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Should Apple target the business market?

Alex Crooke, manager of the Bankers investment trust, says Apple, the iPad to iPhone wonder stock, may have to change tack to satisfy investors' high expectations.

Should Apple target the business market?

Bankers , the third best performing global growth investment trust over one year, has bounced back from the financial crisis and delivered a 55.4% three-year, total return to shareholders.

This month it dropped its performance fee, leaving investors paying one of the lowest ongoing charges in the sector of 0.4% a year.

Fund manager Alex Crooke came into the Citywire studio to discuss the year ahead and some of his key holdings such as Apple, the US consumer technology giant which Crooke says is struggling to meet the high expectations of investors.

2 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Mark Lance

Feb 01, 2013 at 18:55

So if the fund only charges 0.4% are their any hidden charges wages bonuses that the workers of the fund get as well or is it literally they buy and sell charges and they take 0.4% to cover all there costs, wages bonuses?

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John Minard

Feb 25, 2013 at 11:53

Apple would need to change three particular fundamental approaches to build a better position in business IT. Firstly, conducting wider beta testing of products. Apple maps being a rather obvious example of a product that was patently unready for inclusion on its mobile devices in other than a beta form. The previous iPhone antenna issue is another example and typically beta testing is confined to developers.

The second issue, and a more serious one for business, is support for older products. Apple's philosophy is very much akin to 'the improved being the enemy of the new' but business's need to choose re-fresh cycles that fits with them, not the other way around. A recent example was Apple's decision withheld its integrated cloud services support to a fairly recent desktop / laptop OS release called Snow Leopard. Incidentally that OS release had made some inroads into the business market building on the relative unpopularity of Microsoft's then Vista OS. Roughly a third of Apple Mac users till use that release and ironically have had to go outside of the Apple eco-system to retain services from email and calendar and contacts synchronisation to cloud storage and third party software support. Apple also fails to address fundamental bugs in older OS's. Business users that where able to upgrade to a newer Mac OS found that it no longer supported Windows servers file sharing.

Thirdly; virus protection and maintenance. The Apple Mac is typically more maintenance hungry than Windows (although it could be argued that historically glitches are more recoverable). If a user doesn't know how to 'repair disk permission' then their system will become progressively buggy over time and with every new software install / update. It's something they need to automate at least as a periodic reminder and place 'maintenance' option under 'system preferences'. Virus and malware protection has always been a moot issue with Mac aficionados but threats on the Mac are undoubtedly on the increase and in any event in a mixed OS business environment it is important that threats are eradicated at all possible points. It is time that Apple bundled an anti-virus set-up similar to Microsoft's 'Security Essentials'.

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