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BobWelsh

BobWelsh
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  • Apple Mints Cash Off Storage Sales: So What? [View article]
    It strikes me as odd that with hardware we tend to gauge the price that a company "should" charge based on the cost of manufacturing, but for software we never do that because the incremental cost of manufacturing is basically zero. So we understand the concept of supply and demand for software but somehow forget it when we're dealing with hardware. If Apple products weren't "worth" it then folks would stop buying them!
    Dec 11 12:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Gold Floor Fallacy [View article]
    These arguments make a lot of sense in the short and maybe medium terms, but it seems that no operator is going to keep a mine going long term if the cost of production is below what they can sell the product for. At some point either the price of gold will go up or an increasing number of mines will shut down - sort of like what happened in the U.S. oil business several decades ago when the oil prices dropped, they shut down the production in the U.S.
    Dec 8 11:47 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple May Earn $46 Billion In Annual Profit From TV By 2020 [View article]
    Apple will likely play big in this arena BUT I don't see them playing big in the physical screen unless they can add some amazing capability (maybe 3D without glasses). They will likely enter the TV/video space with proprietary access to content, apps, features, and UI, but not specific screens other than as a sideline (like their current displays are)

    Even today, I can do most everything I'd want (wirelessly I might add) with a Mac/iPad/iPhone and an Apple TV and ANY HDMI big screen. Why would I need an Apple big screen? The big screens will keep getting bigger and better but I don't see how they will be key to Apple's play. The big screen is just the substrate for this realm - sort of like the fact that we all need electricity to run everything, but Apple is not likely to get into the electrical utility or solar energy arena any time soon.
    Nov 30 06:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Meaning Of Really Cheap Android [View article]
    I didn't say that these lowend devices are junk, just that they're not usable for most (or certainly as many) tasks as a higher end smartphone or tablet. The key to how things will move forward in this arena is how much innovation will create demand for higher end products that can take better advantage of the innovation - vs. how quickly prices erode. As these devices are more and more central to our lives and still not all that expensive; we're NOT talking about $40K BMWs vs. $20K Fords, we're talking hundreds of dollars for the highend devices vs tens of dollars for the lowend devices. All things considered I expect lots of folks to continue to be willing to spend more for better devices that do what they want in an ecosystem they want.
    Nov 21 01:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • On Apple And Vertical Integration [View article]
    I sense if Apple were to vertically integrate - it would more likely be in the realm of acquiring some key IP or service, but not just supply in an competitive arena that doesn't require vertical integration. For instance what if Apple were to buy Twitter or perhaps some large media company - heck they could buy Comcast and Time Warner, or Disney if they wanted! I'm not suggesting they do that, but those are the types of things that seem to make more sense.
    Nov 20 08:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Meaning Of Really Cheap Android [View article]
    We can likely use the actual manufacturing costs for Apple, Samsung, Google, etc. products as gauge of how low prices could go for a given product. Lot's of these "low end" devices are so low end as to not be usable for most tasks. Prices will drift down for any given functionality, but demand for more functionality will keep prices from completely crashing. The question here really is: can Apple, Samsung, Google (well Google doesn't care as much), etc. keep adding features that demand higher levels of hardware and/or IP into their products to keep the prices up? I think we're still in that phase of this broader market since smartphones/tablets are still fairly new product types and will likely be getting much better and higher performing over the next few years (I see them really taking on computers in a much more serious fashion than they already have - they have the potential to become our information hub for virtually everything - and that takes memory, processing power, good radios, high res displays, good cameras, etc.)
    Nov 20 08:21 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Metric That Favors Apple Over Google [View article]
    I don't think Apple is done innovating at all. It's just that Apple is now innovating in small increments, with significant change mostly perceivable in the rear view mirror. They're so big that if they were to come out with some total blockbuster blow-every-one-away product, they couldn't meet demand. So Apple's perspective (IMO) is to continue to improve products just fast enough to keep their sales and profits growing in the markets in which they choose to compete, but not so fast as to create disruption.
    Nov 20 03:04 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sell Netflix: It Can't Compete With YouTube [View article]
    I think there's room for Netflix and Youtube in this evolving market. They're complimentary, and BOTH will be taking business away from the traditional (much more expensive) options (cable, dish, etc.). Netflix is so cheap that most folks won't even bother to cancel it even if they only occasionally use it. Youtube paid channels are likely to gain prominence too. I see them both being winners ongoing. Amazon and Netflix is a much better comparison, but I find the Netflix user interface to be much easier than Amazon's. Seems like a minor issue, but it isn't.

    Re the stock price, it does seem that it's overbought and may come down, but I'll likely be a buyer when it does...
    Nov 6 05:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Investors Need To Take Advantage Of Any Near-Term Weakness In Apple's Share Price [View article]
    I don't think we're going to see too many earthshaking new product or service announcements from Apple. Instead, we'll get a continual improvement in products and services such that folks just keep buying Apple products. If there was to be a blowout announcement, then demand would spike (causing supply constraints) then it would drop after that - causing volatility. Apple is very carefully giving us just enough (and then a little bit more, but not too much more) to keep us buying. I'm long Apple...
    Nov 5 05:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Mobile LTE Hotspot Strategy [View article]
    Or, if using LTE, why not use your phone (most everyone has one now) as a WiFi hotspot? This in many ways is even better than the MiFi since you don't have to charge and carry around an extra device (beyond what you'd already carry around).

    The technology is there in a variety of fashions for LTE to really change the game for "everywhere" connection, but the huge limitation now is the datacap. Until that changes (or rates/GB drop significantly), then we're stuck with cable for the most part.
    Nov 5 02:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Mobile LTE Hotspot Strategy [View article]
    LTE makes sense for sure - but why not just buy a simple USB LTE adapter for a laptop? That way the laptop isn't tied to a specific LTE service, but can access it still. Also, until the datacaps drop significantly, LTE as a main source of internet connection isn't viable. Bandwidth is there, datacaps for a given amount of $$ aren't yet.
    Nov 4 05:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Is Set To Transform The Online Video Streaming Industry [View article]
    Regarding the still-necessary and still-largely-monopoli... controlled broadband access, I wonder if Google (or others, but most likely Google) might much more seriously roll out their gigabit internet services around the US and beyond? If Comcast, Time Warner, etc. all increase their broadband charges then that makes it easier for Google to compete. Also, there's the wireless option that's getting more and more feasible by the day, I can now with my AT&T LTE service get internet speeds similar to Comcast. The only constraint is the datacap, but that's a key constraint at this point. We're still a ways away from wireless internet being truly feasible as a home broadband replacement.
    Nov 1 02:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Is Set To Transform The Online Video Streaming Industry [View article]
    Good article! Technology has enabled very affordable creation of high quality content. A similar transition is happening in the arena of information, books, and news in print and podcasts on the web (this transition is ahead of the video transition largely due to the cost of distribution), I fully expect there are many people all over the world who are creating amazing video content on shoestring budgets. Combine that with the ever-dumber mainstream content and yet-again movie sequels... the new content is going to gain momentum very soon.

    I expect Google/YouTube to be very big in this realm. Apple is an interesting wild card too although they'll likely compete more directly with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.. That said, when someone gets somewhat successful their content might then get bought by Netflix or Amazon or someone else. It's looking to be an very interesting ride in the near future.

    There are only so many hours in a day that we can watch video and if the supplier base opens up, this likely means lower cost overall for online video - good for the viewer, bad for the current networks, and cable companies.
    Oct 30 09:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Is In Deep Trouble: A Reformed Bull Speaks Out [View article]
    Having just spent the last year watching Netflix flail widely up and down, all the while with P/E multiples waaaay higher than could ever be justified, I realized that while P/E is relevant, the buzz or sentiment about a company is far more relevant (at least in the short to medium term). That said, Apple seems to me to be coming off of a a bad year in the markets and the sentiment is at least not going down any more. Sales are good on most every product line (if not every product).

    Apple is very good at giving customers just enough to entice them, but not much more. They could tomorrow blow the doors off of the PC, smartphone and tablet markets with incredibly awesome products, but they'd have to sacrifice margins to do that; they'd also likely have huge demand that they couldn't meet due to supply constraints. So instead, they keep marching forward with occasional big hits and innovation, but mostly with lots of "good enough" products to keep customers coming back and new customers coming in (even if market share in some growing markets are dropping, sales and overall profits are still rising).

    And the factor that I feel is so critical to Apple's success is their ecosystem. It does get discussed, but is hugely underestimated in my perspective. Their ecosystem is what keeps people hooked and coming back for new products even if they're not quite as good as everyone hoped. Geeks can always find some amazing Android phone that does everything and is awkward to use, or maybe a Windows phone that's fairly easy to use but doesn't have needed apps. But Apple keeps making products that real people find usable. And these products are now becoming more central to people's lives so that's another positive factor supporting why people are willing to pay more for something that better meets their needs. That's why I'm long Apple. I think we'll see Apple over 600 (and likely beyond) before it sees 450...
    Oct 24 03:21 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Opens Up A Price War Between Microsoft And Intel [View article]
    Apple knows that we all want a combined MacBook Air and iPad type of device. And they can make one, but the problem is that they won't likely charge as much as if you buy 2 of their devices. This is likely the main reason why they haven't (yet) offered a large screen iPhone, because they want you to buy an iPad AND an iPhone.

    Apple is very shrewd about this and will offer the desired features when they need to, but no earlier, since to do it earlier would compromise profits.
    Oct 23 05:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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