During 2013, a lot of analysts fretted that Apple was losing its edge in the tablet market. A November survey from Changewave shows 72% of tablet buyers this Christmas intend to buy iPads. That's up from 55% in the summer survey. Ho-ho-ho!
While there remain naysayers on Apple, you won't find many on our staff. As Rocco Pendola told us in September, the negative media on Apple was false. He was right.
Under CEO Tim Cook, Apple is about as transparent as Alan Greenspan's Federal Reserve. It doesn't respond to rumors. It doesn't respond to competitors. It acts and makes competitors respond to it.
Even before its latest run of success, Apple was by far the most profitable name in the mobile technology game. This led many analysts, including this reporter, to write that Apple was letting Google (GOOG) and its Android do to its mobile products exactly what it had let Microsoft (MSFT) Windows do to its PCs 20 years ago -- seize the market with a more open platform.But this is not 1989. All players source their products in pretty much the same way, through contracts with Chinese suppliers and assembly companies. There is no bottleneck on Apple quality and Apple design. While there is a premium paid for Apple products, most of that premium goes to the bottom line. Apple's financial strength lets it dominate the channel from its source to its end, in the consumer's hand. Let me conclude with some full disclosure. I missed the last big move in Apple, the one that took it to $700 per share during the summer of 2012. I started buying on the dip, which turned into the collapse, and I kept buying until, this summer, Apple represented more than 10% of my retirement portfolio. I could say I knew it all along, but I was playing a hunch. Apple's volatility was created in part by its size. Getting a substantial stake meant committing a lot of any firm's capital to the stock, and the fall in late 2012 showed that to be risky. You don't want to place all your bets on one horse. That's why I call it a "widows and orphans" stock. It's something you need to own a little of for security, not a lot of for speculation. Apple's price will fluctuate from here. It will go down as well as up. But I think it will mostly go up. Like GM, back in the day.
At the time of publication the author owned shares of AAPL and GOOG.
Follow @danablankenhorn This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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