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Lucas Krupinski

 
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  • The Apple iPhone 5: Put Up Or Shut Up [View article]
    The thing that people forget is that the previous Maps app on the iPhone was near useless - yes, it pulled up addresses correctly, I will give it that, but with no turn by turn drivers either had to drive with their phone on the whole time, constantly checking the screen for turns, etc (i navigated many times like this, i'm ashamed to say) or buying a 3rd party app - I used AT&T Navigator, which costs $9.99 per month.

    With Google apparently unwilling to bring turn by turn to the iPhone, Apple had to make a move, for the sake of its customers. Yes, they jumped the gun too fast on their change, but it needed to be done. And once the situation is remedied, it'll just be another chapter in their history that we'll all forget about.
    Oct 3 10:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Going All-In Apple: A Counterintuitive Approach To Investing [View article]
    And now that't we're approaching expiration:

    The shares he had to buy as a result of selling the put (cost: 55,300) are now worth 66,131.

    The 530 October calls (cost 20925) are now worth $38,835

    And those 700 november puts (cost 7,950) are now worth $2,450)

    Original $84,170 cost is now worth $107,416, a nice 27.6% return over 5 months. Guess Apple didn't blow up the portfolio afterall.
    Oct 3 08:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Running Out Of Ideas? [View article]
    I have plenty of clue, and am a happy shareholder of theirs, and have been a happy user of their devices for many years. Apple IIc was my first computer, then a Mac Quadra, then a few Power Macs. Then I went PC... OS 9 just couldn't stand up against Win XP's advanced features. Finally, after serveral years, I've returned to the platform and it couldn't have been a happier reunion.

    That said, there is a LOT of money to be made selling iphone, selling ipads and selling macs. There's incrementally more money selling through the App Store, where Apple makes a profit on each sale of OS X and iOS apps without being bogged down in any of the development efforts. Likewise for the itunes store, though the profit is quite a bit less - it's an nearly effortless part of their business that brings in more and more revenue. And the thing about App and Music sales is, each additional sale made further wides their moat. It's a few more dollars invested by each user that will be thrown away if they switch to something that's not compatible. Some might not like that, but that's the breaks.

    End of the day, in the last 4 quarters, they've sold 115 million iphones. Big drop off last quarter, with some of that attributed to people waiting for the newest. That, or the specs of Android phones were beating Apples, which they've now moved to address. Just supposing for a reasonable attraction of new users, and existing users upgrading, they have a fantastic business.

    Apple's developed an ecosystem - There's the Mac, which started out at the center, but which apple quickly expanded to allow a PC to take that place. People listen to music on their computers, and apple gave them a device to take the music with them whereever they go. yes, other mp3 makers were out there, but it was the iPod that became the must get item.

    It was many years later that they came out with the iphone, which up until only recently was a device that, for the best functionality, had to be occassionally tethered back to the Mac or PC. It basically packed 75% of a computer into 5% of its size.

    Next, the iPad, same story - packing a a little more functionality into a slightly bigger box, but end of the day, it's still giving people computing power in a new form factor that they can take away from the desk.

    Apple's made the Apple TV, hardly a star product, but a great add on for someone who already has some of their other devices.

    How an iTV would fit in there, i just don't see. It's completely unrelated to the connected ecosystem that they already have out there. And it would have to sport an extremely high price tag for it to fit into APple's strategy regarding high margins. Up against a market of flatpanels dropping in price every week, it's just not a place for them to compete.

    Apple's value and future growth will come from adding value to the ecosystem they've created. it's a misnomer to think that they need to keep developing new markets to succeed. They don't. They need to make sure, though, that their tightly interwoven ecosystem doesn't unravel. Which it could if they started trying to cater to everyones demands that they introduce new products no matter what, on a set time schedule. That's s recipe for failure.

    So - as an investor and user, I am quite comfortable with their approach, and believe that they'll continue to add value for all of us. Even without an iTV.
    Sep 13 05:11 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Running Out Of Ideas? [View article]
    It's folklore that they need to continually reinvent everything to be a profitable company. They need to deliver products that people want - so long as they do that, they'll likely continue to be a great investment. Apple's pricing reflects that - 15 times earnings reflects a valuation for a company growing at a reasonable pace, not a company that Wall Street is sitting in anticipation of tons of new surprises and domination of more and more markets.
    Sep 13 02:05 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple iPhone 5: Put Up Or Shut Up [View article]
    1."Our customers are worn out."

    To say that the roadmap extending past current releases is an exlusive thing to apple isn't true. Intel's chip roadmap extends several years out, and no ones complaining that they're being gouged because the chip they're buying now isn't as good as the one that's slated for release 2 years from now.

    2. "Be careful of that app."

    Does android block that behavior? If someone makes an in-app purchase on the droid, and then makes another purchase 15 seconds later, will android ask for the password again? Though I thought I read a long time ago that Apple had remedied the issue of making subsequent purchases right after initial authorization.

    4."You may spend more with our devices."

    I was just at Best But yesterday, and the android phones everyone talks about were priced just as Apples - 699 for a smart phone, down to 99 with a 2 year contract. People that say apple will hurt if carriers start doing away with subsidies conviently forget to note that it will effect all the premium manufacturers as well.

    Besides that, the higher phone bills are inexplicable, there must be a factor at play that the author didnt' note - the phone and data plans are identical between the two platfoms. Maybe its that iphone users also get texting packages where android ones do not? Because, again, the price for service is identical.

    I'll admit to one reason why i spend more on my phone and ipad - integration with itunes, so i rent or buy movies whereever i am. Which i do do when i'm travelling, for instance. But that doesn't show up on my bill.

    It could just be that iphone users have more disposable income (not as an insult- but someone who can buy a phone for a few hundred dollars and commit to a 2 year data plan package is probably a little better off that someone who gets a 99 dollar android and just relies on wifi for internet.

    Point is, the android devices that everyone brags about as being the iphone killers cost just as much as iphones. And the price for service is the same regardless of phone choice. So the warning, if its meant to be one, just odesn't make sense...

    5."We need another game-changing gadget."

    It's only armchair analysts that demand that apple continue to pump out game changing products. Those of us who are invested in them see good prospects for them even if their astronomical growth rate slows by a little bit, and if they just devote their future to making newer and better imacs, macbooks, iphones and ipads.

    6. "The iPhone is overpriced -- even compared to the iPad."

    But he iPhone costs the same as a Samsung galaxy III S. You get a bigger screen on the galaxy, but that's a negligible extra cost to Samsung.

    7. "Don't be fooled by our soft sell."

    Apple has sales people.

    8. "Our features are falling behind."

    Maybe it's a plus that you can find iphone users charging their batteries at starbucks.

    Five years after its launch and several upgrades later, some analysts say the iPhone is starting to feel dated. iPhone users can often be found trying to recharge their batteries in Starbucks, says Yung Trang, president of TechBargains.com.

    9. "We'll hook you for life."

    Music is not DRM'ed any more. Movies are, but just as DVD's and Blurays are and movies you can watch on Kindle. Else there's the netflix model where you pay monthly and lose access once you start paying. People won't be required to buy apple products to continue access to their libraries - they can still watch and listen via iTunes on their computer. True its not ultra portable, but people buying protected windows media and other formats face the same issues.

    10. "Our fans don't care if we screw up."

    And we do. I switched to apple because I really do like thier products. If they fail to be compelling to me, i'll certainly switch. Too many armchair analysts miss the one thing. They think that people are buying premium priced products for the logo and that alone. No. We're buying what we feel are better products. Besides, if it was a status symbol driven thing, what sort of status symbol is it to have a POS product because the company screwed up?

    You need to look past things like this. Just because you yourself dont use apple products means only that. Many of us prefer them. But it's not because of the silly logo. The macbook air i got is a great little machine, far better than any of the ultrabooks that hit the market years after it. It drives a 24 inch monitor at home and is still super portable. Battery life is fantastic. I have yet to have a system crash or freeze in over a year of use - where as my windows PC tends to lock up fairly often to the point that force quitting apps still doesn't fix it at work.

    And, to me, the interface and organization of the OS is miles ahead of windows. I hate that the registry file exists. The control panel is a mess compared to mac's system settings. I use them because they're better. The moment i feel i'd be more productive using something else, i'll do it - could be windows 8 or a new variant of linux, who knows? But for now, the mac works better, but it's far from blind loyalty.
    Aug 6 05:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple iPhone 5: Put Up Or Shut Up [View article]
    yes, after 20-30 years on the market, laptops and desktops surely have been commoditzed, which is why apple is forced to eke by on razor thin margins. Oh wait....
    Aug 5 10:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple iPhone 5: Put Up Or Shut Up [View article]
    I saw one of the galaxy's at best buy yesterday. I forget if it was 4 and some odd inches or 5 and change, but I almost laughed out loud. Apple absolutely should not be competing on screen size - sure it looks good when you're comparing specs, but in the real world, that thing was HUGE. No way you want to be stuck carrying that, or for someone with smaller hands - no way are they going ot be comfortable even holding for for some time.

    You guys can keep your big screen. I for one am praying that Apples is wise enough to not follow suit. Or that their QA nips any thoughts of this in the budd....
    Aug 5 10:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple iPhone 5: Put Up Or Shut Up [View article]
    Again, "speculative mania" would more aptly be the term used to describe a company like Amazon, with razor thin margins and trading at a jaw dropping 282 times earnings. No matter how you slice or dice it, that multiple is not a sustainable one - however, as someone said (i forget who), the market can stay irrational for a lot longer than most people can stay solvent.

    And again, Apple investors, who own shares of a company which trades at 13 or 14 times earnings, are not engaging in speculative mania. There's no way you can spin that they are. If you don't like them, just say it that simply, don't say that they're a bubble company and their investors are grasping at straws. I give you credit, you did point out the lack of washing machines from their product line, but most of the companies investors are more than happy with the companies current concentrated product line - they can continue to generate huge profits for years to come by simply serving up newer and better iOS devices, and only selling them as upgrades to current users. It's only naysayers that demand another earthshattering product. And the focus on such a concentrated product line doesn't make sense - it's like lamenting discounting Oracles database because they don't write word processing software. Or saying that Coca Cola is a decent company, but they're overly reliant on soft drinks for their revenues...

    If it traded at an earnings multiple of even 25 or 30, i'd agree that the market was pricing in future unnamed products, but again, it isn't being valued that way.
    Aug 2 08:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple iPhone 5: Put Up Or Shut Up [View article]
    I don't know if you know what a bubble is, but let me tell you what it is not - a company trading at 13 or 14 times earnings is far from be being in a bubble. If you are looking for bubble type valuations, amzn, fb or lnkd for starters....
    Aug 2 12:06 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple iPhone 5: Put Up Or Shut Up [View article]
    Wow. So Apple's downfall is that they don't make washing machines, dishwashers, coffee makers or hair dryers? Am i reading correctly?

    And the next thing that Apple should do is get into social networking, because the examples set by Facebook and Zynga are so worth emulating?

    I'm sorry, I'm just not following. I've been enjoying the back and forth, but this one takes the price.... I'm now envisioning an Apple washing machine. I wonder if it will fold my clothes for me, so that i can stop using the drop off laundry service?

    :)
    Jul 31 10:40 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple iPhone 5: Put Up Or Shut Up [View article]
    I can't be the only one that likes the fact that my iphone fits comfortably in either my shirt or pants pocket. I have no desire for an almost tablet sized phone. If i need a bigger screen, guess what? I've got a tablet and a laptop!
    Jul 31 10:32 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple iPhone 5: Put Up Or Shut Up [View article]
    Yeah, when they slipped post earnings, I expected the decline to extend a little further, so i held by breath waiting to add to my position. Instead, it turned around quickly and now it's outside the price range i was hoping to buy additional shares for. Oh well!
    Jul 31 10:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Competent June 2012 Quarter [View article]
    I went from an iPhone 4 when i broke the screen to an Android - got an Atrix with the laptop docking station. The concept seemed so cool, that I just had to try it. A month later, I put the Atrix up for sale on craigslist, took a bit of a loss, and used the money to buy a new 4.

    First off, the screen was even more fragile than the iphones. The atrix took a very small fall in an Otterbox case, and the screen still managed to shatter. Thankfully i had full insurance coverage on it, so i got a replacement.

    Next, I'd grown used to the iphones predictive typing. Or the typing had gotten used to me. Typing anything on android was arduous, as i have big fingers and wasn't hitting the keys precicely, and whereas the iPhone would input what i was meaning to type, anything i typed on Android needed a lot of editting afterwards, for my own typos plus it's own issues.

    Batterylife on the Atrix was also very poor. I was able to fix that by going somewhere into the system prefs and specifying which apps should close automatically when not in use. That improved things a bit. So even though people tout Androids multitasking ability, i just found that it chewed through battery life.

    Text display quality was also not anywhere close to what the iPhone provided with its much higher resolution display.

    And apps... The equivalent to the app store, i found to be extremely cluttered, hard to find anything useful. Many of the financial apps i used on iOS weren't available for android - i forget which but, i use Citi, Chase, TD Ameritrade, Interactive Brokers, and then have a few other tools, and some of them just weren't there. I think it was Chase (i use the remote check deposit feature) which wasn't on the Android at the time, but don't quote me on that.

    Lastly, i began hearing about android virus', so i ended up putting AVG for Android on my phone. Seemed wasteful to have to run an antivirus app on a phone with already limited battery life.

    And even the laptop base station was unimpressive. Try as i might, during my month with it, I could not get the interface to bee at all responsive. The mouse movement just couldn't be tweaked enough to feel "laptop like", and typing in any app lagged severely. I wasn't trying to write a novel, but anything i typed on the keyboard, would lag behind by several characters.

    That was enough to get me to run back to iOS.

    Another issue i have with android (after the fact) is the inability to know for certain if you'll be supported for future OS upgrades, or if you'll be stuck with a dead-end phone.

    Take Ice Cream Sandwich - to my understanding, it was released in October of 2011, and in March 2012 AT&T annouced that ICS would eventually be available for the Atrix 4G. We're talking about about a high end device combo that cost over a 1000 dollars retail (i didn't use contract upgrades to get it), that was less than a year old, which took several months to even get confirmation that it would be able to run the latest and greatest software. I can't determine if the software is out for it yet.

    So, Android users can keep them. I gave it a real try and came back with a decidedly lackluster experience. Multitasking is overrated on phones, I think (when battery life is the most important thing), input was an issue, app availability wasn't what i'd hoped, security was an issue where on iOS it isn't nearly as much a worry, and fears of having hardware that's immediately abandoned by the manufacturer or carrier are all reasons why I won't go back to Android anytime soon, if ever.
    Jul 18 10:40 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Competent June 2012 Quarter [View article]
    Yes, very funny :)

    No, you're not the majority. But you're a sizable number.
    Jul 17 10:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Competent June 2012 Quarter [View article]
    I'll go ahead and continue to disagree. It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a wall street analyst to know that a new iPhone is due this year. It's been the subject of a lot of speculation and rumor mongering, and not just on investment websites.

    I'm not saying that everyone in the world is holding off, but it's more than just the investor class and tech junkies that are speculating about the next iPhone. Heck, even sales people at the AT&T wireless stores are telling customers they might hold off and get something cheap until the 5 gets here.

    So for people who are able to get by (ie, they have a phone that's workable but they're just not happy with, be it an android or a iphone that's sustained some damage), they're holding off. Since we've been discussing this, i just recalled that i saw my cousin a few weeks ago, again, far from being an investor or follower of Apple stock, and far from being a techie. Her screen was broken, and she laughed and said she'd just wait until the 5 came out this fall.

    Again, this might not be universal. But my informal sampling shows a LOT of people are and have been well aware of a new iPhone slated for later this year, and many of those people are putting off their purchases as a result of that.

    Heck, I'd LOVE for it to be a sizable number. So sizable that people gasp when Apple announces earnings it's stock stays sideways. The quarter following the 5's release will more than make up for that. Because, again, the people i know who are waiting aren't waiting to see what new Android or Windows phone might come out between now and when the new iPhone comes out. They're waiting solely for the new iPhone. So any purchases delayed now will be made up for as soon as there's a new product available for Apple to sell to them
    Jul 16 03:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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