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Ashkan Karbasfrooshan

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  • Is Apple Beginning Its Long Delayed Descent? [View article]
    eyerhyme, I never said anything about Macs... I clearly was talking about the Airport Extreme and the level of service.

    anyway, defend this folks:

    when I spoke to them on thursday, they said: "sorry, we'll send over an email with shipping details in the next 24 hours," and gave me a case #.

    24 hours came and went... so i called back today, thinking "all of these people defending apple can't be wrong, can they?"

    so i called... and gave them the case #.

    i guess the "holier than thou" attitude starts off with apple employees, cause they thought this was a big joke, the case # attached was to a "bob smith" (ironic, given my actual name), there was NOTHING included as notes in the case, and shockingly no email was sent.

    Defend that folks. As shareholders, users, how can you possibly defend that?
    Apr 10, 2007. 03:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Beginning Its Long Delayed Descent? [View article]

    that's actually a great point. i cannot speak on behalf of seeking alpha, but the truth is that i grew up on the business week's, economist's, fortune's and WSJ, and I saw them miss every single stock/company implosion of the past decade (enron, andersen, wcom, etc.) because the writers are a bit too chummy and close to mgmt's inner circles.

    your comments, frankly, are not directed so much at SA as they are to the bulk of blogs out there. on our blog (hipmojo), we write meatier articles than you find on most blogs, sometimes they are emotional, sometimes they are technical.

    but the fact is, it (and all blogs) are complementary to marketwatch, smartmoney, fortune, business week, etc. and not replacements. the level of access reporters get is obviously different, but that means they cannot easily offend. mind you, we've conducted numerous interviews with CEOs, etc.

    but the point is: no one in their right mind should view material from blogs as a perfect or pure alternative to mainstream media, but much like the 2003 war and 2004 elections demonstrated, the mainstream media has simply dropped the ball... so the need for alternative sources of information is considerable.

    in other words, as an investor, i first check the mainstream media, but given that these are usually reporting on items after the fact or do not want to fully speak their minds, i balance it out with info from blogs etc. i also, sit down folks, talk to clients, customers etc. and in this post, i am the customer... there's no agenda!

    if the argument is that I cannot paint a picture of apple based on one experience, then you cannot possibly conclude that what we write on our blog is light on financial analysis etc. based on the fact that this post seems to have offended the apple fans.

    alas, all i know is that mainstream media is learning to be more open and get back to reporting in lieu to boosting for the sake of being on mgmt's good books. and that's a good thing.
    Apr 10, 2007. 12:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Beginning Its Long Delayed Descent? [View article]

    Is there something I am missing re:

    "Presumably it doesn't fit *his agenda* to take account of the facts."

    What agenda? The only fact I looked at, frankly, was a stock that has grown 10 times in one decade.

    That's crazy talk... we are talking about Apple, right? For a second you'd think this is PNAC.
    Apr 10, 2007. 12:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Beginning Its Long Delayed Descent? [View article]
    Richard Alvarado,

    Q - "Did you update the Airport Extreme to the latest firmware?"
    A - Yes. And my guys on Macs could only print, but not see the drive.

    Q- It's a bit silly to say "by taking on product risk", since if you don't take on product risk there would be no iPod.
    A - I never said all product risk is bad, quite the contrary, I just think that the stock is betting on an iPod-esque success for AppleTV or iPhone, and while the upside is priced in to the risk, the downside is not.



    In all fairness, "fanatical" in the context of users, is a positive thing; the fact that you assume it's a bad thing says more about you than me, with all due respect.

    I never made fun of the person's name, I said I could not hear it, because the voice was becoming less and less audible...

    Finally, I called Apple US and was transferred countless times from one dept. to another.

    We can all say what we want, but the last person I spoke to, Steven, said that "looking at the log here, I realize we dropped the ball." Yet y'all can't see that?

    Finally, my argument is not that service alone suggests a downfall folks, but at $80B+ market cap, for a hardware and increasingly consumer electronics company, it seems rich... and priced to perfection.


    Robert Pritchett,

    Indeed, yes, we use Macs at the office (as well as PCs), and one of the points was just that, that due to poor service I won't personally replace my PC with a Mac now... my loss, I am sure. And hence the cost of bad service. In the event that the iPhone and Apple TV fail to impress, then it might hurt Apple at its core products.

    If none of you are willing to accept this risk (not a reality necessarily, but a risk nonetheless), then you are with all due respect blinded by your loyal devotion to AAPL.

    I did not say Steve Jobs is crazy, nor did I say Apple users are going to hell.

    It's a fine company, with admittedly superior products, but like all companies, its service could be better (at least in my experience) and the STOCK HAS HAD A CONSIDERABLE RUN UP AND IS PRICED TO PERFECTION, and hence risky.

    C'est tout, why the personal attacks? Some of these comments make Karl Rove look like Santa Claus.


    All to say, certainly, Apple certainly does not need a PR agency!


    Apr 10, 2007. 11:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Beginning Its Long Delayed Descent? [View article]
    Mr. Robinson, get the spelling right at least. It's funny how those who are Apple fans are more emotional that Apple critics. For the record, I am neither one nor the other.

    Folks, I cannot speak for Seeking Alpha, but I'll say this about our articles (the one SA refeatured). We have articles here that are analytical, others that are commentary. A few are written in a stream of consciousness style, this being one, written after my phone call with Apple.

    So if all you have to criticize is the writing, grammer or punctuation, then that says a lot about the merits of the post, no?

    We have nothing against Apple (and use them at our office here), we even placed them in our Top High Tech/Web Stocks of All Time:

    Read that, or others we have, and please tell me they lack research, and are full of incorrect facts.

    For the most part, our our site, we let readers comment no matter what they say, and initially I was surprised by the intelligence, tact and thoughtfulness of commenters who read this first via MacSurfer.

    Today I see it’s picked up by Seeking Alpha/Yahoo! finance, so before the deluge of “this sucks” comments, let me simply say: this article’s main point was that no matter how much brand equity a firm has, service seems to be sloppy, and that is a shame. That’s all. Verizon is not Apple, they are a telco; how bad service affects their sales and stock price is very different than how it affects Apple, or a bank, or a retail store.

    Now, because our blog touches on investing, advertising, technology, we just pointed out that Apple needs massive hits, and that means they will probably take risks that they otherwise would not. By taking on product risk, they might put out clunkers (like the Apple Airport Extreme) and turn off potential clients for their core products. Translation: the stock, in my eyes, can keep going up, but having risen 10x in a few years, there’s downside risk. I am neither long or short Apple, it was a simple observation of that reality, or at least, potential.

    That being said, keep the comments pertaining to how great or bad Apple is coming. Loyal, fanatical users indeed.
    Apr 10, 2007. 09:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Raw Sugar is Toast; Is Digg Next? [View article]
    hey Michael, happy new year.

    I actually think Digg was quite novel when it launched, though I always felt that the commenting aspect created more noise than value.

    On a somewhat philosophical value: things come full circle, and Digg is no different. How does the fact that, say, the top 20 Diggers determine what goes on Digg's main page any different than the editors who choose what goes on CNN's main page? Digg has become exactly what it sought to "replace" or "improve."

    I think my comments represent my thoughts on the social bookmarking space in general, which is getting out of control. I also think the user-generated content / user-attributed space has gotten ahead of itself. Mind you, I should disclose that I am in the business of creating and aggregating content, so seeing financiers get so psyched about user-attributed content (which to me is akin to building a house on quicksand) is surprising.

    In the offline world, we do not expect others to do our work and us walk away from the value created. Yet investors are banking on this phenomena in the online world? That seems dangerous.

    I have nothing against Digg per se, but seeing a social bookmarking site raise $8.5 million in Series B financing raises some questions about the giddy level of the market - especially when the founders think that $150 million is fair price to sell.

    You can see my thoughts on what to expect in the space under #2, and #3 mainly, here:

    Top 10 Trends of 2007

    Jan 1, 2007. 11:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment