“Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) computers? Aren’t those for artists and graphic-design nerds?” I asked the salesman demonstrating an early version of the Apple Macintosh desktop computer in the early 1990s. “I need a real computer, not something to paint pretty pictures on and design flowers with.”
“You will understand one day, friend,” he said with a smile.
I ended up purchasing an International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) desktop and didn’t think much about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) — as a computer or an investment. That is, until 2007 — when everything changed.
But this change didn’t come from a desktop computer.
I have always had a preternatural attraction to cellphones, particularly smartphones. My obsession started with the very first Palm Pilot in the late 1990s and progressed through various alternatives before moving to the once-popular Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) series. I tried a new handset every six to 12 months.
Despite my doubts about Apple, the iPhone struck my fancy. It rode in on waves of publicity in June 2007, and the first time I touched it, I became an Apple aficionado for life. This phone was not just another gadget. It provided an intuitive connection between my mind, hand and device.
I’ve owned each generation of iPhone. They are the only smartphones I have purchased since 2007. As a fan of the iPad and iPhone, this former Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) skeptic has become a true believer.
Obviously, I am not the only one who feels this way: Investors riding the mass movement to Apple’s products pushed its shares from under $100 at the start of 2007 to $700 in September 2012. As you can see from the chart, this trip higher was nearly straight up without a pullback during the 2008 financial crisis. In fact, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) temporarily became the world’s most valuable company in 2012, exceeding Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) in market capitalization.
But since the September highs, shares have plunged to the $425 range, with only $75 to go before a 50% value slash. What has happened to this once high-flying stock?
The company blames a delay in supply-chain shipments and a failure by manufacturers to keep up with demand as major factors in the sell-off. In addition, many analysts hold the company to ridiculously high standards of performance. Even with record-breaking sales, analysts expect more; Apple’s recent failures to meet their expectations have hurt its stock price.
Apple is a victim of its own success. Although it’s unlikely the stock will ever reach its September highs again, a 100-plus-point recovery to the $550 range is possible.
That’s why I’ve outlined six reasons to buy Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) right now: