If Apple Misses Earnings: The Ultimate Bear Trap?

Tickers in this article: AAPL

Even if AAPL goes up in a straight line from here, I'm not sure it's suitable for most long-term investors any longer . You need to be able to sleep at night; not worry that your future could come under fire thanks to an errant headline on a shaky iPhone 5 source report.

That said, you need to assess the situation for yourself on the basis of your personal financial situation and psychological makeup. Don't take this conversation with yourself lightly. AAPL has become serious business; it's no longer a moving party on the way to $1,111.

But, if Apple misses earnings, it might be the ultimate bear trap.

Apple's Cook and Peter Oppenheimer report next week. We say this before every Apple release, but this one probably is the most important in the company's history.

If Apple misses, or otherwise disappoints, the stock could make the recent collapse look tame. That might just present an opportunity of epic proportion for certain, thick-skinned, well-off and experienced long-term investors. Somebody who can take the heat and afford -- in the literal sense -- the inherent risk associated with buying AAPL in the doldrums.

Through all of this noise and hysteria, we're not only forgetting that Cook -- not The Wall Street Journal -- knows the score. We're not only ignoring the case that's actually logical -- AAPL reasserting itself and making a run for $1,000 after all . We are forgetting about that period between Apple products I often call "the bridge."

Apple could crush holiday-period numbers, but guide soft for the January-March period and the stock dives. It goes back to the unrealistic expectations Pallotta discussed.

In the past, Apple has been able to bridge the gap between big launches, largely because of the presence of Steve Jobs and the "newness" of iPad and iPhone. We no longer have these crucial factors, but, chances are, we have "the next big thing." We have a sorry lack of competition .

An earnings miss might actually work in the patient bull's favor. Remember, we're not talking about an overvalued company struggling to grow revenue and earnings and take control of mindshare and market share. We have the exact opposite. That should be the lead story; not misguided noise, smoke and mirrors.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.