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  • Apple's About To Release The Kraken And It Has A Very Long Tail [View article]
    Robert,

    Great article with insight and an understanding of what is happening and what ha happened in this technological revolution we are witnessing.

    There maybe one problem that we have witnessed throughout history. The monarchs, politicians and bureaucrats have throughout history used confiscation and taxation to seize the output and wealth of the society to maintain their power and aristocratic lifestyles. We see this today in the US DOJ's book monopoly law suit against Apple and now the EU bureaucrats and politicians attempt to grab Apple's hard earned earnings.

    There are many examples of this throughout history.
    Oct 1, 2014. 01:48 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Or Apple: Which Is The Better Long Term Bet? [View article]
    Google must worry about current users of Android competing with their operating system such as Samsung is currently doing with Tizen and also surely one of the Chinese mobile firms will also do. This will greatly reduce Google ad exposures and leave it with just low market end users.

    Fragmentation of Google's ad market share is very possible from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Alibaba, Instagram, et al. Also Apple (iAds), Microsoft ( Bing) and Yahoo could easily chip away at Google's ad market share The Ad pie is only so big and any loss of market share could be a serious loss for Google drying up profits.
    May 16, 2014. 11:16 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Ready To SLAM The World? [View article]
    And what's the use of spending money and effort perfecting SLAM when Samsung and a bunch of Chinese Start Ups will simply steal the technology and Intellectual Property and under cut Apple in price. I say return all the cash to the stockholder's and fold the tent because the US Courts will not protect Apple and in fact the US Government will continue to harass Apple trying to get some of its cash.

    As far as Samsung and others copycats go only injunctions boycotts blocking their products from the US market will have any effect.
    May 15, 2014. 03:30 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Q2 Results Are Not What They Seem [View article]
    Samsung is clearly an overextended and very corrupt international conglomerate.

    Besides stealing patented designs and ideas and declining financials they have an incredible criminal past and present. Just read the recent articles like the one in Vanity Fair. Their CEO coughed up a $100 billion pay off to Korean politicians to get pardoned from jail for felony tax evasion, many companies, other than Apple, are suing Samsung all over the Globe for a myriad of patent infringements, the EU has threaten to fine them up to $18 billion dollars for nuisance patent counter suits, and even in Korea there are apparently a rash of cancer leukemia deaths among their workers in their semiconductor plants.

    Samsung is by far Korea's largest corporation and has great power in Korea and among nationalistic Koreans. Up until very recently they have been able to cover up the leukemia problem in the Korean Press and of course the Korea government and politicians have no interest investigating the hand that feeds them.

    Apple may be the only entity that can stop them by pulling their chip orders and then beating them in the marketplace. The courts, the ITC, the EU, the Press and Media seem to have no interest in bringing down this criminal conglomerate.
    May 9, 2014. 01:54 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mapping Out Apple's Content Distribution Opportunity [View article]
    I would like to see market share expressed in dollars realized ( paid for) not only in units sold ( paid for, in channel,in distributor inventory) Remember Microsoft's huge billion dollar write off. The market share numbers are distorted because a $50 radio in plastic box with a display is now being equated to an $700-$800 metal 5S with 128GB of memory and fingerprint ID. Obviously these two items are not equivalent and neither is the customer who purchased these phones as far as after sales potential for future hardware and software.

    The difficult mission for Apple is to keep a steady stream of improvements of existing products, introduction of profitable new products and the number and growth of income streams in the future.

    As gross sales grow Apple should be able to suffer some gross margin erosion and still maintain solid top and bottom line growth. Mid tier buyers ($250 to $400) will still aspire to have Apple products as soon as their income allows. Apple could help them out in Emerging and other foreign markets by using some of their huge overseas cash pile to develop financing plans that would allow these mid tier buyers to purchase Apple products. Even some lower tier buyers might be able to find an older price reduced Apple product (4 , 4S, mini iPad). The pressure may be on the lower priced phones and tablets manufacturers that are currently wallowing in red ink as Apple inches its way down the price food chain.

    I see recently that Apple is ramping up its R&D overseas spending as a way to utilize its overseas cash hoard. This could be inexpensive R&D if it has any degree of success and will also allow foreign engineers, mathematicians and scientists to get jobs at Apple whereas now they cannot work in the USA because the H1b visa program has was reduced to 60,000 from almost 200,000 in 2009. Our government can really screw things up.
    Mar 22, 2014. 03:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • CarPlay Has The Potential To Bring Long-Term Value To Apple [View article]
    Apple has 83,000 employees and 158.8 billion in cash and about 78% of it is overseas.
    Mar 6, 2014. 02:56 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Apple's Valuation Is Irrelevant [View article]
    Tim Cook has been just stashing money away in Treasuries and very low yielding short term instruments that have earned next to nothing. In recent years Apple has spent just about 2% of sales on R&D while Amazon, Samsung, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, et al have been spending 10% to as much as 20% on R&D. R&D not only invents new products and services but supports and improves existing products and services. No wonder Apple's new product tank is nearly empty after starving the R&D budget for years . Apple could set up R&D facilities in stable countries with good supplies of Scientists and engineers without America's H1-B visa problems and utilize some of that overseas cash.

    I think Tim Cook realizes this and is using empty promises and talk to buy some time and maybe the R&D staff can get something out the door before growth actually goes negative. Cook can thank his lucky stars that wise old financial wizards like Carl Icahn and David Einhorn came along and saved his hide and put some financial management into a company that did not know how to allocate capital but was very good at rewarding members of the Board with juicy stock options diluting the shareholders and awarding Board members like Al Gore with $7 stock options that he could cash in at over $600 per share.

    Icahn is right corporate governance in America is a mess with the same people serving on the boards of competitors and being richly rewarded despite ineffectual and poor management.
    Feb 26, 2014. 03:53 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's R&D Spend Points To Multiple New Products Exiting The Pipeline [View article]
    Kyle,

    I really want to thank you for a very concise and informative article on Apple's current problem. Years of under spending on R&D are a real cause for concern and may account for Apple's lengthy product cycles and lack of new categories and reoccurring income streams to boost net income and EPS.

    In 2013 Apple finished 21st among company patent filings. Samsung (#2), Microsoft, and IBM (#1) finished far ahead of Apple. The situation was even worse in 2012. Why this occurred was competitors all spent much more than Apple on R&D. Microsoft as an example spent $11 Bln in 2013 on R&D an Apple spent only $4.4 Bln.

    I agree with you that so far Carl Icahn's strategy ( and also David Einhorn's) has been a success and should be expanded until management can prove they have more profitable uses for this cash pile. To date the earnings from the cash pile have been microscopic. Without the buybacks EPS would have actually declined (YOY).

    One way to put Apple on the path to more growth and more sources of income would be to build R&D facilities in stable countries in the Euro Zone, Canada, Israel and/or Taiwan. All these countries have large numbers of engineers and scientists that are needed for R&D but Apple cannot gain access to them because of the US government's restrictive policy on H1b visas.

    Additionally, it would also allow Apple to spend some of the Overseas cash pile productively and profitably. Here again the high 35% Tax on corporate profits prevents Apple from bringing
    this capital back to the US. Congressional Republicans, Senate Democrats and even Obama himself all agree the this tax is too high yet nothing has been done to lower this tax or find a reasonable way to get this capital into the US.

    Again I would like to congratulate you on an informative article and let's hope the fanboys stop vilifying Carl Icahn he has some great ideas particularly about parasitic Boards of Directors.
    Feb 3, 2014. 08:39 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Every Vote Counts [View article]
    Talk about deceptive statistics! How big is each companies cash pile?

    Apple cash dwarfs any other companies cash pile. Why did you not show the absolute size of each companies cash assets. How much cash does GOOG have compare to Apple's. It is a fraction of Apple's cash.
    Jan 31, 2014. 08:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Every Vote Counts [View article]
    The Board and its management has proven over the last 3 years that they have no useful ideas of what to do with Apple's cash pile. Icahn's idea actually preserves every cent (my key board also has no cent sign) of the $159 billion cash pile that is currently earning next to nothing.

    Icahn's idea will finally give shareholders some reward for their patience and actually give them an incentive to hold on for the longer term. Management can continue to dilly dally and the Board can continue to cash in their stock options as they have been doing for the last 3 years.

    Sure, Icahn wants to make money, we all do, but he does have behind his tactics a believe that large American Corporations have a tendency to create useless self serving Boards of Directors that eventually stagnate growth to the detriment of risk taking shareholders and the enrichment of themselves. As America attempts to compete and economically grow we may have to solve this problem as Icahn sees it.
    Jan 31, 2014. 07:56 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Don't Panic [View article]
    Apple has become a non-innovator because their R&D budget is far too small for a company its size in the high tech marketplace. Although Apple is by far the largest of the tech companies and its competitors it spends far less as a percentage of sales and/or market cap than any of its competitors or other tech companies also.
    As an example: Figures from Yahoo which are a little dated but make the point
    Date Sales R&D (12 mos) figures in $Bln
    GOOG - 12-20-12 $50.17 - $6.79

    MSFT - 6-13-12 - $77.84 - $10,411

    AAPL- 9-28-13 - $170,910 - $4.47

    Notice AAPL dates are more recent so these numbers for AAPL are even more out of line with the Tech industry. Further taking into account the law of large numbers, AAPLs multiple products, and need to innovate it would seem that they would need a proportionately larger R&D budget too remain competitive. It appears that APPL's management maybe living in the past and ignoring to need for todays shorter product cycles and competition in the narrow market segment they have chosen to operate in.
    Tim Cook's mantra is becoming to sound like the Chicago Cubs- Wait until next year. Sometimes next year never comes.
    Jan 30, 2014. 02:50 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple urges shareholders vote against Icahn buyback proposal [View news story]
    The Board may be Apple's problem and not Tim Cook. With all this money earning next to nothing Apple continues to have a miserly R&D budget of 2% of sales while other tech companies like Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Intel etc.etc have R&D Budgets of 10% to 20% and even higher. No wonder "the next best thing" is taking so long and the product cycles are also so long they are hoarding the money instead of enhancing Apple's value and stockholder value.

    True Einhorn and Icahn may not know much about software and supply chain management but they are among the World's leading experts concerning the allocation and management of capital. Icahn is like the Steve Jobs of capital and stockholder rights, we stockholders are lucky to have them involved with Apple.

    Cook may be the right guy at the helm and a moribund Board, that has been amply enriched by Apple, may indeed be at the root of Apple's current problems. Maybe some turnover at the Board level is needed to reignite the Apple fire before the Apple brand begins to fade away.

    Icahn knows how to manage capital and enhance both Company and Stockholder value and protect stockholder rights he has proven this time and again. Apple's management has proven they may be very good operational managers but have also proven that for some reason they are clueless when it comes to the allocation and use of capital. Maybe the Board is hindering management and is the root cause of the problem?

    I say let's give the price of our stock another upward shot in the arm and vote for Icahn's very reasonable and financially conservative proposal.
    Dec 27, 2013. 10:18 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Antitrust Reality Distortion Field [View article]
    Mark

    What you fail to discuss is the Obama DOJ policy of corporate extortion that is running rampart. It appears that the DOJ is the new IRS since more tax increases would have to pass through Congress and meet Constitutional muster the DOJ has become the new tax imposer and collector. Most companies faced with the expense and time drain of a government lawsuit merely take the practical way out and pay the bribe in the form of a cash settlement. Apple is not your run of the mill company and instead stood up to the extortionists. The result was they found a like minded judge in New York to enforce their scheme.

    Another motive for the DOJ is to payoff Google for the free big data help Google engineers provided the Obama campaign. It is to Google's advantage to slow down Apple as much as it can.
    Dec 7, 2013. 12:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple And Samsung: Litigation, Competition And Partnership Are Just Business As Usual [View article]
    I am glad to be the first comment. Thank you for a very informative article I look forward to more of them.
    Nov 25, 2013. 08:32 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Samsung's New Strategy Is A Worry For Apple [View article]
    Sadly, you may be right. Cook may go down as the CEO that ultimately destroyed Apple. I see 3 real Cook tendencies that may be the reason for eventual stagnation then ultimate decline.

    Sluggishness sticking with long product cycles that has prevented gaining a position in the middle tier of the market which would grow sales. This sluggishness has also limited new recurring income streams although he must be congratulated for the new iRadio product which has some promise. Also iBeacon might have great potential in retail setting up income streams related to store search and retail payments.

    A miserly R&D budget during Cook's era. Apple spends about 2% of sales on R&D whereas other large High Tech companies spend 10% to 20% and even more. Check the R&D budgets of Samsung, Google, Microsoft. LinkedIn, Intel, Facebook, etc. These paltry R&D budgets may be the cause of the very slow and time extended product introductions and new recurring income streams.

    Arrogance. It seems as though Apple has an aloof attitude and doesn't seem to want to know what the market want but instead believes it will tell the market what Apple thinks it ought to have. This may be why iWatch, iTV, Larger Screens, China Mobile and products for the middle tier market may turn out to be just mirages as Samsung, Microsoft and a handful of Chinese high tech companies fill the markets demand and needs.

    Carl Icahn might also be right Apple has no idea how to allocate and use its huge hoard of capital producing a microscopic ROI and not taking advantage of the record low interest rates of the recent past. These historically low rates may soon disappear and Apple will have lost another opportunity.
    Nov 25, 2013. 02:25 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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