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Keith Woolcock  

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  • Has Apple Breached Great Wall of China? [View article]
    agree. apple has made computing a joy for most people. in addition, the smart phone market wasnt going anywhere until apple showed everyone how to make a device and then build services around it. microsoft and nokia have been paddling around in the smart phone market for a decade and never achieved much. surely the apple achievement is eclipsing microsoft's. what joy did microsoft ever bring anyone out side of an it department?
    Apr 22, 2010. 09:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Has Apple Breached Great Wall of China? [View article]
    cant argue with what you say. however, i would point out that the need to communicate is a staple. this is what investors under estimate - just look at what happened in japan during the 1990s when the economy was in the slammer - digital mobile handset sales still went through the roof. in the US, first quarter last year, at the nadir of the economic downturn, Samsung and LG were still reporting 35% increases in flat screen tv sales. the intriguing thing that is happening in asia now is that Apple is becoming a must have. believe me, the effect in developed regions like singapore and hong kong is dramatic. i have travelled in asia for 5 years and the apple logo was rarer than an honest broker, not any more. earnings surprises are the single most potent force driving share prices. the combination of asia and the ipad strongly suggest that Apple will continue delivering surprises for several more quarters.
    Apr 21, 2010. 10:40 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shaking Hands With Devil in Smart Paradigm [View article]
    my point exactly. my argument is that a device like the ipad allows for content that cannot be accessed from elsewhere and it is for that that people will pay. ordinary pay walls dont cut it
    Apr 21, 2010. 08:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pepsi Paradox, Or Why the iPhone Is Poised to Outsell Blackberry [View article]
    In the September conference call transcript for RIMM - if i remember correctly, it may have been the earlier quarter - the ceo admitted it was in a land grab and so that prices would fall. I think that over the last 12mths ASPs for RIMM have fallen from c$375 and are now, in the coming quarter, said to be closer to $305. If you keep dropping prices then of course you can increase market share. As investors though, one should start to worry because ASP in the last quarter were less than expected and now they are forecast to drop again - this is what frightens people like me. I am also perturbed by research that states that large numbers of RIMMs users say they will buy an iPhone. So we have two things to worry about - prices appear to be falling faster than company told us in the past and it has embarked on a land grab, but a chunk of existing users say they will migrate. This reminds me somewhat of Nokia. Nokia cut prices and went for market share, like RIMM it was successful in Asia -ie RIMM doing well in indonesia and some other asian domains- but we all can see what has happened to the nokia share price in the meantime. There is an article in Forbes - around late 2001, early 2002 that quotes me saying that Nokia would become the IBM of its generation - ie, everyone would continue to enthuse about its great management and its superb products but that shareholders would lose their shirts. Needless to say, Forbes thought I was nuts at the time. I was also quoted on the front page of the Wall Street in May 2002, after I had been invited to Helsinki by Nokia to explain my bearish stance on the stock. I have a long history of giving a good kicking to handset makers. I'm really sorry about this - i dont think RIMM is necessarily a terminal case, there is just too much turbulence for me to have faith. like nokia 8 years ago RIMM does not look expensive, but just focusing on the rating for a tech stock going through a lot of change can lead you in to horrible problems. as a reverse of this, when i bought Apple in april 2003 it looked as though it was on 70 times earning - however it did have 40% of the market cap in cash. there wasnt a single buy recommendation on the stock back then -everyone thought it was too highly rated. they were wrong because they underestimated just how well the ipod would do and that this would then help PC sales. unfortunately for me, i sold apple last december at 196p so like you i am beginning to feel a little bitter and twisted. i wish you every success in your RIMM crusade - it could work but i think i will wait until i either see a fantastic new product from them, or that the decline in asp as stopped.
    Apr 15, 2010. 11:29 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Research in Motion: Another Company Apple Will Vanquish [View article]
    70% of economy is consumer. if you look at the 10 year performance of Intel, Microsoft, Dell etc, it doesn't amount to much - check the charts you'll see. Between 2000 and last year PC sales in value terms fell by 12% - if Gartner's numbers are correct. The business market is mature so is slow moving. We might have a pop this year because it fell so much last year. But check Otellini's statement in the intel conference call transcript, he's not holding his breath for a big upgrade cycle. The big game now is the networking of individual's lives - that is what is driving notebook sales, handset sales and is about to spread out into content. There is so much hot air expended on the PC upgrade cycle and what businesses like to buy but it is not as relevant as it used to be in 1990s and 1980s. Apple doesnt need to worry about it - if it happens fine, but Apple is not going to make business the key to its strategy - it has a much bigger market to chase
    Apr 14, 2010. 04:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 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
  • Pepsi Paradox, Or Why the iPhone Is Poised to Outsell Blackberry [View article]
    Whatever, it's very Zen - embrace contradiction and make it your friend.
    Apr 14, 2010. 09:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pepsi Paradox, Or Why the iPhone Is Poised to Outsell Blackberry [View article]
    yeh yeh, meanwhile ride the stock all the way down. Blackberry is the prawn sandwiched between iphone and android.
    Apr 14, 2010. 09:26 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pepsi Paradox, Or Why the iPhone Is Poised to Outsell Blackberry [View article]
    Even before Vance Packard you could go back to Thorstein Veblin and The Theory of Leisure Class, written about 100 years ago. Phenomenal insight that too few economists seem to have read. All this stuff has been known, what is fascinating is that we can now see it taking place in the brain, which will deepen our understanding. The risk, however, is that we become too reductionist, as we tend to with genetics. From an investment point of view none of what I have written has predictive power, so in that sense it is drivel, however I cannot help thinking that in the present age, where being connected is so important, rooting around behind the dustbins of neuroscience and psychology might have some value. There are now 1.7bn of us connected to the net; within three years it will be close to half the globe,which is an astonishing thing to think about. As the device we connect to the net will predominately be a handset all sorts of emotional factors gain in importance. The phone most people use is now more than a tool, it does say something about who you are. The same goes for your watch and car etc. Packard was on the money, we are all influenced in ways that we are not actually conscious of.

    One of the reasons Apple made the leap to consumer electronics better than any other PC company is that it always understood the power of image. It has also mastered the most difficult art of all, which is to bury complexity behind simplicity.
    Apr 14, 2010. 08:45 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Research in Motion: Another Company Apple Will Vanquish [View article]
    apple is strong in europe and if you check a piece i wrote on seeking alpha, when the company last reported, you will see that for the first time Asian sales are very strong. in the last quarter profits from asia doubled as a % of group profits - ie now at 20% and rising. Sales in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea are up several fold. When I was in singapore in March, a local mobile operator, told me that 70% of handset sales are smartphones and the largest proportion is Apple.
    RIM asp has been falling for about a year, when it stops falling the stock will be interesting. In the meantime, the real battle they face is that the iPhone clearly demonstrates that hardware innovation, back end connectivity etc for IT departments, is less important than the massive numbers of apps that run on the device. We live in the Smart Paradigm, it's all about Apps.
    The way people get wound up on the subject of RIM leads me to suppose that the stock should be re named: Research and Commotion, or Devotion and certainly Emotion
    Apr 14, 2010. 03:40 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Research in Motion: Another Company Apple Will Vanquish [View article]
    www.readwriteweb.com/a...
    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...."
    seekingalpha.com/artic...
    Apr 13, 2010. 04:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Research in Motion: Another Company Apple Will Vanquish [View article]
    "Still, Google’s stream doesn’t include public Facebook profiles, something only rival search engine Bingcan access. This limits the usefulness of today’s update, but we still welcome the addition." this comes from a recent article in mashable. you find people on face book but you cant get behind the wall on google. check your facts buddy
    Apr 13, 2010. 03:52 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Research in Motion: Another Company Apple Will Vanquish [View article]
    walled gardens are reappearing - Facebook is a walled garden, Google can't search it. The Apps store is a walled garden. There is also a ton of evidence, as one of Meeker's slides confirms, that users of mobile internet devices are more inclined to pay. You are right about subscriptions, the key is can content companies create new original stuff you cant get else were. Remember: The Medium is the Message. Check out this link www.bonnier.com/en/con...
    which is a good example of what is on offer. Apple demonstrated with iTunes that if you can save people time and make it easy they will pay. This is what makes media stocks so interesting - they are great ways to play a mid cycle recovery - ie ad rates are going up, second, 3D and HD are a new product cycle, 3, devices like iPad and suggest that the next move for content - it will take some years- is for payment. In other words media goes from the being the perfect yawn to enjoying the perfect storm.
    Apr 13, 2010. 02:21 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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