Friday, May 5, 2017

Apple Quarter Was Bad - Hope, Analysts, Dividends Prevent A Collapse

Apple reported an earning, that by most standards and even Apple standards, was very disappointing.  Let's face it.  Aside from a slight Mac surprise and expected declining iPad sales, the quarter did not meet street expection - iPhone sales fell short.  However, more disappointing is the fact that much of what happened could have been prevented and stock should be up instead of treading water on the red end of the pool.  In the days to come, only the promise of higher dividends will keep the stock from tanking further.

Aside from an anemic iPad launch talored to get iPad users to upgrade their iPad 2, 3rd/4th generation iPad, and the iPad Air, we have not seen any major product launch or upgrade since the iPhone 7/7S.  At this point, I'd even settle for an iPod refresh. 

This isn't to say that Apple is not doing anything at all.  It's likely the company priorities have shifted and the iPhone remains a major focus as it is what is bringing in the vast majoring of the profit.  Apple did tell its professional users that they're working on a new Mac Pro.  But they'll have to wait until 2018 - probably 2019 given how Apple like to let things slide a bit these last few years.

Going forward, Apple will continue to make a boat load of money quarter after quarter.  What is at risk is the brand image Apple has worked so hard to sustain and try to keep it at the forefront of legions of its own users and potential customers.  It is a brand to aspire for.  However, even now, I don't see the same enthusiasm for Apple products as I did before.  Since it can happen to an Apple fan, it should be worrying for Apple.  And more often than not these days, other blogs that I've come across has more posts questioning where Apple is headed if not outright critizing management and the pace of "innovation" from Cupertino.

To be fair, Apple is focusing on hardware but it's also taking the long view that while hardware is bringing in the cash, app, music, video services and newer products like the Apple Watch and Air Pods is where most of Apple's future growth is going to come from. 

Also, let's not forget the additional billions Apple is putting into R&D. 

So where are we with Apple?  Well, continue to except new products and services from Apple.  It's innovative juice has not stopped flowing but do expect delays and possible missteps though not quite as bad as the Mac Pro one and, most importantly, Tim Cook's Apple will dazzle us just as it did under Steve Jobs but not as frequent or flashy.

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