Since the unveiling of the iPhone 5 Apple has had a tough row to hoe, having been hit with serious supply and demand issues shortly following the phone’s release, issues that sparked a revolt along the company’s supply line due to unfair production demands. These production issues were only part of Apple’s struggles, as the company also had to contend with glitches in its highly touted new maps program and the Wi-Fi connectivity issues reported with iOS 6.
While Apple’s stock hit an all time high of US$705.07 on Sept. 21, the day the company held the glitzy unveiling for its much anticipated iPhone 5, it looks like the Cupertino company’s ride on Cloud 9 is coming to an end, as over the past several weeks its stock price has fallen by 10 percent.
Realistically, however, there was no way Apple could continue its meteoric momentum, so perhaps this is nothing to worry about, but given those various mitigating factors, the company’s declining stock may also be evidence that the shine is finally starting to come off Apple.
As one of the writers here at theTelecomblog insightfully observed, the lure of Apple’s products has always been status and exclusivity, the notion that Apple made its innovative and intuitive smartphone or tablet just for you (the person with enough money to pay for it). But the simple fact is the days of the exclusive iPhone are long gone, replaced by the days of the ubiquitous iPhone, the device that everyone has.
In fact, over the past couple of years I’ve noticed a distinct decline in the hype surrounding the release of new Apple products. Sure there are people willing to line up for days on end to be the first to get their hands on the latest and greatest Apple product, but the general water cooler buzz around these products seems to be diminishing, at least in my experience.
Take for example the rumoured iPad Mini. While I have no doubt that there’s some market buzz around a 7-inch tablet entry from Apple, it almost seems like no one really cares, at least not nearly as much as they did when the original iPad rocketed onto the scene.
The problem for Apple is that it’s become its own worst enemy, creating entirely new technology markets and filling them with innovative products, products that in turn create the new technology ‘norm,’ which after awhile leaves consumers itching for something new and exciting, not just the same old Apple stuff.
Truth be told, I’m not surprised that Apple’s stock is up 55 percent on the year, given the companies continued ability to churn out popular consumer products. But just how long can the Cupertino giant maintain this momentum without once again revolutionizing the market? It won’t be the iPad Mini that does it, given the fact that Apple will for once be a late-comer to the 7-inch tablet party, and how much longer will consumers want to wait for Apple to initiate the next great tech paradigm shift? With analysts predicting that consumers are quickly falling out of love with Apple, not long indeed.