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Apple Is Dead, Long Live Apple

6/28/2011 03:23:00 PM

Apple is doomed. You heard it here first.

No, wait. Actually, I read it here first.

Ali Meshkati is a private money manager and a contributing writer to Forbes and MSN Money, among other magazines and financial websites.

Meshkati made his claim in a blog that gives investing advice on which tech companies to avoid down the road. In addition to Apple, he trashed Google and eBay.

At least Meshkati doesn’t fuss around; he goes after the big guys.

His logic concerning Apple is so horribly stereotypical of the company that at first I thought he was joking. There doesn’t seem to be a punch line, so I have to assume he is serious.

Meshkati’s argument centers on the idea that Apple is “a maker of gadgets” and every other company in the world is gunning to take Apple down. Not only that, but these gadgets will eventually be overtaken by gadgets made by other companies.

Really? I am by no means an Appleophile. Honestly, the only Apple product in my home is my son’s iPod Touch.

However, that does not mean I do not consider Apple to be one of, if not the most, innovative companies that I have ever followed. Apple detractors have always said the company’s success is due to the illogical allegiance it is given by a small, hardcore group of followers who would buy an Apple-branded spinning wheel if one was marketed. I don’t believe this old horse can be beaten any more.

The truth is that Apple is hauling in new customers at an astounding rate.

In fact, Apple is exactly the kind of company that Meshkati said will eventually kill Apple.

His argument is Apple will be overtaken by other firms with more imagination, and, as he said, “are moving in an even more unique way.”

That is exactly what Apple has done for its entire history, rolling out the unique and imaginative products.

Let’s bypass the company’s early days and focus on the last 13-years or so.

I believe Apple started down its current path in 1998 when it introduced the iMac.

Remember those cute all-in-one computers that came in a rainbow of colors? They were not particularly powerful, nor did they sport a huge display, nor were they technologically advanced. What they happened to be were colorful and something that had never been done before.

And people bought millions of them.

With the iMac, Apple managed to pack an entire desktop into a neat-looking small package. From this, Apple learned that while customers will buy a beige box, they really wanted something more, and this discovery set Apple down its current path.

Apple was not the first to market with an MP3 player, cellphone or tablet PC. However, the company’s hierarchy did look at the existing products available and decided it could do better. On top of that, Apple would not compete on price. Instead it would design and produce something consumers will pay more to own.

And people bought tens of millions of iPods, iPhones and iPads.

Will Apple hit a home run every time? No, but right now the company is the Albert Pujols of the tech field. It is the company that is moving in a unique way, and there is little reason to think it will change otherwise in the coming years.

According to industry rumors, the next product category on Apple’s target list is the venerable television. While others have taken a guess at Apple’s TV plans, I, to my shame as a reporter, haven’t divined Apple’s intention.

My one guess is it will be unique.

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