After Apple’s stock plummeted last summer and appeared headed down the drain, its resurgence has been nothing short of amazing. It seemed everyone had written a eulogy for the company, saying Apple is only a phone hardware company and nothing else.
Today, the stock is flirting with all-time highs. Since the beginning of 2017, it’s up a whopping 16% or so, making it the biggest company in the world, worth well over $600 billion.
Why Apple is slowly blowing away the competition
Apple has three things going for it that others do not. One is a cult following, which is incredibly hard to replicate.
Two is design. It produces the sleekest and most user-friendly devices around. It’s often not the first to do so, but it excels at re-engineering other products.
Many people – not just traders – still look at the company as a phone hardware company. If you strictly go by sales figures, you would mostly be correct. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, a device that the late Steve Jobs said would revolutionize society. Indeed, it has.
But what about the first mover? That would be Blackberry, formerly known as Research in Motion (RIMM). Before the iPhone came on the scene, if you had a smartphone, it was a Blackberry.
Three, Apple may be late to the party, but when it sees an opportunity, it pounces. As smartphone functionality changed and demand for services and apps increased, Apple saw an opening. Blackberry once was riding high, complete with a large market share. Today, Blackberry is barely holding on and is probably more of an acquisition candidate. But then, who wants to compete with Apple?
Another example: Fitbit. I have been a big Fitbit fan for years, wearing mine every day to count steps, track sleep, etc. Well, after six years, I retired my Fitbit in exchange for an Apple Watch, which I cannot take off my wrist! It does everything Fitbit does and more, so why would I need my Fitbit?
I’m not the only one. Fitbit’s stock is down 90% (or so) from its all-time highs. It’s getting strangled by Apple. Another casualty? Fossil. This stock is down about 70% from its highs. Again, Apple was late to the party, but its product wins.
What’s next for Apple?
Watch out Netflix, Amazon and Hulu! These three companies have blazed a fast trail, but now it looks like Apple is getting into original programming with movie and TV content. It’s getting a late start, but as always, its products will make an impact.