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It's No Longer Steve Jobs' Apple

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - I'm a long-time Apple (AAPL - Get Report) shareholder, which by definition, automatically makes me a "permabull."

But for my appreciation of quality products I've also learned to accept "Apple fanboy," which has become the most popular and yet tired description. It's a badge of honor worn by anyone who dares to state publicly that he or she likes Apple.

However, unlike those who have a profound hatred for Apple for no reason other than the fact that it's become a popular thing to do, I can change my mind. I have logic on my side. Logic says that Apple is in transition. It began when Steve Jobs died. As an investor, it's foolish to not embrace this change and adjust your expectations, regardless of how difficult this mental changeover may be.

Let's recall it's been two full quarters since Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook, stated publicly that Apple is "not a hardware company." He didn't say this once, but twice. Cook, who has become a popular punching bag, also said that "there are other things we (Apple) are doing and could do to have revenue and have profit flow." What Cook understands is that a "new Apple" is coming, and what is leaving is the overreliance on hardware.
[Read: <a target="blank" data-add-tracking="true" href="http://www.thestreet.com/story/12003784/1/i-dont-believe-steve-jobs-wanted-tim-cook-to-be-apple-ceo"><em>I Don't Believe Steve Jobs Wanted Tim Cook to Be Apple CEO</em></a>]

In other words, unlike BlackBerry (BBRY) or Nokia (NOK), buying an Apple product only begins the sales process, it's not the end. There was a point when Apple relied solely on the strength of its Mac sales. The company's "core" was fueled by strong unit shipments of its iPods, iPads and iPhones. It would only rely on its famous ecosystem to help spur hardware growth.

According to Cook, those days are over.

Going forward, it is services that will drive Apple's growth and margins. But Apple bears refuse to accept this. Nor does it seem that this new reality matters to those who are constantly calling for Tim Cook's head. These pundits, meanwhile, pretend to be experts, as if they know better. They've even gone as far as proclaiming themselves "the voice" from Steve Jobs' grave -- talking about matters that they don't really understand. But the fact of the matter is, this is no longer Steve Jobs' Apple. That's right, I've said it.
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