Long Time Bear Convinced Apple's Lowest Point Is Near

Nadir. The lowest point of a person or organization. And that's just where Apple is headed, according to Michael Blair, a "long time bear" on Apple who predicts the company's nadir is "on the horizon."

That's right, the nadir. The company that lived through Michael Spindler and John Sculley. The company that lived through Performa/Centris/Quadra, and more than a decade before that, the Lisa and the Apple III. The company who tried to convince the world the Mac Portable was portable and the TAM was a bargain at US$9,999 $7,499.

The company who introduced us to the Pippin and tried to connect people through eWorld. The company who couldn't bring its engineers under control and wrestled through years of broken promises of Pink, Taligent, and Copland. The failure of OpenDoc and Newton.

The company that almost ran out of money and had to turn to its bitterest enemy—Bill Gates—for succor in its time of need.

Sure, Apple has almost $200 billion in the bank today, and it's making money faster than most mints, but Michael Blair just knows that Apple's lowest point ever—its nadir—is around the corner.

"A long time bear on Apple," Mr. Blair wrote for Seeking Alpha, "I nearly became bullish with the surge in demand for the iPhone 6, but on reflection saw no reason to move away from my bearish stance with the aggressive reaction by top Android assemblers launching competitive devices every bit as good or better than the iPhone, with terrific devices from Lenovo; LG, Huawei; Xiaomi; and, now Samsung coming to market."

Let's take a quick look at Apple's ten year stock chart:

$AAPL Chart

Ten Year $AAPL Chart
Source: Yahoo! Finance

Methinks being a "long time bear on Apple" is not something to brag about.

I've covered a lot of Apple Death Knells over the years—this is #69 in the Apple Death Knell Counter—but Mr. Blair may have reached a zenith in faith-based world twisting to convince himself and us that Apple is doomed.

Feel free to read the original dreck for yourself. It's worth a laugh. But if time is too important for you to waste in such a way, I'll summarize:

1.) Something something market share is important.

2.) Apple something something market share in China something something fuzzy numbers.

3.) Apple iPhone something something hand wavy declining sales from Christmas to March.

4.) Android something something great phones something something market share.

5.) Mac sales [conflate revenue increase with unit sales] something something quick fast changeroo [ignore market share reality that he preaches is so important].

6.) Something something, been a bear forever, and even though he's never been right and has lost tons of money selling Apple short, he's going to be right Soon™. Any day now. Just keep the faith.

That's most of his column, which was titled "Apple: Zenith Behind Us, Nadir On The Horizon." He actually uses the word "nadir" to refer to Apple. Think about that for a bit.

From his piece:

In my view, Apple's best days for the iPhone are behind it. The iPad is in near free fall with sales down 29% year over year; Mac sales pretty well stalled with 2% growth over 2014; and, services revenue growing at an anemic 9% rate in a market growing in the 20% range. At the end of the day, Apple is the iPhone and not much more. A few million units of Apple Watch or a few billion of consumer purchases through Apple Pay will not come close to filling the gap if iPhone volumes drop 20 or 30 million units annually, and that is what I expect to take place in the coming quarters.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the faith-based approach to believing in Apple's imminent demise, and Mr. Blair may qualify to lead that particular flock. When you've been preaching Apple's fall for years, and the company just keeps doing better and better, and the stock just keeps rising, you either revise your world view or stamp your feet and insist louder.

Mr. Blair has taken the latter approach. He has previously predicted falling iPhone sales, iPhone market share collapses (as if that matters in and of itself), and is a huge fan of BlackBerry.