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Harvard Business Review: Apple is in trouble and it’s trying to hide it by reporting record profits

Published Feb 4th, 2015 2:20PM EST
Apple Earnings Harvard Business Review

When Apple announced its record-crushing earnings last week, we wondered where were all the people who had been doom-mongering about the company for the past couple of years. While it seemed at the time that “Apple-is-doomed” hot takes had fallen out of favor, Professor Juan Pablo Vazquez Sampere gives it the old college try writing for the Harvard Business Review with a particularly unique spin on the old formula: Namely, Tim Cook is using Apple’s record earnings to distract you from the fact that it’s out of ideas!

FROM EARLIER: The stupidest thing you’ll read today: ‘The Apple Watch will flop’

“By dazzling us with dollars, it seems that Apple’s leaders are deliberately trying to divert our attention,” the professor writes. “By making such a communication effort to let us know how much money they’ve made — instead of what they’ve done to change the world recently — they are inevitable forcing us to ask ourselves, is this what we get from the new Apple?”

There are times when you really just have to shake your head.

Apple wasn’t trying to “deliberately divert our attention” when it revealed its holiday quarter earnings. It was, in fact, meeting a legal obligation that every publicly traded company has to meet. If Apple had decided to not report its earnings (which wouldn’t have even been legal), people would rightfully be slamming the company for trying to hide something.

Elsewhere, Sampere brings up the old, tired refrain about how Apple hasn’t produced anything really innovative since Steve Jobs’ passing while conveniently forgetting that when the iPad first came out, it was dismissed by some as nothing more than a large iPod touch and supposedly showed that Apple had lost its innovative edge. And of course, Sampere ignores that the Apple Watch is going to release in the next couple of months, which represents the first major new product category of the Tim Cook era at Apple.

At any rate, even if the Apple Watch is a huge success, Sampere will probably remain unimpressed. After all, if the watch is a hit, it will lead to more big earnings reports — and as we all know, those are just clever distractions.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.