But strong sales of reiterations of existing product lines only tell part of the story. If iTV does not knock the public's socks off, it will plant the seed that Apple's future might not be so bright. And at day's end, isn't that the reason why AAPL has stagnated? There are concerns about the company's ability to out-innovate going forward.Simply put, AAPL bulls, for months, have underestimated the loss of Steve Jobs. I know they're sick of hearing that, but it's the elephant in the room. It has been for some time. That became apparent when Tim Cook caved on the dividend and rumors began to swirl that Apple might, against Jobs's better judgment, release a mini version of iPad. Consider the trend here. Don't discount it. Don't ignore it. While still superior to the competition, the gap between Apple and everybody else continues to close in the Tim Cook era.
Last week, in 3 Stocks to Sell If They Crash on Earnings, I urged caution ahead of Apple's report, in part because of the iPhone transition, however, I added: