Hey bears, you can't have it both ways. You can't be negative on the one and negative on the other. It's not fair and it won't make you money.
That was my thought yesterday when we discussed Apple's X availability on Squawk on the Street. I wanted very much to buy a X, the big one, for my wife, who wants the upgrade very much even as she has the seven. She's sold on the pictures, the speed, the beauty of the darned thing and likes the wireless charging.
So, knowing she doesn't watch the show, I mused to my partner Carl Quintanella whether it would be easy to get one. We talked about how it might be too late and maybe there aren't any available which had been the case earlier this month when I went to buy one.
So, thinking, avoid the big stores, I went up to the beautiful Apple (AAPL) museum across the street from the beautiful Whitney museum -- okay only one of those two is an actual museum but if you have seen that gorgeous store, you get the picture.
A terrific salesperson came to my aid immediately and asked what I wanted. I struggled to say it, lest the answer be no and I would have to traipse up and down the very pricey Madison avenue for another present. But I blurted out the X and she said she had one but only in silver. I said I would take it. She then said would I want the charger and I was thrilled that she had one.
But, I said, how about the buds? Do you have the buds? I am desperate for the buds and I hear they are out of them.
And they were.
Later that day I check Twitter and my email box to see what people are saying.
Let me summarize it this way: about half the people said that it is terrible for Apple that I could get an X because it shows that demand is light and inventory is heavy. The other half said that it's bad that they only had the silver because it shows Apple didn't know what it is doing not making enough X's and worse, the fact that they ran out of ear buds shows you they completely misjudged the holidays.
In other words, damned if you do and damned if you don't.
Now put aside that this is a worldwide company trying to figure out demand literally for tens of millions of people. Can we just accept the fact that both sides of the case can't be bearish? I think the idea that somehow it is bad for Apple that they had what I wanted and they haven't ran out ahead of Christmas is just plain stupid. You mean to tell me you would like the company more if they had nothing left a week before Christmas?
Similarly, though, how can you fault them for not having enough of the other kinds beside the silver. Who knew which color would sell out faster? Ear buds? This is one I am a little upset about because I initially I thought what a ridiculous idea but now I can't live without them. I also think what was I doing with a string around my neck when I am on the treadmill. These are so much safer, cooler and easier to use. It's a bummer but I accept that they can't have everything.
Now I know that Apple's stock doesn't fit the profile of what investors are buying. But can we just admit that you can't fault them both ways? I say, all things considered, if you own the stock as my charitable trust does, you should be thrilled they had some inventory, but not too much, because that is, quite frankly, ideal. It's anecdotal but I think my story tells you they have threaded the needle about as best as can be hoped and if anything, they've made the bull case, not the bear case, for those who want to own an inexpensive stock, which is why I believe even up here, you should own, not trade the shares of the greatest consumer product story the world has ever known.