Growing issues and concerns for Apple
Apple, in the eyes of investors, can do no wrong. When the first iPhone came out, it took the entire market by surprise and sent most smartphone makers back to their drawing boards, more than once. Between then and now, we've seen some huge threats disappear, and some new enemies emerge - namely, Samsung.
Samsung aren't Apple's only threat as a smartphone maker, but we also have Google with its competing mobile operating system, Android. iOS was at the top of the playground for a while, but Android has really come into its own and there are a growing number of people tiring of Apple's mobile OS.
This is where the issues come into play for Apple. We've seen shares go from $422 to $700 in a 12 month period, but where to from here? Can Apple hit $1000 per share? No, I don't think so.
Analysts had Apple pegged at selling eight to ten million iPhone 5's in the first week of sale, but Apple managed to only sell five million. This should ring alarm bells for everyone concerned. I had begun writing this late last week, and came back to it on Wednesday of this week, where Apple shares have dropped even more, from $661 per share to $638. This is huge - for a company that just released its biggest product ever, this can only be seen as a negative thing.
The issues that Apple created with the iPhone 5 are huge - Maps, purple haze, share prices, analysts' expectations, consumer expectations, losses of sales to Samsung, increasing legal battles and less expenditure on research and development. Apple has spent more in the last two years on legal battles than they have on research and development - this should also ring huge alarm bells.
Apple ditched Google Maps in favor of its own Maps app with iOS 6 and it has received some very negative press, with customers just not happy with Apple's decision. There's a purple haze issue with the camera on the iPhone 5, with Apple Support claiming that it's not an issue, and nothing to worry about.
Do you see the trend that is expanding quickly? The iPhone 5 is receiving negative press, has issues, and didn't sell well - for a company who has been seemingly invincible until now, this is something that everyone should be watching.
In order for Apple to continue toward $1000 per share, they need to sell more iPhone's. In order to sell more iPhone's one of three things needs to happen. The iPhone 5 needs to be the undisputed champion of smartphones - which it's not.
There needs to not be any increased pressure from competitors, but there are already better phones on the market than the iPhone 5 and there are plenty of feature-packed smartphones coming out in the next couple of months. This isn't even taking into consideration next-gen Android handsets that will surely be released early next year.
And finally, there needs to not be any huge changes in the financial markets or economies of the world. Once people begin to feel panicked about the state of the world, they won't want to invest more money into a consumer-driven company like Apple. Consumers will also stop buying iDevices, which would cause Apple shares to drop, and once this starts happening, people will want to sell their shares, and the price would continue to skydive.
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