Is Apple Doubt Starting to Creep In?

Apple is a rather fascinating company when one examines not the products that it has developed but the way in which it's viewed in the public. For years now, Apple has been considered the dominant, unbeatable force in the technology industry, and there have been few people – if any – that have actually believed that the company could do anything but succeed beyond all expectation.Lately, though, some things have changed. Apple, once the most Teflon of companies in the technology world, is starting to create some doubt in the minds of supporters. While the company might still be generating billions of dollars and its sales are still strong, there's some concern that the future might not be as bright as the past.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in the finance world, where Apple's shares have dropped significantly over the last year. The company's stock price was over $700 at one point in the last 12 months, but is now below $500. Even as Apple generates billions of dollars each quarter, investors worry that the company might not be as solid an investment as it once was.

Apple's iOS is also starting to be criticized in some circles. Those who evaluate the operating system realize that it lacks many of the features found in Android. And with Google's operating system downright dominating iOS in terms of quarterly shipments, some are wondering if the mobile space might become the computing market, and Apple will be only able to muster a small slice of the space.

The iPhone isn't even getting the kind of love that it once did. Consumer Reports has ranked it lower than some of its chief competitors, and there's speculation that companies like Samsung could actually be putting pressure on Apple.

[aquote]No matter what the company touches, it turns to gold[/aquote]

So, what has happened? Apple is supposed to be the company that its supporters can always count on. Apple isn't the kind of firm that can make major mistakes or see its businesses decline; Apple is a company that knows how to grow like gangbusters. And no matter what the company touches, it turns to gold.

Admittedly, Apple hasn't really done much to disappoint its core supporters. The company's products are still top-notch, and despite investor concerns, it's generating billions of dollars each quarter and beating its internal estimates. By all measure, Apple is still a wildly successful force in the technology world.

And yet, some doubt is creeping in. Apple doesn't necessarily look like the company that can never be beaten any longer. And companies like Samsung and Google have been able to at least get a few blows in on the iPhone maker. Whether it will continue remains to be seen. But for the first time in a long time, Apple might just be capable of feeling the sting from competitors.