Despite selling a record 51 million iPhones in its first quarter Apple fell short of the 54.7 million-benchmark set by analysts. It has sparked a conversation among tech types about whether Apple needs to figure out whether it wants to be viewed as a software-hardware hybrid or a strictly hardware business. Such conversations suggest that one of the greatest brands in the world is facing a crisis.
Here is the chatter on Apple’s image in light of its latest earnings.
Aaron Taube @ Business Insider
“If Apple were to make a Super Bowl appearance on Feb. 2, the ad could go a long way toward helping the brand articulate to the public a clear vision of what it is trying to be. Apple has understandably struggled to define itself in the post-Jobs era, as competitors like Samsung have introduced new products that challenge its status as the most innovative company in consumer tech.”
Jessica Lessin @ The Wall Street Journal
“The distinction matters. If it continues to be seen as a hardware business, Apple’s streak – driven by products like the iPhone and iPad – could run out quickly as smartphones and tablets get commoditized and consumer tastes change. It is a lesson learned by companies like BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Ltd., whose tech hardware was quickly eclipsed by products from Apple itself.”
Bill Rigby @ Reuters
“What we need to see from them is some sort of new product development and it would be likely in the area of software, mobile payments and advertisements that would get us thinking that there is an opportunity for accretion. Hardware can only go in one direction and that’s flat or down. It has to be something in the innovation space and they have a lot of things they can do,” said JMP Securities’ Alex Gauna.