With the holidays around the corner, we decided to do a mini series about a few of the tech stocks that we follow all year long. We are the first ones to judge and criticize how these companies are run but as they say, it’s always much easier to criticize it then actually run a company. So we decided to go ahead and write a series about what we would do with these companies.
Management in the past few years
Taking over Apple (AAPL) would be a very big challenge. No CEO is seen as more instrumental to his company’s success than Steve Jobs is to Apple. Since his return to the company, Steve Jobs has led countless product launches that have helped Apple take over what seemed unthinkable just 5 years ago, the top technology company in the world in terms of market cap. Apple is dominant in all kinds of products from the iPod to the iPad but its future now seems tied to the iPhone as Apple battles both Research in Motion (RIMM) and Google (GOOG). As mobile devices gain importance, being the dominant player has allowed Apple to be a major force to be reckoned with.
Make Apple products the leading edge in terms of design, technology and overall experience.
Initiatives/Priorities I would get started on
- Offer the iphone & ipad on other carriers: As good as Steve Jobs has been about delivering a solid product, this is a MAJOR flaw that needs to be fixed quickly. I would be curious to know what kind of market share Android would have had the iphone been available on other carriers from the start. Google might need to give up some of its control but right now, having it only on AT&T (T), a carrier that is very unpopular, seems like a big mistake. From my first day in, getting it on Verizon (VZ) and at least one or two others would be my top priority. This would give me access to more users and also hurt Android powered handsets.
- Buy Netflix (NFLX): Some rumors were discussed a few weeks ago and I even wrote about it. Buying Netflix is certainly a bit of a gamble because of its high valuation but it makes sense in so many ways for Apple. First off, one of the battles that Apple has been waging for its ipod/ipad/iphone line in itunes has been buying content. Netflix has an incredible number of deals for content which could instantly help Apple. Another priority for Apple has been gaining access to the living room through Apple TV. What better way to do that than get access to the #1 movie/tv streaming and rental service? It makes sense in many ways.
- Live satellite radio & tv: Sirius (SIRI) might not be for everyone but I’m convinced that adding it to the iphone would be a major improvement for many users. Apple could get a cut of the profits and revenues generated by Apple users and Sirius would instantly get access to millions of new users. A win win for everyone involved in my opinion. I’m shocked this has not happened already. To be fair, users can get Sirius radio through an App but I think a deeper alliance between the two companies (such as pre-installing Sirius on all devices with a trial period) would make a lot more sense.
- Create a messaging system: This could be used by all Apple device users, would be a “chat system” that could also support sending files such as photos & videos but also include video chat and other features.
- Payment systems: Apple is big enough to become a “standard”. Many countries now have a lot of transactions go through their phones and Apple should lead such an initiative in the US.
- Flash Support: I understand that the reason why flash is not supported is because it's a challenge to not crash devices and keep the user experience solid. But making enemies is not a good idea, take your ego out of the way. Also, apart from the carriers issue, lack of Flash support is the big reason why users are not buying an Iphone. There’s no sense in doing it. Instead, work with Adobe (ADBE) to make it more stable and let users know when Flash creates issues/crashes on their device.
Disclosure: Long Apple