Apple Mania is Here to Stay

Apple History

The story of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is well known. I’ll give you a short recap here, but if you want a really good read on the topic, check out Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography on Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs was a teenager in the 1960s, growing up in the Silicon Valley neighborhood of Los Altos. His world circled around electronics, computers, and legends of computer pioneers like Bill Hewlett and William Shockley.

Although he had a passion for electronics and coding, he wasn’t the most knowledgeable about either, but his best friend, Steve Wozniak was brilliant in these areas. What Jobs was good at was having vision and being able to see around corners regarding the future of the burgeoning personal computer industry.

He also was a perfectionist and was amazing at instilling his vision and sense of perfection in the people around him. Together, Jobs and Wozniak developed and built the Apple I computer in Jobs’ family home in Los Altos. Jobs sold the Apple I to a local hobbyist computer store.

Apple I computer

The Apple I computer being held up by Wozniak and Jobs. The user could plug a television and keyboard directly into this board and start computing. (Source: Britannica.com)

Using the proceeds from selling the first Apple 1 units, along with some investment capital, the two hired help and developed the Apple II. Within a few years, Apple Computer was growing like a Northern California forest fire. The company went public at the end of 1980.

After the Apple II, the Apple Macintosh broke new ground. It was the first publicly available computer to have a Windows-like graphical user interface, with many of the same fundamental features, like operation via mouse, that we all enjoy today. The Macintosh in many ways embodies Job’s sense of perfection, appreciation for craftmanship and love of the arts.

Unfortunately, it was expensive and didn’t have the raw computational power to match competitors’ products. Ultimately, its sales were somewhat lackluster.

Given the Mac’s lack of sales volume and Job’s stubborn perfectionism and artistic idealism, he began to annoy his fellow members of Apple’s C-suite. Jobs was forced out. He took some Apple employees with him and started NeXT Computer in 1985.

A year or two later, Apple went into go decline. The best explanation for this is that the company’s management spent too much time focused on trying to compete on cost alone, which turned the product into a commodity and made Apple uncompetitive against its perceived competitors. It had lost its uniqueness, pursuit of perfection, and ability to innovate.

Original Apple Macintosh

The original Apple Macintosh along with one of the first commercially available mice. (Source: macrumors.com)

Weeks from bankruptcy, Steve Jobs was lured back into the company. A management shake-up transpired, and Steve Jobs agreed to become the interim CEO, or what he called himself the; the “iCEO.” This little “i” would see good use in the upcoming years.

Again, under its leader and visionary, Apple went through a sort of renaissance and flourished. Once again, Apple invented the future. The computer devices we take for granted today were actually pioneered by Apple. Tablet computers and the smartphone originated in the heads of Steve Jobs and his chief industrial designer, Jony Ive. Legend has it that the two would spend long hours strolling the campus dreaming up new computers and software.

Later came the revolutionary Apple Watch, iTunes (not as novel, Napster was the pioneer), Apple TV, Facetime, Siri, and all the wonderful apps many of you readers use, enjoy, and rely on every day.

The Latest from Apple

Apple is hard at work improving its current products and likely inventing some new ones.

It is believed that they are readying a new Apple Watch. Rather than being called the “Series 8” it may be referred to as the “Pro.”  It will undoubtedly be bigger, with a larger screen and a more rugged case. It’s also likely to include a body temperature sensor that, while not able to give you an accurate reading, will at least let you know if you have a fever. The next generation earbud headphones will incorporate a heart rate monitor which will be useful for aerobic sports like running and cycling.

In order to evade current supply chain challenges, Apple has been working for a few years now to in-source computer chip design. Going back about two or three years it started hiring engineers into an all-new chipset design department. By having its own chip designs, AAPL is able to avoid chip shortages that have plagued the entire industry.

In 2020, AAPL introduced the M1 Chipset and in 2021 introduced the M1 Pro. Today, there are no longer Intel processors in iMacs or Qualcomm processors iPhones. Apple just released the M2 processor in the iMac and it’s said to be at least 35% more powerful than the best M1 chips.

Apple’s M1 and M2 processor chips

Images of Apple’s M1 and M2 processor chips. (Source: apple.com)

The big unknown is the future of the Apple Car. Rumors have circulated for years now, and it’s clear that there’s high demand for such a product. We know there have been discussions about a partnership between Apple and Hyundai.

In addition, Elon Musk has publicly stated that he had participated in discussions to sell Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) to Apple, which of course never led to anything. The latest rumor is that Apple is exploring a partnership with electric pick-up truck manufacturer Rivian (NASDAQ:RIVN), but there is no hard data to substantiate this other than a photo of Apple CEO driving a Rivian EV.

Financial Performance

Apple continues to set new records for financial performance. In Q1 of 2022, the company had record breaking revenues of nearly $100 billion.

Apple Stock Chart

Chart of Apple’s stock performance.

Even though that’s crazy money, the stock price is roughly 20 percent lower than its peak back in December 2021. These low stock prices won’t last forever. So, it’s a good time to step in and acquire initial or additional shares in Apple.

This is a broad market correction and doesn’t reflect the stock specifically, and certainly not the company’s potential moving forward.

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