Apple vs. the Tyranny of Expectations

A blog about business and economics.
Jan. 27 2014 5:07 PM

Apple vs. the Tyranny of Expectations

463195165-tim-cook-chief-executive-officer-of-apple-inc-and-china
You're not happy with 6 percent?

Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

On its face, Apple's Q1 earnings released today are good news. iPod revenue plummeted 55 percent, but Mac grew 16 percent, iPad grew 7 percent, and iPhone grew 6 percent. Since iPhone is Apple's biggest business, iPhone performance dominates overall results and so revenue rose 6 percent as compared to one year ago.

Sounds good. Not crazy-amazing-poised-to-conquer-the-world good. But Apple hasn't had the price-earnings ratio of a high growth company for quite a while. For a mature company this is a mature level of growth.

Except, no. The financial market reaction, in Business Insider's typically restrained voice, is APPLE TANKS AFTER WHIFFING ON IPHONE SALES. You see, though iPhone sales rose they rose less than expectations, and so that's bad. The financial market gods are cruel and fickle.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

How to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

A Simple Way to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.