Apple's last two weeks have been a show of excess unparalleled since the heyday of MTV's "Cribs." A 50% jump in earnings, a similar boost in iPhone sales from a year earlier, climbing Macintosh computer sales and the introduction of not only the iPad, but its competitive $499 starting price and its new iBooks store made Steve Jobs visibly giddy. However, the accompanying 8% drop in iPod sales, increasing pressure from competitors including Sony (SNE) and Samsung and gripes about a camera-deprived tablet that relies on AT&T (T) for 3G coverage are a reminder that Apple's hits and misses still matter.
"When we think about the products that Apple has produced in the last decade or so, the level of fanfare coming from Apple doesn't always translate into mass-market consumer adoption of its products," says Susan Kevorkian, Apple analyst at IDC. "Apple is very talented at developing hardware, software and services and marketing the above, but all of its efforts don't succeed in the same way."
The history lesson embedded in iPad's evolution from the Newton PDA through the i-product lines is Apple's road map through the obstacles ahead. When the Newton struggled with lack of memory, the iPod beefed up its own memory with each ensuing generation. When Apple's collaboration with Motorola on the ROKR phone fizzled, it went in-house with iPhone development and relegated AT&T to its carrier/whipping boy.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV