Apple doesn't have to answer to anybody. Not about innovation. Not about how it allocates its capital. And certainly not about how much of that cash it returns to shareholders. You don't like the company's strategy, buy another stock. I hear Intel ( INTC - Get Report) looks pretty "cheap" right now with a "juicy" 4.2% yield. Heck, Microsoft ( MSFT - Get Report) and Hewlett Packard ( HPQ - Get Report) -- they're doing some real exciting stuff. And they're both "bargains," yielding 3.3% and 3.2%, respectively.
If you can't understand it without an explanation, you can't understand it with an explanation.The MBA-types are beside themselves. They can't make sense of what Apple's doing. You have people coming on CNBC and elsewhere applying whatever some freaking textbook taught them and concluding that Apple should do this with X much cash and yield Y percent based on Z. Because that's what the formula says. Anything else just can't be. It's not possible. They can't deal with anything outside of their boring, lukewarm comfort zone. These guys are bean counters. And, when it comes to Apple and companies anything like Apple, the beaners have irrelevant and outdated opinions. Sometimes things just don't make sense. They don't shake out in the real world the way you learned them in school. Apple doesn't play by the rules. Never has. Shouldn't now. It's not just a case of Apple being Apple because Apple can. It's part of a much more complicated mystique.
When a company does what Apple has done since it introduced the iPod, it deserves to play by a completely different set of seemingly nonsensical rules. Like Cramer said last night on CNBC's "Mad Money": Apple deserves our patience.