This morning I hit the seemingly innocuous weekly software update button on an Apple iMac. After disastrous "bad" updates from Apple for Airport and Apple TV devices (rendering them useless) I always read the details on any update. So, today, I clicked "read detail" and saw that the updates were for Safari (Apple's browser) and iTunes. "Restart required". Well, there was no restart. The machine struggle to restart and died.
Now, why write this complaint to Seeking Alpha? I am an occasional contributor to SA (on) media issues. I have also been Mac Fan from the days I owned an Apple II. Here's the investment issue. The Mac environment has had three attributes which distinguished them from Microsoft: Mac's are easy to learn, easy to use and reliable--both hardware and software. In my humble opinion, I believe that is no longer true. The updates that have killed three devices of mine have clearly been sloppily written and tested and created extraodinary costs in time, lost files and money. Here's the real question: is Apple a mediocre computer company that makes good phones or a phone company that makes poor computers?
I've read a number of pieces in Seeking Alpha about how everybody loves Apple. It seems to me that investors need to be cautious from here for a couple of reasons. It's sheer size, its deferred tax liability (I will at some point write about thta and company's overseas cash position--when I figure it out.) Most importantly, at a time, when its quality as a maker of easy to use, friendly, reliable computers and devices is deterorating, Apple is in a position of tremendous vulnerability precisely because everybody loves it as an investment vehicle.