5. Apple TV and the iWatch may not be runaway hits.
SICA Wealth Management Founder and CIO Jeffrey Sica doesn't see much corporate enthusiasm for the Apple TV and the upcoming iWatch. That signals to him that the company might not see the products as having the growth potential many would expect. The products are still developed and supported by Apple only because the consumer tech giant wants to keep an arsenal of products available to its core consumer base.
"Apple is not showing any building excitement for the Apple TV and an Apple iWatch, which makes me believe that these products don't have the potential people expect," Sica said.
Apple TV generated more than $1 billion in revenue for Apple in 2013, but that pales in comparison to what the other iDevices are doing, so it's fair to say that the future of the product may not be a runaway hit. However, Cook has been adamant that Apple is interested in doing more with television, though those plans aren't exactly clear.
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Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty has put some public projections on what the iWatch could do for Apple in terms of revenue, and while it's likely to be bigger than the iPhone or the iPad in its first year, that's coming off a much, much larger fan base.
"Our working assumption is that iWatch will largely be adopted as an accessory device and therefore sold into the existing customer base like the iPad rather than to new customers like the iPod or iPhone," Huberty wrote in a Feb. research note about Apple. "Assuming an ASP of $299 and Apple customer base penetration rate similar to the iPad, we see up to $17.5B of revenue in the first 12 months compared to $12B for the iPad and $2.5B for the iPhone."
4. Samsung is a bigger threat than Apple wants to admit.
The battle between Apple and Samsung, the largest competitor to Apple for hardware, has been going on for years. The companies have been locked in patent lawsuits over software, though some have speculated that Apple's gripes should actually be with Google (GOOG - Get Report), and less with Samsung.
"The Apple lawsuits against Samsung brought a lot of attention to Samsung products," Sica said in an interview. "If Apple is suing Samsung for copying their technology, then why would I, the consumer, spend $500 on the Apple product instead of the $100 on a Samsung phone?"
Apple's legal actions against Samsung have backfired by drawing attention to the fact that a virtually identical product to the iPhone can be bought for less money. Unless they are a die-hard Apple fan, consumers are considering this when browsing for smartphones.
On earnings calls, CEO Cook has made reference to Samsung as being Apple's biggest competitor on the hardware side. "And of course, today, our tough competitor from a hardware point of view would be Samsung and married to Google on the operating system side," Cook said in April 2013, when discussing Apple's fiscal second-quarter results.