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  • Apple's 5C Coming: BlackBerry Better Hurry [View article]
    iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano, IPod Mini, iPod Classic, iPod Touch covers all price points. iBook, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air covers a range of price points. The Mac Mini, iMac, and iMac Pro covers range of price points. iPad Mini, iPad 3rd Gen, iPad 4G (with retina) covers arange of price points.

    Why do people think smartphones are different. Each of Samsung, Moto, LG, Nokia, BB, Sony, HTC, all have different products that play at different price points with different features and cusotmer propositions - why is Apple different. Even ZTE, Huawei, and Lenovo have different price points for their flagship smartphones and entry levels and mid-tier. Why is Apple constrained by some other law of physics that says that if it plays in different segments, all hell will break loose?
    Aug 13, 2013. 03:53 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Using Share Buybacks To Support Its Stock Price? [View article]
    AAPL would now be in its trading "blackout" period until earnings are released (since Company is currently in posession of material non-public information) and therefor AAPL cannot trade on a discretionary basis in its own securities.

    AAPL would have had to set up what is called a 10b(5)-1 repurchase plan BEFORE the blackout period began (probably at least a couple of weeks if not three weeks before quarter-end, in other words more than a month ago) to set up a repurchase plan that is on "auto-pilot".

    It would not be unusual for such a repurchase plan to buy more shares upon certain stock price triggers and/or dynamic triggers such as a decline in VWAP from the prior day's VWAP. That's "volume wieghtedaverage price".

    However, any repurchases are subject to 10b(18) stock trading rules for share repurchases by issuers such as cannot purchase on an "uptick" and cannot be solicited. These SEC rules are established for share repurchases to prevent stock price manipulation.

    So the author's entire thesis is pretty much useless and should be categorized in the file folder for "Posters Who Have No Idea About Share Repurchase Plans and SEC Rules" or simply "Dumb Posts from the Ill-Informed but Not Embarassed by Such".
    Apr 9, 2013. 08:36 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Gave Wall Street The Middle Finger [View article]
    The Company did NOT increase share repurchase authorization which requires both board approval AND the filing of 8-K. The company purchased $2B of its $10B authorization so has $8B to go within existing plan. Nothing prevents them from increasing or amending authorization, just that they have to announce it. They would probably have to "true-up" their disclosure by providing an interim update of any subsequent purchase since last report at the time they increase share repurchase authorization.

    So while I am cheering them on in repurchasing the rest of the initial authorization, there is n oway they can stealthily repurchse $45B because that exceeds the authorized limit AND there is not sufficient liquidity to execute that program within this quarter to do that much repurchases without driving up the market price of hte shares significantly.

    so good wish, but not exactly how it will play out, but you are correct that it would be foolish for them to signal their intent with respect to share repurchases and projecting EPS will necessariy get to the share count question.
    Jan 29, 2013. 11:01 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Surprise, surprise: court-directed mediation talks between Apple (AAPL) and Samsung's (SSNLF.PK) CEOs failed to achieve a resolution to the companies' wide-reaching patent dispute. Among the reported points of contention are differing opinions on the value of Samsung's standards-essential patents. Perhaps a bigger issue is that Apple isn't interested in licensing many of its own patents, and instead wishes to use them as a hammer to wage "thermonuclear war" on Android. (yesterday)  [View news story]
    Everyone knows that Google stole -- that's their "Do Only Evil" business model. This is not only an issue of Apple vs. Google; because as evidence, smartphone manufacturers that make more than 70% of android smart phones are already taking licenses from Microsoft as well (because Google's Android is an Equal Opportunity Thief) with Motorola the most prominent holdout. In fact, MMI 's CEO Jha threatened GOOG that it would also take a Microsoft license and Google stepped in and bought MMI instead to prevent that. Instead now, Microsoft has won ITC case agaisnt Motorola (now Google's subsidiary) and has been issued an import exclusion order so that it can now seek to restrict Motorola's Android smartphone imports.

    The problem in this global conflict is that while Microsoft is willing to be bought off with license fees (it has a business unit at Microsoft set up to generate IP licensing revenues), Apple is unwilling to tolerate infringers by granting licenses (because as opposed to Microsoft who can't get anybody to buy its Windows based smartphones so far, Apple actually has a very high margin smartphone franchise that it desires to protect its innovation). As the other writers pointed out, no one is forced to license their IP innovation (assuming that it is validated by litigation and patent re-examination) unless they have chosen to declare (self-decalred by the way) such IP as "essential" to an industry standard which then obligates them to license to all on FRAND terms.

    The problem here is that the infringement on software patents by android OEM's (as opposed to hardware design patents which are also being fought over) are difficult for the android smartphone OEM's to develop workarounds because the underlying infringer is Google's android OS and these OEM's are reliant upon Google to develop the workaround in the OS.

    Apple made peace with Nokia in 2010 when the two of them settled their suits against each other, but today, ever wonder why nobody (excluding trolls) is suing any manufacturer of Windows, Symbian, or Blackberry (both old Blackberry and new QNX) handsets, even though the same manufacturers who often also make Android smartphones. According to Foss Patents, instead large-cap companies with collectively over $1 trillion in market cap are suing ( manufacturers of android handsets, in what the author observes as the phenomenon that "Android continues to be an IP infringement lawsuit magnet."

    The smartphone wars seems evidently relatively easy to solve,...if Google will simply stop infringing (by designing its own workarounds) and/or pre-emptively negotiating licenses from those that it needs to for Android, but then Google boys never did like to play by anything other than their own rules. Now Google wants other people's innovation and IP to be considered as de facto standards or "commercially essential" standards and should be licensed simliar to FRAND-encumbered SEP's ( -- now that's really talking out of both sides of one's mouth.
    Jul 23, 2012. 08:14 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Here It Comes [View article]
    he's 5' 5" and weighs under 125lbs....

    the problem he misses is that 75% of Apple's gross profit dollars comes from the iPhone, and this exists because a business formula that is able to extract huge value from the carriers that provide subsidy while at price parity ("street-priced") between FREE and $199 to consumers. so it isn't that competitors are not trying to force down margins, they are already priced $150-$200 cheaper ASP per unit, but the PAIN is being borne not by the customer, but by the carriers.

    Now this model does not necessarily translates to all markets, so Apple wont grow to the moon, and the carriers are trying to find some way to mitigate this without losing market share but so far Apple does have a monopoly on all things called "Apple" so the carriers have zippo leverage. The problem the author doesn't realize is that everybody knows where the margin is coming from, they just can't replicate it. If HTC wanted to sell a high-end smartphone that required $450 subsidy to hit the street price, the carrier just says "no thanks", or the carrier can chose to support a Blackberry with only $250 subsidy and deliver a street price of $249 which then means Blackberry wont sell any. Apple is in the unique position, currently (that's important), of having the elixir drug that its fanboys/consumers crave/addicted to, and in turn, Apple muscles all distributors to price it aggressively to maintain the low cost of addiction while extracting its own pound of flesh. It is absolutely brilliant. and it polices the incumbant distributors by gradually adding new carriers desperate to get the product who then reaffirms the high subsidy model. absolutely brilliant. Apple doens't enjoy only "hardware margins" -- it extracts a Tony Soprano tax on all carrier distributors in order to be "protected" from not having access to its drug.
    Apr 17, 2012. 05:24 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why The IBM-Apple Agreement Could Fail [View article]
    No one is going to bet on BB as no user will be "bringing" those devices. You think Android is more secure than iOS? Which version of Android as there are 5 flavors out at any time - you think that makes it more secure? The reality the type of apps and software solutions that have value in the enterprise segment are going to drive to the tablet devices first rather than on smartphones. Tablets are not BYOD devices as the applications that an enterprise wants to migrate are corporate centric and the device budget displaces laptops.

    P.s. Written on a corporate issued iPad.....
    Jul 22, 2014. 11:08 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Senate Slams Apple On Tax Avoidance [View article]
    Just because the US is the highest corporate tax jurisdiction in the world, does it make it right for US to tax the foreign operations of US companies (but not foreign companies). Levin is an idiott and total bag of wind. If Samsung (Korea), or HTC (Taiwanese), set up the same exact Irish structure, they too don't have to pay any US taxes. But they don't really have to, since their home countries don't have ridiculous tax laws that tries to tax global income. The senators and US congress designed the current tax laws that lets US corporations leave foreign source earnings off-shore so long as they don't bring the money back home. Until congress changes the tax laws, this is simply political grandstanding.
    May 20, 2013. 09:38 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Running Out Of Ideas? [View article]
    Very interesting concept... market is very impatient and wants to be wowed yesterday while most tech innovation is "incremental" and "modest", dictated by the pace allowed by component and semi-cnoductor technology and software development cycles.

    You should see the attached precurser to a "tablet" and what we now know of as "Siri", imagined by Apple in 1987, actually by a guy running Apple at the time who used to sell sugar water to children. It took almost 25 years to sort of deliver on that vision. Check out this link:

    We've now got Google imagining people running around wearing nerdy glasses, who knows what Apple has in their own skunk works. What I admire is not the technology so much but the beautiful execution of business strategy.

    Einhorn got it right, it isn't the pace of innovation, but the mind-boggling ability of Apple to extract outlandish margins from its software eco-system, that's why someone would want to own the equity. It's a better business IMO than the business of the drug cartels (for starters, it's legal), because Apple seemingly is no less successful at creating an addictive user experience that keeps its faithful loyal to the brand. And the silly thing is that the utililty enhancement is still largely created by app developers, at least with respect to increasing "economic utility" of the product, whille Apple simply enjoys "pimp" returns by controlling and hosting the distribution platform. Really beautiful business model.
    Jun 12, 2012. 04:22 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This Just In: Netflix Business Model Broken [View article]
    Hah, Rocco, I gave you at most 10 days from your Feb 27th post swearing off any future postings on Netflix before your obsession took hold again. You hit the buzzer on 9 days.

    Well I guess it's better to be entertained now that you are back off the wagon again.
    Mar 6, 2012. 11:05 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Samsung Is Sinking, While Apple Garners Robust Demand In China [View article]
    MB, while you have been so focused on your short thesis on Apple, you missed the huge short opportunity on Samsung that was staring at you in the face. Given the product segments where Samsung played (both product line and geography), given its greater vulnerability of commoditization/substi... from other OEM's since on same Android OS, and given its greater vertical integration (i.e. higher fixed cost for its production plants), Samsung was the more vulnerable to all the fears that you articulated in your short thesis. In fact, if you simply substituted Samsung in your various investment rationale on Apple, you would have found yourself to have been brilliantly on point.

    Oct 8, 2014. 10:53 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Lower-Spec Apple iPhone 6 Can Outperform Other Phones [View article]
    Wait, my wife tells me that my butt is too fat and flat, maybe I wont be able to bend the new 6+ that I am back-ordered on. Finally I have some advantage over those young hunks with their supposed perfect butts (according to my wife). Actually, now that I think about it, I've cracked the screen on my two Samsung Galaxy S3's 6 times, and at 4 of those was because I sat on the phone in my back pocket and the screen was too thin. I even had to change my unlock pattern so that I could enter it over the uncracked portion of the screen. So maybe my butt isn't that flat after all. Oh well, I guess i have to get one of those nerd belt holsters to strap on my iPhone 6+,...but I've waited forever to convert to iOS when they would finally give me a larger screen. There's probably a zillion folks like me who will have to learn to deal with it. I could buy AppleCare and let Apple make even more money off of me. I can afford to give back a little after my AAPL position has doubled in the past couple of years.
    Sep 24, 2014. 09:44 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Sell The Stock On September 9th [View article]
    Sept. 9th is the "announcement date" -- while the author seem sto focus on trading activity of the stock after the "launch" or "release" date which is typically 10days-2 weeks after the Sept. 9th announcement date. Usually a reaction to how many people are camped outside apple stores and ow many people are doing high fives' when they get their new iPhones,... and now analysts monitoring how quickly different models sell out on Apple'e website and that of the carriers' websites.

    If you are investor thinking where the stock will be in 3 year, none of this matters, but if you were a trader, then you may want to positio yourself differently. But if you were a fundamental long in the stock, rather than trade it, you may wish to write in the money calls against your long as a means to hedge any near-term action without triggering too much taxable events from selling and buying the underlying shares.
    Aug 25, 2014. 04:12 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The War Sprint Can't Afford [View article]
    Robert as part of roll out of Sprint Spark and LTE-advanced, it employs 10 MHz of prime low band 800mhz spectrum for both broad geographic coverage and in-building overlay. However his is meaningless until devices in the installed base are designed to utilize the tri-band, which currently only include 4 of Sprint's high-end devices. Actually a price aggressor strategy that accelerates gross adds and churns the installed base to increase the penetration of the latest generation devices is precisely what is indeed needed to improve the network quality perception of the base.
    Aug 18, 2014. 01:53 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • iPad Cannibalization From iPhone 6 Sales Will Be Insignificant [View article]
    Hmmmm 5.5" iPhone 6 Pro will likely have ASP of $750 (like Samsung's Note 3 is +$100 more) and gross margin close to 50%, so that is $325 gross profit dollars for each unit

    the 7.9" iPad Mini has ASP around $400 (mix of regualr and with retina) and has GM% around 30%, or $120 gross profit dollars per unit.

    $350 GP per unit vs $120 GP per unit. Shoot me in the head, which one do I want?

    Oh I forgot, the retail street price of the iPhone 6 Pro will be $299 (either subsidized purchase or initial "down payment" on lease as they are calling the new subsidized purchases) since on average, the carriers buy down high-end iPhones by $450/unit. This will compare to the $400 ASP for iPad mini, so the 'street price of the big Iphone will be actually lower than the street price of the iPad mini, despite Apple making nearly 3x the gross profit dollars per unit.

    As a long AAPL shareholder, I say bring it on, give me as much iPad cannibalization as you can. I love the nearly 3x per unit gross profit contribution that will result.
    Jul 31, 2014. 08:37 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Earnings: Ecosystem Contraction Playing Out; Regulatory Risk Looms In China [View article]
    Apple is a "home grown" phone in China. HonHai is hiring an additional 100,000 in China factory just for the iPhone 6 Pro launch. From day 1, every single iPhone has been made in China except those intended for Brazil which are sent in kit form to Brazil for "final-final-final" assembly to comply with Brazilian local content regs (just like all other OEMs).

    BTW, I opened the back of my Samsung flag ship phone -- yep "Made in China"

    In fact pretty much all smartphones are made in China, including almost all final assembly and most of the components are fabbed there as well since most the chipmakers have moved their production capacity to be near final assembly.

    If you know absolutely nothing of what you are talking about why spew nothingness?
    Jul 23, 2014. 10:42 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment