OK, says Blodget, Apple may be rich, but so was BlackBerry. That would be a warning to take seriously if the facts sustained it. But the former Research in Motion didn't collapse because someone brought out a smartphone with a bigger screen. It failed because BlackBerry completely and repeatedly missed the point of having a smartphone: first the mobile Web, and now apps. Show me a comparable, business-fatal mistake made by Apple and I'll listen.
Another favorite argument of the naysayers: Apple has lost market share. Well, of course it has. First-mover advantages in technology are always fleeting. That's how it should be. After the iPhone's success, I can't imagine anything other than what happened: lots of companies jumping in to pursue the mobile gold Apple showed was there. Though Apple's share of the mobile market has declined, it's still the big kahuna of the bottom line, with 57 percent of the industry's profits, while Samsung snags the remaining 43 percent, says analyst T. Michael Walkley of Canaccord Genuity.
The A7 is a game changer
What about the lack of innovation we hear so much about? After all, the iPhone 5s doesn't look all that different from the iPhone 5. "But there's more to innovation than the size of the screen," says Chowdhry, who went from fairly negative on Apple earlier this year to quite positive now. What changed his mind? The 64-bit A7 processor, a chip that runs roughly 44 percent faster than its 32-bit predecessor.
Because Apple manages both the development of the A7 chip and the compilers and development tools within Xcode, developers can easily take advantage of new hardware and instruction set efficiencies when they recompile their apps to run on the A7. As 64-bit apps roll out, says Chowdhry, users will see significant benefits in four critical categories: video, sound, imaging, and games.
It's worth noting that Apple-bashing is nothing new, says longtime industry analyst and Apple watcher Horace Dediu: "No matter how many breakthroughs it makes, the assumption is (and has always been) that there will never be another. At this point of time, as at all other points of time in the past, no activity by Apple has been seen as sufficient for its survival."
Dediu's comment appeared in the post "Apple under siege" by Jean-Louis Gassée, a former Apple executive. Gassée sums up his argument this way:
I recently experienced a small epiphany: I think the never-ending worry about Apple's future is a good thing for the company. Look at what happened to those who were on top and became comfortable with their place under the sun: Palm, BlackBerry, Nokia. ... With that in mind, one can almost appreciate the doomsayers -- well, some of them. They might very well save Apple from becoming inebriated with its prestige and instead force the company to remember, two years later and counting, how it won it.
Gassée may be right that the constant criticism will keep Apple from getting complacent, acting as a proxy for the relentless drive to do more that Steve Jobs embodied now that he is dead. But that criticism all too often is over the top, and it too frequently fools investors, buyers, and other people who don't evaluate Apple every day. That's maybe an even bigger threat to Apple than anything, especially if it makes the mistake of listening to it too much.
This article, "Why the pundits are wrong, wrong, wrong about Apple," was originally published by InfoWorld.com. Read more of Bill Snyder's Tech's Bottom Line blog and follow the latest technology business developments at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.