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Apple Fanatics, Bulls and Bears: A 2013 Preview for All

If he comes through in Jobsian fashion, fantastic. If not, you have to have a handle on the contingency plan for not only continued success, but, more importantly, continued dominance.

You see how tough it is for AAPL to maintain anything that even resembles a lofty level. That's because there's a confidence problem. That's why AAPL sells off, but (AMZN - Get Report) does not.

After the holiday numbers come in, we'll need to find a way to assess demand for the remainder for 2013, acting as if there's nothing revolutionary set to burst from the pipeline. Up until the past few months, Apple has been excellent at providing a bridge between new products. That didn't happen, to some extent, last quarter.

If iPad mini and iPhone 5 provide blowout holiday numbers, can they continue to sell through January-February-March 2013 to maintain the momentum. That's a huge question. You can't ignore it.

Acquisitions. I expect Apple to pony up in 2013. Twitter. Foursquare. Yelp. Or, almost as likely, something completely and totally out of nowhere.

Lots of people think Apple will make a social-related purchase. Makes sense, and, while it might happen, it's too obvious.

We're going to see something else. Maybe plenty of something else. And it's going to have to do with Apple taking as much of its supply chain in house as it can. Buying a big chip company or some other type of wide-ranging component supplier. Or both. Count on it.

No matter how any of this shakes out. And whether AAPL's stock approaches and passes all-time highs, one thing is most certain. If Apple slips, it will be of its own doing. There's no meaningful competition on the horizon.

Research in Motion (RIMM). Please. Hewlett Packard (HPQ). You really must be joking. Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report). Surely you can't be serious!

These companies cannot win in the consumer space and, if anything, Apple has already conquered them or is stealing share in the enterprise.

Google (GOOG). Give me a break. Amazon. Same thing.

You don't beat Apple in a price war.

Hopefully somebody steps up. If nobody does, it will still be entertaining, but not quite as fun as it was watching Apple compete with itself in 2012.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
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