…But let’s take the “Android hypothesis” (i.e. that Android is causal to Apple’s share price) seriously and analyze it. How could the impact be measured?
Since Apple is trading at a fraction of (a) historic multiple (b) multiple based on growth (c) comparable companies’ multiples then we can assume that a “normal” valuation would be twice the current (i.e. a multiple of about 32). That would still be a discount to growth and history but it would begin to match some of the comparables. A doubling of the P/E would be a good start.
But a multiple of 32 would imply a doubling of market cap, which means that the Android hypothesis is causing the evaporation of about $300 billion in future profits. So it stands to reason that it’s responsible for a $300 billion destruction of Apple shareholder value.
That’s an interesting number since Google itself is only worth about $169 billion.
The measurement then presents a remedy: If Apple bought Google (it already has a third of its value in cash) and it shut down Android, it could create $300 billion in value. If could even throw away all of Google and still walk out with a profit.
Seems like a great bargain.