Apple’s App Economy is Still $7 Billion Strong

appstore iphn5It’s another sour day for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) on the stock chart, but there’s no reason some negative price movement should rain on everybody’s parade. There’s no hiding that the world’s largest tech company has been experiencing what we’ll call growing pains, as investors, analysts, and consumers battle their expectations for the company against reality.

The results, for the most part, have been messy. In many ways, the company’s most-recent earnings were a case study for what happens when investors fundamentally disagree about the strength of a company. In the end, anyone who bought into the hype while the stock was running up for most of 2012 ended up disappointed. The stock has been in a down trend since late September.

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But a company does not begin and end with its performance on the stock chart. Observers have suggested that Apple’s path back to prosperity does not involve getting mired down in fights with shareholders and appeasing investors through increased dividends or iPrefs, but by focusing on adding real value to the company. That means fostering talent, innovating, and weathering the storm. Mixed into whatever cocktail for success that the company is bound to brew up is its iconic App Store and the massive community — pretty much its own economy at this point — of developers who support it…

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