Despite how cheap Carl Icahn believes shares of Apple are, institutions don't share the same opinion. If they do, they're demanding more proof that Apple is indeed the no-brainer investment Icahn claims.
[Read: Here's Why Apple's Shares May Soon Soar]
There are no shortages of opinion about what ails Apple. The company is coming off a quarter where it sold 51 million iPhones (a company record) while analysts are busy dissecting what Apple must do to avert death. By contrast, BlackBerry (BBRY) sells less than 2 million devices and everyone's applauding its revival. It's absurd.
Everyone is chiming in about what CEO Tim Cook should/must do to resuscitate Apple's growth. It's as if Cook doesn't already have an idea.Yes, the competition from Samsung (SSNLF) and Google (GOOG) has caught up to Apple in smartphones and tablets. But these critics are quick to forget some simple rules. First, mobile devices become a commodity sooner or later. When this happens, the devices get hit hard with weak average selling prices. This is especially true to those on the high-end, the market in which Apple operates. In some respect, low ASPs have also hurt Samsung and even budget-friendly devices from Lenovo (LNVGY). As far as many analysts were concerned, these headwinds were material to Apple and no one else. By focusing on Apple's perceived deficits, with no counter glance at the company's future, The Street is sometimes convinced that Apple's run is over. But the company that's going to survive is the one that can design, build and deliver products to customers at the most appealing cost structures. Who besides Apple has been able to perfect these qualities? Barclay's analyst Ben Reitzes disagrees.
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