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The Desk Idea Group

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Andrew Scott
Andrew Scott

Apple’s Been Dethroned.

Last year, retail investors made their presence known to Wall Street like never before. Online trading platforms like Robinhood (HOOD -0.19%), which have been especially popular among the retail crowd, rolled out the red carpet for everyday investors to put their money to work on Wall Street. When that happened, retail rocked the boat and sent a number of heavily short-sold stocks rocketing higher.

Apple’s been dethroned.


Although Robinhood's retail faithful have demonstrated that they love chasing momentum plays, penny stocks, and heavily short-sold companies, there has been one consistency: tech kingpin Apple (AAPL -0.91%) has regularly been the most held stock on the platform.

Apple's innovation has also been a key driver of its share-price outperformance. For instance, Apple's introduction of a 5G-capable iPhone during the fourth quarter of 2020 sent its share of the U.S. smartphone market soaring. Since the release of 5G iPhones, Apple's domestic smartphone share has dipped below 50% during only one quarter.

However, change is a foundational part of Wall Street; and there's been a big change atop Robinhood's leaderboard (the list of the 100 most held stocks on the platform). As of the beginning of August 2022, electric-vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla (TSLA 1.60%) had dethroned Apple as the most held stock on Robinhood.

Whereas Elon Musk is a big reason why retail investors have bought into Tesla, he could just as easily be the primary reason for investors to avoid it like the plague. That's because Musk has a habit of overpromising and underdelivering on projects. Remember the conceptual all-electric Tesla Semi that was unveiled in late 2017? The first production model isn't expected until 2023. Recall when Elon Musk promised to have 1 million robotaxis without a steering wheel or pedals on the roads by the end of 2020? That promise has been pushed back to 2024. This isn't to say that Musk doesn't eventually deliver what he set out to achieve. Rather, it demonstrates that Tesla's CEO is rarely ever able to make good on his promises in a timely manner.

The 50-year reign of Red Delicious as the most dominant apple variety in American orchards is OVER AT LONG LAST. According to the U.S. Apple Association, the new ruler over the apple domain is the far superior Gala apple.

But despite selling millions and millions of the new smartphones - the most expensive Apple has ever released with a starting price of 999 - the iPhone X has now been knocked off its top spot as the best-selling smartphone in the world.

Soaring oil prices have contributed to increased profits at Aramco, while also worsening rising inflation that is causing the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates fast. Meanwhile, the tech market has been seeing a downturn due to inflation and other challenges that include windfall resulting from the ongoing war in Ukraine.

A man chooses bananas near imported apples from the United States at a supermarket in Beijing, Monday, April 2, 2018. China raised import duties on a $3 billion list of U.S. pork, fruit and other products Monday in an escalating tariff dispute with President Donald Trump that companies worry might depress global commerce. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

FILE - In this March 23, 2018, file photo, a woman wearing a uniform with the logo of an American produce company helps a customer shop for apples a supermarket in Beijing. China raised import duties on a $3 billion list of U.S. pork, fruit and other products Monday, April 2, 2018 in an escalating tariff dispute with President Donald Trump that companies worry might depress global commerce. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, FILE)

\"Alphabet had the combination of growth and transparency, which is the magic 1-2 combination in this market, while Apple is struggling through a bad hitting streak of soft growth,\" Daniel Ives, managing director at FBR Capital Markets, told ABC News today. \"This speaks to some of the challenges [Apple CEO] Tim Cook and Apple have run into over the last few months as the iPhone 6s has been disappointing and resulted in near-term growth concerns for the company.\"

Ruth Porat, a Wall Street veteran who was hired as Google's chief financial officer, has promised to bring financial discipline to the company. Porat's approach, coupled with the fact that investors have for the first time been given a clear breakdown of each business unit's performance, was key to helping it take the top spot from Apple, Ives said.

Google has always been a search engine and advertising business at its core but over the years it's grown into a company with diverse interests ranging from self-driving cars to home automation systems. The idea of Alphabet is to spin off some of those businesses from Google, a move Alphabet CEO Larry Page said would make the company \"cleaner and more accountable.\"

Apple has been seeing its share price drop over the past month. The sinking share price came despite Apple reporting better-than-expected profits in the first three months of this year amid strong consumer demand.

Apple's iPhone X was recently the highest selling smartphone in the world and the phone has only been on the market for six months. It was the world's best-selling smartphone, until it was dethroned recently by Samsung.

A pair of reports out this morning highlight Apple's ongoing struggles in India and China ahead of the company's Q2 2018 earnings results coming tomorrow, May 1. Within India, Apple has been dethroned as the country's top selling high-end smartphone maker in the January-March period, losing out to Samsung.

As children, we're fed so many lies: that we might grow up to be princesses or knights, rather than Excel-spreadsheet-filling drones; that a flying lady in a tutu takes our discarded baby teeth from under our pillows and leaves behind a pile of quarters; that our leaders always have the best interests of humanity in mind. And worst of all, that apples of a shiny, deep red are "delicious."

Yet for difficult-to-comprehend reasons, this unforgivably shitty apple has had a long reign of terror as the most popular variety in the US for more than 50 years. How can it be a surprise that nearly 88 percent of Americans are not eating enough fruit when one of fruit's most ubiquitous representatives is this universally despised edible embodiment of false advertising?

Back in 2014, Tom Burford, apple historian and author of Apples of North America, had plenty to say about the Red Delicious, which he referred to as "the largest compost-maker in the world," when speaking with MUNCHIES. He recalled that the variety is descended from the far superior Hawkeye, which had a pleasant, floral flavor, far sweeter than the Red Not-Delicious, which soon descended from the Hawkeye due to the American industrial machine. Late capitalism, bad apples.

But now, he says: "The consumer goes into the supermarket and picks up that bag of Red Delicious and puts them in the cart. They take them home, put them in the fruit bowl, pick one off the top, and bite into it and say, 'This isn't really good.' It goes in the trash, and the next week the very same thing happens. Fifty-two bags of apples piled up in the trash!"


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