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Keith Woolcock

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  • Research in Motion: Another Company Apple Will Vanquish [View article]
    You are right about enterprise market, I dont think it is in dispute that RIMM bests Apple in that market. This is what could make the Android so interesting, it will probably increasingly focus on corp market.
    However, all this reminds me of the 1980s. In those days the heads of IT departments - called DPMs- were usually opposed to PCs because they saw them as a threat to their control. Individuals and departments spearheaded the PC wave back then, it didn't start with the IT manager. I remember a guy called Ken Olsen, who founded DEC - then the 2nd biggest computer company in the world before it disappeared into Compaq. He once said: why would anyone buy a PC, you can't network it. Well, we all know what happened. He was right but also totally wrong. Once they started networking PCs and a 32 bit OS from Microsoft appeared the mainframe was toast. However, IBM still exists - old computer technologies never really fade away, they just smell funny.
    Apr 14, 2010. 11:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pepsi Paradox, Or Why the iPhone Is Poised to Outsell Blackberry [View article]
    believe it or, i was captain of the rugby and athletics team, but that was four decades ago
    Apr 14, 2010. 10:00 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Research in Motion: Another Company Apple Will Vanquish [View article]
    I do check my facts
    Apr 13, 2010. 10:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Monsanto: Sowing Future Profits [View article]
    'Given what we know right now with Roundup and with the different approach we will take with our seed customers I have to be pragmatic in my outlook and say upfront we recognize it is unlikely we will reach our goal of doubling of 2007 gross profit by 2012." This is an excerpt from Hugh Grant on last week's conference, the transcript is on seeking alpha.

    note change of financial targets and the phrase " and with the different approach we will take with our seed customers I have to be pragmatic...."
    Apr 13, 2010. 04:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Revolutionary Move Into Robotic Manufacturing [View article]
    apologies, that is a mistake. it should read, what happens in Japan finds an echo in south korea
    Jun 14, 2012. 07:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Not Spending Enough on R&D? [View article]
    Thanks for the in-put cannot disagree with any of it. Yes, real intelligence knows what to leave out; any fool can freight an argument or a project with detail. Michel de Montaigne wrote a marvellous essay about the power of constrictions and the benefits of doing without. In one arresting metaphor he made the point that if you want to really make a loud noise - don't shout at the top of your voice, try instead to blow through a mouthpiece of a trumpet. That is why form works - think of poetry, the rules are a constriction that force us to be more creative, to compress.
    Unfortunately, the abundance of computing power pushes us the other way. We become lost in detail. I used to head a team of technology analysts when I was an investment banker - I saw the best brains of a generation sucked dry by overly complex spreadsheets. I was therefore struck by a comment by David Bohm (if you havent already, I would strongly recommend getting your hands on anything you can by him), that physics was being killed by data and not enough thought. Freeman Dyson has probably said a similar thing - those big instruments can be useful in proving theories but they also come with a price - they may kill some aspects of original thought.
    On the subject of R&D - I have looked at quite a few companies and cannot see a pattern. I'll give you an example - check the R&D spend of Qualcomm. Each year it goes up yet the share price has only just broken out of a ten year range. Question, is that due to Qcomm's fantastically creative scientists or is it due to Apple 'inventing the smartphone market?' By way of contrast, check the R&D expenditure of Cypress Semiconductor - it has been falling for a number of years, yet the company now has a booming new business making capacitive touch sensitive chips. The stock has gone up several times over the last three years. The point is that Cypress has developed a whole new business line while choking R&D. That's the way to do it. Michelangelo painted the Sistine chapel, one of the wonders of Renaissance art, but he cursed Pope Julius II everyday for making his life difficult and holding the purse strings tightly.
    Apr 14, 2011. 05:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2011 a Make-or-Break Year for Nokia [View article]
    Your arguments reminds me of what Nokia people used to say when the iPhone was launched - ie we sell X hundred million phones a year, blah blah. The past is not the key, what is changing is the key. Apple's sales across greater china were up over a hundred per cent. Two year's ago the company earned barely any profit in Asia, now it is around 30%. Google too is expanding rapidly in Asia and RIMM has a good name there. Let's not forget HTC either - currently this Taiwanese company only achieves about 18% of its sales in Asia but the brand name it has established in the West will give it a lot of currency in Asian markets such as China.

    As Mr Elop has just made clear - Nokia's products do not amount to much. Think about it - if you had just bought a Nokia phone and then just read what Mr Elop had said how would you feel?

    When we have this discussion in a year's time it will be all too apparent that Nokia is no longer competitive in emerging markets. If Nokia is to succeed going forward it may have to do what both Apple and IBM essentially did and that is to discover a new market. Apple was left behind in the PC market - Jobs rejoined in 1997 - it took until 2001 for the company to discover the iPod and it took another 3 years before the market caught on to what it had. The piece I wrote for Seeking Alpha on 26 July last year pretty much says it all - the good news is that with the arrival of Mr Elop Nokia has encountered the seminal event I said it needed to shake it out of its lethargy. The mistake that investors are likely to make is believing that the company can be turned around quickly. It wont happen, there is too much innovation taking place in the smartphone market - this will make it very difficult for Nokia to set the agenda. As I said last year, the key to this is the developers and they are already complaining that they have too many platforms to support. Someone needs to introduce some reality into Nokia's corporate sauna, I wish Mr Elop all the luck in the world, he will need it.
    Feb 10, 2011. 09:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • JDS Uniphase Longs Jump on the Telecom Express [View article]
    This feels like 1995 or 1996 to me. Tech PEs and earnings growth are lifting off - it's deja vu all over again. Just about every teleco, broadband equip stock is reporting blow out numbers. Smartphones and tablets represent the first new platform since the PC and video volumes are booming. Cisco predicting a 25 x increase in data volume to 2015. Meanwhile, there are lot of worried people out there. Smells like animal spirits to me.
    Feb 4, 2011. 02:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2011 a Make-or-Break Year for Nokia [View article]
    I think Nokia is at a tipping point and will soon face an IMPLOSION of market share in emerging markets. Wouldnt be surprised to see Huawei of China eventually take the company over. The lights are going out in Helsinki. What is odd is that this has been on the cards for the last 10 years - Nokia has been on a long march to oblivion, still a few more miles left on the clock, but we're getting there.
    Feb 4, 2011. 02:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan's Double Dip [View article]
    You know what, I think you'll turn out right on this - no one is interested in japan but more and more are worried about inflation - particularly inflation in japan's largest markets, which are in asia. The big move in US bond prices is great news - as we have just seen - for japanese equities. Secondly, i detect a shift in the mood in japan, I think that the increased friction with China has come as quite a shock to their self esteem. Having an easily identifiable external enemy can really galvanise a country. Lastly, results are beginning to improve for some of the bigger companies. As a note of caution though - we have had a good many false dawns over the last twenty years.
    Nov 20, 2010. 05:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan's Double Dip [View article]
    Isn't Japan a great play on rising inflation - which seems to be taking place right on its doorstep, ie all across Asia and particularly in China.
    Nov 16, 2010. 09:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is the Time Right for Nokia? [View article]
    IBM lost in PCs and if you were a shareholder in IBM throughout the 1980s and up until the mid 1990s you didnt make money - that was my point. like Nokia, IBM was regarded as a great company for a considerable period of time. But you didnt make money in it. Same goes with Nokia. I am on record - Fortune, New York Times 2001/2002, saying that Nokia would lose people packets over the coming decade. That happened. Funny thing is that I never could get institutional investors to sell the stock - they admired it too much and it was too big a part of the Euro index. It was the best recommendation of my career but it didnt make me a cent - very frustrating.
    to say that IBM won is an incredible distortion of reality - Intel and Microsoft ended up taking 70% of the available profits from the PC industry. IBM also lost because the PC undercut the mainframe business.It wasnt IBM that displaced apple, it was intel and microsoft - I remember it well because I lived through it - back then you could see the train wreck happening in slow motion.
    It was a classic Innovators Dilemma, the PC offered less margin than mainframes so IBM stuck with mainframes.

    The issue with apple now is that the company is right at the top of its game and investors are in a state of almost religious frenzy. That, at a time when stock markets and the economy are looking fragile, is not a comfortable position for any holder of the stock.
    Jul 7, 2010. 05:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Decline of Google [View article]
    wouldnt disagree with what socialista says, but i wonder what he thinks about search in the mobile space? is it as relevant? mobile represents the networking of the social space - there the best search of all is the old fashioned one - word of mouth. check up on mirror neurons and social neuroscience - humans, like other animals are programmed to learn through mimicry, this is why social networking has taken off so quickly. this is why the ipod took off so quickly - ie the fastest way to get to know a stranger is to ask what music they like. Facebook and apple are plugged into this - Google hasnt managed it to the same degree....yet. Google is a great utility when i am sat at a computer, but for the really important stuff - ie connecting with people in a social environment, it doesn't hit my return key.
    May 18, 2010. 10:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • On Chinese Property and Tech Demand [View article]
    that's a really interesting comment, thanks. Do you think that any western firms, such as UPS or Fedex are plays on internal Chinese expansion?
    May 11, 2010. 03:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who Will Be the Coca Cola of the 21st Century? [View article]
    like your comment - interesting stuff. i always used to use: Only Connect, as my moniker, may be now ill change it to Invert, invert
    May 4, 2010. 03:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment