Steve Jobs did a great job of putting "antennagate" into proper perspective. As we officially put this in the rear view mirror I have three parting shots:
Traditional Media Outlets Duped
The wild west of the blogosphere had a few isolated reports of iPhone 4 antenna issues and then
released a suspect report that was contrary to majority experience and big media everywhere jumped on board. False perception overtook reality.
Kudos to Jobs for putting the small minority in its place. Big media outlets should have done a better job of filtering this news for their customers.
Actual statistics show 0.55% of iPhone 4 users have called AppleCare to complain about antenna issues and only 1.7% of buyers have returned the phone. The media created a crisis that did not exist as I explained in
iPhone 4 Sales May Hit 20 Million Units For Quarter
Antennagate will not hinder sales at all. On July 30, 17 new countries receive the phone and later this fall another 60 countries will be on line. The big question is how will Apple meet the demand?
In the U.S., consumers still wait two to three weeks before getting their phone's. The iPhone 4 had the largest sales opening of any smartphone in tech history and has already sold over 3 million units. The current quarter promises to be Apple's first to crack the 10 million units sold threshold.
International sales could propel the holiday quarter to crack the 15 million units sold threshold. And if
get's the iPhone in 2011, Apple could have a 20 million iPhone unit quarter. Do you think the stock will remain at the $250 level if Apple sell's 20 million iPhone's in a single quarter?
Future sales of the iPhone alone, not taking into account the success of the Mac and iPad lineup, will push the stock toward our $500 a share forecast.
Free Bumper Promotion Inconsequential to Apple's Bottom Line
This is when $45 billion of cash comes in handy. The company is so profitable because the executive/engineering team is so good at what they do.
Nexus One came out without any customer service.
are delaying production of a Tablet because they can't get the touch screen operating system to work.
Research in Motion
( RIMM) still can't get the touch screen to work right on the smartphone.
These other companies are great in their own way but none of them offer a collective ecosystem of seamless software/hardware integration like Apple. Consumers are fiercely loyal to the company with good reason.
The bottom line is that sentiment is important for investors to gauge in the short run but in the long run it all comes back to fundamentals. I'd like to watch Steve Jobs give a press conference in which he presents the fundamentals of Apple's current earnings along with the future growth forecasts as compared to competing companies in the tech sector.
Does Wall Street need Steve Jobs to tell them everything?
At the time of publication, Schwarz was long Apple.
Jason Schwarz is an option strategist for Lone Peak Asset Management in Westlake Village, Calif. He is also the founder of the popular investment newsletter available at www.economictiming.com. Over the past few years, Schwarz has gained acclaim for his market calls on the price of oil, Bank of America, Apple, E*Trade, and his precision investing in S&P 500 option LEAPS. His book, The Alpha Hunter, is set to be released by McGraw Hill in December 2009.