The stock's changing role as market barometer comes as the company prepares to release first-quarter earnings that, for anyone else, would be sparkling but for Apple may be pedestrian or worse.
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There is no 1-to-1 comparison that shows exactly where Apple dollars went, but a broad swath of firms in the tech space continued to chart upward as Apple slid.
The Nasdaq stock index, considered a proxy for the state of technology, has risen just 3 percent during the period. Apple was nearly 20 percent of the total Nasdaq market cap at its apex — considered by some traders as a pivotal level that triggers selling — and is down to only about 11 percent now.
But in the meantime, individual names, including beleaguered companies such as Yahoo (55 percent higher) and Hewlett-Packward (up 12 percent), have soared.
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At the same time, the S&P 500's market cap has surged $600 billion to $13.9 trillion.
Apple, though, has lost its lofty perch atop the S&P 500, ceding its role as the largest percentage of market cap to ExxonMobil.
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"Apple has handed over the baton," said one trader long on Apple and unwilling to be quoted directly. "You could be watching an Apple into Microsoft and Google trade. It's gone from the most over-owned stock in mutual funds to somewhere in the middle of the pack."
Nevertheless, it's also paved the way for other stocks, many of a defensive nature, to move to the front of the pack.
So while all of Wall Street and Silicon Valley will be watching Apple's results later Tuesday, making broad-based decisions - or Apple-specific ones, for that matter - off the profit report may not be wise.
"Forget about quarterly numbers," said Nadav Baum, executive vice president at BPU Investment Management. "Let's talk about the business. If the business is great it will be a good investment for those that stay in for the long haul."
As for the near term, though, Baum advises not betting the entire portfolio on one company.
"Diversify," he said. "You buy great stocks, you buy great companies and you don't put everything in one stock. Over the time the growth of the stock market will do well for you if you continue to buy high-quality, great businesses."
-By CNBC.com's Jeff Cox. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxCNBCcom.