I'm not an apologist, so you keep right on joking.
Bull. Compared to today's Apple? Sure, but any one of these businesses is far larger than it was just five years ago (excepting maybe iPod).
And following the entire PC industry, which is entirely in decline. This reflects on changing consumer habits, not Apple failing.
Yes, they have. Apple has no idea what the iPad is, and in this segment, good enough is good enough. The fool things are lasting way too long (for Apple's bottom line), this year's newest iPad offers nothing compelling over last years (other than the display), and five year old iPads are still getting email and surfing the web just fine. Either way, it's still a hugely successful business.
Yes and no. iPods are selling in lots of roughly 50 million. They just all look and feel exactly like iPhones.
But, yes, iPod the lineup is dead and hidden within "other" now, although that segment is worth a few billion dollars.
Not sure about "crappy product". I have met several people who own them and I have yet to hear words anywhere near that used as descriptors. What I hear is "awesome", "life altering", "amazing", "super cool" and etc. I have yet to hear a negative, face-to-face comment. I have no use for them, but the people I have met that actually own one have it on their wrist all the time and praise it continuously.
I will agree, however, that you
think its a crappy product.
I think it is a very special product, and agree that Apple is handicapped by licensing arrangements, which is something I have commented on religiously regarding Apple TV.
Yep. Which is precisely why I didn't call out services as a big business all on its own. No iPhone? No services to offer.
Hardware wise, Apple could spin off any product line and be successful with it. Each has a use and a following large enough to stay afloat and make good margins. Apple is no one trick pony. Their biggest pony is full of tricks and hugely valuable, and Apple has lots of ponies in play.
As far as the "slump" in iPhone sales is concerned, yeah, the entire smartphone industry slowed down. Says absolutely nothing about Apple or the iPhone, but says a lot about smartphone users. Oh, and iPhone sales followed Apple's guidance almost exactly, so there is no news here other than the media spin. Absolutely none!