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  • WSJ: Apple car project is for real, and it's a minivan  [View news story]
    I can't see Apple getting into EVs unless they believe they have some extremely disruptive technology and ideas that no one else appears to have or likely to be moving on. Could it be an inside track on some battery technology breakthrough that could also be used in portable electronics? I've been pretty skeptical of an Apple car but if the rumors of the skill sets and size of the car team is true it would seem they must be trying to hatch something significant.
    Feb 13, 2015. 09:50 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple And The Financial Impact Of Streaming Video  [View article]
    Just creating a Netflix clone is not a worthy cost/benefit for Apple or it's users in my view as well. However, streaming could be somewhat like Apple Pay in that it has little direct earning value [currently] but bolsters hardware sales, loyalty and the ecosystem (which you mention). The key to streaming would be some kind of notable improvement in the experience on Apple devices and/or user cost (while being at least mildly accretive in direct revenue).
    Feb 11, 2015. 08:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • IDC 2014 Smartphone Data: Apple Catches Up On Samsung; The Chinese Aren't Too Far Behind  [View article]
    The author's premise would have partial credibility if iPhones ran Android. What the perma bears fails to understand is the power of better integrated non-forked software/hardware as it pertains to reliability, software updates, performance, cross-platform consistency and ecosystem integration. Then add in the better support and customer service, top-of-the-line industrial design and superiority in many [not all] hardware features.

    These are just some of the factors that create the Apple brand loyalty and acceptance of premium pricing (misunderstood by the unsavvy as some kind of marketing brainwash). What this all adds up to for many is a better EXPERIENCE rather than a battle of cherry picked hardware-feature versus price (the commodity argument).
    Feb 4, 2015. 03:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Earnings Review: It's Always A Good Time  [View article]
    The authors viewpoint fails to take into account the magnitude of the beat or the increase in market share that raises the baseline (besides recycling the perma-bear talking points). When you get the same EXACT reaction regardless of the results it's an indication of an entrenched viewpoint that adds little or nothing of value to the conversation.
    Jan 28, 2015. 09:38 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's EPS lifted by $687 iPhone ASP, 39.9% gross margin  [View news story]
    Historically AAPL has often moved [temporarily] down after solid FQ1 beats...which is probably a big contributor to a muted immediate reaction (muted in the sense that, as I write this, the net gain for the day is a bit over 2% taking into account the drop pre-close). However, the beat today was so massive that we should see some nice price action in the near term. There will be analyst upgrades.

    Some uber-bears will come out tomorrow but they will look like they should be wearing clown suits riding unicycles.
    Jan 27, 2015. 09:22 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Surging Dollar May Take A Bite Out Of Apple's Earnings  [View article]
    I'd like to see an estimate of gross margin expansion thrown into the equation.
    Jan 22, 2015. 03:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Examining The iPad Issue  [View article]
    In general the incremental benefit of buying the latest iPhone is higher than getting the latest iPad (and more generally could be applied to any cell phone versus tablet). Things like processor power and weight matter more for a phone. The subsidies also have an impact (although I suspect less than many think).

    Obviously the more Apple can infuse the iPad with new popular features the higher the refresh rate. Adding the Touch ID is an example although not likely a must-have compared to the phone. Also, looking at the iPad & Mac sales in aggregate is interesting since it nulls out mood swings between tablets & laptops/desktops.
    Jan 21, 2015. 04:05 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Why So Bearish?  [View article]
    You just have to marvel at the bizarre logic when the stock trades down on insignificant analyst noise and yet is STILL expected to beat the rising upside consensus. It's the usual holiday earnings game the market plays with AAPL so we really shouldn't be surprised. The biggest lurking unknown is what the FQ2 forecast will be at the EC ... this is more likely to be the swing factor on top of the massive earnings [beat or not].

    I see this as a "buy when others are afraid" situation if the stock moves lower this week.
    Jan 19, 2015. 02:31 AM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Larger iPhones May Be A Game Changer  [View article]
    Phone size is a critical element of customer satisfaction. If people had a one-time-choice to resize their phones like a browser window it should be intuitively obvious that quite a range of sizes would be chosen from small to large (and would reflect each persons optimal compromise between portability and readability). For Apple it's about removing the disincentive to own iPhone due to unmet size preference. To complete this process I believe Apple needs something akin to a "6s mini" as has been rumored. Perhaps this phone could be even slightly smaller than the 5s.

    I do agree with the viewpoint that Apple is on a path to sustained higher phone market share of their target customers (e.g. those that afford iPhones). Add a smaller phone to the mix and it further seals the deal.
    Jan 13, 2015. 04:48 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Becoming The Next IBM?  [View article]
    Apple doubled their R&D spend in the last few years. Six billion dollars is not exactly chopped liver nor is it relevant to view innovation as scaling directly to the dollars spent (once you get to these huge numbers). Acquisitions can also serve the R&D mission even though it won't typically be reflected in the accounting.
    Jan 9, 2015. 02:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Apple's HealthKit Seeing Early Adoptions  [View article]
    @surf, I have a Heathkit 7-segment-neon digital clock on my TV stand that is around 40 years old...still works perfectly. Technology has long since surpassed 99% of the old Heathkits, but I haven't found a table clock I like better for low light readability without being at all intrusive.
    Dec 5, 2014. 11:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Pay Won't Drive Much Direct Revenue, But It Could Boost iPhone Loyalty  [View article]
    The revenue per transaction being touted is .15 percent of the charge, so this would be 15 cents per $100 dollars (.0015 x $100 = .15 dollars = 15 cents). We don't know for sure this is the number but it seems to be the most reasonable assumption at this point. The worldwide yearly transaction volume on Visa and MasterCard is reported to be somewhere around 5 trillion dollars. So if Apple Pay was used in 100% of the transactions at .0015 per ... that comes to 7.5 billion dollars per year. If Apply Pay got 10% of these (an awfully ambitious number but let's use it as a longer term fun example) they would get 750 million in high margin revenue.

    I like the probable impact of Apple Pay on iPhone retention, customer satisfaction & even market share gain. It's a truly great thing but not a direct huge earnings booster by any credible means that I am aware of (though happy to be proved wrong).
    Nov 16, 2014. 11:57 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did Apple Bully GT Advanced Technologies?  [View article]
    Usually when people talk about big companies playing hardball with suppliers it's for discounting on services or physical deliverables THAT ARE DELIVERED. In this case it appears GTAT was unable to deliver anything remotely usable by Apple. It does get a little murky in the fact that there were aspects of joint effort but clearly GTAT and Apple felt that the odds were good enough to proceed initially. The comments and actions of Squiller/GTAT before the deal fell apart publicly suggest they knew things were going badly. That's a tough place to be in but they clearly screwed their investors. If I were to be critical of Apple it's for apparent lack of savvy in going for the deal in the first place (granted, hindsight is always brilliant and innovation requires risk taking).
    Nov 11, 2014. 11:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • There Is No Chance Apple Pay Will Disrupt The Payments Ecosystem  [View article]
    @odspan, you mention something important few people discussing Apple Pay do...the paper receipt versus on-phone-receipt. As a user I absolutely hate collecting and disposing of credit card receipts. In fact, to me, it's at least as much of a benefit as avoiding the card swipe and signature or pin!
    Nov 10, 2014. 07:58 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • There Is No Chance Apple Pay Will Disrupt The Payments Ecosystem  [View article]
    The importance of Apple Pay is to the current and future generation iPhone users convenience/security..... not, in my view, to create some new massive independent revenue stream or change the underlying payment landscape. In a few years the majority of iPhone owners will have NFC-enabled iPhones. The main Apple Pay barrier-to-entry is the presence of NFC-enabled point-of-sale terminals that do not block Apple Pay. I think the blocking issue will go away or be radically reduced over time as will the number of non-NFC-supporting checkout stations. Once this occurs Apple Pay will be a huge convenience for iPhone owners (6 and beyond).

    The fact that Apple Pay may not grow into a complete independent service devoid of Visa/Mastercard should not be viewed as a negative as this was never, in my view, it's mission. It's mission is to improve the iPhone ownership experience and over time it will do that significantly.
    Nov 10, 2014. 07:34 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment