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Dialectical Materialist

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  • Apple: Examining The iPhone's Quarterly Impact [View article]
    "I'm fairly confident that Apple will be flirting with a $140+ valuation before the end of May."

    You could be right about such flirtation, but I am more interested in the eventual wedding between AAPL and 200.

    AAPL has a promising career and would make a great match for 200, which comes from a long line of round numbers.

    Don't get me wrong, I expect a lengthy courtship. The wedding is a ways off, but these two were made for each other.
    Apr 22, 2015. 08:44 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Examining The iPhone's Quarterly Impact [View article]
    AnLe41,

    I think what "smartstud" was getting at was that China is likely to be a larger portion of overall iPhone sales this quarter. This is both because the launch was later in that country (although you are right of course that it was in Q1) and their Lunar New Year is a big buying time in China.

    Since the mix of 6+ is thought to be higher in China as well, it stands to reason that the 6+/6 mix will be better this quarter than last. That points to a higher ASP.

    Currency issues will play a role, but happily the impact of fx in relation to China is much less than Europe. So once again, there should be a higher portion of iPhone sales from a region that is impacted less by the currency issues the author mentions.

    All of this would seem to mitigate the trend toward lower ASP's. I don't know if they will actually be higher, but it does represent good news in stemming their decline at least.
    Apr 22, 2015. 01:54 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Watch Strategy Embraces The 80-20 Rule [View article]
    45,

    I agree with your agreement....

    which is to say, I think Gregg is right to. I wasn't thinking like a dude so much as trying to show that we dudes tend to be coming at this from the wrong angle. So I agree with your wife, and that is the point. We need to understand that wearables are a whole new level of personal style. The rules, motivations, and tides of personal style are encompassed under the umbrella of "fashion".

    And as I will probably always "think like a dude" I am happy that Apple has plenty of people who don't. They've got this. The rest of us need to simply watch and learn.
    Apr 22, 2015. 01:38 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Watch Strategy Embraces The 80-20 Rule [View article]
    Oh, I didn't mean you, of course ;) And I think you're younger than me anyway, unless you profile needs updating.
    Apr 20, 2015. 10:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Watch Strategy Embraces The 80-20 Rule [View article]
    Ptatty and Gregg,

    If it turns out to be true that the 25-34 yo male demo dominates Apple Watch purchases, I think they'll sell 8 million this quarter. Based on the reports from so many old rich guys and their wives who already ordered theirs, if they are not the biggest slice of the Apple Watch pie, it is indeed a large pie.
    Apr 20, 2015. 09:59 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Could And Should Diversify To The Renewable Energy Business [View article]
    Tusc,

    I think Apple is more like a Genius Grant winner. Sure there is some luck and good fortune required to win the award, but it requires the recipient to have a special gift.

    Apple has a talent for design and marketing. Good design is making something great, not just pretty. Good marketing makes people enthusiastic about giving the product a chance. Good marketing can create customers, but a good product is more important for keeping them.

    So Apple is both lucky and good, and their wealth is due in large part to who they are as a company. That is why it is funny to see so many people want to advise the company on who it really should be, as if its current identity isn't working.

    And the classic case of the tyranny of ROI thinking is the army of bean counters that bloated battleship sized companies often employ. These companies think a good idea is putting 11 pickles in a jar where they used to be 12.

    Apple does not allow its designers to be constrained by budget. Costs inevitably come into the design process down the road, but Apple does not want to approach design from the point of view of cost.

    It has proven an effective strategy for them so far, and it is a great example of why the Apple way involves seeing the whole picture and not parsing every decision into a series of monetary transactions.

    The irony is that the ROI from freeing your creative teams from bean counting is huge.
    Apr 20, 2015. 08:22 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Could And Should Diversify To The Renewable Energy Business [View article]
    In the last earnings call, Tim Cook said:

    "We have now taken action on almost $103 billion of our $130 billion capital return program [...] We review our capital return program on an ongoing basis. We continue to solicit feedback from a broad base of investors and we're on track to announce an update to the program in April when we report our second quarter results."

    It would be very surprising if they didn't update the dividend and buy back on the call Monday.
    Apr 20, 2015. 08:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Should Invest In Original Filmed Content [View article]
    "Tim Cook has not been proven as CEO yet"

    Wow. Tough crowd.

    Cook has presided over a huge run-up in share price, a new capital return program that includes both dividends and buy backs, and last quarter Apple set the record for corporate profit in the history of the world.

    And he has not yet proven himself? Does he need to add a Superbowl ring?
    Apr 20, 2015. 11:31 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Watch Strategy Embraces The 80-20 Rule [View article]
    Dubious,

    Please do not overlook that I am saying fashion tech items are BOTH fashion items and technological ones. Apple will not stop being a technology company.

    You can see an easy analogy in Beats. These are headphones. Not even the best headphones you can get. But they appeal to consumers in part on a technical level and in part on a style level. That will be increasingly true as wearables become increasingly important.

    So Apple is not becoming a "fashion company". Rather they are branching out into a product category that has an important fashion element.

    And I don't think it's useful to try and think of a company that sold 200 million iOS devices last year in terms of having a band of worshipers. I think it is more accurate to say they have a lot of satisfied customers.

    The question of whether Apple has the chops to succeed in the fashion world, though, is a legitimate one. I think time will tell. But they didn't hire the former CEO of Yves St Laurent to work on special projects because of his knowledge of chip architecture.
    Apr 19, 2015. 09:25 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Breaking The PR Mold For Apple Watch [View article]
    "It's like going to see a magician doing the same stale routine 10 years later"

    It is a bit like magic. But I don't consider making money out of thin air to be a stale routine. I agree it has been going on a long time, but I still find it fascinating.
    Apr 19, 2015. 08:53 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Watch Strategy Embraces The 80-20 Rule [View article]
    It is dangerously imprecise to consider the cost of the data plan in the drain on retirement unless you propose that the industrious saver would be going through his or her working years without a smart phone.

    Sorry, your model is broken.
    Apr 19, 2015. 08:34 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Watch Strategy Embraces The 80-20 Rule [View article]
    Gregg,

    I think you are touching on an area that has so many of us technophiles and gadget freaks confused. Wearable tech should be though of as "fashion tech". I have maybe been too fond of saying it lately, but that's because I don't think the message is really getting through. We can't view smart watches (and other upcoming smart accessories including shoes, clothing, and jewelry) as tiny little iPhones. They are fashion pieces alongside of their technical functions.

    Those who see Apple as a hype company whose products are built on marketing will deride this move by Apple into fashion. They may see it as the ultimate admission that the company is all style and no substance. But fashion-tech is clearly a sector with tremendous growth potential in the coming decade and it would be ridiculous for Apple not to enter the space and see where it can take things.

    When people talk about products offered by Michael Kors or Coach, they don't focus on the limitations of each product but rather on whether they have fashion appeal. Almost no one talks of hand bags in terms of specs. And everyone understands and accepts that. Why talk utility and specs? These are fashion items.

    Well now in the age of wearable tech, we are going to need to get used to thinking of every item in two ways -- both as a piece of technology, and as a piece of fashion.

    Apple clearly embraces this concept. It was no accident that their new head of retail hails from the fashion world. Apple is a design company. They understand the role fashion will play in the next phase of computing.

    This is, incidentally, why Galaxy Gear didn't stand a chance of catching on.
    Apr 19, 2015. 08:24 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Watch Pre-Order Sellout: Have The Pundits Underestimated Apple Again? [View article]
    One could easily say "prior art" existed since the Dick Tracy comics.

    This is no one company's idea. As usual, it will come down to execution.
    Apr 19, 2015. 12:51 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Samsung Problem [View article]
    I have a 6, and I have a little bit of a bending problem, but it is usually only in the mornings, and I don't blame any of it on my phone.
    Apr 18, 2015. 08:53 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Samsung Problem [View article]
    Stephen I disagree with just about everything you said, and I'm not sure I can take your comment point for point without looking like I am trying to act superior, be a bully, or take you to task for having a different opinion than me.

    So I want to say that I agree with the goals you appear to be supporting.

    1) Companies should pay taxes. Large companies should pay a lot of taxes. This is to support the nation that made their success possible.

    Interestingly Apple is the largest corporate income tax payer in the US. In 2012 they paid $6B in taxes to the US government.

    2) CEO's should be role models. Tim Cook should do more than give 1 cent of his net worth to charity.

    Recently Tim Cook announced that after setting aside some funds to take care of his nephew's education, he'll be giving all his money away. That's right. His entire fortune will go to supporting causes he believes in. This is the kind of example of philanthropy we should expect from the richest members of our society, don't you agree?

    3) A company should be shareholder friendly.

    Apple has announced that it will continue to increase its dividend every year. Additionally they have announced the biggest stock buy back program in corporate history. Then they went on to buy back shares ahead of schedule. And they will be announcing an update to their already record setting buy back plan on April 27th.

    As a result of Apple's plans to return cash to shareholders, Apple's leaders have unlocked shareholder value. This cash return coupled with nearly flawless execution of their corporate vision has resulted in a stock that has richly rewarded long term shareholders. So when looking for companies that unlock value for their shareholders, it is hard to leave Apple off the list. They probably belong near the top of that list.

    So you see, I agree with some of the sentiments you expressed, but I strongly disagree with your assertion that Apple fails to exhibit those important qualities.

    No time to quibble about whether Apple is a green company. I think I covered enough points for now.
    Apr 18, 2015. 08:42 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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