What I can’t figure out is why he [Steve Jobs] is even trying [to be the CEO of Apple]? He knows he can’t win. – Bill Gates, June 1998
To understand Wall Street’s view of Apple, you need to know they look to the company with the largest financial presence in technology, from which everyone else is compared.
Apple has been used by Wall Street to contrast the difference between a lesser opponent and juggernaut like Microsoft for so long, the Street is struggling to grasp the notion that, under a new coach, Apple took the Cup from Microsoft.
Microsoft lost the puck to Apple and Wall Street is still looking at the Jumbo-tron for the slo-mo replay. The Street recognizes the puck has changed hands, but they can’t figure out how.
It’s simple really, Apple changed the rules of the game to level the playing field. Under Microsoft’s dynasty, might made right (market share) and with Apple’s resurgence came a new meme; intelligence is fashionable. Work smarter for a better return on investment.
Microsoft and its best practices is so-last-century and Wall Street refuses to let go.
UPDATE: Walter Adamson gave me proper credit for the Hat Tip.