Is this the coincidence of the century or a sign of things to
come? Thursday evening, Apple (NASDAQ:
) announced that it was no longer the indestructible stalwart
that created the MacBook, iPod and iPhone. While the company is
still enormously successful (and has a ton of cash on hand),
Apple showed signs of weakness as it struggled to live up to
Apple's biggest mistake may have been its decision to update
the iPad (not once, but twice) this year with only minor tweaks
and improvements. While many praised the newly-added Retina
Display, opening weekend sales were
and overall sales were
. The company recently bragged that it sold more than 100 million
iPads worldwide, but that did not prevent the firm from
of investor expectations.
Investors might have expected too much. Even Apple is willing
to admit that the future is not as bright as some had believed.
According to Tej Singh, the Managing Director of Technology
Research at Global Equities Research, Apple lowered guidance by a
significant margin. "FY1Q'2013 [is] at $52 billion and EPS at
$11.75, which is significantly lower [than] consensus at $55.15
billion and $15.59, respectively," Singh wrote in a note.
This is disappointing (if not surprising) news for a company
that just unveiled a long list of new products, including the
long-awaited iPad Mini
Not surprisingly, Apple took a hit in after-hours trading
Thursday evening. At the same time, thousands of consumers were
to get their hands on Windows 8, an operating system that
promises to deliver the next revolution in personal and
professional computing. At midnight, these eager consumers
got what they wanted
It might be nothing more than a coincidence, but one cannot
help but notice the irony of this situation. Not that long ago,
Apple was thought to be the future of the tech industry. It was a
company that could do no wrong -- a firm that would rise above
the competition and deliver an unprecedented level of value to
its investors. For many months, Apple did just that. Now that
) threatened to stop Apple from conquering the industry, the Mac
maker is taking a hit.
Realistically, the Windows 8 launch could not possibly be
responsible for Apple's declines. The company has been headed
south for quite some time. After a record-breaking 2011, Apple
could not excel any longer. The same thing has happened to
), Sony (NYSE:
) and numerous other tech companies. It was inevitable that the
iPhone maker would suffer the same fate.
That said, Windows 8 has been in the works for a long time.
Consumers have known of its impending release for several months.
So it is not crazy to think that Microsoft may have persuaded
consumers to hold off on buying a Mac until after Windows 8 was
released. Once they see and touch the new OS themselves, they
might be persuaded to buy a Windows 8 machine instead.
It could be a few days (or weeks) before Microsoft announces
any sales figures for the newest version of Windows. Until then,
Apple is likely to continue disappointing investors as it
attempts to build the next big thing.
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
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