Honestly, I just recently bought one Apple share (at USD 665). Yes, even after Steve Jobs has left us. The main reason is the trust I have in the sales of apps via their hardware. This gold-mine will be up and running for a while. Still there is no tablet-market but only an iPad market, and millions of iPhone users emerge daily.
Though, I have started to get my doubts since the patent wars begon even in 2011, continued this year with Samsung (/Android) and will continue in 2013. Apple always was in the position to sue everything around them. But they didn’t. Although, not on a level they do now. They had bigger fish to fry. Making innovative products for example.
But their aggressive legal steps made me wonder if there was something troubling them. And then it hit me. Could it be possible that Apple’s pipeline is getting a bit empty? Slowly I’m proven to be right…
Apple has nothing left to sell?
The iPhone 4S came out. Nothing revolutionary. Nothing special. Just an overpriced upgrade of that what already was great. The main feature SIRI was (and still is) half-baked. Something that isn’t typically Apple that rather ships products that ‘just work’. Now the iPhone 5 is there. Same problem. Nothing new plus half-baked features (the famous maps-gate). And then there is the gossip around a possible smaller iPad…. Excuse me? Steve Jobs would turn around in his grave. Trying to compete with a ‘cheap’ version in an existing market…
What I wonder why there are still no Apple Smart TV’s. Or Apple cars, or very well designed refrigerators with fancy features and great apps on the door. Or even office phones that people are able to work with, connected to your other Apple devices.
Will history repeat itself
If so, you rather get rid of your apple stock this year still. There might be an upswing for a couple of months to come but will it stay? The question is, when Apple is loosing its mantra of making out-of-the-box products that simply work perfect into shipping half-baked products will the fan-club be as large as it is now? If people are going to be beta-testers anyway, why would they choose for the very expensive Apple?
If you want to be as arrogant as Apple, you have to be lightyears ahead of the rest. But the gap is closing. Not because of patent infringement, but because of lack of innovation on Apples side.
If you don’t have any cards left in your hand what do you do? You try to sue the competition! You try to milk the cows!
Currently Apple is the most valuable company in the world and this will not change overnight. Me, I just bought my first iPhone (the number 5) and this proves at least on a very small scale that the products are still attractive.
Buy, sell or hold
To anser the question if you should get rid of your stock I can only say this. I decided to keep sit on it for a while. My share already went down 30 bucks since I bought it, but hey, as long as it stays above 550 I keep it.
Let’s follow product development for a while and see what it is that will come next. If great innovations are staying away, management is changing too fast and people are getting a bit tired of Apple you might want to consider some put options at one point. Just Remember where Apple came from. Not even 10 years ago prices were below USD10.
How much more up can it go? You never know right? I think I am going to search for companies that are now what Apple was a couple of years ago rather than hoping it will rise to the 1000 USD per share and earn a 40% profit…. One of those companies – not completely comparable of course – is Facebook. I would actually advise to change your Apple stock into Facebook stock. They had their beating, and now it’s waiting for them to come out with some sort of genius advertising system. Preferably outside their FB network, using this very valuable information they have to the max. I believe Facebook has potential to rise up to a couple of hundred bucks per share. It could go quite fast – if they play it smart. Oh, and please, don’t get rid of your Google stocks. Those guys are simply amazing!!!