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[Newsmaker] Apple relinquishes its crown

For any reigning monarch, stumbling off the throne is painful. It’s expected to be the same for Apple Inc., the king of electronics and smartphones, which recently forfeited the crown as the world’s most valuable company. 

ExxonMobil has now taken over that spot as Apple has lost some $247 billion in shareholder wealth compared to its high, which pundits note exceeds the value of IBM, worth $232 billion. 

People walk in front of the 5th avenue Apple store on January 14, 2013 in New York City. (AFP-Yonhap News)
People walk in front of the 5th avenue Apple store on January 14, 2013 in New York City. (AFP-Yonhap News)


Last week, following its earnings announcement -- which disappointed investors despite being quite healthy -- Apple’s stocks suffered more than 10 percent. Its stock price is now about 40 percent off its peak.

A lack of meaningful new devices to add to its lineup combined with strong new rivals, particularly Samsung, seem to have taken a toll on the Cupertino-based company, not to mention the long-ignored bubble concealed behind Apple’s fantastic rise to the top, just waiting to burst.   

Investors are all the more upset because the rest of the U.S. stock market is actually doing quite well.

Apple’s losses are also affecting the Korean markets.

There had been a number of suppliers including LG Display that made a tidy pile of money off of Apple. They claimed it was not the money, but the association with the legendary company that they were after.

But as Apple sheds its value, its suppliers are also losing their brand power, not to mention that low popularity translates into less demand, which hurst all parties involved, including the suppliers.

Those close to LG Display argue that this is hardly the end, and that its business does not depend as much on Apple as believed, but LG’s tumbling stock prices -- despite posting a record-high quarterly profit -- prove the contrary is true.

In the end, Apple must be revived -- not just for LG Display, but for the local and global electronics industry, because Apple’s dominance over the past few years has proven how unsound it is for a single company to steal the show.

Samsung Electronics is in the limelight for now, but as Michael Moritz, chairman of Sequoia Capital, put it in a recent column: “Everyone knows the business will face stronger competition in the future.”

Given this fate, many would agree that it’s time to put aside the jabbing fingers and Apple envy to start looking for a way to create a healthier industry for all.



<관련 한글 기사>


상처받은 애플, 이젠 2위로


애플이 쓰라리다.   

일주일 사이에 주가가 10퍼센트 이상 빠진 것도 모자라, 시가총액1위 자리도 액슨모바일에게 내주었다. 

어려움에 빠진 애플을 놓고 업계는 입방아를 찧기 바쁘다. 특히, 활황세인 미국 주식 시장에 대비해 유독 상황이 안 좋은 애플은 모습에 충격을 감추지 못하고 있다.

애플의 하락은 국내시장에도 영향을 미치고 있다. 애플의 서플라이어로 잘 알려진 LG디스플레이의 경우, 지난 4분기에 사상 최대 분기 실적을 냈음에도 주가가 반등에 실패했다.

뒤돌아보면 애플이라는 버블은 언젠가 터질 수밖에 없었다. 이미 수개월 전부터 이렇다 할만한 신규제품의 부재와 얇아져만 가는 매니아층이 현재의 사태를 예견했었다.  

하지만 애플이 언제까지나 바닥을 헤맬 것이라 생각한다면 오산이다. 애플이 있어 건재하고 있는 수많은 업체들과 엔지니어들, 그리고 애플이 바꿔놓은 패러다임을 생각해본다면, 제2의 전성기는 반드시 올 것이다.

삼성이 애플을 제치고 현재 핸드폰 업계의 선두를 달리고 있지만, 삼성도 언제, 어떻게 1위를 내놓게 될지는 아무도 모른다.   

이제 원망과 분노는 접어두고 애플은 물론, 업계 전체가 재기의 방안을 모색할 시점이다. (코리아 헤럴드 김지현)

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