It’s only two months ago that I posted that these are Apple’s glory years and that it is likely too soon to bet against Apple’s stock. As it turns out I was wrong. When I wrote, the stock was at $650/share and now it is at $550/share, which is down 15% (and it is down over 20% from the top of about $700/share). One of the big drivers here is a decline in customer satisfaction and loyalty. I believe a lot of that is driven by software. A bunch of people I know have folders on their iPhones labeled something like “crap apps that Apple doesn’t let me uninstall” (I am paraphrasing).
The software problem for Apple goes further though as I discovered when I bought my new laptop. After some agonizing I caved and instead of buying a Linux laptop I went with a MacBook Air. I have been super swamped at work (as those waiting for email replies from me know) and I was nervous about how much time it might take to get a new machine to work flawlessly. So the good news for Apple is that once more I spent a lot of money with them.
But the bad news is probably more important. I got my new MacBook Air and I was up and running with it in sub 10 minutes because everything I have is in the cloud. My files are on DropBox and Google Drive, my email is in Gmail, my code sits at github. And I really only use two types of software on my Mac — three browsers and Terminal. I even put my various config files (.ssh, .vimrc, etc) on DropBox, so those were back in seconds as well. Bottom line is my MacBook Air is a beautiful piece of hardware but has no meaningful other ties to Apple.