More credible threats such as competition from Amazon.com
These are all legitimate concerns and should not be taken lightly. But competition is nothing new to Apple, and I believe that much of these fears are already baked into the stock price.
As for Apple's so-called earnings miss, the company surpassed its own guidance for the fourth quarter and then went on to issue guidance above Wall Street's expectations for the current quarter. As for the rumors regarding slowing iPhone demand, my esteemed Foolish colleague Eric Bleeker pointed out that these types of warnings have in the past often been misguided, and investors and even professional analysts often misinterpret their impact on Apple's earnings.
I will not dismiss the threat from Amazon and Google, but I have accounted for this in my valuation model for Apple, including potential lower average selling prices for the iPad and iPhone.
And what if Apple remains ... Apple? What if booming international sales help Apple sell many more iPhone 4S units than analysts are currently expecting? What if Apple continues to innovate and launches a blockbuster new Apple TV sometime next year? What if Tim Cook turns out to be an excellent CEO and superbly executes the long-term strategic plan that he and Steve Jobs put in place? Could Apple -- dare I say it -- continue to outperform?
I believe the answer is yes. And I'm ready to put real money behind that statement. In addition to being the largest holding in my personal portfolio, Appl.e is also my first recommendation and a core holding in my Motley Fool Tier 1 Investments Rising Star Portfolio. And on the next business day after this article is published, Tier 1 Investments will be adding to its Apple position.
If you're interested in hearing about three under-the-radar companies quietly cashing in on the booming smartphone and tablet PC markets, you can check out The Motley Fool's latest special free report: " 3 Hidden Winners of the iPhone, iPad, and Android Revolution ." The report is yours today, absolutely free.