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  • Apple: Already Too Late To The Phablet Market [View article]
    I once felt the same way. My mind has changed, since I am not
    the demographic they should target. It really isn't a good phone or tablet size but that doesn't mean that we should define it as that. The iPhone wasn't just connecting to people, it was connecting them to information from anywhere. You didn't need a touch screen to dial a phone, but if that is what you defined it as, simply a phone, it wasn't meant for you. If they reinvent the larger size as a game/entertainment/phone device, I think there is gold to be panned. With the right iOS integration with future Apple TV's I can see it blurring the lines between home and portable systems. Kids somehow find the money for both a game system and a cell phone so the market is there. But although that potential market is not you or me doesn't mean it isn't huge. Also we need to keep in mind that Microsoft were extremely late to the game console business but that turtle has outlasted a few hares. And, they didn't reinvent anything.
    Apr 8 01:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Yes To iPhablet [View article]
    All joking aside, I too believe that the next iPhone should retain its current dimensions. A larger phablet device should probably get a new moniker. It could simply be an iPhone + or Air, to differentiate it. While it may turn out to be popular, I'm not sure it's going to draw a significant number from competing platforms. That would mean it would simply cannabalize existing Apple sales. I will take more of a "wait and see" stance before increasing my long position. Is it your thesis that either the Office release or a phablet release will cause Mr. Market to suddenly embrace Apple and push it out of its trading range?
    Mar 26 10:46 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Yes To iPhablet [View article]
    By George you're right. I'm glad to see that in a forum like this we can count on others to make sure no inaccuracies fall through the cracks. It's Fab4ulous. It's aPauling when people mix their meta4s, it creates such confusion.
    Mar 26 10:17 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Yes To iPhablet [View article]
    I agree. It seems like the musings of a marketer. Maybe an iPhab Air or an iPhab 1, 2,3 and then an iPhab 4 which Paul McCartney could promo. A little "Apple" spin magic there. The watch concept could be simply a Band on the Run, focusing on fitness and health applications, and a built in mic to bring Siri along, to take notes. Boys and Girls lines like "here comes the son" and Lady Madonna. They might need a new artist to promo that one, any suggestions? A big iPod called a High Note could be found hiding behind a quarter note.
    Mar 25 10:52 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • iPhones 80% Of China's Premium Smartphone Market? Don't Believe It [View article]
    There seems little awareness when it comes to China Mobile and its actual market place. Last year I commented that limited production capacity coming from Apple's supply chain plus China Mobile's capacity to handle a system wide rollout of the 4G iPhone made it unlikely they would release the iPhone until about now. I was wrong in my conclusion.

    Since then:
    Apple stated their supply chain was constrained during the last quarterly call. I had concluded that Apple would wait for a time when capacity surpassed demand to redeploy some of it to supply China Mobile demand.

    It has now come to light that though China Mobile have over 3000 locations, the iPhone was only released in 13 cities out of over 300, in which 4G is to be deployed. The reason given was that 4G infrastructure is not fully built out yet. I cited the unfinished network as a reason they would delay the iPhone release.

    The actual release was a working compromise. China Mobile did a limited release which suited Apple's capacity and CM's capacity issues. As more cities come on board so will demand expand to those locations. The added time should allow Apple suppliers and assemblers to gain traction in the race to supply the demand.

    In context it appears that China Mobile sold 1.3M 4G phones of which over 1M were iPhones, in a self limited marketplace. Assuming that the release was made into some of largest markets and the 13 or so cities out of 300+ represented a tenth of their addressable market, I'll let you do the math.

    Analysts are always going to be disappointed when they don't look at the actual challenges and set unrealistic expectations.

    I like your Lightstream investment better than a short here, Michael.
    Mar 24 03:29 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 8 Different Insiders Have Sold Shares During The Last 30 Days [View article]
    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the link between their practice of using stock based compensation and insider selling. The unsold shares represent ways for insiders to defer that income until later, a good tax strategy. The usefulness of this information ranks up their with their dental habits.
    Mar 23 01:54 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rough Waters Ahead For Apple In China [View article]
    In the spirit of the water metaphor used in the title, the competition said to provide problems for Apple are like the kids flotation toys in the shallow end of the pool. Hard to have clear sailing with all that to navigate. Problem is those OEM's don't even share the same end of the market pool with Apple. Rice and steak are both sold in the food market but are treated as different categories. Only journalists trying to create conflict in their stories would spin things differently. I can see it now, "Peasants Take Down Ranchers, Their Future at Steak". Where does this inane comparison stop "airlines compete with birds, futures up in the air"?
    Mar 11 10:13 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Actually, Apple Should Buy Nintendo [View article]
    DanoX. I agree. Apple has never owned content just distributed it. I think a better buy would be Baidu. A foothold like that in China makes sense. Transforming Baidu by expanding into multi language versions of their platforms would allow Apple to personalize their offerings geographically world wide. It could probably be had for $70B. Their emphasis on mobile is paying off and should be a magic fit.
    Mar 8 01:13 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Judge rebuffs Apple request to ban Samsung devices [View news story]
    The court awarded damages. Apple logically should be deemed to be continuing to be damaged by further sales of those same products. Allowing Samsung to continue damaging Apple in essence is condoning and making infringement a viable business practice.

    It's like targeting the opposing team star players. If intentional injury attempts are simply met with occasional penalties and the offending players aren't ejected from the game then headhunting key players becomes part of strategy.
    Mar 6 09:05 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Galaxy S5 Dive Sets Up The iPhone 6 To Thrive [View article]
    Samsung will have a 64 bit processor but no 64 bit Android to take advantage of it. Apple's simultaneous release of a 64 bit iOS and 64 bit processor will keep Apple ahead of the competition for at least 2 years on just this front. That gives them a head start beyond their original iPhone release. There is no Android in the wings for someone to use to help OEM's to play catchup with. A version could be cobbled together in a shorter timeframe but will lack the design completeness and rates to be buggy, hardly a match to iOS 7 let alone the next generations of iOS waiting in the wings.

    Tim Cook said Apple are not a hardware company. It has always been the married design of quality hardware with transformative software that has created the experience. People invest in the experience not the hardware.

    There is a sense of desperation, just trying to throw together some hardware that without the software to transform it will lack a special experience. When a fingerprint scanner and a higher resolution camera are the only real bullets in their chamber they better bunker down because they will definitely be outgunned.
    Mar 5 08:40 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Evidence That Apple Intends To Start Mobile Payment Processing [View article]
    @Arnold. If you scroll down in that patent you will see it was originally filed in Sept. 2012. This application is an addition. Thanks for the link. I think some of the many NFC patents that Apple have registered are preemptive and defensive in nature. The intent is to prevent someone else challenging ideas due to someone else claiming "prior art". Really it means registering the kernel of the idea before you end up paying someone else for your own idea by not staking a claim. In fact this appears to be the same patent I was referencing. This version allows for a second type of non NFC wireless connection to be established to transfer data. Like NFC turning on Bluetooth pairing to share a "secret".
    Mar 3 09:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Evidence That Apple Intends To Start Mobile Payment Processing [View article]
    Include a link. I have been searching and reading patents extensively on the site. Patently Apple follow every submission and update and I don't find a new one there. The "new" Jan patent I noted was a design extension to include more methods than NFC on an earlier patent dated last May. Every change is a submission. Everyone should value each other's input here. Ultimately this is about stock purchase decisions. Accurate, up to date information and insights are our best resources. To me NFC is like owning a tv remote that I have to be within 8" of the tv to get it to work. What's the sense? I can't see it revolutionizing payments. I can see it being used at the exit as a receipt exchange method. Samsung have patents whereby NFC turn on the Bluetooth, have the device pair, and shut it off once information is exchanged. So NFC might work as an exit receipt system. However, iBeacons can work for both payments and exit.
    Mar 2 12:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Evidence That Apple Intends To Start Mobile Payment Processing [View article]
    Your "new" patent is from May last year. Their most recent in Jan 2014 shows them moving past NFC to other wireless modes including Bluetooth based iBeacon options.
    Feb 27 03:56 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Evidence That Apple Intends To Start Mobile Payment Processing [View article]
    People often point to Apple hardware as examples of innovation. iPods, iPhones and iPads lead the way. However, others are quick to point out that MP3 players, smartphones and tablets existed before Apple's versions and that Apple has really only reinvented these devices. Tim Cook says "Apple is not a hardware company". That makes people scratch their heads when they see that over half of Apple's profit comes from the iPhone. How can he say that? What does he mean? The answer lies in design. Apple are a design and experience company. The design comes on two fronts, hardware and software. It's the marriage of existing leading edge hardware components with innovative software to create an unique experience that sets them apart. The software is key. People are buying the experience, not the hardware.

    Sometimes innovation lays in what isn't there. The original GUI meant the text on the screen was replaced with icons, a more intuitive experience. Then icons on touch screens removed the need for a mouse. An onscreen keyboard got rid of the need for a physical one. Apps got rid of the need to go through search to get at the data you want. The software has transformed the experience of using the hardware. The way Apple truly differentiated themselves was through software, OSX and iOS. Of course they used top of the line components and design to differentiate themselves on the hardware side. Often though, competitors can point to higher specs on a particular component. But, design isn't about arbitrary specs. Apple has differentiated themselves through how software has utilized the hardware.

    Taking that a step further, let's look at mobile payments. What can Apple do to innovate? It won't be the fingerprint sensor, numbers are too small. It won't be just another method at the till like NFC, or express pay because they already exist. But maybe, that's the answer. Solving a problem in software for existing hardware. Isn't that exactly what they've done previously? By paying in the aisle using your mobile device, the trip to the till doesn't need to be there. Like the tv remote eliminated the need to walk to the tv. The phone can become a virtual checkout remote.

    The payment issue is easy, apps already exist to let you purchase from anywhere cellular works. The real issue is how to get an exit system to read an electronic exit receipt. I think iBeacons will be part of that solution. Geofencing can be set to work in a restricted physical area, like the exit. Bluetooth modules pair without passwords or phone numbers, and exchange data. The receipt can be exchanged and acknowledged. The receipt can then be marked as used or deleted to prevent theft through reuse.

    My point is that hardware won't be the real innovation it will be the combined impact of hardware and software design on user experience. It could be the elimination of having to stand in line. It will truly make "I'm just going to run in and pick up...." a reality.

    The key here is that such a system would save the retailer, over the long term. NFC, Chip cards, Interac, etc. all eliminated the need for cash exchange, but still required a checkout point. The retailer benefit was minimal. When both merchant and customer gain to should be disruptive.

    Apple have numerous patents to do with point of sale, POS, some including using NFC. They bought AuthenTec for the fingerprint technology but AuthenTec also had POS technology that was licensed to numerous companies including Samsung. Apple sold most of AuthenTec except the fingerprint division but who knows what patents they retained concerning POS.

    When the smartphone becomes the starting point for the POS system, software can use whatever hardware the phone possesses to provide experience options. Bluetooth, cellular chips and cameras exist in all smartphones so I think those will be the hardware start points. An Apple website can be a device independent software interface and cookie like information can be sent to devices as receipts. Internet or Bluetooth enabled exits can check and display the receipts.

    Is this what Apple plan to do? I don't know. However, understanding that Apple didn't get here by being a "hardware company" first, points the imagination in a different direction when thinking about mobile payments. Merchants could simply get an iPay retailer ID and Apple can get paid on a per use or subscription basis. This could be the springboard for services to a new merchant ecosystem. I think this could be huge.

    I'd like to thank the author. Content like this allows us to evaluate our stock holdings with an eye to the future.
    Feb 27 02:07 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bloomberg: New Apple TV set-top on tap, TWC talks ongoing [View news story]
    Maybe the delay is because TW were negotiating with Comcast about merging.
    Feb 12 10:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment