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  • Apple (AAPL) has hired Paul Deneve, until now the CEO of French luxury fashion brand Yves St Laurent, to be a VP working on "special projects." No word on what those projects will be, but something design-related is a good bet. Deneve held a sales/marketing position for Apple Europe from 1990-1997. [View news story]
    I think that most of the people, who post on this site, including myself, see that kind of gadgets from an added value perspective. We generally ask ourselves about the utility of this kind of products and see them as a superficial an unnecessary expense. However, Apple tends to see the trends beneath each product that they release. An iPhone is obviously not the best phone in the world, but it's trendy and has an attractive design. It's exactly the same with iPads, these aren't the most functional tablets on the market, but their unique design, that everyone tends to copy, made them bestsellers.

    If Apple makes an expensive watch (>$600), with an excellent design and some "cool" illusionary innovative feature, I think that most of the youths will buy it, simply because Apple will launch a brand new trend of the wearable luxury technology. For instance, even if Google Voice or Glasses could be more useful and are probably more innovative, they have much less chances to become as popular as an Apple's iWatch and to be sold in the same quantities, regardless of the price. Unfortunately, hype will always overcome functionality.
    Jul 2, 2013. 08:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zynga (ZNGA +11%) soars as Kara Swisher reports Microsoft (MSFT -0.2%) Interactive Entertainment (Xbox division) chief Don Mattrick is leaving, and is set to take a "top job" at Zynga, quite possibly that of CEO. Sources claim an announcement could arrive today. Zynga chairman/CEO Mark Pincus has taken plenty of heat from both investors and employees for his performance; his giant share of Zynga's voting rights should guarantee he'll maintain control of the company whether or not a new CEO is named. [View news story]
    MSFT becomes an IT Goldman&Sachs. They place their pawns in each company to represent their interests and gain more influence on the concurrence. Smooth move! Next thing we'll know people will start to speculate on a takeover.
    Jul 1, 2013. 01:40 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Things That Need To Happen For Gold & Silver To Bottom [View article]
    I would say that it's the right moment to invest in gold mining corporations, like GG or ABX. No matter what, large miners will get stronger. It's fair to think, that the largest companies have the most efficient cost structures, so if the gold prices go down, a lot of small companies will go out of business. It means less concurrence for the bigger ones, who will be able to adjust their production much more easily in order to bring the prices higher. On the other hand, the Barrick's delayed Pascua-Lama project is going to have incredibly low extraction costs and even if the gold prices would go lower, unlike others, they will still be able to earn a lot. ABX is a strong buy. You will get a large premium for taking a calculated risk today.
    Jul 1, 2013. 01:17 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Earnings Are A Bust [View article]
    NSN is an old dying business with a pathetic 1,5% margin. Once they managed to break even, both Siemens and Nokia started to talk about divestment. If they manage to sell it for 2b, it would be a miracle! Lumia is obviously cheaper, but it is not being sold much better than Blackberry, they are mostly even. The L900 can be easily compared to the old BB7 in terms of price. At least Blackberry owns their OS and are able to work with it as they intend to. Plus Lumia line is almost 2 years older than BB10.

    Anyhow, I was long both NOK and BBRY and it's quiet pointless to compare these 2 companies, cause they both have a lot of weaknesses and they perfectly complete each other in their fails.
    Jun 28, 2013. 09:08 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Earnings Are A Bust [View article]
    NOK was losing €900m per quarter! NOK was obviously far beyond an $80m miss, when it got to $1,6 a share...
    Jun 28, 2013. 08:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Earnings Are A Bust [View article]
    The main issue is obviously the price. BlackBerry released 2 solid phones, that were supposed to bring back their former customers. However, who would pay that much for a device, that was being bought for 250€ top for over 3 years? 660€ for a Q10, 600€ for a Z10 and still 500€ for an old 9900! It's not serious! The point of being a challenger on the phone market is to offer a higher quality product for a lower price (Nokia understood it very well). The quality is obviously there, but the price is completely delusional. Most of the companies wouldn't spend that much for their employees, people would rather buy an iPhone or a Galaxy for a private use, while teenagers still didn't get a decent cheap BlackBerry for €200 to replace their old ones. The other issue is that Blackberry can't figure out their direction. Do they target the corporate world, or do they target the private market? If they target the corporations, they'll have to reduce their prices policy dramatically. Even their service prices are completely insane! If they target the private users, well, that battle is mostly lost, unless they release some excellent cheap models. So there are 3 things that BlackBerry will have to correct during the Q2, unless they want to get bought-out : price, marketing (or at least product positioning) and new cheap models.
    Jun 28, 2013. 08:35 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Though high-end Lumia models such as the 920, 925, and (expected) EOS get most of the ink, the low-end 520 could be the biggest seller in Nokia's (NOK -0.3%) Windows Phone lineup. Google Trends data points to surging interest in the 520, which features a 4" display, lacks 4G support, and is dirt cheap - Wal-Mart sells the 521, a variant working on T-Mobile's network, for an unsubsidized $130 .... if it's in stock. Also, the 520 is now #2 in GSM Arena's daily interest rankings, behind only the Galaxy S4; no other Nokia phone is in the top-10. [View news story]
    Lumia 920 is getting quiet old and I doubt that a lot of people would buy it today, while Lumia 925 has only been released in the US for the moment. Lumia 925 is THE way to go for Nokia, but they will have to increase its specs. Only a 16GB is going to be released in most of the EU countries and no SD-card spot available.

    Lumia 520 is a brilliant phone, but it will benefit MSFT the most. It's all about making the WP user base bigger. However, Nokia proves once again that they excel in making the cheapest and the most reliable phones on the market with the most used functions. I hope that L520 will bring them more loyal customers with the time.
    Jun 19, 2013. 02:10 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry (BBRY) slips 3% premarket after a downgrade to Sell at Bernstein, which sees earnings peaking in FQ1 and "significant risk" of a miss in H2. OTR Global says U.K. Q10 sales fell off a cliff and have been - "not a typo" - just 30K-50K units since launch, reports Notable Calls. [View news story]
    It's getting really absurd. Monday one analyst says sales are bellow expectations, lowers the rating and the shares drop. Tuesday another analyst says the sales are above expectations, raises the rating and the shares rally. Wednesday a new analyst enters the game with his own 2 cents and pretends that UK is a dead end for BBRY with just 50.000 devices sold. It's just ridiculous! At this point, someone should start an investigation, cause there are obviously some private interests involved in these manipulations. How about making analysts legally responsible for their analyses? Can't wait for the actual results to be released.
    Jun 19, 2013. 08:40 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "Nokia (NOK) has mostly nailed the design with the Lumia 925, but Windows Phone (MSFT) is holding it back," writes The Verge's Tom Warren while rating the phone 8.1/10. Warren likes the 925's aluminum build, performance, and low-light camera shots, but Windows Phone's app issues (not just in terms of availability, but also quality relative to similar iOS/Android apps) and missing features (reliable notifications, 1080p display support, etc.) remain a problem. Engadget's Mat Smith offers a similar take. Nokia exec Vesa Jutila admitted last month missing apps remains the "biggest complaint" of Lumia users; Microsoft is trying to address the problem by paying some developers $100K+ to build WP8 apps. [View news story]
    Different audiences are targeted by these two models. Lumia 925 clearly targets iPhone users, while EOS targets photographers and desperate geeks. Personally, I'd only look at EOS out of curiosity and for its exceptional technological achievement, however, it's certainly not a phone that I'd ever buy.
    Jun 17, 2013. 05:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Feeling the pressure from Samsung, Apple (AAPL) is mulling the launch over the next year of so-called phablets - iPhones with 4.7" and 5.7" screens - reports Reuters, whose sources include those in the Asian supply chain. Also on the agenda are cheaper iPhone models, perhaps in the $99 range. "They constantly change product specifications almost to the final moment," cautions one of the sources. [View news story]
    I hope that they don't consider abandoning a regular size iPhone, cause for me even the iPhone 5 has a too big screen. iPhone 4/4s has the perfect screen size for a large part of the customers and it would be quiet senseless to start offering only 5" screens. If they want to release a phablet they should abandon their one model policy. I'm sure that people who prefer Galaxy over an iPhone would certainly not start buying iPhones just because they'd release a phablet.
    Jun 13, 2013. 08:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The PlayStation 4 will cost $399, $100 less than the Xbox One, and go on sale "this holiday season," Sony (SNE) discloses at E3. Between the lower price and the PS4's lack of used game restrictions and online requirements, Sony is trying hard to woo gamers on edge over the One (MSFT). However, Sony is joining Microsoft in requiring a subscription to a premium service (PlayStation Plus) to access multiplayer gaming. 140+ PS4 games are said to be in development. The Gaikai cloud gaming service, which enables access to PS3 titles, will arrive on the PS3/PS4 in 2014. Anticipated first-person shooter Destiny, to be published by Activision (ATVI), has been previewed. (PS4 hardware/titles) (live blog[View news story]
    Technically speaking, console makers are losing money on the hardware and earn exclusively on games and Internet services, which offer them extremely attractive margins. So at some point, it won't be surprising to see Microsoft and Sony giving away their consoles for free upon a purchase of x games and/or a x years subscription to their premium service. They lost a huge part of their unconditional customers, so they could adopt the business model of the phone providers very soon.
    Jun 11, 2013. 05:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google (GOOG) is on the verge of closing a $1.3B acquisition of Waze, according to Globes. Talks with Facebook (FB) fell apart in late May over location issues. Apple (AAPL) was also thought to be a suitor of the mobile navigation app provider until Tim Cook said otherwise. [View news story]
    EU has nothing to say regarding an acquisition of an Israeli company by an American corporation. While an opposition issued by the US Government is very unlikely in wake of all the commercial agreements between the US and Israel.
    Jun 9, 2013. 11:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • On top of reporting of iPad Mini production cuts, Citi's Glen Yeung says checks indicate iPhone 5S (AAPL) production has been "delayed by 2-4 weeks, likely due to display issues," and that the retina iPad Mini has been delayed until late Q4 or early Q1 2014. Yeung doesn't see the 5S production delay stopping a Sep. launch, but thinks it could limit supply. On a more encouraging note, he still expects a 4.8" iPhone 6 to launch in Q1. Also: Apple has filed a patent application for an end-to-end mobile payments platform (USPTO filing). Speculation Apple will leverage iTunes credit card data (now 500M accounts strong) and AuthenTec's fingerprint tech to delve into mobile payments has been running high for a while. (Jefferies[View news story]
    I wouldn't allow any corporation collect private biometric information, cause not one single firewall is secured enough to protect that data. Any kind of information could be extracted by cyber criminals and in that case it's not going to be just some credit card numbers. Finger prints is a way too sensitive information to be transferred through the Internet and it can be easily misused in many ways. The most terrible consequence is certainly the theft of identity. And all these risks, just because people want to innovate the payment means, like if the cash and the credit cards weren't enough. The oldest things are the safest.
    Jun 8, 2013. 03:52 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pictures of Nokia's (NOK +1.4%) rumored EOS phone - a Lumia device said to feature a 41MP image sensor similar to that of the Symbian-based 808 PureView - have leaked. Like the 808, the EOS has a giant, protruding, camera module on its back, replete with a large flash. In-line with a May report, it also appears to have a polycarbonate body and a ~4.5" display. Sources tell The Verge the pictures are of "genuine engineering samples," that Nokia is expected to launch the device in July, and that AT&T (T) will exclusively sell it in the U.S. [View news story]
    It's true that the phone is not really good looking, however it looks much better than 808 and it has much better specifications. Nokia is trying to target a large proportion of customers who have been expecting for years to get an excellent, almost professional camera in their phones. If the camera configurations are as good as we could expect and if the price is in the range of the Lumia 920, we could fairly expect Nokia to sell 2-3m devices per quarter. This phone could be a perfect fit for the photo amateurs, massively present in the emerging markets.
    Next versions, with more elegant designs should become best sellers, however, Microsoft will have to work with Nokia on a competitive Windows 8 photo software for PC.
    Jun 6, 2013. 11:21 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia Is Getting Better But There's A Large Risk Looming [View article]
    Mr Santos,

    I don't see Microsoft making a phone and I don't see Nokia making a tablet (but they will probably launch a phablet). These two companies have some sort of secret gentlemen agreement and it would harm both of the companies if they'd suddenly start to work against each other. Now their bonds are way too strong to go back on their cooperation. For instance, why would Microsoft start giving money to Nokia if they wanted to launch their own phone? It just doesn't make any sense. Also, Nokia offers the most advanced functions of all the Windows Phones on the market. Would a Microsoft Phone be able to compete against them? And finally, all the Microsoft's commercials and promotional campaigns present Nokia as a "Windows Phone", they actually never even call it a "Nokia". So at this point, it's extremely likely that Nokia would eventually be bought out by Microsoft and it should happen this autumn or at the beginning of the next year. However, if Nokia would suddenly announce an Android phone, that would certainly mark the fact that Microsoft isn't interested in purchasing Nokia and in that case we should expect a Microsoft Phone.
    Jun 4, 2013. 09:30 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment