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Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy
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  • Can Apple Add Enough Hardware To Keep The iPhone Relevant? [View article]
    You see no laser projector in the future? Lenovo and Sony are both working on them. STM and MVIS have apparently teamed to provide the basics, licensing to phone builders.

    It would be nice to project an image, video, game, movie or whatever on a wall from a laser pico projector built into the phone. I've seen reports that AAPL is working on such a thing.
    Jul 10, 2015. 11:38 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Any Company A Major Threat To Apple? [View article]
    Yes, but, the next Motorola phones will be built by Lenovo... and be quite different from the old Moto or GOOG phones. Lenovo is now the 3rd biggest phone producer, after AAPL and Samsung. If we are gonna talk about threats to AAPL, Lenovo should be one of the three in the conversation.

    They have resources and cred.
    Jul 7, 2015. 12:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Any Company A Major Threat To Apple? [View article]
    We have to consider Lenovo as a rival to AAPL. They recently bought from Google the Motorola phone business and significant IP. Lenovo has huge presence in corporate America, to a much greater extent than Samsung, due to Lenovo's purchase of IBM's small computer businesses especially PCs. Certainly, Lenovo's PC biz in corporate America can be a counterweight to AAPL's alliance with IBM, and Lenovo has proven itself by retaining excellent relations with corporate IT departments.

    Meanwhile, Lenovo recently demo'd a new phone with an inbuilt laser projector. Have a look at this demo...

    This phone is the size of an iPhone 6, and it can display photos, charts, movies, TV shows, your family videos or whatever on the wall - with auto focus, in large screen format. Major cool. In your home, on the airplane, at a party, in a local bar...

    Or, get this, flip the little display module around and it will show a keyboard on the table in front of you, and track your keystrokes. It's like having a full sized keyboard in your phone. Or, it can display a piano keyboard and read your fingertips pushing the keys.

    In the video (see link above), at the recent Lenovo tech conference in China, they had classical pianist Lang Lang come in and play some Beethoven and ragtime from a piano keyboard projected on the table in front of him. Lang Lang is a world class concert pianist. Imagine the new apps that could follow... in music, medicine, gaming...

    This is the most exciting announcement of a new cellphone product that I can remember since the early Steve Jobs iPhone announcements, and the audience, mostly members of the press, seem amazed at this innovation via the oohs and aahs captured by the video.

    I look forward to other comments on this topic, as I think it is a potential game changer.

    In fact, recent events in AAPL might be signaling an AAPL reaction to this Lenovo demo. At about the same time as the demo, AAPL suddenly pulled its scheduled demo of AppleTV (not ready for prime time, they said); and they suddenly moved Jonny Ive upstairs to a less significant corporate role, stripping some of his power as the product boss. Is this all connected? Pure speculation on my part, but the timing is close enough that something smells a bit off to me.

    Disclosure: I own AAPL stock and the family has many AAPL products from phones, pads to MacBooks & IMac. I do not own Lenovo stock. I do own a bit of Sony, as they seem to be working on a similar cellphone laser display, based on their recent $14million payment to Microvision (MVIS) -- which makes embeddable lasers. And I own a bit of MVIS.
    Jul 6, 2015. 07:41 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google misses out on Apple's transaction fees [View news story]
    AAPL can charge per transaction because they have a lock on secure identification via fingerprint scanning. This cuts credit card fraud, which lowers the cost of running the credit card business for Visa, MasterCard & the banks.

    Google does not need to invest in more secure scanning because, first: They don't build the phones & cannot control whether the scanner is there or whether it works; and second: They make their money on the ad side, not by making transactions more secure.

    GOOG may even offer to pay the credit card guys to use the GOOG system, if the economic benefits to GOOG are high enough. But I doubt they will be. I won't ever use an Android phone. No point in my helping the ad businesses that are profiling us all, they can do enough without my help.
    Jun 7, 2015. 10:59 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Metaio Acquisition Could Be A Game Changer [View article]
    I'm interested in the AR segment, especially the opportunities to make lots of things more productive, like auto manufacturing (checklists right in front of your eyes) shipping (pick & pack) and various industrial tasks.

    Looking at the supply chain of AR & VR products, I've become interested in MVIS (laser projection, which is essential for the glasses like Hololens and those pictured in the article linked to by mike998 above. Also, STM makes chips that assist in the laser projection, and also sensors that are essential.

    Sony has been very active in this space, and recently signed an agreement with MVIS. Also, check out Lenovo, they have a demo version of a cellphone with a laser projection built into it -- watch videos projected on the wall.

    This is all tied together. I agree with the author that this will be a big product push by AAPL and others, and there will be some other companies that benefit, perhaps hugely, from being in this space.

    Like Metaio, Microvision (MVIS) has been working in this area for 20 years, and may become an overnight success someday. Based in Redmond, it's likely they've been working with MSFT on Hololens.
    Jun 7, 2015. 10:38 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Next Product Frontier: Augmented Reality [View article]
    These things all use lasers. Who makes the lasers? MVIS, for one...
    Jun 4, 2015. 10:23 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Critique Of Carl Icahn's Apple Fair Value Revaluation To $240 Per Share [View article]
    Yep, Icahn stepped in it on AppleTV. But maybe not so much as it seems.

    First, AAPL is definitely getting into the "TV business", but not by making a big screen TV (as a stockholder I'm thankful for that). There is a huge opportunity for disruption in the current TV biz. The normal channels are fading except for sports events, and cable is riding a staggering horse. Over-the-top, like NFLX and others is just starting. AAPL is clearly looking at programming and delivery as markets to disrupt. Plus their new AppleTV box will likely make the experience much more user friendly.

    So I expect to see some interesting stuff coming from AAPL in program delivery, ad placement, and delivery.

    And what about making screens? It's highly competitive and low margin, thus quite unattractive for AAPL. I reckon AAPL will come out with a laser based projector instead. Look at PicoPro, by Celluon - it is a laser projector in a package the size of an iPhone6. It uses lasers by Microvision (MVIS).

    It's possible to put a very bright projector into iPhone 7 or 8, then we'd all have our TVs right with us. PicoPro can project an image as big as 100", quite bright. Make the screen smaller and it gets brighter.

    With that on the way, why make a TV screen? I'm guessing that in places that are space constrained, like apartments in China India etc etc, a cheaper better alternative is a projected image via a device we carry in our pockets.

    May 19, 2015. 02:20 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Northstar Is Far From An Intelligent REIT Alternative [View article]
    I'd hate to pay the hedge fund rate of "2 and 20" for a REIT. Thankfully, NRF is not a hedge fund, so i don't have to. In all respects, NRF has been an excellent investment for me. Since buying in Sept 2013, I have more than doubled the value, plus gotten a spinoff of NSAM, which has also more than doubled. That's a helluva winner, not even counting divvies.
    May 18, 2015. 10:17 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Williams: Move To 'Kinder Morgan Structure' Should Support Dividend Growth Story [View article]
    Does anyone know how the deal will be taxed for WPZ owners?
    May 13, 2015. 10:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Inside Microsoft HoloLens And Windows Phone [View article]
    The key piece of technology inside Hololens is the laser tech -- probably from Microvision (MVIS), is the Seattle area.

    It takes lasers to create the holographic images, without which the Hololens won't work, and also to "see" things that are in the way of robots, which are part of the impressive Hololens demo given last week by MSFT.

    Some of the people who created the MVIS technology now work for MVIS, but MVIS holds the patents and knows how to make the laser modules.

    It's also possible that a laser projector would be imbedded into MSFT's cell phones and gaming devices.
    May 2, 2015. 04:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Big Opportunity To Create Value In Mobile Payments [View article]
    Seems to me that the article & comments miss the real revenue opportunity for AAPL.

    Credit card fraud is a being problem for Visa, Mastercard & their banks. ApplePay helps to reduce the opportunity for fraud. Once enough history is collected on the rate of fraud that happens with ApplePay transactions, the value will be clear and proven. At that point in time AAPL's share of transaction fees can double, and eventually approach 0.40.

    That becomes a lot of money dropping to the bottom line. As Stone Fox points out, this is very high margin income.

    I don't think AAPL wants to do without the card issuers, the world is simpler for them, as others have pointed out. They are much better off working in partnership with them as it cuts AAPL's costs to the bone. Besides, if they tried to move in on the card issuer's turf, they'd have a fight on their hands that would essentially kill a very profitable business that is easy to administer.

    I look forward to an increase in dividends, part of it falling down from the ApplePay tree.
    Apr 1, 2015. 10:00 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • WSJ: Apple talking Web TV service for fall launch [View news story]
    I have an antenna -- hi def broadcast, quality is better than cable.
    Mar 16, 2015. 10:46 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Apple Making A Gold Watch? [View article]
    Will they sell 1,000 gold watches? Almost certainly. This is $1 billion in revenue, which would cover all development expenses for all models of the watch, plus the cost of making the thousand watches, plus contribute some profits.

    Look at this as a business decision. Everyone reading this publication is an investor or has investment interests. As an investor, I'm more than pleased. This is a great way to make money and leverage the brand.

    And I can buy the same thing for $400. Pretty good deal for the little people like me.

    Someone made a comment already that it's possible to replace the guts of the watch, and AAPL will probably have such a program. I'd be surprised if the gold watch does not come with a guarantee that the watch internals will be upgraded for free for 1 or 2 product iterations, maybe more.
    Mar 12, 2015. 07:14 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Notes On Cars (And Apple) [View article]
    If it can see the potholes when it's raining and the pothole is filled with water, that would be very impressive.
    Mar 2, 2015. 10:45 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Notes On Cars (And Apple) [View article]
    I think GOOG is doing that...

    plus developing an app that causes rainbows to shine whenever Google cars are on the road
    Mar 2, 2015. 10:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment