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Bubble trouble?

PeteEU

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Apple tops PetroChina in market capitalization - Yahoo! News

Been following the "rise" of Apple stock for years now, and frankly one has to ask.. why? How can it be that Apple is more valuable than say Mircosoft, or even HTC and others?

If we base it on actual fact and trends, then it makes even less sense.

Apple is already loosing out in the smart phone market to google. Latest statistics see Apple decline in % and Google Andriod jump past Apple into second place after Symbian OS (Nokia), both world wide in the key US market. With Microsoft coming out with a new OS with-in weeks and the continuous expansion of Android, then the IPhone and IPhone OS seems... stale to say the least.

Apple has never and will never have a big market share of the PC market. Microsoft has sat on a huge share here for the last 30 years and that wont change at least not during the next 5 years.

Apple is atm going good on the Ipad, but question is how long that will last with the competition sending out better products very soon. When consumers can get a "Ipad" clone with camera and phone possibilities (non US only sorry), and more stuff in, then the IPad could head down the same road as the Iphone. And lets not forget.. still no Flash on IPad.

So the question is why does the market think that Apple is valued more than PetroChina (briefly so far)? Can we say big bubble?
 

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iPod is a pretty big deal too.
 

PeteEU

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iPod is a pretty big deal too.
Well.. the problem is smart phones can do what the IPod does (heck most phones these days).. Sales of Ipods and similar devices have been falling for years. That is why Apple is trying to rebrand the Ipod as a "gaming machine", which so far is failing... was not exactly positive PR when Steve Jobs made up sales statistics by claiming Ipod outsold all other portable gaming consoles..

Only thing I see as a positive (big one) for Apple is the ITunes store. There aint much dedicated competition out there yet for that.

My point is that the market seems to value things out of the air these days.. more on feelings than actual fact..
 

justabubba

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condos in bejing are reported to be selling for 17 times the average annual salary of a chinese worker

would not be surprised is a massive real estate bubble is also looming on china's horizon
 

Lord Tammerlain

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condos in bejing are reported to be selling for 17 times the average annual salary of a chinese worker

would not be surprised is a massive real estate bubble is also looming on china's horizon
it has one the chinese government knows it and is working to contain it
 

Lord Tammerlain

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As for Apple it is trading around 21 times trailing earnings which is generally reasonable for a growth stock. The question one has to ask is Apple going to continue to be a growth stock or will its sales growth flatten out. If its sales growth flattens out, its stock should decline to around 10-14 times trailing earning to account for risk. That would cause a 33-50% decline in the share price
 

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I know this is a crappy, simple answer, but I think Apple's PR machine has a lot to do with it. Everytime Jobs gets on TV, people buy Apple hardware, and software. More then anything, I think Apple is just reallly smooth
 

PeteEU

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As for Apple it is trading around 21 times trailing earnings which is generally reasonable for a growth stock. The question one has to ask is Apple going to continue to be a growth stock or will its sales growth flatten out. If its sales growth flattens out, its stock should decline to around 10-14 times trailing earning to account for risk. That would cause a 33-50% decline in the share price
Yes in theory. Most stocks also look at future earnings and sales growth. Problem is that Apple is loosing market shares across the board, with the exception of Ipad. And Ipad will only be a short lived thing since the competition is coming out with better products within weeks. In the smart phone market (the biggest one for it atm) it has fallen to a 3rd position in the US and world wide. It might have market growth for now, but it has slowed down considerably and more and more competitors are coming to the market. And the future earnings for Apple aint gonna come from its PC division, or its Ipod division.. Ipad.. maybe.

As it stands now Apple is setting almost new highs every week, but the numbers behind the stock price does not add up to this stock growth/worth. Can you seriously say with a straight face that a company like Apple is a bigger company than Microsoft or Google? Hardly..

As repeter said... I think much of this stock price growth has more to do with Apple's PR machine than actual fact, and hence there is a bubble in the price of the stock. It is no difference than the DOT.com bubble in the late 1990s, where people expected tons from the companies but in reality the numbers did not back them up.
 

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If you know so much more about the true value of Apple than the rest of the market, why not short the stock?
 

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If you know so much more about the true value of Apple than the rest of the market, why not short the stock?
Would be silly since the market seems to like Apple regardless of the actual facts on the table. I mean, if another company came out with a defective product that they knew was defective beforehand then they would be slaughtered by the market.. but not Apple... it was rewarded.
 

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Well.. the problem is smart phones can do what the IPod does (heck most phones these days).. Sales of Ipods and similar devices have been falling for years. That is why Apple is trying to rebrand the Ipod as a "gaming machine", which so far is failing... was not exactly positive PR when Steve Jobs made up sales statistics by claiming Ipod outsold all other portable gaming consoles..

Only thing I see as a positive (big one) for Apple is the ITunes store. There aint much dedicated competition out there yet for that.

My point is that the market seems to value things out of the air these days.. more on feelings than actual fact..
I made the same mistake. Why would people want an IPod when there are cheaper MP3 players out there. A billion downloads later it seems the Ipod has won out. Apple is a great marketing machine as well as tech company. I am not sure how you define bubble a couple of weeks ago it was 240 now it is 292. So a pullback probably makes sense. Not sure if that will happen before year end. Fund managers jump into stocks for window dressing. So unless there is a big market falloff, for the next few days it should do well. This may give it momentum into the end of year.
 

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I made the same mistake. Why would people want an IPod when there are cheaper MP3 players out there. A billion downloads later it seems the Ipod has won out. Apple is a great marketing machine as well as tech company. I am not sure how you define bubble a couple of weeks ago it was 240 now it is 292. So a pullback probably makes sense. Not sure if that will happen before year end. Fund managers jump into stocks for window dressing. So unless there is a big market falloff, for the next few days it should do well. This may give it momentum into the end of year.
When Apple's revenue and earnings growth slows, then its stock appreciation will slow. For now, Apple remains in an impressive growth burst. Whether one compares 1-year or 5-year figures, Apple has outperformed the industry in a wide range of profitability and growth measures. If one strictly considered earnings--and that's only one barometer by which to judge the company--its stock price would be around $310-$330 per share right now (using last year's valuations). Perhaps key to its recent success is that Apple currently possesses a core competence in creativity. That core competence has translated into significant marketplace innovation. Its relationships that make possible the dissemination of large amounts of music also constitute a strategic asset. Its powerful brand name is another strategic asset. All of those capabilities ensure that Apple does not have to compete strictly or largely on the basis of cost. Hence, it can and does enjoy higher profit margins than some of its rivals. So, at least through this year, should Apple continue to generate strong earnings/earnings growth, one probably won't witness a major slide in Apple's stock price (25% or greater fall).
 

RightinNYC

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Would be silly since the market seems to like Apple regardless of the actual facts on the table. I mean, if another company came out with a defective product that they knew was defective beforehand then they would be slaughtered by the market.. but not Apple... it was rewarded.
You said that Apple is a bubble. By definition, a bubble is something that is overinflated and will eventually pop. How exactly would shorting that be silly?

If the market loves Apple so much that it will never pop, then it's not a bubble.
 

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Apple does have its detractors, mainly among those who doubt that Apple's 'creativity machine' can continue to produce winners ad infinitum concomitant with a slowing earnings growth rate.
 

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Apple does have its detractors, mainly among those who doubt that Apple's 'creativity machine' can continue to produce winners ad infinitum concomitant with a slowing earnings growth rate.
It's marketing seems to be dependant on Steve Jobs, or at least consumer desirable inovation does. When he left the first time Apple was on the ropes, when he came back so did Apple, it will be interesting to see if Apple can this time continue strong product development when Job does leave
 

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You said that Apple is a bubble. By definition, a bubble is something that is overinflated and will eventually pop. How exactly would shorting that be silly?

If the market loves Apple so much that it will never pop, then it's not a bubble.
It is a bubble in terms of its book value, but that doesn't factor in PR, and I don't think Apple's PR machine is going to lose its rhythm anytime soon.
 

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It's marketing seems to be dependant on Steve Jobs, or at least consumer desirable inovation does. When he left the first time Apple was on the ropes, when he came back so did Apple, it will be interesting to see if Apple can this time continue strong product development when Job does leave
Steve Jobs is an example that an exceptional CEO can be a source of competitive advantage through his/her leadership skills. I don't believe there is much doubt that Apple without Steve Jobs would be a quite different company.
 

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Apple tops PetroChina in market capitalization - Yahoo! News

Been following the "rise" of Apple stock for years now, and frankly one has to ask.. why? How can it be that Apple is more valuable than say Mircosoft, or even HTC and others?

If we base it on actual fact and trends, then it makes even less sense.

Apple is already loosing out in the smart phone market to google. Latest statistics see Apple decline in % and Google Andriod jump past Apple into second place after Symbian OS (Nokia), both world wide in the key US market. With Microsoft coming out with a new OS with-in weeks and the continuous expansion of Android, then the IPhone and IPhone OS seems... stale to say the least.

Apple has never and will never have a big market share of the PC market. Microsoft has sat on a huge share here for the last 30 years and that wont change at least not during the next 5 years. Apple is atm going good on the Ipad, but question is how long that will last with the competition sending out better products very soon. When consumers can get a "Ipad" clone with camera and phone possibilities (non US only sorry), and more stuff in, then the IPad could head down the same road as the Iphone. And lets not forget.. still no Flash on IPad.

So the question is why does the market think that Apple is valued more than PetroChina (briefly so far)? Can we say big bubble?
Actually, Apple tops the PC market because it has total control over it's product and isn't beholden to Microsoft's OS platform for development, innovation or interlinked products and software. Which means Steve Jobs owns almost all the patents to his products and that alone is oftern where the big bucks in business comes from. Apple also has it's own retail stores worldwide, which other PC manufacturers don't have. Apparently the stores are doing very well and serve as a model that many other businesses are now trying to follow. Also one of Apples largest shareholders is Disney who almost exclusively uses Mac for all their animation and their corporate offices, and Steve Jobs is on the board of Directors at Pixar which is also affiliated with Disney and they too use Mac. I think it's about quality and Apple from the very beginning went for quality over quantity. And let me tell ya, working on a Mac to do art is dream compared to a PC. So I think you are really underestimating Apple's business sauvy and products.

Secrets of Apple's customer success - CNN.com
 

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When Technology Makes Headlines | Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ)

The portrayal of technology companies, on the other hand, was generally positive. For Apple, the most heavily covered technology company, 42% of the stories described the company as innovative and superior, and another 27% lauded its loyal fan base. But there were doubts. The most common such negative thread, that Apple products don’t live up to the hype, appeared in 17% of stories about Apple. For Google, the company’s advancements in making content easier to find topped its coverage at 25%. But it was only half as likely as Apple to be framed as having superior, innovative products (20%).
I think that is part of the problem in the true valuation of the stock.

Fact is, Apple is no more innovative than other companies. There was smart phones before IPhone, better at that, and there have been better smart phones after IPhone. There was a reason that the IPhone at first was a flop in Japan.. it was inferior technology.

Same for music players and now with the pad platform, from what I have read about the new Samsung Galaxy and a few others, they all are superior to the IPad in almost every way.

But Apple gets the PR free from the media, which helps to drive sales and the stock and when it comes to negative PR, Apple are teflon. Only this week, Apple released defective IPhone 4s to the middle east.. not a peep in the media. Battery problems with Ipod and Iphone.. barely a peep despite the EU hitting down on Apple a few years ago. And the faulty Iphone 4.. is now just fine cause it has a plastic cover.. if that had been any other company lol.

But when Steve Jobs dies then I suspect that the Apple stock will collapse and Steve Jobs is not a well man.
 

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Actually, Apple tops the PC market because it has total control over it's product and isn't beholden to Microsoft's OS platform for development, innovation or interlinked products and software. Which means Steve Jobs owns almost all the patents to his products and that alone is oftern where the big bucks in business comes from.
Err no.. Apple has less than 5% of the world market. It is a closed system that allows very LITTLE innovation on new programs, and until recently Apple refused other PC makers to build Apple machines. That they were forced to accept that others could make Apple PCs was pure survival and were forced to go away from their own chips to Intel.

Apple also has it's own retail stores worldwide, which other PC manufacturers don't have.
And the price is also much higher. For the money of the cheapest Apple PC, I can get a very very good normal PC. Cheapest Apple machine over 1000 dollars.. for 1000 dollars you can get a PC with much higher specs than the cheapest Apple PC.

Apparently the stores are doing very well and serve as a model that many other businesses are now trying to follow.
And you can of course give examples of this...

Also one of Apples largest shareholders is Disney who almost exclusively uses Mac for all their animation and their corporate offices, and Steve Jobs is on the board of Directors at Pixar which is also affiliated with Disney and they too use Mac.
And so what, the rest of the corporate world uses Windows PCs and Linux servers..

I think it's about quality and Apple from the very beginning went for quality over quantity.
Yes at the start of the PC ... like 20+ years ago. Now days.. not so much.

And let me tell ya, working on a Mac to do art is dream compared to a PC
Well that is a tad hard to believe. First off, it is not Windows that does "art" but a 3rd party program. Secondly, these 3rd party programs are made for both platforms for the most part.

So I think you are really underestimating Apple's business sauvy and products.
No I am not.. you are overestimating Apple, like everyone else.
 

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Err no.. Apple has less than 5% of the world market. It is a closed system that allows very LITTLE innovation on new programs, and until recently Apple refused other PC makers to build Apple machines. That they were forced to accept that others could make Apple PCs was pure survival and were forced to go away from their own chips to Intel.
Apples independence from Microsoft allows it to capitalize on it's own patented products whereas other PCs are beholden to Microsofts patents. As I said before, patents are where the money is. Surely you are aware of all those years of patent litigation of smaller companies with Microsoft trying to monopolize the industry and kill off their competition?

And the price is also much higher. For the money of the cheapest Apple PC, I can get a very very good normal PC. Cheapest Apple machine over 1000 dollars.. for 1000 dollars you can get a PC with much higher specs than the cheapest Apple PC.
But there is a major difference in the quality of the graphics and if graphics is the business you are in, then a Mac is the preferable choice. And since it's a tax write off for businesses they can afford the higher cost.

And you can of course give examples of this...
They have over 300 retail stores, which is 300 more than any other PC company has. I provided a link in my post above and you are more than welcome to read it if you care to.

And so what, the rest of the corporate world uses Windows PCs and Linux servers..
Well, thats probably true but Apple has a higher share of high end users and it is Linux compatible for those that have a deep hatred for Microsoft and there are many.

Yes at the start of the PC ... like 20+ years ago. Now days.. not so much.
Well they must doing something right to have a 22% to 36% increase in market share since 2005....

Figures from December 2006, showing a market share around 6 percent (IDC) and 6.1 percent (Gartner) are based on a more than 30 percent increase in unit sale from 2005 to 2006. The installed base of Mac computers is hard to determine, with numbers ranging from 5% (estimated in 2009)[116] to 16% (estimated in 2005).[117] Mac OS X’s share of the OS market increased from 7.31% in December 2007 to 9.63% in December 2008, which is a 32% increase in market share during 2008, compared to a 22% increase during 2007.
Macintosh - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Well that is a tad hard to believe. First off, it is not Windows that does "art" but a 3rd party program. Secondly, these 3rd party programs are made for both platforms for the most part.
It's been awhile since I used a Mac, but the graphics were definitely better and the third party software such as Maya was customizable for the Mac.


No I am not.. you are overestimating Apple, like everyone else.
LOL don't get mad. You seem kind of bitter that Apple is finally doing better.

Apparently, Apple is rated better in consumer satisfaction than other PCs and that is important to know when buying a new computer. Some people will spend the extra money just to get the better customer service and avoid the repairs and problems...

For the seventh straight year, Apple has topped its competitors in the PC industry in the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), achieving a score of 86 out of 100. Its Apple's highest ranking since the annual survey began in 1995.

But the real story is how much further ahead of its peers Apple is in this area: most of the rest of the field (Acer, Dell, HP, and others) is tied with a score of 77, while HP's Compaq brand is ranked 74....

Secrets of Apple's customer success - CNN.com
 

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PeteEU said:
Fact is, Apple is no more innovative than other companies.
Disagree to a modest degree. Apple has been quite innovative in several respects:

> user interface: Back when the Microsoft world was trying to get Windows right, going all the way back to Windows 3, Apple jumped way ahead with its version of a graphical user interface (otherwise known as a 'GUI'). It took the Microsoft world a number of years and numerous iterations of Windows just to get close to Apple's smooth, much more seamless GUI.

> integration: likewise with program and system integration. It took the Microsoft world years to catch up to Apples much, much better integration of operating system with applications. Only the marketing muscle of Microsoft with respect to capturing the OEM market made Office the application suite that it is today; that muscle provided Microsoft the cash flow with which to continue development of features and usability and surpass Apple's earlier efforts at an integrated office application. Apples earlier versions of word processing and (especially) graphics apps were far and away superior to any others at the time. Many hold that Apples graphics apps remain superior today.

> security: Microsoft has played a continual game of catch-up. For years, Apple security was far superior to that of Microsoft.

Notice that I have described Apples PC advantages in historical terms. That's because their advantages have gradually slipped over time as Microsoft's huge cash flow has powered their development, mostly playing catch-up to Apple in the key respects noted above. Which they have mostly, but not completely, done.

With more recent non-PC products, it has not been solely Apples technical innovations that have powered Apple. As you noted, some aspects of the iPhone are quite lacking (I have both an iPhone and a Blackberry, the battery on the iPhone is very inferior to that of my Blackberry). So where has Apple succeeded with the iPhone? Integration with other systems and apps. Same with the iPod. If the iPad is successful, it will most likely be the same. The genius of combining the iPod with iTunes and Podcasts, of opening the iPhone to app developers...the combination of these integration efforts have, with a modicum of engineering success and huge stying and marketing successes, enabled the users of these devices to take their experience to levels of which Microsoft can only be envious.

To sum up, a. Apples engineering (both hardware and software) has been good but not spectacular; it has mainly been very innovative with known or existing concepts/technologies. b. Apples integration with enabling services and technologies has been highly innovative and pioneering. c. Apples marketing has been absolutely spectacular, including turning Steve Jobs into the iconic figure that he is today, though that must now be considered a double-edged sword given his health problems (if he goes, whither goest Apple?).

Just my observations as both an Apple and a Microsoft user since the days of the TRS-80 and the Apple II. Have owned and used 'em all. Still have most of 'em in my museum, as my better half refers to my home office. YMMV.
 

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Disagree to a modest degree. Apple has been quite innovative in several respects:

> user interface: Back when the Microsoft world was trying to get Windows right, going all the way back to Windows 3, Apple jumped way ahead with its version of a graphical user interface (otherwise known as a 'GUI'). It took the Microsoft world a number of years and numerous iterations of Windows just to get close to Apple's smooth, much more seamless GUI.
That is because Microsoft went from a text based system to a graphical system with backward compatibility. Apple said screw it and started over and continued from there.

> integration: likewise with program and system integration. It took the Microsoft world years to catch up to Apples much, much better integration of operating system with applications. Only the marketing muscle of Microsoft with respect to capturing the OEM market made Office the application suite that it is today; that muscle provided Microsoft the cash flow with which to continue development of features and usability and surpass Apple's earlier efforts at an integrated office application. Apples earlier versions of word processing and (especially) graphics apps were far and away superior to any others at the time. Many hold that Apples graphics apps remain superior today.
Well it is easy to make great program integration with your OS when only a handful companies make programs for your platform. When there are many hundreds then it is another matter. Also the main office package for Apple OS was for many many years (not sure any more)... made by Microsoft.

But on the graphical front, I do agree, which is why Apple has targeted this industry from the start. Now days the difference is non existent since most of the programs run Apple machines are also made for Windows PCs. But 10 years ago I would agree.

> security: Microsoft has played a continual game of catch-up. For years, Apple security was far superior to that of Microsoft.
No hacker would want to take on an Apple machine.. waste of time. Under 5% of the market, or 80+% of the market.. which would you target? Plus now days, it is Apple that is the most vulnerable OS out there.

Apple tops the IBM security list with the most vulnerabilities - Computerworld Blogs

And it was already a problematic issue all the way back before 2003.

Mac OS X security myth exposed - Techworld.com

Only reason we dont hear much about Apple machines getting targeted.. is hackers dont care about less than 5% of the market.

Notice that I have described Apples PC advantages in historical terms. That's because their advantages have gradually slipped over time as Microsoft's huge cash flow has powered their development, mostly playing catch-up to Apple in the key respects noted above. Which they have mostly, but not completely, done.
I dont agree fully. While it is undeniable that in the period where the PC world went from the Dos machine to Windows Xp, Microsoft was playing catch up, after Windows XP that "catch up" was over and since Windows 7, Microsoft has gone way past Apple on all fronts.

With more recent non-PC products, it has not been solely Apples technical innovations that have powered Apple. As you noted, some aspects of the iPhone are quite lacking (I have both an iPhone and a Blackberry, the battery on the iPhone is very inferior to that of my Blackberry). So where has Apple succeeded with the iPhone? Integration with other systems and apps. Same with the iPod. If the iPad is successful, it will most likely be the same. The genius of combining the iPod with iTunes and Podcasts, of opening the iPhone to app developers...the combination of these integration efforts have, with a modicum of engineering success and huge stying and marketing successes, enabled the users of these devices to take their experience to levels of which Microsoft can only be envious.
I dont disagree that they are great at integrating their products, which is why I say that Itunes is their major strong point at this point. But Apple has had a great PR team the last decade or so, which in turn has turned Apple into a cult like product for many, and that is regardless if it is an inferior product they are selling... hence the Teflon comment.

But the question is how long will that last? Is the stock price reflecting this? Just today it was rumoured that some guy was to take over from Steve Jobs and the price fell 2% last I looked.

And with Samsung's new Galaxy tab coming out.. with some mind boggling app possibilities.. then well. Cant wait to see if they are really going to integrate the Galaxy Tab with everything in the house that has a radio/wifi/infra-red connection. They have already shown that it can be done in a demonstration, but damn if they actually did it..
 

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Apples independence from Microsoft allows it to capitalize on it's own patented products whereas other PCs are beholden to Microsofts patents. As I said before, patents are where the money is. Surely you are aware of all those years of patent litigation of smaller companies with Microsoft trying to monopolize the industry and kill off their competition?
Apple's independence has brought them nothing on the PC market. They are a non player. If it had not been for the Ipod and now Iphone and Ipad, then Apple would be a two bit company trying to survive.

But there is a major difference in the quality of the graphics and if graphics is the business you are in, then a Mac is the preferable choice. And since it's a tax write off for businesses they can afford the higher cost.
Again not the issue. Business can take the cost, but we are talking about the big prize... the average consumer. If they stand across from a top speced windows pc with and OS they know from work, or an over priced Apple Mac with and OS they dont know, guess which they will choose?

They have over 300 retail stores, which is 300 more than any other PC company has. I provided a link in my post above and you are more than welcome to read it if you care to.
And so what! Retail stores mean jack ****, pardon my french. Has their share of the PC market increased considerably with those 300 retail stores? no. Only reason that they are opening retail stores is because of the IPod/IPhone and IPad, not because of their PC division. Their own stores have been a part of Apple forever, and before the Ipod back in the day, they were CLOSING stores because they were too expensive to run vs the benefit.

Well, thats probably true but Apple has a higher share of high end users and it is Linux compatible for those that have a deep hatred for Microsoft and there are many.
What is a "high end" user in the business world?

And Linux is for servers (cause it is free), not for desktops.

A huge portion of world business computers run Windows and will continue to do so because retraining people in a new OS is too expensive and time consuming. That is why when people go home and want to buy a PC for home use, they usually buy a Windows based PC.

That is also why Microsoft (and Apple) for many years focused a lot on the schools and universities with cheap versions (if not free) of their OS and office packages. They both know that getting em young will mean they most likely stay for life, and in that war Microsoft is winning.

Just look at the Net book. Originally it was designed for the 3rd world with Linux on board. But Microsoft quickly saw a future problem here and negotiated that net books should have Windows XP (and now Windows 7) and that way they were able to prevent Linux yet again being accepted as a viable alternative to Windows on the consumer market.

Well they must doing something right to have a 22% to 36% increase in market share since 2005....
Mostly in the US I would wager. And a 36% increase over 5 years when starting at such a low % is not that impressive.

It's been awhile since I used a Mac, but the graphics were definitely better and the third party software such as Maya was customizable for the Mac.
Things change. I would agree 10 years ago graphics programs for Mac > windows.. now days I dont agree. Most graphics programs come for both Windows and Mac... unless it has something to do with Adobe of course :)

LOL don't get mad. You seem kind of bitter that Apple is finally doing better.

Apparently, Apple is rated better in consumer satisfaction than other PCs and that is important to know when buying a new computer. Some people will spend the extra money just to get the better customer service and avoid the repairs and problems...
Not trying to get you mad :) And yes Apple has a high consumer satisfaction, but that too is suspect in my view. Apple has been hit with problems ever since Ipod.. battery and casing issues. Heck even today, it costs you a lot of money to replace a battery in their products, and if it was not for the EU then in Europe those batteries would only last a year max. Then there was the IPhone 4 issues and so on and so on. I think much of the "satisfaction" comes from owning something "cool"... after all Apple users (the hard core) are not much different than a cult :) Same goes for Linux users btw :)
 
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