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  • Apple's Laptop Opportunity [View article]
    It makes too much economic sense with Intel's margins as high as they are. Just looking at the A7 clocks and benchmarks when it was released, and even without knowing the technicals, it was obvious that a QC version with a higher clock could easily power a laptop running OSX. An A8 derivative would be much better. It should enable a ~$799 price point, which would sell like hotcakes. The only way they don't do this soon, imho, is if Intel cut them a deal they couldn't refuse. I doubt it.
    Apr 11 01:01 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sifting The Apple Rumors: iPhone 6 [View article]
    Interesting points. I think the phone CPU is becoming a very fascinating animal. They are getting very powerful, and looking down the pike two to four years is really exciting. I think another big jump in performance, along with more integration, will enable a lot of technologies. For instance, if the phone could process voice commands on board, and wearables/other accessories can talk to it via BT LE, the phone sort of becomes the mini-server and comm device for other linked IOT devices. A watch is a great example. I don't see touch being big on a watch, and that is why sapphire makes a lot of sense there, along with solar. I see voice as the big enabler there. So, that is why I think the A8 will be a QC CPU. You accurately portray that Apple has milked process and instruction sets to their advantage. QC and increased integration seem the next logical steps to me. Whether that is in the A8 will be interesting. However, Apple's cadence has been 50-100% improvement on each whole number, so they are setting a blistering pace. I agree with you that they will have a hard time keeping the A5-6-7 pace up for long. The problem for Intel is that Apple likes having this in house--they get to collaborate sooner, and they get to keep it a secret, and they save money. All bad for Intel winning this business.
    Mar 8 08:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sifting The Apple Rumors: iPhone 6 [View article]
    fgrin, what about other wearables as well? What if the whole watch was transparent and sapphire? Apple could go a lot of different ways. My problem is seeing what is wrong with gorilla glass. It would seem like overkill to spend a bunch on a sapphire phone screen.
    Mar 8 08:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sifting The Apple Rumors: iPhone 6 [View article]
    I understood, Matt. I was just pointing out that Apple is very practical, and they are definitely pursuing sapphire, and the solar phone screen seems very impractical to me. But, maybe they have a lot of cracked screens. The new gorilla glass seems to minimize that, so I don't think it is for phone screens, but maybe they have something up their sleeve? Speaking of sleeves, I think that the sapphire could just be for wearables. The solar idea, btw, would work beautifully on a watch, because a watch stays in the light. But, Apple could have something else going on entirely. A completely enclosed sapphire-clad watch might be neat. We will see in the next 8-12 months. Fun speculating regardless.
    Mar 8 08:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sifting The Apple Rumors: iPhone 6 [View article]
    A couple of reasons why this one doesn't seem too logical. First, a solar powered phone would entice unsuspecting people to leave their phone in the sun, which is a sure way to ruin it--particularly on a dash. Second, most people keep their phone in a place where the sun doesn't shine. Sounds neat, but I doubt it. It does beg the question about the sapphire. Maybe they plan on selling a lot of watches? I guess we will have to be surprised. Mark, how about payments, cameras, fingerprints, charging, and indoor nav?
    Mar 7 08:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Outguns Intel [View article]
    That wasn't my point--that Apple's engineers are in the know and they leaked it. My point was that Apple's engineers are in the know, and they understand (and are no doubt compensated on) the importance of having the A8 ready to go on time. They are a pretty capable bunch, I suspect. If the iP6 rollout was in danger this fall, then it wouldn't be in their interest to leak false stories painting a glowing picture.
    Mar 6 04:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Outguns Intel [View article]
    That could be Cincy, but I don't see Apple risking a ~ $100 Bn/yr franchise on a few Bn worth of CPUs! I would tend to give their engineers some credit for knowing when a schedule is risky or not. For that reason, I believe these rumors are likely true, or at least that a late summer iP6 is not in doubt, whether that is with Samsung at 28nm, or TSM 20/28nm, or even Intel. You can make a lot of money if you are right, though. If you knew Apple was going to have to slip the iP6 due to TSM, some puts might pay well! Good luck.
    Mar 6 01:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Outguns Intel [View article]
    Cincy, as you know, the lead time on SOCs might be several years when you consider the initial planning and design to final production. I think those rumors were likely correct that Apple is working with TSM, but wrong on the timing. Note that they did specifically reference 2014 and 20nm. I am not emotionally attached and would be happy to profit on any of these names--INTC, AAPL, TSM, etc., so I read with an open mind. I suspect that when Intel gets LTE integrated at 14nm, they will be hard to beat, but even then, QCOM isn't sitting still. They are a great company. NVDA is doing well. Maybe having some of all is the best approach?
    Mar 6 08:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Outguns Intel [View article]
    Somebody is seriously wrong. You guys can bet your money on the losers or winners if you like. TSM is up sharply today on Taiwan media reports that the A8 is ahead of schedule, allowing Apple more time to prepare the new phones. They report that the A8 is QC on the CPU and GPU, and that it will come in on 20nm. The same reports are saying that TSM revenues are expected to spike next quarter as a result. We'll see.
    Mar 5 03:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Outguns Intel [View article]
    joseph, I wouldn't be too hard on them. I was in the same sea of denial myself. Geekbench 3 isn't perfect by any means, but the A7 is dreadfully close to Macbook Airs from just a couple of years ago. NVDA and QCOM aren't doing bad either. My own anecdotal and subjective experience tells me they are very capable chips. Throw in Apple's software efficiency and my iPad Air seems as fast as my old Sandy Bridge Macbook Pro. The net effect is the commoditizing of CPUs and number crunching for the consumer. Whereas five to ten years ago email and surfing was being done on Intel and AMD chips, now much more is being done on QCOM and Apple. I really thought Intel's process advantage would lead to a very large performance advantage. I am not seeing it. I have to admit that I was wrong. Maybe the game ending blow is coming, but I just don't think Silvermont is it. If Intel wasn't such a great company, they would have been buried already. We will see how it turns out, but Intel had better watch out.
    Mar 1 07:55 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Outguns Intel [View article]
    Bart, I have been pointing that out since the A6 rolled out. It was quite the accomplishment itself, only to be upstaged by the A7. I have read some rumors out there that they have been working on higher powered chips for years. Not sure what they intend to do with them, although a $799 MBA would be hard to beat, as would an Apple TV with a beefed up/higher powered successor to the A7X, especially on graphics.
    Feb 28 02:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Outguns Intel [View article]
    Thank you for trying to accurately report the semi news, Ashraf! Most of us are more than happy for Intel to be in the lead. However, it helps (for investing purposes) to hear objective discussion and debate. Certainly more info is forthcoming, but there should be a large advantage to Intel with the advanced process they are using. Honestly, I have always found the disrespect and emotion displayed by people discussing CPUs extraordinarily odd. They don't get like that over the SFC of a jet engine, or the half life of a new drug! Why not just discuss it politely folks?
    Feb 28 08:06 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Needs To Deliver Now [View article]
    My pleasure and good luck. Having cellular on the go is the best feature, but the Air is comparable to a one year old MB Air laptop in surfing speed in my subjective opinion--the convenience of not having to pack the laptop is huge. Having the integration of OSX and IOS allows to access the same documents and spreadsheets, etc. in iCloud.
    Feb 27 11:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Needs To Deliver Now [View article]
    I have the 32, 82nd, but the key is getting what you need for your profile. Movies, music, and pictures are the big hogs. Apple marks up the NAND unreasonably imo, so the 32GB is the most expensive and least amount for your money. The features you mention are nice, but I think the best feature to have is cellular connectivity. You can look for a good plan or add on, but I got ATT's free standing deal. You just buy it as you need it. You can cut cellular off until you need it, and then use what you need. Their LTE is as fast as my cable router in my house!
    Feb 27 09:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Needs To Deliver Now [View article]
    82nd, I went the same route, as did my family. Many, many Windows computers through the years and we have pretty much switched to Apple. I couldn't care less about anything but utility. I love the portability and speed of the iPad Air, but I still like my Mac. I did not see that huge of a difference with the retina screens vs my old Apple stuff, but in both the iPad Air and Retina 13 MB Pro's case, I like the resolution--it really grows on you, and now the other screens look defective to me. I certainly could get by with either, but I strongly prefer the Air when traveling, and the laptop at home. OSX has much, much more depth than IOS, and it is much more complicated to learn (than IOS, not Windows). It is relatively hassle free, and you will be pinching yourself at the problems you no longer experience compared to PC land. IOS and OSX are integrated very well. I don't think most people are aware of the features that are available. The only negative to purchasing is that the successor will be better. Oh yeah, and they ain't cheap...
    Feb 26 02:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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