A brief look at today's trading chart for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is a study in misery. The company, which put up an all-time high of more than $705 a share in September, has spent today ticking off one new low after another below a prior level of $435.
There are some reasons for the debacle. Competitor Samsung will introduce its new Galaxy S4 smartphone later this month, well before Apple is expected to refresh the iPhone. And if last year is any indication, purchases of current iPhone models will slow down considerably as the launch date for the new phone gets closer.
The company's iPad mini continues to outsell the iPad and the best selling model is the WiFi-only version, which is cheaper than the 4G-enabled version. Competing products from Samsung, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) are also cutting into sales somewhat.
Many see this as the end of Apple's run at the summit of publicly traded U.S. companies. Unless the company can come up with the next big thing, it has nowhere to go but down is the thinking. But given Apple's success at introducing products that no one even thought were needed - iPods, iPhones, iPads - writing off the creative potential of the company due to the loss of co-founder Steve Jobs is way too easy.
A new iGadget may not come along this year or even next, and it would be a mistake to write off a proven batch of creative technology wizards. Notoriously impatient investors may not be willing to wait, but the company's cash hoard could see it through a lot of product development plays. That's why Jobs and Cook built the pile in the first place.
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Consumer Electronics, HI/LOW, PC Companies Tagged: AMZN, APPL, featured, GOOG