As Apple prepares to report what analysts project may be the company's first year-over-year quarterly earnings decline in a decade on Tuesday, it is also grappling with jittery investors and a recent share-price plunge that has wiped about $280 billion off its market capitalization since its stock reached a high of $702.10 last September.
Much of the investor nervousness is rooted in how Wall Street is treating and valuing the
, company as a traditional
hardware maker. One camp of analysts and some investors said there is strong
evidence that Apple should be viewed in a different light: as a
software-hardware hybrid. Cupertino,
The distinction matters. If it continues to be seen as a hardware business, Apple's streak—driven by products like the iPhone and iPad—could run out….