One popular knock against Apple is that rather than being innovative, the company merely copies existing technology and makes it more user friendly.  For that reason, whenever the company announces a new phone or product, you always hear how the new model is finally ‘catching up’ to offerings from Samsung or another company.  With regards to its stock price, no one would ever accuse Apple of needing to play catch up.  After all, the stock is up 38% this year, which is more than three times the gain of the S&P 500.  What you may not realize is that you could say that this year’s strong performance is just an example of Apple’s stock playing ‘catch up’ to the broader market.  It may sound hard to believe, but since the iPhone 5 first went on sale in September 2012, shares of Apple are up 60%.  The S&P 500, however, is actually outperforming Apple by eleven percentage points for a gain of 71% over the same time period.

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