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Dialectical Materialist

Dialectical Materialist
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  •'s AWS Is Much More Valuable Than We Thought [View article]

    Apple and Amazon are surely two different companies. But if profits mattered in AMZN's valuation, we wouldn't be in this position.

    There are only two questions. Will profits ever matter, and will they be able to generate them when they do? Bulls argue profits don't matter yet and they will be produced when they do. Bears argue profits must matter eventually, should matter now, and they are unlikely to be able to produce numbers large enough to justify the present valuation once they do.

    But is is hard to make a case that profits matter at the present time.

    I'm sticking with my thesis that eventually profits will matter. And in so doing, I am so far no more right than Blair has been about Apple.
    Apr 25, 2015. 12:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  •'s AWS Is Much More Valuable Than We Thought [View article]
    Ptatty, it certainly has been a waste of money.

    I am starting to feel like the Michael Blair of Amazon, but I remain "short the name". A whole bunch of people have made piles of money on AMZN and I salute them for their courage or foresight or whatever it was that prompted them to invest. But the numbers just keep looking uglier to me. Which is a coincidence because my short position keeps getting uglier as well.

    Who knows, maybe someday the shorts will declare victory. You can not argue with the fact that this stock keeps climibing, though.
    Apr 24, 2015. 05:30 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Earnings Preview: It's All About iPhone Sales Momentum [View article]
    Thanks for the chuckle.
    Apr 24, 2015. 05:22 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • To What Extent Does The Apple Watch Affect FY 2015 Results? [View article]
    I didn't mean heart rate. I get why some fitness buffs would like that. I mean sharing your heartbeat. I have not heard of this on other devices and I guess I'm not sure of the appeal. It seems corny, like blowing someone a kiss.
    Apr 24, 2015. 05:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • To What Extent Does The Apple Watch Affect FY 2015 Results? [View article]
    182, it is my ambivalence about the watch that makes me eager to read what others have to say and why they do or don't like it. Sorry if I looked for a watch argument where there is none.

    I have defended the watch, because I think there is something there. At least I think wearables are the future of mobile. Some arguments against the watch I think are weak on the face of it. But I ordered my own watch not because I am convinced I will love it but more because I feel the need to experience myself and see what it does and does not do for me.

    If a restaurant I had invested in offered something new and possibly strange on the menu, I'd probably be inclined to stop by and try it so I could decide whether I thought they were on the right track. I suspect the watch can not logically be a flop in the way that the Newton was. There are just too many people who will enjoy it even if it has a marginal use case and too many others who are curious like me. But whether this really does grow into a must have device in its 2nd and 3rd generations is very much up in the air.

    I do like that Apple seems to get that there is a fashion component. That's something Google realized too late about Glass (and also that few people eagerly wear glasses). So props to Apple for bringing in some fashion sensibility to the Watch project.

    But I have seen the latest ads Apple has for the watch. I don't find them compelling. I think there may well be a killer app, and it may even be Apple Pay. But nothing in the ads leaves me feeling any more excited about getting my watch in a few weeks. I just don't get the heartbeat thing. Maybe I'm jaded. Micro sketches seem like they will get old fast. Just not sure about this, yet. Optimistic in the short run, but unconvinced that The Apple Watch is the defining model in the way the iPad and of course iPhone were.
    Apr 24, 2015. 03:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • To What Extent Does The Apple Watch Affect FY 2015 Results? [View article]
    Well, what was your point, then? You responded to my motorcycle analogy with a comment that other SA readers don't appreciate how poor most of the world is. I said twice that I don't see how this is relevant. You haven't convinced me it is.

    I'll take your word for it that is not what you were trying to say. It makes no sense that it would be. But that is why I was so confused. Billions of people are poor. That's true. And that is germaine to this discussion how?
    Apr 24, 2015. 01:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • To What Extent Does The Apple Watch Affect FY 2015 Results? [View article]
    You're being silly. I don't need to live in poor countries to realize that billions of people have no discretionary income. But that is not relevant. No one, except possibly you, is tying the success of the Apple Watch to these poor people. It's an argument from left field.
    Apr 24, 2015. 12:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • To What Extent Does The Apple Watch Affect FY 2015 Results? [View article]
    "You're still the top 1% in most other countries and don't really know what day to day life and struggle is all about."

    Billions of people are too poor to buy the Apple watch, subscribe to Netflix, buy from Amazon, go to Imax theaters and watch movies made by Disney, shop at Whole Foods, eat at Chipotle's Mexican Grill, and drive cars made by Ford and gassed up at the Exxon station.

    Is this a case against the success of any of these companies or an argument for why you should not buy their stock?

    "Don't count on these other countries buying Apple goodies"

    Okay. Good advice, I guess.
    Apr 24, 2015. 10:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • To What Extent Does The Apple Watch Affect FY 2015 Results? [View article]

    I appreciate your clear description of your complaint. I have a better understanding of how you see this product and launch. I have had a bunch of different impressions of the launch myself. Some of them conflict with one another. This has been anything but a candid process.

    I think it only boils down to a few possibilities.

    1) Apple is seeing larger demand than they expected.
    2) Apple is seeing demand that is about what they expected.
    3) Apple is disappointed by lack of interest.

    And there are only a few explanations for short supply:

    1) Demand is so great they didn't build enough, even though they made a lot.
    2) They didn't build enough because they modeled for less interest than they are seeing.
    3) A production snafu caused unit numbers to fall below targets.
    4) No one really wants any so they are being withheld in order to give the impression of huge demand.

    These explanations can be combined, somewhat (for example Apple could be experiencing both a production snafu and have modeled too low), but these are the basic descriptions of why they would be apparently short handed right now.

    The scenarios I gravitate towards are apparently different from yours.
    Apr 23, 2015. 09:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Betting Big On The Camera [View article]
    Yeah, I can see the potential uses too:

    "Siri, generate a photo of me sitting on my sofa munching a burger."
    Apr 23, 2015. 08:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  •'s AWS Is Much More Valuable Than We Thought [View article]
    "If we are pleasantly surprised by AWS profitability, then we are disappointed by the rest of AMZN. "

    That was my thought as well. It is entirely possible that AWS could drive the future of AMZN. One doesn't have to be making a valuation judgement either good or bad to realize that this tells us something about just how unprofitable the rest of Amazon is right now. Just how much money did they lose last year on the side of their business?
    Apr 23, 2015. 08:30 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • To What Extent Does The Apple Watch Affect FY 2015 Results? [View article]
    "Apple is very good at getting the public to believe it BS."

    I find this confusing. Is the argument that the watch is worthless and won't sell or that Apple is good at creating enthusiasm for its products, so therefore the watch probably will sell?

    If I were looking for a company to invest in, I would want to avoid one that created products that flopped. I would definitely be more interested in one that was able to create demand for its products. But you say this like it is a bad thing.

    The bearish narrative of the iPad was similar. First it was useless. Then it was only going to be bought by fanboys. Then it was all marketing hype. Then it was too expensive given that there were cheaper alternatives. Then the market was saturated.

    No one has really explained how a worthless product built on marketing hype becomes a victim of market saturation, though.

    I expect the bear argument for the Watch to be similar. It will go from being worthless to being "saturated" in about three years.
    Apr 23, 2015. 08:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • To What Extent Does The Apple Watch Affect FY 2015 Results? [View article]

    I have never understood why people buy a motorcycle when their car will get them from point a to point b and keep them safer and drier in the process. It seems an extravagance that is not worth the reduced functionality. But I have been assured by my bike riding friends that even though they are not giving up their cars, a motorcycle is a value added experience.

    I have one friend who seems to spend a lot of money on several motorcycles, some of which are very much for the purpose of showing off. Am I to judge this person on his purchases, or should it lead me to believe that he is not as smart as me with money?

    The Apple Watch will provide an experience that can be technically replaced with the iPhone, but it will do it in a way that leads some people to think it is worth the money. Some of that is convenience and some of that is just for show.

    My motorcycle friend is not convinced he needs an Apple Watch, but I will show him mine when it arrives, and he'll feign the same amazement I do when I see the hog he just bought.
    Apr 23, 2015. 04:46 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Could And Should Diversify To The Renewable Energy Business [View article]
    No, not strictly speaking. But the desirability of renewable energy is related to how deeply Apple should or may become involved in it. And climate change is relevant to the discussion of how important renewable energy may or may not be.

    So it's not as far off topic as it would first appear.
    Apr 23, 2015. 04:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • To What Extent Does The Apple Watch Affect FY 2015 Results? [View article]

    Because of the name, it is tempting to compare the Apple Watch to other watches. But I'm guessing none of the watches that cost under $200 and lasted 10-30 years ever allowed you to take a phone call or send a text message.

    What I spent on my last computer was a lot of money for a television. But it's not a television.
    Apr 23, 2015. 10:44 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment