Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 23rd Jan 2013 22:09 UTC
Apple "Apple Inc reported quarterly revenue that slightly missed Wall Street expectations as sales of its flagship iPhone came in below target, sending its shares down more than 4 percent. The world's largest technology company shipped 47.8 million iPhones, lower than the roughly 50 million that Wall Street analysts had predicted. Sales of the iPad came in at 22.9 million in the fiscal first quarter, about in line with forecasts." I'll leave the financials to the experts, but one thing that stood out to me: Apple sold 4.2 million Macs, almost a million below expectations. How much of a future does desktop computing have at Apple? Update: The NYT/Reuters changed the title during the night. Fixed it.
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Stock Exchange vs. Astroturfing
by poliorcetes on Fri 25th Jan 2013 08:47 UTC
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On the one hand, Traders don't care if they are playing with apples, pears or oil. They just observe how any concrete share is going, invest on it if it seems to have good perspective and wait for the sweet moment of selling it, harversting as much as benefit as possible. It is always the same. Some shares grow quickly and attract a lot of attention and investments... until they overheat. As a share skyrockets, money grows coward and coward until at some moment the more advised traders start to sell. No big news

On the other hand, Apple visibility is huge. It's not by chance or even because the brand is fashionable. No, there have also had a very long astroturfing campaign in films and media. It's amazing when you realize it: in a lot of films or documentaries you can see Apples used by positive characters. The other day I watched "Anatomy of a dinosaur", with paleontologist using Macs everywhere... until some of them have to show 3D renderings of an hadrosaurus running, and they were using a specific piece of software running on Windows XP. Just an example, of course no big news too.

And there is the spice: CRI-SIS. We haven't exit the crisis of 2008, and indeed it is worsening after a relative stop. People don't buy PC because they are at the very end of their adoption curve, and because they want to save money too. Money is more coward than ever, and it is affecting a brand who offers premium products at premium prices for a computer. You have to be quite rich for adquiring a BMW Z4, but you don't need to be so prosperous for buying a Mac. As Apple is more and more popular, the brand detachs itself from exclusivity.

There, when there is a clash between standard stock market behaviour and astroturfing and such clash is tuned by crisis, the result is quite clear. Indeed, the only interesting question for me is not if, but when: when Apple stock is going to return to reasonable price (200? 150?) or when it is going to recover its prior niche position outside of USA. It is indeed laughable that AAPL doubles market capitalization of some of the biggest oil companies, if you compare oil with PC and gadgets.

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