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  • Taylor Swift > Apple [View article]
    It shows how vulnerable Apple actually is. One of the top tier artists issues a protest and refuses to work with Apple and only 17 hours later, Apple bends. Personally I see some huge cracks in Apple's foundations. No matter how you look on this situation, in this case, Apple clearly lost its face.
    Jun 22, 2015. 10:17 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    Bitter? I simply see the reality as it is and as a former market analyst I tend to compare specs of other devices as well. I like Apple for a lot of things, but I dislike it for many others as well. There is no need to come up with some personal remarks just because I am not an unconditional aficionado.

    If I was bitter at Apple would I be holding $780k in its shares since $57? I do not think so. I would most probably not be buying all kind of Apple products upon their release to my grandchildren either, including the €1300 Apple Watches. I simply look at things rationally and I perfectly realize that these products are nothing more than overpriced designer toys for spoiled rich children.

    If I was wealthy enough to give away €900 for a phone, I would most probably turn myself to a BlackBerry Passport or the curved screen Samsung, as I find that they are at least somewhat original compared the Apple's inspirational stagnation.

    But nevertheless, thank you very much for assuming that Jobs and I could have been such big friends that he would come party hard at my place. I truly appreciate your esteem for me.
    Jun 7, 2015. 05:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    Apple is ALWAYS 1-2 years behind the competition in terms of specs. Samsung, LG, HTC, Xiaomi, Huawei and even Blackberry have better processors, better RAMs and sometimes even better screens than Apple, for a lower final consumer price.

    The only difference is that iOS is not as spec consuming as Android, so it can run smoothly with lower specs, but perhaps it could have been running even better with higher specs, who knows.

    The fact that Apple spares on parts is simply obvious and I have simply no doubts that Apple spared on the Apple Watch as well. Just look at the Edition - they even invented a cheaper gold alloy! Instead of using silver or copper, they added ceramics and use 25% less gold per volume. It is barely considered as being an authentic gold and despite paying cheaper to produce it, they charge even more than for regular golden products!
    Jun 7, 2015. 12:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    No, knowing Apple, I think that it made a trade off between the highest profit that it is ready to lose and the lowest battery life that consumers would be ready to accept. At $84 of cost per $400 watch I am sure that battery life could have been much higher. Unfortunately, people still buy even though they complain, so there is no reason for Apple to change its policy.

    When Apple anounced ~12 hours of battery upon the presentation, people were genuinely shocked. In just 2 months the battery life went to 24-36 hours. Apple simply ordered better batteries. In my opinion, by picking a more expensive battery they could have done much better, but since dozens of millions of people do not care, why bother.

    Wait for the next version, it will be at 48 as better batteries will become cheaper.
    Jun 7, 2015. 11:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    36 hours of charge for a watch is still highly insufficient in my opinion. A watch should be able to work at least 5-7 days without problems to provide a comfortable use.

    My 4 years old phone charges in 35-45 minutes, so 1 hour for a new watch...
    Jun 7, 2015. 10:45 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    Sorry to say that, Frank, but Rolex is probably the worse Swiss watch that has ever been made made. It is just so much overrated. I heard so many complaints about them, that I wonder why people still buy them and how comes that they are still in business!

    The most epic comes from my friend, who actually works for Rolex. He owns a €60,000 (today's price - collector) platinum Rolex and it breaks down at least once a year (up to 6 times a year!!). At some point he decided to buy a Chinese replica of his watch, while being on a business trip in Hong Kong. Well turned out that the $200 replica has been working perfectly fine for over 15 years now, while the authentic Rolex stays broken in a safe.

    The funniest part was when he went to the Rolex "lab" (a repair shop) and someone asked to look at his watch. First of all, the workers were surprised that it was actually a replica... Talking about professionals! Then they opened the replica and said something like "Yeah, ok, the mechanism is basic, worth about $10, nothing impressive, good glass quality and ok body for a $200 watch". - Nothing impressive, but unlike the authentic €60k watch, it does not break...... Pathetic!

    "One other note. The guts of the Apple watch is the same whether it is a Sport, Watch or Edition. That means that when a new upgraded watch comes out, Edition owners should be able to have the guts replaced for about $300!"

    -> Does it means that they will once again put the exact same body on a new product? Un-f..-believable! I really hate when they do it for S models and I really hoped that they would not do the same for the Watch. The shape, the cheap body and the battery life were the only things that stopped me from buying some basic one for €500 to test it out. Turns out, I will probably not get it for at least 2 more years. I would certainly buy a round one if it gets released at some point.
    Jun 6, 2015. 06:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    Well, it will depend on how creative developers will be. When iPhone and iPad were first released, apps were quiet limited and generic. I suspect that the first apps for the Apple watch will be extremely similar as it is hard to create something new immediately upon the release of a new device.

    He used it for full 4 weeks. He wanted to make a very exhaustive review of real life use and not another in hands article. He said that de needed 3-4 days to get used to the device, as he found the OS very different and over a week to figure out how everything works.

    I find very interesting to have a virtual coach on the wrist! The only negative thing is that I do not like to take my phone on training. I like taking 1-2 hours to be completely isolated and to free my mind during the train. I get phone calls every 10-15 minutes and it would be impossible to focus on training.
    Jun 6, 2015. 11:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]

    You both have a point. For some people an Apple Watch is a life changer, for others it is a useless gadget.

    A friend of mine writes articles about Apple for Le Soir, which is one of the most read newspapers in Belgium. He is an unconditional Apple fan and Apple follower. Apple Watch has not been released in Belgium yet, as Apple waits for the opening of Apple Stores in Brussels and Antwerpen to make an official release, but there are hundreds of watches on the grey market coming from the US, UK, France, Netherlands and Germany. There are now official figures, but according to the chatter in France, Belgium and Germany, so far, 1/5 to 1/3 of watches are being resold by their owners because people are disappointed by their purchase.

    He used the newspaper's money to purchase an Apple Watch in order to write an article on it. The guy who sold him the Watch Sport told him that he bought it in the US upon its release and when he sold it to him, he said "the watch is completely useless for me, but have fun with it".

    I found that the review was pretty honest, unlike most of the commercial articles that you used to found upon the release. He said that the watch is far from being perfect and it is pretty hard to use, but it has some excellent elements like the notification center, a better SIRI and a good messaging. But he said that besides that, it is actually pretty useless.

    However, he concluded that he sees the watch as an iPhone 1 and he can only imagine what it could become in 8 years from now, as its potential is virtually limitless. If you want to buy a "beta version" today, it is up to you, but personally he will wait for 2-3 more years before purchasing it himself, or advising anyone to do that.

    Pretty disappointing for an unconditional Apple fan that he is...

    PS : "Meantime, I am 10lbs lighter since getting my Apple Watch." -> Could you explain, please? Did the fact that you purchased an Apple Watch motivate to do sports?
    Jun 5, 2015. 10:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    Dennis Baker,

    As a matter of fact, I still own 4 pockets watches, one of which is a brand new Bovet. It is a real pleasure to wear them!

    I understand your point, but as I see it, the pocket watches of the wrist watches were actually phones. At some point, a lot of people stopped buying watches and used their phones. However, it mainly concerned cheap watches and a lot of people still kept purchasing Swiss watches.

    Apple Watch is made of quality parts for a smart watch, but unfortunately it still looks very cheap. It seems like a more modern version of a Casio. Personally, I would not wear it with a suite. It will have to become extremely practical in the next years, for me to actually consider purchasing it. Moreover, any practicality of the Apple Watch will be offset by the fact that I would have to charge it every damn day! I do not even have enough sockets in my office for a Watch...

    I think it will be a huge hit and it will be sold by millions, but I do not understand the point of the Edition. Nevertheless, once I even saw a Casio G-Shock covered with diamonds in a store. So perhaps, some insane people will actually purchase the Edition.
    Jun 5, 2015. 09:55 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    I think that it is possible. Unfortunately I am not sure that Apple will be able to produce 300 millions of watches in the next 3 years. They do not have the same specialization as for iPhones. New technology, miniatures details and very complexe parts that are even harder to produce than the watch itself... At this point it will be all about the supply side.
    Jun 3, 2015. 01:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    "I didn't deny the luxury watch its place, and the luxury watch industry need to realize that a new watch experience is emerging, not belittle its existence. Change happens much faster than often recognized."

    You should not mix up an industry that is a pure state for art for tasteful adults, to the IT industry, that is full of grownup teenagers wearing teeshirts to go to work. There is a huge difference between productivity and pleasure. A Swatch is for productivity, an Apple Watch is for a much bigger productivity, a Swiss watch is for pleasure of your eyes only. Therefore, you will keep your Apple Watch for 2 years and your Swiss watch for decades. A cheap piece of technology will never replace a piece of art, even if you put that cheap technology into a golden box.

    "And, the comment about "watches... being timeless", ... I appreciate your verve for the watch industry. It reminds us of a threatened era, and how people hate to let go."

    This a comment coming from a person who has never owned an expensive watch and who does not understand why anyone would buy one. Therefore, you are a perfect client for Apple, but you would have never been a client of a luxury watch maker.

    You obviously do not understand that you are comparing completely different markets, that do not even interact with each other and that face completely different demand curves.

    It is like comparing a Ferrari to a Honda. Yes, Hondas sell well, they are more easy to drive, easier to park, less expensive and have a way better productivity with their bigger space. But they do not compete against each other as their clients are way too different. Even a $200k Honda would not be appealing, as it is still a Honda. Perhaps a Ferrari owner would buy a Honda for an everyday use, but he would never give-up his Ferrari for a Honda. That is the difference that you do not understand.

    Rolex owners might buy an Apple Watch, but they would not replace a Rolex by an Apple Watch. People who buy Apple Watches are either people who had a regular cheap watch, or people who have never owned a watch before. Therefore, there is no direct competition with the luxury markets.

    I shorted Swatch Group because Apple will eat everyone's lunch, but it will have to work extremely hard to be able to compete against luxury watch makers as it will need to gain an outstanding handcraft and prestige. Marketing alone will not bring Apple that.
    Jun 2, 2015. 05:59 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    Reel Ken,

    "extremely low salaries for executives ... in the 50k-60k range."

    Right... Extremely low indeed. Good thing that they are charitable enough to accept such a low "compensation".

    But nevertheless, congratulations for working for free. Very few people would do that. I would have been even more admirative if you would not have brought up your positions in your former comment. Sounds a little bit ostentatious to be honest. A lot of my friends own charity associations and foundations, but unfortunately I must say that it is never about helping people and it is not their intention whatsoever.

    I always feel that talking about my own donations and voluntary work always removes the uninterested and altruistic image of the gesture. It simply shows that you did it for yourself and not for others. As it is written in Talmud - Give and forget immediately, receive and remember forever.

    "Yes I have children. One died at a young age .. thank you for bringing it up. You're my "hero"."

    Sorry to hear that.

    "They are "E.F.Hutton" they earned their money the hard way ..."

    Well I do not understand why you came up with "money needs to be earned in order to be appreciated" in the context of leaving your fortune to your children. But it is your money, your kids and your business. Personally, I have a completely different point of view, as I work as much as I can in order to leave them as much as possible.

    "Yep, I enjoy my yacht and could buy a helicopter if I ever felt the need to impress someone. Instead, I do the things I enjoy, don't chase after money for money's sake and live a good life. No complaints."

    Well good for you! As if a yacht was not impressive enough already, hehe.

    "Maybe if you took more after me , you wouldn't come across so angry, belligerent or up-tight."

    Well, people rarely change. Everyone has his own background that explains who we are. The fact that we talk through Internet obviously distorts the real meaning of our comments, as I did not mean to be agressive towards you.

    Unfortunately I have seen so much cynicism and hypocrisy in the world of charity. When executives from Unisef, Red Cross, WWF, Greenpeace and other less known European organisations come to my office in Luxembourg, with Bentleys and Rolls Royces belonging to their respective associations, so that I could manage their wealth or optimise their taxes, it simply shocks me. There is absolutely nothing altruistic in their intentions and they do it only for the money.

    Personally, I prefer to seem like a misanthrope to others, but to do my share in this world, instead of pretending to be a saint while earning money on people's misery. Thats is why I have a systematic aversion towards people who talk about their charitable deeds or who work in charity. The simple concept of "wage" in charity makes me uncomfortable, even though I understand that some employees actually do not have no other sources of revenue.

    I am glad to see that there are still some exceptions like yourself.
    Jun 2, 2015. 04:28 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]
    Reel Ken,

    Oh please... I have rarely read such an impressive amount of clichés and randomness in one single comment... Bling-bling mother Theresa at her best. Millionaires with gigantic hearts.

    "I sit on the board of two charities and have funded two foundations."

    How much do you earn for your board sits? How much donations actually goes to the purpose, 15-25% as usual? The rest are "expenses". Love it when people try to show off their high moral backgrounds and still earn a nice buck out of it. Love that cynicism!

    "The great bulk of my assets will go to charities not my heirs"

    Do you have children? If not, that explains a lot. If yes, well, you must have really messed up as a parent if they disappointed you that much. Educate the next ones better.

    "people are measured by the difference they make, not the different things they wear"

    What difference did you personally make? Let's face it, we come to the Earth and we leave the Earth. No one makes any difference in that stinking marsh. Those who think that they changed something are simply delusional.

    Mister "Yachter", may I ask you what kind of suits do you wear? Must be really life changing to wake up on your own yacht and say to yourself "what a wonderful and charitable guy I am. Maybe one of my foundations could send me an helicopter, after all I deserve it." Must be very refreshing!

    "Those that try to diminish him, do little good."

    I know humains way too well to have any illusions. I heard him myself saying once that he thinks that he is the best placed person to know where his taxes should go and therefore he prefers to decide that himself.

    I do little good by diminishing him, but I do not do any harm either. I am simply analyzing the situation as a rational person. And between us, it is by working and volunteering at all kind of charity organisation that I started to see the things as they are and not as people would like us to see them. Charity business is one of the most hypocrite and profitable businesses in the world.
    Jun 2, 2015. 03:28 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]

    No, you are right, these are extreme examples. But from point of view, Buffet's example is at least as extreme. His consumption is money, as making money provides him with the highest utility level. This is what is truly unique. For him, it is not about earning money to spend more, but instead to earn money to invest more, in order to earn more. His case could be studies in behavioral economics! He is an absolute lender and a compulsive saver.

    With his modest lifestyle and his low expenditures, he could give right away 50% to 75% of his fortune to charity and still be able to do what he loves the most - investing and making more money. Instead of that, he needs to wait until the final moment, when he will be 100% certain that he will not need his money. As I see it, it is not really about his good feelings, or his love towards humanity, but there is something else.

    "He just chooses to spend it on philanthropy"

    Are you sure that it is not simply about the taxes? There is a huge difference in my opinion.

    "spending wisely helps not to invite trouble in one's life"

    I could not agree more. Nevertheless, the question is what is spending wisely when you have got billions. Your perspectives obviously change and what represents an yearly wage for a normal person, might be equivalent to an ok weekend for a billionaire. Moreover, when you meet only wealthy people, after a certain moment you would simply not be able to interact with middle class anymore.
    Jun 2, 2015. 03:12 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Is Making Luxury Watchmakers Uncomfortable [View article]

    When I was a kid, I used to spare each and every penny in an extremely compulsive way. I never bought anything, I just worked, spared and started my first investments by the age of 16. When I turned 19, I moved from my parents and rented a small studio. Once my mother came to visit me and she was simply horrified by my lifestyle. We had a dramatic dispute and I still remember it as if it was yesterday. To be honest, I was so averse to spending that between 19 and 20 years I lost 1/4th of my weight, cause I found that food was too expensive. The positive thing was that I was certainly one of the wealthiest young people in the city, the negative is that I was living and looking like a real hobo.

    It is wonderful to be humble and to disregard what everyone else thinks, but what is the point of making money if you are (physically and mentally) unable to spend it. At some point my family and my fiance made some sort of intervention, they took me to see a psychologist and I finally realized how sick I was. Today I still keep sparing, but I also allow myself some pleasures.

    It is pointless to be a billionaire if you live like a middle class person. Billionaires like Buffet are slaves of their fortunes, while it is supposed to be the opposite. But of course, this is just my point of view and everyone should live as he/she wishes.

    It reminds me of the story of my doctor's brother. He has a university degree and he received €52 millions in heritage from his parents. He kept each and every penny on his bank account and he has been living on the streets for over 20 years now. There was another case of a dead homeless person who lived in Berlin. He was sleeping on his matras for decades on the exact same spot. When he died, Policemen found €10 millions in cash in his matras. It is obviously unhealthy and it must be some psychiatric disorder.
    Jun 2, 2015. 01:55 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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