Is Wall Street too stupid to understand Apple and the iPhone?

Wall Street analysts seem to think that 'peak iPhone' is here, but are they just too dumb to understand Apple and its iPhone?


Apple recently released its latest earnings report, and the Web was immediately flooded with click-bait headlines about iPhone sales being in decline, etc. If you went by the headlines and Wall Street analyst comments, you'd think that the iPhone was a dead product and that Apple as a company is doomed (for the umpteenth million time).

But isn't it really just a case of Wall Street not understanding Apple and the iPhone? This question came up on a recent thread in the Apple subreddit, and redditors pulled no punches in their assessment of Wall Street's take on Apple and the iPhone.

I'll share my thoughts below, but here's a sampling of comments from the Reddit thread:

Regeya: ”Wall Street is always crazy. For example, the very second that personal computer sales started to slow, the PC was "dead". Nevermind that the PC market is still way bigger than it was in the 90s, or that mobile devices and cloud services can't completely replace personal computers, it's dead. Just be thankful they haven't figured out yet that Macs are personal computers.”

2ignoma: ”It's like Wall Street doesn't look at the absolute value, they look at the first derivative instead, that's why something not growing, even if it's not growing because it's already at the top, is not seen as a good thing, therefor a bad thing.”

Neoform: ”Some context: Apple expects to make $50-53B in revenue after setting a record breaking quarter. Yes, $50B is less than the $74.6B they just got... but it's still $50 billion...

It's amazing that anyone would spin this to be terrible news...

You get the impression wallstreet thinks a company like Apple can somehow set new records every quarter forever, and if they don't, they're doomed to failure.”

Pig-newtons: ”Happy news doesn't sell and when you're a dying media outlet you need drama. Wall Street analysts contribute nothing to society. They're often wrong too. I'm not sure why anyone takes them seriously. I did most people don't actually but everyone thinks what they read on their favourite website represents the world's view.”

MrVociferous: ”Its not dying, its just reached saturation. And the performance upgrades from 2 year-old devices to new ones aren't as alluring as they used to be so people don't upgrade as quick.”

DanSundberg: ”Literally the first time I hear "iPhone is dying". Doesn't apple have like a record in record sales breaking? I think it was the year before the Apple Watch was released when everybody swore Apple sales would go down for the first time ever and then BOOM!... they open the market in China, and now that's their second biggest market.”

iwriteaboutthings: ”It's not dying, but they probably won't get a pop like the iPhone 6 ever again. To some degree, they should hope not. The iPhone 6 pop came from the huge pent up demand for a bigger screen, which Apple * was late * on. The consumer trends clearly favored bigger screens, but Apple had been sticking to smaller screens. When they released, they essentially recaptured some consumers who wanted to be on Apple, but wanted the bigger screen. It also probably got a of people to update earlier, since it was so desired, pulling demand back from this year .

Maybe some new technology or design will cause cause this to happen again, but it's hard to see something that would have quite the same consumer appeal. (I.E. Instantly understandable by everyday consumers, easy to show off to friends and having a direct impact on every moment someone uses the device).

The only thing I can immediately think of is if Apple was able to say double or triple battery life in a single generation while maintaining / decreasing the size of the device.”

More at Reddit

As you can tell from the comments, there's some real cynicism among Apple redditors about Wall Street and its motives. And the technology media itself is also viewed with suspicion by many Apple customers, particularly those who own iPhones.

I've tuned out Wall Street and much of the technology press

I learned years ago to tune out the Wall Street blowhards, and also to take everything said about Apple in the technology press with a huge grain of salt. Wall Street constantly seems to set unrealistic expectations for Apple, and much of the technology media is desperate for ad revenue so there's a constant flow of click-bait headlines designed to attract readers at all costs.

So anybody who is interested in Apple needs to bear all of this in mind. If you see Apple through the prism of Wall Street or a lot of the technology media, you might think that the company is on its last legs and will soon enter bankruptcy. Yes, the "analysts" and "journalists" are really that bad in their coverage and predictions a lot of the time.

So take it all with a huge grain of salt if you must pay attention to any of it. But the best thing to do is to simply ignore most of the blather completely, and just continue to enjoy Apple's products and services.

The iPhone 7 will be a big hit with Apple's customers

As far as iPhone sales go, Apple is on the usual tick-tock cycle. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were the tick, and the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were the tock. There was huge demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus since they were the first larger iPhones. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are basically tweaked versions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with updated hardware and some additional software features.

The next really big thing in terms of iPhone sales will be the iPhone 7. The Web is already filled with rumors that it will have a new form factor that doesn't include a 3.5mm headphone jack, and that it will be lighter and thinner than the current iPhones. It may also have a more advanced camera, among other possible hardware improvements.

And when the iPhone 7 is released, iPhone sales will probably soar once again as many people upgrade from older iPhones. Wall Street and the technology media will likely give a slight nod toward the increased iPhone sales, and then they'll flood the web again with more ridiculous predictions of "peak iPhone" and hint that Apple is doomed.

Some things never change.

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