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  • Apple Hit By Ongoing Disaster At Sharp [View article]
    It's not hard. Apple _could_ source panels from anyone thanks to their cash mountain - if they really wanted do.

    Have a look at this gorgeous new panels from LG:

    "LG invented a crazy, bendable TV that sticks to your wall like a refrigerator magnet"

    http://bit.ly/1AkdqN1

    Ultra-thin, bendable etc. Screens are near the limits what our eyes can process (in terms of 2D image quality, maybe we will have holographic images one day, but then all content would have to be adapted...).

    The problem is the operating margins aren't there. Whenever there's an innovation (4K, 8K, OLED....) in the sector margins compress within months.

    High-end TV panel prices and technology is largely controlled by LG and Samsung today (with Sony and others like Sharp and Philips-TPV* falling behind).

    ___
    * Another good example why making panels isn't interesting. Philips sold their business to TPV because margins were so low: http://bit.ly/1AkdKv5 (TPV just licenses/keeps the Philips brand on the sets because it's familiar to consumers)
    May 22, 2015. 04:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Uber, Not Tesla, Will Be Apple's Competition In The Automobile Industry [View article]
    There was an interesting undercover report here what Uber drivers (obviously depends on city and other competition like Lyft in the long run) are making:

    http://bit.ly/1Lu1qJr

    http://bit.ly/1Akb4xw

    I really recommend reading it as (fully) driverless cars are probably 1-2 decades or so away.
    May 22, 2015. 03:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Uber, Not Tesla, Will Be Apple's Competition In The Automobile Industry [View article]
    I agree that personal mobility could be the next big thing coming out of Cupertino.

    But I think it's too early to value this opportity for AAPL because creating a car takes a long time:

    I doubt we see an Apple car for sale (provided Apple goes ahead, there's of course a possibility it abandons the car R&D effort) before 2020 or even later.

    The rumored timeframe is interesting because Apple could get EV market timing right. EV batteries and chemistry will become more competitive/cheaper compared to traditional cars over the next 5-10 years.

    Same goes for more autonomous features which would favor an IT company like AAPL or GOOG over traditional car makers in the long run (cars slowly becoming connected, auto-pilot devices over time, car ownership levels are likely to drop).

    But as I mentioned above it's hard to value in a project that's uncertain and at least 5+ years out. Car R&D is very time-consuming...
    May 22, 2015. 12:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Carl Icahn Gets It Mostly Right [View article]
    Regarding the next big potential elephant, an Apple EV or rather a more complete persosnal mobility eco-system, to boost AAPL revenue we have to keep in mind that development times in the car industry are really long.

    I doubt we see an Apple car for sale - provided Apple goes ahead, there's of course a possibility it abandons the R&D effort - before 2020 or even later.

    This rumored timeframe is interesting because Apple could get EV market timing right. EV batteries and chemistry will become more competitive/cheaper compared to traditional cars over the next 5-10 years.

    Same goes for more autunomous features which would favor an IT company like AAPL or GOOG over traditional car makers in the run (cars becoming connected, auto-pilot devices over time).

    But it's hard to value in a project that's uncertain and 5+ years out.

    In any case, delivering personal mobility makes more sense to me than Apple doing a TV / entering the living room with its razor-thin margins (other than with a cheap updated Apple TV box to deliver content).

    I see the potential timeline for new AAPL revenue drivers as follows:

    - Wearables and Payments (started with first Watch and ApplePay in 2015)
    - Apple TV box / HomeKit "Home Hub" (late 2015, 2016)
    - Wearable Health and Access (second- or third-gen Apple Watch in 2017-2019)
    - Apple Mobility, electric car (2020+)
    May 20, 2015. 12:26 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Thoughts On Yahoo (And Alibaba) [View article]
    But given the other crazy valuations in techland (Whatsapp and other messengers and social networks...) why should Yahoo Core be worth only $5?

    Yahoo has Flickr, Tumblr and is apparently working on a messenger service geared towards mobile - either the other crazy valuations have to come down (and I bet they will) or Yahoo's valaution doesn't make sense using market comparables.

    Compared to start-ups, Yahoo at least has operative cash-flows as others pointed out (maybe Yahoo Core would have to slim down, but it could still exist).

    And this valuation dilemma isn't new, I remember reading this article back in March 2014:

    "Is Yahoo’s Business Worth Less Than Nothing?"

    http://bv.ms/1BceDR7
    May 20, 2015. 12:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Hanergy: A Warning About A Major Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN) Component  [View instapost]
    Glad you sold given the news today:

    http://bit.ly/1djtyUs

    Hanergy implode and was halted, my warnings a few weeks in this blog entry were not in vain.

    Unfortunately this event and the YGE troubles (YGE could fall into bankruptcy like LDK and STP before them) could also rattle the serious players in the solar space.
    May 20, 2015. 04:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time To Divest From Solar Industry ETFs? [View article]
    Nice timing if you shorted yesterday, I have also warned about Hanergy before:

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    May 20, 2015. 04:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Solar Age Is Coming; Prepare With This ETF [View article]
    Your comment is funny considering what happened a few hours later:

    http://seekingalpha.co...

    I had warned people about this, see my comments above.
    May 20, 2015. 04:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • WSJ: Apple shelved plans to launch a TV set [View news story]
    Smartphones are a different category, these are very personal items. Many people (continue to) pay up for a high-end smartphone because it's a status symbol.

    Smarthones are subsidized, TVs are not. Also, TVs have very long life cycles.

    I could go on but the bottom line is:

    TV panels and screen technologies are a commodity at the moment (many people can't tell apart the picture quality between brands at the same resolution) and consumers are mostly indifferent.

    Otherwise Pioneer (KURO line), Loewe, B&O, Philips 21:9 platinum models and other high-end brands would have sold more TVs, they all failed to charge a premium in the TV space and most of them are either gone or selling into a tiny niche today...sad but true. It's a race to the bottom, TV hardware margins are not interesting for a company like AAPL.
    May 19, 2015. 07:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Vs. Porsche - Tales Of Growth [View article]
    Author wrote: " Also, if it wasn't for the Macan, 2014 would have been a bad year for Porsche"

    This is as if you had written: " Also, if it wasn't for the Model S, 2014 would have been a bad year for Tesla (revenue or unit sales)".

    The Macan did of course affect Cayenne and to a lesser extent other model sales at Porsche. Similar cannibalization is ahead for Tesla too with Model X vs Model S sales in 2016.

    Also, Tesla expanded geographically in large new car markets in 2014 (China, UK, Japan...) for the first time with the Model S. This was a one-time opportunity and sales growth has come down in late 2014 / early 2015 as others pointed out.

    Two other important points regarding Tesla vs Porsche:

    - Porsche has high margins because it won't go down-market on purpose (and never has). Tesla has very different strategy with a base Model 3 at just $35k (or so they promise).
    There's a reason Porsche doesn't offer a $35k base car. I reiterate my prediction that a future Model 3 at $35-40k is a high-risk strategy for Tesla - this is a volume segment with low margins and extreme competition (constant rebates etc.). The Model 3 will likely backfire on Tesla - or Tesla will have to raise prices.

    - Finally, Porsche will have access to the same battery tech as the entire giant VW Group. I expect very competitive pricing (and shared R&D) as soon as VW cranks up PHEV and EV sales later this decade. VW is already lined up strong in PHEV models in 2016+.
    May 19, 2015. 01:31 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Analysts Now Expect 2015 Loss [View article]
    "Tesla is burning up money this year because they are building the Gigafactory in Nevada."

    TSLA is burning money on many other things, they actually spent very little on the GF up to now!

    This is not surprising, the factory is just a giant steel hull at the moment, the expensive factory equipment and buildout will follow in 2016-2017.

    Bottom line: Tesla will likely need to raise a LOT of money in the coming months to keep the GF and Model 3 R&D going.
    May 19, 2015. 01:24 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canadian Solar Launches In To Direct Residential Solar Market [View article]
    Yes, it looks like CSIQ and many other solar names are beaten badly because of the YGE news.

    This makes no sense to me, totally different balance sheet health; YGE was unhealthy and filled up with too much debt for months....it's not a carbon copy for the rest of the sector.

    The news about direct sales (and other news from the CSIQ investor day) seem to have been completely lost in all this YGE hoopla affecting the sector.

    PS: YGE will probably go the way of LDK and STP, with shareholders wiped out.
    May 19, 2015. 01:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Yingli Solar Drops A Bombshell [View article]
    Rames wrote: "Yingli will not "go under""

    Maybe the company will not go under and the factory/ (most) jobs will be saved in China - but that doesn't mean the YGE SHAREHOLDERS will be saved.

    That's not a Chinese concept, there's lots of regional industry policy (to appease voters and unions, but certainly not shareholders):

    Look what happened to GM a few years ago. GM still produces cars and employs lots people, but its old shareholders were wiped out.

    China certainly doesn't care about YGE ADR shareholders - and everybody who invested in YGE should have been aware of the weak balance sheet and huge debt burden. YGE's demise is not a surprise!
    May 19, 2015. 01:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • WSJ: Apple shelved plans to launch a TV set [View news story]
    "Apple watch already works as a controller for the Apple TV and it works quite well."

    I meant more advanced usage such as a game controller using motion sensors (similar to Wii or Kinect). Sorry if I wasn't clear above.
    May 19, 2015. 10:57 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Solar Age Is Coming; Prepare With This ETF [View article]
    I'm not saying to short TAN at all. Just keep an eye on Hanergy, after all it's "just" a 10-11% position within TAN.

    An ETF does make sense for solar as I outlined above: "Investing in solar using a diversified ETF makes a lot sense long-term given that the sector is so young; it will take years before clear winners emerge as solar matures."
    May 19, 2015. 10:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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