I remember my wife Cathy puzzling over the high share price of Telecom years ago (and a little later Telstra) when her customer experience was awful. Telecom kept cranking out profits for its owners while the call centre performance filled a nationwide reservoir of hatred. When the Cunliffe interventions broke the dam, Telecom had no friends.
Telecom directors were astounded by the casual ease with which politicians abandoned them. They thought that years of "hospitality" and friendly contact meant the politicians were largely onside, or at least neutral. But politicians in healthy democracies stay aware of popular feeling. No amount of lobbying will protect a monopoly that has become loathed.
My market lead indicator, Cathy is giving early warning signals on Apple. Her new iPhone 5 would not acquire or hold wi-fi in parts of Asia recently. She is now in a chat group of thousands of very angry iPhone 5 owners. Their similar experiences, including with their own home wi-fi that continues to work well on other Apple products are generating a wave of discontent. Add to that the arrogant decision to use a new charging and connection plug design that has rendered obsolete the myriad devices built to fit iPad and iPhone connectors, and Apple seems to me to be well overdue a re-rating, irrespective of its product pipeline.
They will get their come-uppance for disrespect to consumers.
Note – for the bozos who made it illegal in NZ to use freedom of speech to exchange views on matters of investment, I do not hold any Apple shares, and have no intention or expectation of changing anyone else's investment intentions with respect to Apple. I just want to have a public record of my view at a time when Apple is the most valuable company in the world, so that in a short time I can say "I told you so".