Tim Cook's excellent performance -- overuse of adjectives not withstanding -- and the lineup of stunning "new" Apple products does not erase long-term concerns over the company's ability to break new ground in a post-Steve Jobs world.
That said, on the basis of yesterday's event and how its offspring will impact the holiday quarter, Cook and Apple crushed it.
In fact, Apple did such an amazing job I was embarrassed for its competitors.We've heard all sorts of hype about competitive products and consumer tastes and expectations. And, after what Apple revealed Tuesday, not one bit of it means a thing. Almost across the board, it's wholly irrelevant. Apple's side-by-side comparison of the new iPad mini with Google's (GOOG) Nexus 7 tablet put it all to rest. What Springsteen said in 1980's The River holds true for Apple's so-called competition today: No wedding day smiles/no walk down the aisle/No flowers/no wedding dress. It's a shotgun wedding. And, given the pathetic state of its opposition, Apple barely has to pull the trigger. It can put its head down, produce the most aspirational products and price them at a premium. It doesn't matter what anybody else does. And, more importantly, it doesn't matter what anybody else says. I riff more about Apple's clear superiority in Apple Versus Amazon: Don't Call It a Price War, but that's not what this article is about. This article is about the things people say. The things you read. The pieces of information that come together and, for better or worse, help inform your due diligence. Investors need to not only ask Is it relevant?, but Is it well-thought out and rigorous? I use one specific example here because it's apropos, but it also helps sound the caution you should exercise when reading everything from data presented as objective to opinions from guys like me. Simply stated, consider it all for what it's worth. For example, if you're bearish iPad mini, you might have latched onto survey results that made the rounds earlier this month.
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