Tech Check

"Flamed" Again!!

Hi again, everyone. I've been remiss in not getting your comments on the blog with some of my responses, but yesterday's post about Apple sharesbrought an unusually high response. Both in the blog, and on my company email. In the media business, we have a term for the Mac (now iPod) faithful when we write or report some less-than-flattering comments and angles to the Apple story. We call it, "getting flamed."

And I got flamed.

But this time around, I'm not sure the flaming was totally warranted. The subject of yesterday's blog was pegged to the ThinkEquity downgrade of Apple shares, which after reading the client note and talking to analyst Jonathan Hoopes, seemed to come almost completely on valuation.

I pointed out that the last time an analyst downgraded Apple shares was in April when Citigroup did the deed. Apple was at $90 then; it's close to $120 today. I merely asked whether ThinkEquity clients were in store for the same kind of "missed rally," or whether Hoopes was getting ahead of the pack. I also pointed out the hype surrounding iPhone, and wrote what Hoopes had told me: That in order to justify such a huge run-up in Apple shares, the execution of the roll-out had to be flawless. Not merely good; but flawless. And he wondered whether that could actually happen.

All reasonable. And all pretty balanced as far as I was concerned. (I just re-read it and feel the same way.)

But that didn't stop Stephen Krupinski from Kapolei, Hawaii from writing: "Why do the people at CNBC go out of their way to put down Apple day after day. I, like many others, will stop watching CNBC because of this when FOX starts their new financial channel."

Ouch! No need to turn us off completely, Stephen. Now, in Stephen's defense, he's dealing with muggy weather on the island today thanks to a small squall passing through so Hawaii may not be the paradise its cracked up to be, at least today. But as far as CNBC going out of its way to put down Apple every day? I truly disagree. These shares have been on quite the run. The coverage around iPhone has been non-stop. I think we owe it to the viewer to offer up both sides and cover this story -- and all others -- with a fair amount of skepticism. All I'm doing is giving you my read on what a good cross-section of experts is saying. Take it into account. Or not. But you owe it to yourself to look at all the angles surrounding Apple, not just the good ones.

Fred Saleh, who didn't tell me where he's from, writes: "I'm showing up at the store at 9 am. And I am holding my shares." All I can say, Fred, from what I'm hearing: Show up at 9 am, but be prepared to have lots of people online ahead of you--9 am may not be early enough!

Chris Pelonis, the president of Pelonis Sound and Acoustics, writes, in part: "I just love these genius analysts. At the turn of the year, (Apple) beat the Street, but had a weaker outlook for Mac computers and everyone jumped ship. Downgraders like Hoopes were like vultures but there wasn't anything dead. Quite the contrary. Remember that one? Genius. Sell sell! I told some friends to buy, buy. They did and are happy, happy." He goes on: "Not fanatical, simply in acknowledgment of companies that have made life better for us all. Companies that actually try to give people what they want and need will grow. Apple has a long way to go and a long way to grow."

Christine Bonneau attached a one-year Apple chart to her note, quizzing me on my comment that Apple shares were in the low 50s a year ago this week. "Right!" she writes. "In the low 50s for about, what, a month? Not even. People writing on the net can be so.... Have a nice glass of wine on me, relax, life is beautiful. Good day." (And she signed it as "One of your new fans." I sense a little sarcasm there? Yes? No?)

All of you bring up great points. I encourage you to write in. Post my blogs elsewhere. Link back to us. I love this kind of dialogue. It's why I truly love this job. Keep writing. I'll post and answer every chance I get.

Thanks for writing in. Now, what do you all think of the Google/eBay spat? I'm very curious about that one, too!

Questions?  Comments?