One surefire way to draw attention to yourself is to come up with a “contrarian” take on current events. While it’s always good to try thinking against the grain, there are times when contrarian takes simply fly in the face of reality. Nowhere in the tech world is this more apparent than the pundits and analysts who have repeatedly predicted over the years that Apple is “doomed.” We decided to follow up on two prominent examples of this phenomenon from last year to see what they’ve had to say in light of Apple’s record-smashing Q1 2015 earnings.
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First up is Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdry, who last March had a jaw-dropping interview with CNBC in which he said that Apple had a mere 60 days to unveil a smartwatch or the company would “disappear.”
“It will take years for Apple’s $130 billion in cash to vanish, but it will become an irrelevant company,” the analyst explained. “It will become a zombie, if they don’t come up with an iWatch.”
What has he had to say in the wake of Apple’s huge earnings report? We found him quoted in Benzinga talking about how Apple is so successful because it’s “a multi-year, multi-product, multi-geography, multi-services company” that also has “a device for every user behavior.” He’s also quoted by BostInno as predicting the Apple Watch will be a smash hit and will sell at least 40 million units this year.
This is certainly a long way off from Apple “disappearing” if it didn’t unveil an Apple Watch by mid-May 2014, although it doesn’t seem to have changed publications’ willingness to seek him out and quote him in their pieces. This is the beauty of tech punditry: It’s so expendable that most people will have forgotten what you said less than a day later.
Our second subject is Yukari Iwatani Kane, a longtime Wall Street Journal reporter who wrote a book last year called Haunted Empire that argued Apple has been in the midst of a downward spiral ever since cofounder Steve Jobs’ death. To hear Kane tell it, Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Phil Schiller and Eddy Cue have basically decided to mail it in for the past several years and are bringing Apple back to the dark days of John Sculley.
Unlike Chowdry, we found that Kane has been almost completely silent ever since the iPhone 6 launched in September. A Google News search of her name shows no recent interviews, she hasn’t posted anything on her Twitter account since September 16th and her Facebook page shows that she’s posted nothing Apple-related for months.
Kane, however, is a much smarter Apple observer than Chowdry’s ever been and she has a track record as an excellent Apple reporter. We’ll be interested in what she says when she pops her head up again to see if she’s changed her views on Apple’s future prospects.