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TheStreet Open House

Why Does the Peanut Gallery Hate Apple?

Stocks in this article: AAPLGOOGAMZNMSFTRIMM

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- On Friday, I published a wildly popular column: "Apple Loses if It Beats Itself."

It continues to receive thousands of page views. I reckon that's because it conveys a public consensus that many other writers refuse to reflect.

Apple (AAPL) stock continues to struggle despite the the obvious reality that this company has zero meaningful competition. Yet the media pump the hysterical notion that Apple has lost its edge. Maybe it will, but in the current environment, that's irrelevant.

A reader pointed out on Twitter that not one comment on my column supported me; they all attacked me.

Let's make a few things clear out of the gate.

First, the major criticisms of my article from what amounts to a peanut gallery:

  • Google's (GOOG) war on price makes sense as a way to distribute its Web services.
  • Google's Android is outpacing iOS worldwide.
  • Apple wins with consumers because of a "first to market approach." (That's a head-scratcher, I know.)
  • The author -- me -- is an idiot iSheep who does no research and has no idea what he's talking about.

I will address these points shortly.

But first, the column, as I write this follow-up, had received about 30 comments. I won't even account for the fact that several people commented more than once, making it more like 25 or so comments. But, based on the overall readership of the column, rough math reveals that about 0.015% of the audience commented on it.

That's hardly a landslide; it's what we have come to know as a "peanut gallery." The Urban Dictionary provides a definition:

The term originated back in the theatre, where the cheapest seats were those way at the bottom floor and where people purchased peanuts because they were the cheapest snack. If they disapproved of the performance, they would throw the peanuts.

The peanut gallery response on AAPL reminds me of the way Research In Motion (RIMM) bulls countered -- feebly -- when their company was crashing.

The random peanut gallery members who think Microsoft (MSFT) belongs in a conversation about competition with Apple should read this short, but excellent Businessweek piece on MSFT as the "classic value trap." The RIMM permabull of 2011 is the new MSFT permabull of 2012-2013.

I invite anybody who claims I do not do "research" to come sit with me in my office as I work 12 to 16 hours a day. Just because I do not regurgitate the same numbers everybody else uses or come to the same conclusions does not mean I do not do research.

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