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Tim Cook's Impotent Leadership Will Hurt Apple

Tickers in this article: AAPL AMZN BBRY GOOG MSFT
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I had some dude chirp me on Twitter Tuesday because Apple stock has been a nice run. He requested an apology for my coverage of the company or stock or both. I'm not sure.

I give mea culpas frequently, but not this time.

If I mea culpa'd when AAPL crossed $700 -- and everybody had it going to $1,000 (or $1,111 if you're a particular Wall Street analyst) -- I would have been dead wrong.

That said, over the last couple of years I have gravitated away from writing directly about stocks. I prefer the slightly more intellectual exercise of discussing companies. Of course, company-related discourse relates, even if indirectly, to an investor's consideration of equities, but it doesn't leave non-shareholders out.

Anyway, just as I think it's patently absurd for Tim Cook to tie his pay to AAPL's stock performance, it's equally as inane for the rest of us to correlate any company's present state and long-term prospects to day-to-day market fluctuations, short-term trends and even quarterly earnings reports.

Yes, I have proclaimed Apple "dead" on more than one occasion. But, don't be lazy. With nearly every takedown of the argument that Apple can maintain its greatness long-term, I have provided a painful amount of context.

In a nutshell ... today, Apple is great. They make the best products. My household owns a MacBook Pro with Retina Display, two iPads, an iPad mini, three iPhone 5s and an assortment of iPods. I love Apple's hardware. Outside of iPad, it's not a marketshare story; never has been, shouldn't be, hopefully never will be.

Almost by default, Apple owns the present. Google's strategy isn't far enough along yet for it to qualify as a consumer mainstay on par with Apple. Microsoft and BlackBerry define failure from each end of a wholly pathetic spectrum. And Samsung still feels like a generic brand siphoning off of Google's open system.

Apple owns hearts. It owns minds. It makes the best, most beautiful hardware. That's where its bread and butter is. That's why it's great. That's why it should drop the rhetoric that it's a software company and make a kick-ass television that brings premium-priced, must-have products back to a commoditized space.

Samsung and others have single-handedly dumbed down the television (as hardware) industry to a point where you can pick a price range, throw a dart and, no matter where it lands, you'll end up with pretty much the same product as the options your dart overlooked.

I'm not sure how much more clear I can be about Apple, the company, today. Do I need to spend another several thousand dollars on their products to make my undying love come through more loudly and clearly?