Apple's star-kissed run may finally have come to end on the stock market, despite the company's recent run of launches and with more positive news coming out. Is reality finally knocking down Apple's distortion field?
Still On A Roll
After its recent burst of hardware launches, Apple is still rolling out the good news. For a start, one of the most valuable music properties on the planet, venerable Aussie rockers AC/DC, finally arrived on iTunes (with a $150 monster box set as the top billing) and a new live album out today. That alone should spark a decent boost in iTunes revenue.
Alongside the arrival of the LTE versions of Apple's latest tablets, there's also word that Apple is opening up an eBay store to offer returned/refurbished product, similar to other PC and gadget makers. Offering "Certified Refurbished products" with a one-year warranty, old iPads come with new batteries, while MacBooks have the original OS reinstalled might attract yet more Mac converts.
Then, there's the news that the next Mac OS-X update may well feature Siri and Maps in the 10.9 update. While it won't be out until well into 2013, adding these iOS features to the desktop should encourage further uptake and development around the services.
But Hitting the Bumps
However, Apple's stock price had been on a downward spiral since the launch of the iPhone 5 when it hit a $705 high. It had sunk as low as $540, until yesterday when a surge managed to recover a slice, up to $565 at Monday's close.
Many things might have caused the slide, possible changes in tax law for next year being one, also Apple's dividend had just paid out, so maybe some stockholders were selling to diversify. One view is that Apple has pushed as far as it can with the iPhone and iPad in terms of hardware, and will fall victim to rampant undercutting from rivals.
While that might be partially realistic, all it will take is a single big reveal, be it a flexible or see-through tablet or smartphone, or the much-rumored HDTV product and Apple's stock will be quickly on a roll again. But, the days of $700 may be hard to reach as Apple's unique selling points, or innovative features are knocked off one-by-one by rivals, who can also match or outpace it in the innovation stakes.
Either way, the competition will only get tougher for Apple and with the potential transition period after its recent boardroom shake-up, Apple may take time that it doesn't have getting back up to full speed.
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