“If you think about the basics for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), it’s build the best hardware platform on the planet, build the best software and ecosystem on the planet,” Brian Marshall, an analyst at ISI, said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Monday.
That may sound like one part tall order and one part happy talk, but it’s also basically true. For nearly a decade, with different hardware at different times, Apple did exactly that. The iPod proved to be a best-in-class music player, the iPhone revolutionized smart devices, and the iPad pretty much defined the product category. Macs may not have the same relative market dominance, but they are still a top-tier device.
But Marshall — an Apple bull with a $600 price target on the stock — suggests that Apple has failed to execute on this best-in-class strategy recently. “They used to do that in the past,” he said. “They’re not doing that today.”
Broadly speaking, it’s the same concern voiced by many other analysts, investors, and consumers. Just as the world was getting used to Apple’s insane pace of innovation, it seems to have ended.