Apple is facing a double standard

Above Avalon:

Apple is a Silicon Valley and Wall Street leader. The company has the most profitable and best-selling smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, and wireless pair of headphones in the market. Apple has grown its user base by 10x over the past 10 years and is bringing in nearly more revenue than Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook combined. This level of success places a bull’s-eye on Apple’s back and rightly so. Leaders should be held to a higher standard.

However, a trend has developed where a number of tech companies are said to be outperforming Apple. Despite being cast as leaders, these companies aren’t judged by the same high standards as Apple. Microsoft, Samsung, and Google are said to be one-upping Apple in core competencies like hardware and design. Yet, these companies don’t face anywhere near the amount of criticism thrown at Apple.

For us oldtimers, this double standard is nothing new. I’ve often wondered if, in their heart of hearts, this pisses off Apple executives. I’ve asked them but, publicly, they would admit no such thing.



  • I think what bothers/irks people is Apple business strategy. Apple does things differently, contrary to current opinion of what capitalism is. Also apple has no monopoly, like Microsoft with its huge Windows install base, Google with its search engine and Android OS. I guess apple stands too much on its own legs, that must be terrifying to many people.

    • Alice

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  • CCC

    who cares? haters going to hate

  • rick gregory

    I imagine it annoys Apple folk but like you, they’ve seen it and likely shrug it off as the rantings of semi-informed people and not something that they can do anything about. It’s done because it gets clicks. Me, I refuse to go to sites with that bias.

  • ThinkActive

    With twenty years experience my view is that this as always is a perfectly good thing. AAPL will never get ahead of itself, and often be well behind. It makes for a great – and safe – long term investment.

  • GlennC777

    I’m sure they’re pissed off. Hopefully this is a motivating factor for them.

  • Gregg_Thurman

    Apple suffers from the widely held belief that breakthrough technologies become commoditized over time, with the inventor losing its pricing power and competitive edge as a result.

    WS is a bunch of short sighted, myopic number crunchers. As much as WS talks innovation WS wouldn’t recognize it if it stood in front of them and spat in their collective faces.

    You can’t blame them, their inability to understand Apple is the result of their education (MBAs from anywhere) and experience analyzing 5000 nondescript Companies year after year. Anomalies scare the crap out of WS because they don’t fit into any mold WS is familiar with.

    • Mo

      ‘Twas ever thus.

  • Mo

    It’s so cute to see the kids rediscovering double standards.

  • BringinItAllTogether

    Personally I wouldn’t necessarily believe that this pisses Apple off to the extent that it causes them to make mis-steps. I think that Apple has a tremendous ability to focus on the goal as the goal is so far out from what we can see that their mis-steps or off the radar. I believe they have been so successful in the right areas in the past, morally as a company, as well as an inherent guide that keeps them on track so that they aren’t bothered by these things as much as we may believe them to be. So it is very probably a non-story. I would imagine that Apple knows what the complaints are going to be most of the time before we can even dream them up!

  • AAPL.To.Break.$160.Soon.>:-)

    I remember when Apple bulls used to laugh at Amazon for not making much in the way of profits. It appears Jeff Bezos and Amazon shareholders are having the best laughs of their lives. Amazon is outperforming Apple at a furious rate in terms of share gains over the last five years. Everything that Jeff Bezos does is said to be perfect. Everything that Tim Cook does is said to be terrible. Even the tech-heads love Amazon products more than they like Apple products. Amazon’s Echo is gushingly praised in terms of performance and sales. Apple’s HomePod will likely be cursed as being too expensive and not being able to compare to Alexa’s brilliance. The tech critics practically cursed iPhone 8/8 Plus as being outdated and lame.

    Amazon is going to acquire company after company while Apple does almost nothing to grow revenue. Why didn’t Apple go into the cloud business like all the other major tech companies who are being praised to high heaven for cloud business revenue and profits. The cloud business appears to be a low-hanging fruit. Easy money. The cloud business works for Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet. Apple has nothing but lots of data centers that aren’t paying back anything as far as Wall Street is concerned.

    Amazon made $513M in profits and went up 13% on earnings. I bet Apple makes $12B in profits and goes up maybe 2% on earnings. Amazon’s P/E is around 248. Apple’s P/E is about 18. No matter. Amazon is considered undervalued while Apple is considered overvalued. Investors keep pouring money into Amazon while ignoring Apple. Truly amazing. Amazon will likely leave Apple in the dust because everyone believes Jeff Bezos can do no wrong. He’s the world’s most perfect CEO. Forget Tim Cook. Everyone says Tim Cook is a lousy CEO that needs to be fired.

    Apple shareholders are going to have to eat crap this quarter while the FANG stocks soar. Double standard or not, Apple shareholders are going to be screwed on coming quarterly earnings.

    • Mo

      A Jim Cramer fan has spoken. Tim Cook must be so grateful to have your advice.

  • Kriztyan

    It’s like the super star heavy weight boxer, he keeps on wining… until he doesn’t. We all know that empires come and go, the thing with Apple is that nobody really know how long it can stay on top and this fear is what drives this thinking.

  • caleb

    Apple suffers from the widely held belief that breakthrough technologies become commoditized over time, with the inventor losing its pricing power and competitive edge as a result.WS is a bunch of short sighted, myopic number crunchers. As much as WS talks innovation WS wouldn’t recognize it if it stood in front of them and spat in their collective faces.You can’t blame them, their inability to understand Apple is the result of their education (MBAs from anywhere) and experience analyzing 5000 nondescript Companies year after year. Anomalies scare the crap out of WS because they don’t fit into any mold WS is familiar with.

  • Kip Beatty

    I’ve said many, many times that the only time Apple execs (or fans) should worry is when they stop being held to a higher (double?) standard. That means they’re no longer relevant and someone else is taking the shots at the top.

    As they say, heavy lies the crown. Or, if you prefer, it’s lonely at the top. The slings and arrows are always directed at the leader. Ask Microsoft how it felt in the 90s.