By now, most of us have had a couple of days to digest the news about Apple. Frankly, I'm not overly concerned about Apple's long-term prospects. But I fully understand why investors are rattled.
To recap, Apple's share price dropped sharply after the company announced quarterly revenue that disappointed the analysts. From my perspective, I think the analysts missed the main message, which was that Apple earnings were solid, despite lower unit sales.
The analysts seemed mostly irritated by Apple's announcement that it would no longer provide data on iPhone unit sales. The announcement sent the analyst community into a tailspin. In my opinion, the analysts and the market overreacted to Apple's decision.
Amazon stock also took a hit last week, falling 7 percent after offering lower guidance for the upcoming quarter. Again, I believe the market overreacted. CNBC agrees with me, and posted an article with comments from analysts predicting that Amazon will be fine over the long haul.
Regarding Apple, the decision to end its practice of reporting iPhone unit sales clearly startled some analysts. "Wall Street analysts told clients on Friday they were concerned about management's decision to stop breaking apart iPhone unit sales, an insight some investors used to gauge demand for the company's latest products," wrote Thomas Franck and Michael Bloom of CNBC. "Jefferies analyst Timothy O'Shea said the decision may fuel fears that [a] Tim Cook-led company may be trying to conceal softer sales in the future."
I firmly believe those fears are overblown. Unquestionably, Apple faces challenges, especially in China. But I see no indication that Apple management isn't up to the task of navigating through the turbulence that surely lies ahead.
Moreover, Apple's somewhat counterintuitive pricing strategy appears to be working. In effect, Apple has become a mass market luxury brand. That's not an easy feat, and yet Apple has managed to maintain its image as a brand that is both popular and expensive.
The overarching moral of this story is that Apple and Amazon understand their customers and have developed strategies for coping with the long-term volatility of the global economy. The analysts, on the other hands, appear fixated on the short term. While their viewpoint is not entirely surprising, it's important to remember that it doesn't reflect the realities of modern markets.
I strongly believe that markets are heading in a good direction, thanks in no small part to the driving force of technology. As I've said and written before, this is the best time to be in the tech industry. We are on a roll, and I expect our success to continue for quite a while.
In a recent edition of our newsletter, I shared eight predictions about the top tech trends that will impact the economy. As I noted, we live in a world of interconnected digital technologies. As a consequence, the tech industry will continue to expand, and the value of technology investments will rise in 2019. That remains my long-range forecast.