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  • Claiming its BlackBerrys "have been failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate," the NTSB says it looking to abandon Research In Motion's (RIMM) hardware for iPhones (AAPL). That makes the NTSB the latest in a string of government organizations to either fully end its BlackBerry use or give employees the option to use alternatives. RIM, which just received FIPS 140-2 security clearance for BlackBerry 10, says it has 1M government customers in North America. [View news story]
    I don't have any numbers either, but according to the article above the NTSB says the BB devices are failing "at an unacceptable rate." I'm merely pointing out that it wouldn't necessarily cost taxpayers more if Apple's failure rate were lower than BB's.

    Also, you might not consider buying an iPhone second hand, but it doesn't change the fact that their resale value is much higher than most other used mobile phones. Another reason that it might not cost taxpayers more for iPhones.
    Nov 21 03:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • More on jobless claims: At 350K, it's the lowest level since March 2008, but the number is likely skewed by seasonal adjustment issues (last week included July 4). Look for a makeup bounce in the print next week. S&P futures are showing no reaction, remaining -0.7%.  [View news story]
    Perfect, thanks!
    Jul 12 11:05 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Cook takes stage at iPad event; 1M apps in App Store [View news story]
    Yeah, I'm not sure an actual M/M decline has been priced in. Most articles and commentary I see are concerned about whether Pandora can survive with Apple entering the market. However, I think the real near term risk for Pandora's share price is that Apple is just successful enough to cause Pandora to either significantly slow listener growth or show signs of decline. I guess we'll see over the next month or two.
    Oct 23 08:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Minimum wage debate picks up steam [View news story]
    Sure it would erode profits, at first. But the whole idea behind increasing the minimum wage is that it will spur more demand. However, more demand without an increase in supply = higher prices. I don't see supply increasing to offset this pattern since with eroding profits comes less investment.

    I wonder how many minimum wage employees need a living wage? For example, students or supplemental income from a spouse. While I don't think either of those groups would complain if they received a significant raise, there will always be a cost. From your perspective, I think you believe it will only be the expense of profits, but I think that would only be the initial consequence.

    Think about this, what is poor? Poor in the USA is not the same as poor in a third-world country, although, both feel lack. To ray's point, there will always be a minimum, and it will never be enough. The objective should not be to minimize the scale but to increase its dynamics and upward mobility. Increasing minimum wage only moves the floor higher while reducing upward mobility. For example, if a manger makes $15 per hour today and the employee's pay is increased $7 per hour, it will not result in the manager's pay increasing by the same percent. It might increase some, but at a much lower rate, let's say 15%. Now, the manager is closer to the floor than before. So now, an employee that works hard and aspires to make it into management can only expect an upward mobility of 15% versus nearly 100% before. This would be great if prices remain the same, but if they rise, it will mean very little to make only 15% more if you are so close to the floor. I think in this scenario that over time prices would rise and so will the manager's pay, and we will eventually be at ground zero again, but with everyone's savings being worth less than it is today.
    Aug 5 09:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • WSJ: Retina iPad Mini production to start in Q4 [View news story]
    Eric Schmidt has not been on Apple's board since 2009. He originally joined long before Apple and Google were competitors. However, he should of left the board after they purchased Android in 2005.
    Aug 1 11:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Data Says Nokia's Cameras Will Win It The Smartphone Segment [View article]
    This seems so hypothetical but what the heck. Firstly, I don't typically calculate market cap outside of looking at other companies within the same industry. But just for kicks, I'm going to say the market cap should be between $11.2 billion and $17.9 billion.

    My point isn't which should come first just that they are different. You can instantly see the difference between HD & SD because they are usually professionally filmed. A screen is only capable of displaying about 7 stops of dynamic range. That is the difference between the brightest white and darkest black. However our eyes can see around 24 stops of dynamic range. Photographers use various techniques to control this dynamic range in images, but the average person doesn't know how. Furthermore they are fooled by what they see since it looks fine to their eye. I'll admit that the increased resolution will help the image appear sharper, but I'm just not convinced that a better camera will be a game changer for Nokia. I could be wrong, but there will be plenty of time to jump on board. I would wait until there is evidence that Nokia's revenue is turning around, and I would buy in slowly.
    Jul 18 10:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Data Says Nokia's Cameras Will Win It The Smartphone Segment [View article]
    I look at several metrics and don't usually base my buy decision on revenue multiples. There are just too many unknowns in your example. You state that the margins are currently 11.8% but they are targeting 7% long term. What's the long term revenue projection? (i.e. 7% of what) Also, are we talking about gross margin, operating margin or net margin? For example, 11.8% net margin is good, but 11.8% gross margin is fairly low depending on the industry.

    For a high growth company, I look at their model for growth. Do I think it will succeed and is there evidence to support it. I want to see growing revenue. I'm not as concerned about their current profitability, although the business needs to be sustainable.
    Jul 18 05:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Data Says Nokia's Cameras Will Win It The Smartphone Segment [View article]
    My first concern for a growth company is whether or not a company has a strong business plan for growth. Nokia is a little different than most other growth companies because they been in the industry for a long time. I agree that when looking at there small share and low margins they seem like a good potential growth stock. However, there continually falling revenue troubles me. A growth company is usually typified by low to no earnings but growing revenue. This isn't the case with Nokia. Their revenue has fallen in 4 of the last 5 years, and their quarterly revenue is on pace for another annual decline. I would wait until the revenue fall levels off and shows signs of growing before I invested in this high risk/potentially high reward stock.
    Jul 18 03:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More on Verizon's (VZ) Q1: Wireless revenue was up 6.8% Y/Y to $19.5B with both retail and service sales strong. The company says it had 98.9M retail connections, up 6.4% from a year ago. A mark of 4M iPhone activations topped estimates. On the wireline side, Verizon reports 188K FiOS Internet and 169K FiOS Video net additions as FiOS revenue rose 15.1% to $2.6B. VZ +1.9% premarket. (PR[View news story]
    Is that 4M iPhone activations the same as sales? 4M iPhone sales would be about 800K more iPhones than the 2012 Q1.
    Apr 18 09:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Does Not Have $137 Billion In Cash [View article]
    This seems to be a common misunderstanding. As the article states, the taxes have been accounted for from an income statement perspective (they have already been expensed) From a balance sheet perspective they are in a liabilities account because it represents money they owe but haven't paid. The cash balance is the cash balance. From an accounting standpoint it has to be. The cash balance must be reconciled with the sum balance of all accounts it's held in.
    Mar 5 01:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Greenlight Capital/David Einhorn has dropped its lawsuit  over Apple's (AAPL -1.6%) Prop. 2, in response to the company's decision to withdraw the proposal and its bundled changes (in the wake of an injunction) prior to Wednesday's shareholder meeting. Apple insisted at the meeting it remains committed to giving shareholders the right to vote on the issuing of preferred stock. [View news story]
    "if you have an iphone , you are not going to buy another one."

    I'm not sure where you get that from. Most surveys show that 90%+ of iPhone owners plan on purchasing an iPhone for their next phone. In the US, most cell phone users upgrade every two years. Also, iPhone sales are growing. They sold more phones last quarter than ever before, and suppliers were cutting orders then too. They just didn't sell as many as analysts estimated. Also, there are concerns of increased competition, but I don't think there is any evidence yet that the market is saturated.
    Mar 1 05:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Greenlight Capital/David Einhorn has dropped its lawsuit  over Apple's (AAPL -1.6%) Prop. 2, in response to the company's decision to withdraw the proposal and its bundled changes (in the wake of an injunction) prior to Wednesday's shareholder meeting. Apple insisted at the meeting it remains committed to giving shareholders the right to vote on the issuing of preferred stock. [View news story]
    Share price is relative to outstanding shares. Google might reach a $1,000 price, but it has nowhere near the valuation of Apple. Also, EPS is relative to shares. So even if Google has the same EPS as Apple, their actual earnings are much lower. That's why, theoretically, Google has a better chance of growing, and is warranted a higher P/E ratio.
    Mar 1 05:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple (AAPL -0.9%) roundup: 1) David Einhorn has scheduled a 2PM ET call to discuss his preferred stock proposal (webcast). Ahead of the call, he asserts the proposal is "a lot better" than a standard dividend or buyback hike. 2) As iWatch rumors grow, AppleInsider uncovers an Apple patent for a watch with a flexible touchscreen and a spring that allows it to conform to a user's wrist. 3) AU Optronics (AUO) has reportedly resolved its iPad Mini panel yield issues, and is working on the next-gen version. It might not be a coincidence the Mini is now listed as "in stock" on Apple's site. [View news story]
    So you are in favor of shareholders not having a say in the issuing of preferred shares?

    Proposal 2 has nothing to do with Einhorn's proposal to issue preferred shares and everything to do with not having to get the shareholder's approval to do so. I'm not sure he really has the shareholders' best in mind.
    Feb 21 02:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple (AAPL) has slashed prices for three 13" MacBook models. The price of the 13" retina MacBook Pro with 128GB SSD has been cut by $200 to $1,499, and the 256GB model by $300 to $1,699. Meanwhile, the 13" MacBook Air with 256GB SSD has been cut by $100 to $1,399. Apple's 15" retina MacBook Pro models remain priced at $2,199 and $2,799, but both have been given faster Intel Core i7 CPUs, and the costlier model now sports twice as much RAM. The moves follow a quarter where Mac shipments fell 22% Y/Y, and revenue 16%. (PR[View news story]
    Keep in mind that these models were introduced at a higher price point than previous models. Was that margin expansion? Probably not. So if they had higher costs, where did those cost increases come from? As you pointed out, aluminum is roughly the same, and the labor rate is likely the same. The difference was likely the cost of the screen and additional labor time in producing it. While I'm not arguing that the incremental cost of the retina display is now on par with the older displays, I would also point out that the price point is still higher than the standard display MBP.

    It would seem to me that there is good evidence that the incremental cost of the retina display is possibly falling, and Apple is taking advantage of it to spur more demand.
    Feb 13 08:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Verizon Wireless (VZ, VOD) says it expect to report 9.8M smartphone activations, "with a higher mix of Apple smartphones," for Q4. That figure is up 29% from the 7.7M smartphones activated a year ago, and 44% from the 6.8M activated in Q3 (46% of them were iPhones). Verizon's Y/Y growth rate is easily above that of AT&T (T - previous), which is more iPhone-dependent, but its Q/Q rate is slower. The smartphone sales, together with strong indirect channel growth, will lead to a slight Y/Y drop in EBITDA service margin. VZ -0.5%. AAPL -0.7%. (CEO remarks: I, II) Update: Verizon PR tells Seeking Alpha the iPhone mix was higher relative to both Q3 (46% of smartphone sales) and Q4 2011 (56%). [View news story]
    So that means at least 1 million more iPhones were sold by VZ Y/Y.
    Jan 9 05:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment