Here’s the funny thing about Apple’s earnings report from last night: No matter what you thought of the company, the report can easily justify your opinion.
It’s the ultimate “Rashomon” report. “Rashomon” is an old Japanese movie in which several people see the same thing and all describe it differently.
How does it apply to Apple?
Do you think Tim Cook is mismanaging Apple? Well, revenue was up only 4.6%, and the iPad business was down 16%.
Are you wildly bullish on Apple? Well, the iPhone was up 17% and way ahead of expectations. And Apple easily crushed expectations on the top and the bottom lines. The stock is up 9% this morning, justifying your bullishness.
Are you the sort of person who thinks Apple’s iPhone business is in trouble if doesn’t lower prices? Well, on the earnings call, Apple management mentioned the iPhone 4S seven times and the iPhone 5S zero times. Couple that with the fact that the iPhone’s average selling price was down $US41 on a quarter-to-quarter basis, the biggest drop ever, and it seems as if the low-cost iPhone 4S was driving sales. And that suggests Apple should be lowering prices.
Do you think lowering iPhone prices is a mistake? Well, you’re in luck, because Apple hasn’t lowered prices and it’s still selling boatloads of iPhones. You can easily argue that Apple should just stay the course.
Are you the sort of person who thinks Apple is doomed? You’re a silly person, and you’ll spin the results how you want.