SAI contributor Howard Lindzon is a Phoenix-based venture capitalist and entrepreneur. He has run a hedge fund for 11 years and is a partner in Biltmore Ventures. Recently, he founded Wallstrip, which was purchased by CBS in June. He blogs at howardlindzon.com.
This is not a negative piece on Apple, but a reminder about the end value of Apple as a stock.
The Apple stores rock, and, in the end, Apple could sell crap in a box and the wave will continue (Actually they did sell crap in a box–it’s called “Apple TV”). Talk to me at 800 stores, and we may be closer to a long-term “sell” on the stock.
But Apple has had it way too easy in the past few years, and it’s now acting arrogant and complacent. Apple TV is only one example. The iPhone, while on its way to greatness, is pathetic with its AT&T partnership and laughable web service…
As I mentioned on Friday, a nightmare is brewing for Apple with smart, trusting, early adopters. It started with the reaming Steve Jobs gave these folks when he slashed the iPhone price two months after launch (will they ever be dumb enough to wait in lines on launch day again?) Techmeme is aglow with Apple’s current problems with this critical fan base. I love going to the Apple stores,, but as a tech retard, I am now scared to plug in my iPhone. Maybe the recent problems are just a blip, but if they aren’t, Nokia, RIMM and others will have an answer. In fact, RIMM already has an answer: as an email addict, I can never imagine a full switch to the iPhone. If RIMM adds some smart software for music and a partnership with Amazon–or even sells out to Microsoft–the phone war may go easily to RIMM. The market is already calling it a two horse race.
In any case, a 30%-40% sell-off in Apple is overdue. When it comes, remember the mantra 800 stores, the best retailer ever. In the meantime, this continues to be the best of times for RIMM, the only purebred in the phone/email handheld business.
Disclosure: Lindzon is long Apple and Amazon.