In an attempt to catalog all of the Apple bears, I'm going to start linking em here.
To be clear, I think most of these are bunk or written by folks who have ulterior motives, but the shear volume of them these days is breathtaking.
This is the one that finally got me to post something:
A gradual loss of supremacy in the smartphone market (relatively slow innovation and new product rollouts that allowed competitors to catch up)
A decision not to launch a lower-price iPhone that is affordable in emerging markets, where the hyper-growth in the smartphone industry has migrated in the past few years
A decision to protect profit margins at the expense of market share, pricing, and aggressive investment in future products
In the tablet market, the abandonment of the "best price AND best product" combination that made the iPad the only viable tablet choice in the first couple of years (now, other excellent tablets are cheaper)
Relatively weak offerings in apps and services, which have allowed Google and other competitors to gain stronger footholds in mobile
Taking too big a cut of app and content revenue, which has prompted some developers to try to find ways to avoid the iOS ecosystem
All stuff I simply shake my head at.
But then they note something I myself have pointed out a few times (backpat/cookie!)
As BI's Jay Yarow observed earlier this year, by the time Apple's developer conference, WWDC, rolls around in a couple of weeks, Apple will have gone a staggering 230 days between new product announcements. That's more than twice as long as any new product gap in recent history. And it's 3-4 times as long as Apple's normal new-product gap over this period.
Given Apple's extraordinary skill at developing, manufacturing, and launching new products, we highly doubt that this drought was planned.
Rather, we suspect that Apple had planned to launch a major new product late last year or early this year, one that would have carried the company through this drought.
Even for apple 9 months is a huge gap. And clearly they could have delayed the iMac to make that a smaller gap, it was rushed needlessly to make holiday and then they didn't have stock.
But.... Perhaps they needed that out of the way to put a line in the sand. To focus on big changes and new products. We'll see.