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Apple Bull Case Laced With Sloppy, Bearish Holes

Stocks in this article: AAPL

Gassee claims Apple shouldn't run around telling everybody how great it is; they should let others do that for them. He stops short, however, of finishing his thought.

When you deliver like Apple has, you absolutely can tell the world how great you are. Bragging only becomes a problem when you talk the talk, but do not walk the walk.

For whatever reason, that's what happened with Maps. Apple put out a subpar product that -- and this is key -- did not come alongside something revolutionary.

That's why the Maps miss stands out as glaring.

More Gassee:

The implication that Jobs would have squelched Maps is misguided. I greatly miss Dear Leader but my admiration for his unsurpassed successes doesn't obscure my recollection of his mistakes. The Cube, antennagate, Exchange For The Rest of Us a.k.a MobileMe , the capricious skeuomorphic shelves and leather stitches . . . . Both Siri -- still far from reliable -- and Maps were decisions Jobs made or endorsed.

Wow.

There's lots in there that I guess we're supposed to accept as fact just because we're hearing it from Gassee. That's too bad because he leaves out key points that might ding his thesis.

In particular, Jobs' most recent mistakes came alongside the introduction of revolutionary products. We're talking about a period that not only saw the iPod, iPhone and iPad, but an unprecedented MacBook resurgence. You can throw an interception or two when you're turning in Joe Montana-like performances.

In his defense of the Maps debacle, Philip Elmer-DeWitt makes an imprecise point (via Fortune) that also appears to have passed muster minus critical review.

After discounting Nocera's Jobs-Cook assertion, DeWitt says,

Besides, the decision to pull the plug on Google's mapping database at the end of what was probably a five-year contract had to have been made while Jobs was running the company.

First, I take exception to the imprecise "probably." And the "had to have been made while Jobs was running the company." He stopped running the company on Aug. 24, 2011. And, who knows, to what extent he was involved prior to that?

But, that aside, Elmer-DeWitt confounds the issue. While Jobs might have endorsed ending the Google (GOOG) relationship, he surely did not approve an inferior application as the replacement.

Heck, Apple released Siri (at least they called it a beta version) in late 2011. Elmer DeWitt's colleague at Fortune, Adam Lashinsky, reported that "a former Apple insider" told him that "Steve would have lost his mind over Siri."

Apple bulls accuse those of us who, admittedly, obsess over Steve Jobs of living in the past. I don't deny the charge; however it works both ways.

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