The business wires’ new verbal tic: Apple is ‘losing steam’ by Philip Elmer-DeWitt @FortuneMagazine May 14, 2013, 3:10 PM EST E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons Click to enlarge. FORTUNE — How do you describe a company that grew like gangbusters but has entered a patch of slower growth? Some desk editors at the business news services have hit on what they seem to think is the perfect phrase: Apple AAPL is “losing steam.” Last week it was Bloomberg News with this headline: Harvard Liquidates Apple Stake After IPhone Sales Lose Steam Which as we took pains to point out didn’t do a particularly good job of describing either Harvard’s investment strategy or the iPhone’s sales growth. See: Bloomberg’s lazy Apply bias. Then, on Tuesday, Reuters weighed in with this headline: Sharp to seek Samsung edge for survival as Apple sales lose steam Several problems with that one: What’s reportedly losing steam, when you read the story, are Sharp’s orders from Apple, not Apple’s overall sales. The writer claims — without citation — that “analysts project annual profit growth at Apple to average less than 5 percent over the next decade, compared with an average of 60 percent over the past five years.” That may come as a surprise to the analysts polled by Thomson Financial. They’re anticipating Apple’s profits to grow 20.88% per annum over the next five years. Even those growth estimates are based on the assumption that Apple has nothing new up its sleeve. No new product categories. No new disruptions. And nobody but Asymco‘s Horace Dediu seems to be paying close attention to the iTunes Store, which as he notes is growing steadily — without losing any steam at all — at a compound rate of nearly 30% a year. For Dediu’s latest on the subject, see The allure of iTunes or tune into last Sunday’s Critical Path podcast: Blessed are the apps.