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Apple Is Still Better Than Its Rivals

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I've never been a person who tells a great joke. In fact, if there is a good joke, chances are I would end up screwing up either the delivery or the punch line, or both.

But have you heard the one about Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) impending collapse following its earnings miss on Tuesday? It is said to be of "RIM-like proportions." If you haven't heard it, you're not missing anything because the joke is not very funny.

Let's Not Get Carried Away

My column on Tuesday ahead of Apple's announcement, which suggested Apple stock is heading to $1,500, caused quite the stir.

In fact, on numerous occasions I was labeled an "Apple Fanboy" -- you know, the term used to describe investors of the company who have supported it since the stock was trading at $90 three years ago and possibly lower. In other words, it's a synonym for "smart."

However, upon Apple's disappointing results, I was reminded on the company's Live Earnings Blog by a renowned supporter of Research in Motion (RIMM) that I should be embarrassed for having written such a glowing narrative about Apple.

But before we continue, I need to point out that the price target for $1,500 was projected three years out to 2015 and heavily predicated on the assumption that the company would have by then entered the automobile dashboard.

Nevertheless, by sheer virtue of its recent dominance, there are many who have waited for a day like Tuesday to see the company fall flat on its face.

In addition to RIM, you Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT) fans can now rest comfortably. You now have proof that Apple is mortal after all.

But what exactly has changed with its narrative? Absolutely nothing.

The Quarter That Was

So looking at its number for the second quarter, some perspective is warranted here. Apple posted both revenue and profit increases of over 20%. Imagine what that means for a second. Confetti would be flying at RIM or Microsoft headquarters. At Apple, however, that is just not good enough. That level of growth was its slowest in over two years.

Still, for the quarter the company sold 17 million iPads, topping forecasts, while selling 26 million iPhones. What's more, while its iPhone sales have increased almost 30% year over year, it is considered "tepid" by the standards imposed on the company. Accordingly, I think there's a meaningful gap between how well the company actually performed in the second quarter and how the market has responded.
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