Wall Street thinks Apple can't innovate. Main Street thinks different.

How Apple, Samsung and Goggle stacked up in a poll of 2,200 adults.

From the independent research firm Morning Consult:

When U.S. adults were asked which consumer technology company is the most innovative, Apple Inc. was the clear winner among a list of 12 businesses, chosen by 26 percent of the 2,201 participants in a recent Morning Consult survey. Samsung Electronics Co. came in second, at 14 percent.

The top five were rounded out by Google Inc. (11 percent), Microsoft Corp. (9 percent) and Amazon.com Inc. (8 percent). At the bottom of the list was Honeywell International Inc., which sells smart home gadgets such as wifi thermostats, with zero percent. The poll, conducted Jan. 4-5, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

morning consult apple can't innovate

Click to enlarge. 

My take: The disconnect between buyers and the buy side would be risible if it didn't suppress Apple's share price.


  1. David Drinkwater said:
    As an Apple investor, I think this is great. As a Honeyweller, not so much.

    But we’re pretty much on level pegging with GE, who are also “diversified manufacturers”.

    In some ways, our companies are not well understood, because many of our products are unrecognized by the end-user. Not many people on a airplane realize that GE makes the jets, Honeywell makes the avionics. Most people driving a car with one of our sensors in it have no idea that it’s even there or that it was made by Honeywell.

    January 11, 2018
    • David Drinkwater said:
      We’ve basically got the whole entire article cited here on PED 3.0, so there’s no need to click through for any actual depth of reporting associated to the poll. No methodology, no commentary, nothing.

      January 11, 2018
  2. David Emery said:
    I had a Honeywell ‘internet enabled alarm system’ It sucked! The user interface was bad, and the web site was a Flash application! What kind of idiot company implements a -security system- in Adobe Flash?!? And it wasn’t even particularly competent/well done Flash, it had serious problems with scrolling. Johnson Controls apparently outsourced the work to Honeywell, and a pox on both of them.

    We’re getting a new furnace with a control sold by Lennox. I don’t know who the OEM is, but a lot of the on-line reviews show similar stupidity.

    But of course, this is what you get when you outsource your development, and don’t have competent and experienced people writing specs and supervising the work (if not actually doing the software development.)

    WHY DO WE PUT UP WITH BAD SOFTWARE? (In part because we are given no choice by completely exclusionary ShrinkWrap licenses. Once Congress makes those illegal, we’ll start to see lawsuits, and THAT will get senior management attention onto software quality.)

    January 11, 2018
  3. John Kirk said:
    There has always been a disconnect between Apple observers and Apple’s customers. Just off the top of my head:

    — Apple’s critics don’t seem to understand Apple’s premium business model — but their customers do.

    — Apple’s critics often grade Apple on a curve. Well, they grade Apple’s competitors on a curve. To be fair, this is because Apple holds itself out to be a premium product so they are criticized for the least little imperfections while their competitors’ products can literally blow up in your face without receiving much notice.

    — Apple’s competitors do not seem to understand what makes Apple tick. Microsoft under Ballmer didn’t get Apple. Google doesn’t seem to get Apple. Samsung keeps copying Apple but they also keep criticising Apple — and then later copying the very things they criticized.

    — And Investors? Sheesh. I’m too stupid to understand how investor’s view Apple. Horace Dediu keeps pointing out that if you take Apple’s P/E and their cash in hand that Apple’s investors think Apple is going out of business in about 7 years. Meanwhile, companies like Microsoft, etc, have P/E’s that are 3 to 4 times that of Appl’es. Many companies have a P/E that is 10 times that of Apple.

    I guess not understanding Apple is part of what makes Apple successful. When people start to “get” Apple, either everyone else will do what Apple does, or it will mean that the end is nigh.

    January 11, 2018
  4. Fred Stein said:
    I LOVE it – the irony and opportunity.

    Irony: Analysts mistake innovation with breakthroughs. Breakthroughs are rare. For a company of Apple’s size, analysts discount a breakthrough like Apple Watch. But consider this. “Wearables” has been a hot new category for years before the Apple Watch, with a series of short-term small successes. They all petered out. The Watch is dominant and still growing. More importantly it is the ONLY wearable to become a platform. Meanwhile all of Apple’s other product innovations keep the installed base buying the upgrades. Analysts discount these innovations as incremental.

    Opportunity: AAPL is a bargain.

    January 11, 2018
  5. Ken Cheng said:
    In the footnote, 19% chose No Opinion. The poll wasn’t a fill-in-the-blank, it was choose one of these 12, or don’t know/no opinion. Presumably the poll will skew slightly to those companies that sell products to you more frequently. Would also be interesting to see an overlay of consumer advertising budgets. Anyway, it’s a survey.

    January 11, 2018
  6. Gregg Thurman said:
    “The user interface was bad, and the web site was a Flash application!”

    Thanks for the example that proves my point (see “Spectacularly Bad Advice” comment). Somebody in the company had an idea, a focus group was formed to lead management decisions (after all management doesn’t really know what the consumer wants). Then development turned over to a bunch of engineers that think its wonderful because THEY know how it works.

    User experience is not a part of the design spec.(because there is no vision behind the product).

    January 11, 2018
    • David Emery said:
      If the Flash were reasonably engineered, I might be better disposed towards that product. But not only was it poorly imagined/designed, it was also poorly implemented.

      January 12, 2018
  7. Gregg Thurman said:
    “Analysts mistake innovation with breakthroughs”

    “Analysts discount these innovations as incremental.”

    Analysts are numbers crunchers. They are not visionaries, and couldn’t recognize a vision if it struck them in the forehead. This is why we hear Cook telling them to look at this or that.

    There are only two analysts that I believe give any consideration to a company’s execution of a vision. Couple that with a mentality hindered by a 90 – 180 day earnings horizon, and you miss the long term prospects of companies like Apple.

    January 11, 2018
    • Jonathan Mackenzie said:
      Quarterly results keep analysts thinking short term until they don’t. Companies like Netflix are liberally projected out 3-5 years in order to justify whatever market price they’re sporting. So short term thinking is not equally applied to all stocks. They say Netflix will double its subscribers in three years. Meanwhile Apple can’t possibly sell more iPhones. I no longer try to explain it rationally.

      January 11, 2018

Leave a Reply