Congenital misunderstanding: Apple confounds Wall Street


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It’s no surprise that Wall Street doesn’t really get Apple. But you’re still probably not prepared to descend into the madness that is CNBC’s Halftime. (Tip o’ the antlers to ghibby!)

Yes, it’s big-time bear guy against tepidly bullish-guy! As usual, bear guy gets in most of the licks.

Ian Winer: ”It was an innovative company a long time ago…”

Now, before you spit your coffee all over your screen…

Oh, too late? Sorry. The Macalope should probably put those warnings before the quote. Please accept his profuse apologies. And this Macalope-themed squeegee.

[Note to self: Actually make Macalope-themed squeegees.]

But remember that these are Wall Street people. They’re used to judging companies on quarterly results and minute-by-minute share price. They have the attention span of a tsetse fly. The iPhone SE was “a long time ago” for them.

Winer: ”…and they had an edge on everything. Now all of a sudden, well, maybe it’s a three-year cycle…”

You know that the phone is actually going to get new features this year and that it’s just the case the might be the same, right? People talk about this possible move to a three-year cycle like they’re only coming out with new phones every three years.

Winer: ”What do you think the average salary of a person is in China or India? Are they running out and buying $700 phones? Probably not.”

No one in China ever bought iPhones! Apple’s definitely having a harder time finding more people to buy iPhones, but these countries do have a growing middle class and Apple also sells a phone that starts at $399 now.

Of course, you can’t get one because they’re still backordered 2-3 weeks but, still…

Winer: ”I think you just have a sign of desperation.”

It’s quite possible Negasonic Suit-wearing Investment Boy has never seen actual desperation before.

Jon Narajarian is the best CNBC can pull together for a bull case on Apple and what’s his based on? The Amazon Echo.

Narajarian: ”I don’t know why Apple doesn’t have that same device on the table top for people almost immediately. … We thought it might at CES this year.”

Oops, sorry. Apple announcing something at CES was probably another spit-take moment. Just remember to swallow before you read any of these quotes.

The Echo actually turned out to be a nice product, if you can bear the thought of Amazon having an always-on microphone in your house.

Narajarian: ”I think that’s a tremendous opportunity for them. … Take a look at how many total shipments they’ve done with Echo.”

Uh… [looks around for Amazon sales figures, grows old, dies, decays, tree springs up in corpse soil, grows old, dies…]

Narajarian: ”Over a million!”

Wow! That’s almost as many iPhones as Apple ships in two days!

Winer: “There’s certainly room for them to potentially innovate.”

Maybe. Whatever, I guess. [rude hand gesture]

Winer: “But I just think that right now this competition is so intense…”

It’s true that Apple has never had to compete against anyone before so… completely right there.

Seriously, the Macalope has been reading “Apple has never faced competition like this” stories since at least the Boer War. Possibly going all the way back to the Franco-Prussian War.

Winer: “And as far as Echo, whatever. I just don’t see a scenario where that’s going to be a game changer for Apple.”

The Macalope agrees with Winer here. They might make one and it might be a very nice device that sells fairly well and scoops up all the profit in the market, but over the short term, at least until home automation ever really becomes a thing (and this week’s announcements at WWDC gave it a boost), it would be more Watch-like in moving the needle than iPhone-like.

It’s a sucker’s game trying to get Wall Street to understand Apple. It’s best not to bother playing.

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