset with Apple sitting on its cash hoard. It’s proving to be a poor use of capital.

wab95

John:

Just a quick comment before heading out to do some real work.

Excellent article and summary of the distorted landscape that is today’s Apple commentary. Indeed, such are the depictions painted in words by pundits, either nightmarish or inherently contradictory, as to rival those of Dante or Penrose; with the exception that in the case of the latter, theirs were masterpieces that still challenge and stretch the mind, whereas those by pundits and analysts are mind-deadening tripe.

Your list under impoverished logic (with which BTW I completely agree) is telling in two ways.

First, it exposes not simply the flawed logic but in many cases the inherent contradictoriness that characterises the pseudo-intellectualism of these pundits. One wonders, even if they are simply trying to please their editors or fan-base, have they even bothered to read their work for internal consistency before publishing. It’s one thing to take a negative or even deliberately provocative stance; and quite another to contradict oneself in argument.

The second, however, is the pattern these points paint of the nature of the exercise itself over time; it’s a moving target, with no apparent direction other than opposition. Apart from this, these lack directionality. No sooner is one argument made and then contradicted by empirical evidence, specifically consumer response, than a new objection is made, with a critical mass of the thundering herd hoofing it in that direction. I’ve seen more coordinated and internally consistent movement in a herd of Wildebeests fleeing a lion than in the pattern described by the objections of analysts regarding Apple post-Jobs. If there is one underlying theme, it is that the punditry want Apple to acknowledge these pundits’ input by adopting it, and resent with seething passion Apple’s steadfast refusal to do so and, most galling of all, Apple growing from success to success in the process.

The only play such critics have is two-fold: 1) redefine those successes as failures, and 2) invent yet new objections. If such intellectual bankruptcy is the stuff of one’s professional life, it must be a miserable existence whose only reward is the hope that, even if momentarily, at least one of these predictions or metrics has at least the appearance of correctness, providing for however fleeting a moment, that sense of personal vindication. And that paycheque.

I am reminded of Data during the episode ‘Unification’ on STNG when, Sela, the Romulan official holding Spock, Picard and Data captive, expresses her hatred for the Vulcans on receiving Spock’s refusal to cooperate. Data’s observation to her was the obvious one a child would make, and which might well be said to some of these pundits, ‘Perhaps you’d be happier in some other job’.

sflocal

Yep.. .they’re coming out.

Can’t put much reliance on a certain poster’s prophet advice.  Still waiting for Flash to take over the mobile industry like he said it inevitably would and that Apple’s mistake for not embracing it would lead to its downfall.  :/

yep… still waiting….  I’m sure it’s right around the corner…

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

FYI @sflocal… All those Flash developers shut out of iOS during Steve’s final tantrum simply waited for Adobe to deliver the same API for AIR apps. These apps are very popular on mobile platforms and allow developers to reach the desktop as well. Have you ever heard of TweetDeck, for example? You might remember that they were acquired by Twitter 22 months ago for north of $40M.

M———- [deleted by editor]

John Martellaro

Brad:  so far, the discussion has been energetic and lively. But I’m not okay, as you should well know, with calling another contributor a “moron.” I’m going to delete that part of the text. Don’t do it again in this forum.

RicDay

Bosco: “I said at the time that Apple couldn’t buy the efficiencies that Samsung brought to the table at any price over any time horizon that wouldn’t hurt Apple.”

Samsung’s “efficiencies” are in the volume production, at a prescribed level of quality, of certain components Apple needs for its products. Moving that work to a different supplier (or suppliers) and getting production there ramped up at the required quality level is obviously disruptive, but it is something Apple appears to have done very quickly.

Did it hurt Apple? Yes, for a rather brief period Apple’s ability to rapidly fulfill consumer orders slowed. What was the benefit? Simple: if Apple does not want Samsung to know exactly what Apple is going to be launching six or more months in advance, they cannot have Samsung producing things like the applications processor that is the heart of the iPhone. Taking the Flash memory and DRAM production away as well hurts Samsung’s bottom line (the three items amount to about 25% of the component cost of an iPhone, to stay with that example). Judging by Apple’s sales, this does not appear to have generated much hurt.

Re. IP: Apple may get some money via the courts eventually, and it may surpass their investment in lawyers. I am not a fan of that process. It is a complete non-starter in Korea, where the Chaebol system utterly trumps anything the courts might wish to do, so your supplier there can (and often will) produce flagrant copies.

Bosco: “Execution is far more important than invention ... in the now, selling is about giving people what they want.”

Huh? Apple’s great strength is that it creates things people didn’t know they wanted, creates extraordinary demand, and then supplies these things with great efficiency and healthy profit margins. John’s article addresses this very well.

Daniel Swanson

The FACTS all these anti-Apple fools conveniently ignore are the Apple STATISTICS: sales, revenues, profits, etc. A reliable indicator of insanity is the inability to recognize the difference between FACT and OPINION—that applies to both writers and readers.

Ignored FACTS also include the veritable legions of Apple customers who happily disregard all the above-mention crap, or, more likely, NEVER EVEN READ IT, it being not even so much as vapor—it being absolutely nothing and absolutely worthless.

RonMacGuy

For the guests and newcomers to TMO, I’d like to take this opportunity to explain what I like to call the “Bosco Model”, or BM (John, in the interest of full disclosure, I would like to point out that any similarity between the acronym for the Bosco Model and the medical term for bowel movement is unintentional and purely coincidental).

The BM (Bosco Model, that is):

1. Bosco takes an anti-Apple stand.  In this case, it seems to be that the reason for Apple’s stock price drop is directly related to its cash hoard.  In the past 5 years on TMO, Bosco has taken many anti-Apple stands, some of which relate to (as sflocal has eloquently pointed out) Flash running great on android which will doom Apple, and along the same lines, Apple is doomed for its delay in implementing 4G, and is doomed for its delay in implementing NFC.  Other stands include the fact that people in general are rejecting Apple’s ‘control freak’ approach to doing business (i.e. the ‘walled garden’ stand), that Apple’s iPhone US smartphone share will drop to 10% (circa Jan 2011), that the iPad will be “declining and mostly irrelevant” due to the great and powerful android tablets that were coming out at the time (Motorola Xoom, the original Samsung Galaxy tabs, etc.), that AAPL (when share price was in the $100 range a few years ago) would never go above $200, or maybe never go above $300, etc. so all shareholders should sell ASAP, that Apple will lose any and all lawsuits related to Samsung copying the iPhone and iPad, since it is oh so obvious that Samsung in fact never did copy anything and did all innovation themselves, and various Apple leadership predictions such as Ive will leave Apple within X months and that Cook will be dropped as Apple president and be simply a BOD guy by the end of March 2013.  Per the BM, all of these ‘Bosco stands’ typically come with a prediction of ‘in about a year’ timeframes and with direct personal insults to anyone who likes Apple (hmm, just like yesterday’s comment).

2.  As the timeframe outlined in Bosco’s stand approaches, some of us who, in the past quietly ignored Bosco’s stands, have now started to hold him accountable for his personally insulting and grossly inaccurate predictions.  As we kindly remind Bosco of his inaccurate predictions, the BM typically would show a response in one of two ways.  BM Option 1 is for Bosco to simply ignore our attempts to hold him accountable.  By doing this, the BM simply reinforces the fact that Bosco can make ignorant predictions without any accountability.  BM Option 2 is that Bosco responds to our attempt to hold him accountable by using misdirection (with a few veiled insults tossed in for good measure) by stating how sad it is that we waste our precious time tracking the not-so-bright things that he has said in the past, that it is tiring for us to do so, and that people of our stature surely have better things to waste our time on.  For a while, he did direct comparisons of our relentless pursuit of tracking his ignorance (not that it takes much time at all) with a person he used to work with who got fired for having pornography on his computer in a similarly organized fashion of our Bosco tracking.  Similar to BM Option 1, Option 2 results in a similar reinforcement that Bosco can say pretty much whatever he wants to without needing to man up and say “I was wrong” or “I’m sorry for being so mean on my failed predictions”.  The really sad thing is that even when he says he will admit he is wrong if a prediction doesn’t come true, he STILL doesn’t man up.

3.  Go back to the start of the Bosco Model.

So, in 6 months when AAPL is back in the $550-$600 range, and their cash hoard is in the $150B range, we will ask Bosco, “Hey buddy, how can it be that AAPL stock price is back up at the same time that their cash hoard in still increasing?  Remember 6 months ago when you said that Wall Street was angered by Apple sitting on so much cash (that they obtained from their ‘control freak’ approach to business, but that’s a different story) and that we would NEVER see their stock price go up until they go out and recklessly spend most of that hard earned cash?  Huh?  How is that possible?”  To which we will either hear a) absolutely nothing back, or b) be told our attempts to question the great and powerful Bosco are tiring and similar to a buddy of his who got fired for collecting a lot of porn.

John, I hope you found this post to be “energetic and lively”.

Thank you all for your time, and enjoy the rest of your day.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

So, in 6 months when AAPL is back in the $550-$600 range, and their cash hoard is in the $150B range, we will ask Bosco,

I can’t begin to imagine how much of your time I wasted today Ron. Hopefully, a lot, because John will just delete your post for being ad hominem horse manure. But on this point… The one thing I hope you’ll all consider is that the unused and seemingly unusable cash hoard is what’s dragging AAPL down, not FUD or some Wall Street conspiracy or people not understanding Apple’s sensitive feelings.

Larry Page has 1/3 the cash reserves, a big ticket M&A under his belt, just laid off a chunk of Motorola, and has jumped head and feet-first into wearables. GOOG is on top of the world, he has been talking about how an organization can have the capacity and infrastructure to employ 1M Google-level-talented people. And he still gets loads of crap from Wall Street about the cash hoard. There is no double standard here. Inactive capital is a drain because there are so many things it could be used for.

RonMacGuy

LOL, not a waste of time, since I so very much enjoyed writing it.  And, John really shouldn’t delete it, as it a) was “energetic and lively”, b) did not personally insult you in any way, and c) is totally 100% the truth!!

As for the Larry Page garbage, serious eye roll on the broken record response.  Inactive capital drain is but one aspect of stock valuation, and you conveniently ignore the rest, as you so often do.

RonMacGuy

Oh, and I forgot d) Although he probably won’t admit it publicly, John will most likely get a nice chuckle out of my post, as I’m sure he is well aware of your history here!!

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I have to admit, I got a chuckle out of how you rewrote Flash history. Here’s your timeline:

1. Apple says no Flash on iOS (January, 2010)
2. Adobe announces plans for AIR runtime –– Flash and other APIs building platform-native apps.
3. Apple bans all 3rd party libraries and development tools (June, 2010).
4. Apple capitulates on ban, likely due to DOJ threat of anti-trust action. (September, 2010).

As of today, there are tens of thousands of AIR apps for iPhone and iPad in the App Store. Adobe tools make app development more accessible to designers, more cost-effective over life-cycle, and let developers cover all customers, not just Apple customers.

RonMacGuy

Well, as you know Brad, I am not a technical kind of guy.  And, I will admit to taking some ‘artistic liberties’ with my response.  After all, I did write the entire thing from memory!!  So, maybe not 100% the truth - but as we say in the big business world, it is ‘directionally correct’!!

grin

No hard feelings, right?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Ron, here’s what we know about you. Facts don’t matter to you and are probably beyond your ability to grasp. You’re underwater on recent AAPL purchases you claim to have made. And you won’t put your name on it. You’re noise.

RonMacGuy

LOL.  We all know how worthless your opinions are perceived around here.  I would guess that 90% of the regulars (as well as the writers) perceive you as little more than a troll that has overstayed his welcome here.  For you to actually say that facts don’t matter to me is hilarious.  Are not all of my comments about your past stands not fact?  I can point to a dozen of your responses that most regulars here know very well that you posted.  I am sure we will be getting the “you are off topic” remark from John soon, but given a choice among the regulars here of who they would rather see go away, it would by far be you.  I may be noise, but you are far worse - you add absolutely no value here.  All you do is insult and make outrageous statements, many of which are completely wrong, and most people as well as the writers would prefer you to go away.  Only your stubbornness makes you think people actually see value in you.  You are a joke, and many people are constantly telling you this.  We all just wish you would listen.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Ron, find me one person on John’s list (or expand the list to include John, Jim, and anyone else he forgot) that has offered perspective on Apple’s cash any deeper than “we are so teh profitable!”. They haven’t because they can’t.

When Steve Jobs proudly claimed in 1997 that Apple “had a gigabuck in the bank”, it meant that Apple could weather the storm and invest in products that would lead to recovery of the company. Unfortunately, $137B of cash on hand is the anchor on the stock price. It’s 10x what Apple needs to invest in any conceivable blockbuster product. It can’t buy them any shortcuts in rebuilding supply chain. It can’t buy market share. It’s wasted capital in Apple’s hands. The huge reserve is a real cost of the revenues and profits that Apple fans won’t even acknowledge.

RonMacGuy

Man, I am so LMAO right now.  You are following the Bosco Model perfectly!!  Misdirection and veiled insults!!  You are so transparent!!  Totally avoid the issue that most of your stands are completely wrong, avoid facing facts that your stands are wrong, and insult me that facts don’t matter to me.  Bravo!!  You have proven my model perfectly.

So, can you face facts, Bosco?  You predicted that Cook will be canned by the end of March, right?  So, three more weeks until you are proven once again that you are wrong, and you will once again avoid it!!  LOL.

RonMacGuy

One thing is for sure - No one wants to watch you and me arguing back and forth.  So, I will wrap this up.  I have never said that the cash on hand is not a problem.  My only argument is that you, as usual, put your blinders on and ONLY focus on the negative with your criticism.  That, plus your criticism that Apple messed up by not throwing money at the issue of getting away from Samsung.  As usual, you criticize without manning up to past criticisms that you were completely wrong on when others bring them to your attention (I did not bring up Flash first here).  So, the reason why everyone jumps on you when you post is that they know that you are throwing out comments (right or wrong) without taking any accountability.  This lowers people’s estimation of you, and immediately puts them on the defensive.  If you actually manned up to past screw ups, people may actually start to respect you.  For now, all you are, truly and ironically, is noise.

That’s it.  I’m done ranting.  I apologize to John and everyone else.  But, my Bosco Model was incredibly fun to write, and as you well know, is pretty darn accurate!!  I will not apologize for that one at all!!

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

That, plus your criticism that Apple messed up by not throwing money at the issue of getting away from Samsung.

Your reading comprehension is horrible, Ron. I never said or insinuated anything of the sort. The complete thought is that Apple screwed up by going to war with Samsung because it could not buy a replacement supply chain in a timeframe that would result in no disruptions at any cost.

Why did creative people starting companies have to wait months for iMacs (or just settle for more than adequate high-end Windows PCs) at the end of 2012? Because blood lust got in the way of pragmatic business.

RonMacGuy

Man up on your past stands or just go away, dude.  People are tired of you.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

John and Bryan are welcome to invite me to leave. Realistically, you are more likely to choke on a ham sandwich. In the meantime Ron, check out this article about GE having $108B in offshore cash. GE’s market cap? $245B.

I’ll give you a hint. You could direct Wall Street intolerance of cash hoarders back to US corporate tax policy, which is beyond ridiculous at any level above 0%. But that only solves 1/3 of the criticism Apple is getting.

RonMacGuy

You wouldn’t leave even if they asked you to.  That’s the sad thing - they won’t ask you, since they can’t enforce it anyway.  You know it.  So, a moot point.

Your response is obviously missing my point.  Man up on your past stands or just go away.  You will never get any respect, even if you are right about what you are saying, since everyone knows you will say whatever you want to without any accountability.  So, it makes everything you say completely worthless.  I would think you would want the respect, but you have to earn it.  You act like an expert in all areas but all you do is read a few articles and throw out your biased opinions.  If they are right, you brag about it.  If they are wrong, you cower and never talk of them again.  Why is that?

John Martellaro

No one is invited to leave.

I actually think Brad has a good point. While Apple may be prospering, the shareholders are annoyed about the handling of THEIR money. So much could be done and isn’t being done. That feeling may be reflected in the stock price despite how well Apple is doing as a company.

Maybe that’s an article to ponder.

d morgan

troll fodder this article :

lets be straight as a user of apple since pre macintosh and continuously so, it might be clear that most technical writers on the web re macintosh are idiots and most of what they write - biased rubbish, one way or another, but apple are getting allot wrong currently and strangely its the easy stuff theyre getting wrong, and they’re often deliberately making bad decisions because all they can concentrate on is share price and their own egos, they do not listen, ive seen these same signs of laurel resting, ego’s and complacency, and that is what every company does before they slump. Atari, Commodore, etc etc. I thought the loss of steve would not affect the company that badly, but lets be honest their lack of open-ness and their agression towards their customers and their markets, as to the we know best routine is beginning to get a bit irritating, especially as concerns the degradation visited upon os x. The form of an iphone in terms of shape and screen, verge on the same physical ergonomics proportions as dictated by one thumb operation, such proportions should not be copyrightable nor is an array of icons in a grid, an invention !  if thats what apple have copyrighted as being an iphone, i suggest they need more inventive designers ? apple are rapidly becoming the dogmatic in their viewpoint, unless they soon show theyre hand on the augmented reality os device a la google glasses, whether early days or not they will continue to look like they’re flogging marginal improvements every year. I know they’re working on such stuff as I keep an eye on who’ve they’ve employed, they’re obsession with secrecy is a little disconcerting. the self promotional videos level of vanity and ego has got out of control, if I see one more video of I’ves simpering on about their slimness and aesthetics obsession in some kind of zen like cultist manner i will fly over there and slap him personally, he has lost all the respect I had for him as an englishman through this lack restraint as regards self worshipping promotion. Apple enrage me and their current share price woes are a justified reflection - regardless of profits, of peoples general disdain for the company’s worsening personality and attitude.

MrTonio

I love this article. It says much of what I believe. And with as many people that may read this article, I doubt it’ll reach as anywhere near as many as the idiot writers will. Trust me when I say that’s not a put-down. I think the problem is that most people (and yes, even most Apple device owners) only get their tech news from the most immediate source. This tends to be media which comes to them without effort on their part (news, commercials, and here-say from others that know nothing). I’ve heard family and friends repeat something they saw on yahoo or in the news with the confidence of seasoned veteran, only to be completely off track and a mirror of the source’s stupidity. I’m tech support for these people and also I try to provide them with worthwhile articles and info on tech that’ll provide for them making more informed decisions (especially Apple-related news). It’s confounding that they are more than willing to argue me down based on what they heard on Yahoo. 90% of what you read is crap because at least 90% (at least it seems) of people are OK with crap. I’m one who believes most media is driven by what people are willing to accept. If the masses continue to be willing to accept idiocy, then the media will continue to pedal idiocy. I rest well knowing that there are at least a relative few whose writing merits my attention…...TMO included.

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