This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Where Were You When Tim Cook Sold Apple's Soul?

Like RIMM longs, considerable factions of AAPL bulls appear to be living in denial. In the process, they're misdirecting their anger, sending scorn and contempt to me and other people who dare to even wax critical or, worse yet, long-term bearish AAPL. Just look at the comment sections of articles I have written on TheStreet and elsewhere. Folks are taking shots at me on Twitter. It's all very theatrical. It would be funny if it was not so pathetic and misguided.

The Day the Music Died

I get uneasy associating Steve Jobs's death with Apple's eventual swoon from greatness to somewhere between above average and good. My lack of ease has nothing to do with Apple; instead, out of respect for Jobs, his family and his close friends, I hate to chalk a man's life up to his business accomplishments, no matter how amazing they are.

For better or worse, you have no choice. When you talk about Apple, particularly in forward-looking fashion, you really cannot have the conversation without placing considerable, even majority, focus on Jobs.

While some bulls will read this and recent articles and think otherwise, I love Apple. I own Apple products. I have lived in awe of how the company changed the world. I love Steve Jobs's Apple. And Tim Cook is killing the Apple Steve Jobs created.

I can say that I was alive when the greatest American company to ever exist was at the top of its game. Sadly, I will not be able to say that I watched a dynasty reign supreme for a considerable period of time. Apple will never become the corporate equivalent of the Montreal Canadiens throughout the 1970s and the New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s. They'll stop just short.

And they'll stop just short because Tim Cook, even if he does not know he's doing it, is selling Apple's soul.

Of course, Cook is not doing it on purpose, but he's setting up some yet-to-be determined date in history when, on an annual basis, people around the globe will ask, "Where were you the day Apple lost its groove?"

I'm not sure how it will all shake out, but, given the pacing of Cook's missteps -- some of which have yet to even happen -- we might be looking at a period of time rather than a day when Apple simply stopped embodying the spirit of the times.

From the moment Tim Cook took over, he reshaped Apple in his own name. He took steps that will render the company normal, if it is not already. He should have done everything he possibly could have to keep Apple weird.

Where the Next Boom Is Coming From >>

Instead, Cook caved to shareholder pressure and issued both a dividend and buyback. And now, it looks like there's a real possibility he'll not only produce a mini-iPad, but an answer to the ultrabook in the form of a less expensive MacBook Air.

Too many AAPL bulls miss the point here. It's not about arguing the merits of returning capital to shareholders or doing a particular product line versus not doing one. It so much more complex than that. It's about the erosion of the very "thing" that deserves so much of the credit for Apple's success. It's that thing called culture.

Each time Cook makes a move that is normal, a move that is little more than a reaction to what somebody else wants or other companies are doing, he erodes the abnormal, downright quirky and 100% innovative attitude and persona that made Apple great. He takes on characteristics of and makes the types of moves that define Apple's historically inferior competition. He allows Apple to become its own inferior competition.

Everybody wants a dividend. Cook pays one. A seven-inch tablet sells well. Cook thinks seriously about making one. The ultrabook looks like it could be a real challenge. Cook prepares an answer.

If you love Apple as much as I do, you should not be angry at me for pointing this out. You should be angry at Tim Cook for not doing everything he could do to succeed at the next to impossible task of replacing Steve Jobs.

Unfortunately, Jobs's impact was so unique and profound, there might not be anything anybody could possibly do to stop Apple from morphing into a mere mortal.

As admirers of the company, however, you can assess your anger and send it in the proper direction. As investors in AAPL stock, you can recognize the more than obvious headwinds on the horizon, take some profits, keep an eye on your remaining position and prepare to execute Plan B, assuming you have one.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
2 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $110.38 0.00%
FB $92.07 0.00%
GOOG $626.91 0.00%
TSLA $247.57 0.00%
YHOO $30.71 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,472.37 +200.36 1.23%
S&P 500 1,951.36 +27.54 1.43%
NASDAQ 4,707.7750 +80.6910 1.74%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs