Before I rise to make a point about the systematically bad coverage of Caterpillar ( CAT), we all know that Apple ( AAPL) reports after the market closes today, so let's have a moment of fun with it.
At best, Apple shareholders are a vocal bunch. At worst, they are too emotionally involved, boosters instead of the cold analysts they should be. Whatever the case, more than 500 readers (many of them Apple holders) responded when I ran my Apple jelly bean jar contest to guess how many iPhones the company had sold in its first two days on the shelves. The goal of this was to have fun and also to test whether the wild guessing power of regular folks was better than that of professional prognosticators (i.e. professional wild guessers). Though I was hoping to pander to the regular folks by declaring them winners, fact was you were high. Now, a new contest. Email me the date that Apple will announce having sold its 2 millionth iPhone. Will it be today? The 10th of Never? Remember, this is the date of the announcement, not the sale. And to you boosters -- if it comes with continued price cuts, it doesn't count for as much. But, guess away.