While Apple has been extracting value for shareholders, investors have been switching allegiance to Facebook (FB - Get Report), whose shares have doubled in value over the last year, while shares in Apple are up by just 31%.
Facebook now trades at a price-to-earnings multiple of 71. Its year-over-year sales growth of 70% has been achieved with rising margins, which are now as good as Apple's own. Facebook also lives in the Internet core, while Apple's devices run at the Internet edge, so it can change itself at a relatively low cost.
There are said to be five stages of fame, just like there are five stages of grief. Who's Apple, get me Apple, get me someone like Apple, get me a young Apple, and who's Apple?
Facebook recently bought Oculus Rift, makers of a virtual reality headset, for $2 billion. So Apple responds by buying Beats Music, started by an aging hip-hop artist, for $3.2 billion. Get me a young Apple indeed.
If placing those stories side-by-side makes Apple sound like a bald, aging man going through the middle aged crazies, that's precisely the point. Yes, I own Apple shares. But next year I turn 60, and I'm not pretending that 60 is the new 30.
At the time of publication the author owned shares of AAPL.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.