Ben Chu: Not such a bad Apple

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The Independent Online

Outlook It's an urban myth that Apple's logo was inspired by the cyanide-laced piece of fruit that Alan Turing bit into when he committed suicide. But investors have, nevertheless, been reacting to the California technology giant's stock in recent months as if it were just as poisonous. The share price has surrendered 44 per cent since hitting $702 last September. And there was much complaining this week when Apple revealed its first fall in profits for a decade. "The market is tired of the same old thing at Apple," said one analyst.

This seems over the top. Of course investors need to look at future earnings potential, rather than past achievements. But that doesn't make those investors rational in their judgements. There has been a gap of three to six years between Apple's breakthroughs of the past decade. The iPod was launched in 2001. The iPhone was unveiled in 2007. The iPad first appeared in 2010. Don't Tim Cook and his team deserve a bit more time to come up with a new innovation?

There was plainly a bubble in Apple shares last year. Now investors feel duped. And the advisers who hyped the stock need a scapegoat. The supposedly ideas-free management will do. Granted, Apple has made a rod for its own back with its self-important and grandiose product launches. But who bought into that hoopla? Apple hasn't become a bad company simply because investors lost their heads last year.