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  • Telecom hardware stocks slide on AT&T capex report [View news story]
    Strictly speaking, yes -- capex is usually short for "capital expenditures."

    In the realm of wireline, it essentially means spending on any sort of asset (e.g.: switches, cabling, multiplexers, etc.) that actually either builds out the infrastructure or keeps it going (as in, maintenance).

    I believe Siwanoy (above comment) is right in his first sentence, but wrong in the second. AT&T cannot cut its infrastructure costs beyond a certain point, else it risks seriously damaging its own wireline infrastructure.

    And capex in wireline was part of the point of Project VIP; to get everything off of its conventional network and get it fully converted to IP-based (where older assets cost more money to maintain than newer).

    Bringing this together with AT&T's proposed buyout of DirecTV, however, doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, except maybe as an uber-reaction to Comcast-Time Warner. After all, DirecTV is solely a video play, and the type of video play that will radically change over the next decade or two. I'm not sure what this buys for AT&T.

    Disclosure: Long T, consumer of T, DTV
    Jun 3 09:28 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft offers conservative revenue guidance, cuts spending forecasts [View news story]
    OK, so, if Office consumer sales fell by 24%, and two-thirds of this 24% went to Office 365, that leaves approximately 7.92% that went somewhere else.

    Did Microsoft address this rather large chunk of loss of sales during the call? Are they concerned that they only kept two-thirds of their previous-year's sales base?

    Where did 7.92% of their sales go?

    Long MSFT
    Jan 23 09:05 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Trading halt on Frontier Communications [View news story]
    This, and the fact that T -- as just one piece of evidence that wireline isn't over by a long shot -- has already invoked their Project VIP, which includes $6 billion spent on *wireline* ($8 billion on wireless) through 2015 to convert PSTN to IP (or overlay wireless on top of rural wireline).

    Notice in the PR piece that the deal includes T's fiber lines as well, which includes (what will then be formerly) U-Verse subscribers.

    I wouldn't bet against wireline any time soon...
    Dec 17 08:04 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sell Two Harbors Puts And Buy Annaly Preferred Shares Ahead Of The Fed Meeting [View article]
    Unless you see the unemployment rate becoming approximately 4% (like it was during the 2000's), it's a pretty safe bet that any sort of job growth is unlikely to bring unemployment down below, say, 6% at most (given the current administrative overhead of the federal government).

    I believe that's why this article is so poignant at this point.
    Dec 16 09:53 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T Inc. declares $0.46 dividend [View news story]
    I'm curious about this comment. Outside of a basic vent, exactly why should T's board be replaced?

    As far as I see it, T's Project VIP sets the entire enterprise on an excellent course for the future.

    Also, I don't think it was wholly T's fault for the government telling T they couldn't buy another carrier.

    So yes, a core portfolio security.
    Dec 15 08:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mobile app coming from McDonald's [View news story]

    Looking forward to wider acceptance of such technology.
    Dec 13 07:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T Inc. declares $0.46 dividend [View news story]
    Once again reaffirming why T deserves to be a core portfolio security.
    Dec 13 07:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Broadcasters and streamers adapt to binge viewing trends [View news story]
    Um, no. The reality is that most people are what's called cord-thinning (as opposed to cord-cutting) where they're keeping some semblance of a "cable" subscription but also partaking in streaming services outside of their primary content provider for "premium" (to use the term very loosely) services.

    Most people *can* wait for episodes to be aired and then watch later, and since streaming services like Netflix and Amazon are not restricted to just the television, there are significantly more viewing opportunities than just over a STB.

    Plus, all of this is significantly cheaper altogether than having to pay the primary content provider triple-digits/month for the same.
    Dec 13 07:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Positive Uncertainty: Universal Remote iPad [View article]

    Yes, much more likely the issue. It is significantly cheaper on a number of fronts to merely control the interface in front of the viewer than it is to essentially replicate the entire cable/satellite ecosystem.

    Here's a scenario:

    Like TiVo, Apple TV becomes the cable/satellite alternative to the cable/satellite company's own hardware. Cable/satellite similarly allows all current programming to be channeled to the box, and Apple subsequently controls the entire user experience. Cable/Satellite company doesn't even have to mess with the customer premise hardware as this would be an AAPL box. The Cable/satellite company continues to get paid, the content providers get paid, and so does AAPL. AAPL spends zero money on infrastructure yet controls the prism through which all content is viewed.

    On down the line in time, on the premise that AAPL essentially takes over the STB (Set Top Box) market, AAPL can slowly begin controlling what content is allowed on their box. This could result in a potential shift to a la carte programming (e.g.: no more paying up to three figures for 160+ channels when only 10 are actively watched).

    It is a potential win-win. I'd seriously consider it!
    Oct 11 03:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Positive Uncertainty: Universal Remote iPad [View article]

    Not only what you said, but the latest price check at Best Buy shows that the baseline pricing for the Samsung set is between $2,000 and $3,000 -- not exactly the friendliest price point for a setup that could be recreated for half the cost using an XBox and similarly-sized TV.
    Oct 11 03:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Positive Uncertainty: Universal Remote iPad [View article]

    Rumor has it that the iPad mini will essentially be an iPad 2 but smaller -- that means lower cost using components that are already in the manufacturing process and no Retina display.

    Further, if the new device is wifi-only (as has been recently rumored), it will be even cheaper to make.

    The bottom line is that the device is said to not use the latest tech that AAPL has at its disposal, and the display is significantly smaller than the standard iPad. Therefore, AAPL can get away with cheaper components for an albeit smaller profit margin.
    Oct 11 03:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Mini To Make A Big Appearance [View article]

    In terms of market share, some people had sworn up and down on tech blogs that AAPL would never move away from their standard 4:3 ratio, less than 4-inch screen, because at some point in the past, Steve Jobs himself disowned the notion. Then they were proven wrong.

    At the iPhone level, AAPL has been consistently maintaining a two-generation lag for the lower end of the handset market, which allows them to address any need for a "cheap" iPhone to be made.

    The same thing is true at the iPod level.

    However, the same cannot be said at the iPad level. And AAPL is not keeping all three generations around to address lower-dollar market demographics (except in the very sparingly few cases that one can pick one up from an outlet store -- then again, why is anyone giving up their iPad except in the cases of a bad battery or what not?).

    Yet, if they can profitably produce a device with the following ranges (and I hear they'll be using essentially iPad second-generation tech along with certain upgrades like a better panel and the 9-pin dock connector):

    16GB - $199
    32GB - $299
    64GB - $399

    ...why wouldn't they do it?
    Oct 2 02:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple iPhone 5: Specifications Do Not Matter [View article]
    Not only this, but according to recent benchmarking results (, the iPhone 5 with a mere dual-core System on a Chip handily beats every other smartphone on the market, even ever-so-slightly edging out the Samsung Galaxy S III (with a Samsung Exynos 4412 quad-core chip rated at 1.4GHz). It posted a score of 1,588 compared to the A6's 1,601).

    Furthermore, the iPhone 5 handily beats out *every* smartphone on the market ( in the JavaScript benchmarking challenge. On this challenge, the closest that the Samsung GSIII gets is with their international version, clocking in at 1442.9ms, where the iPhone 5 clocks in at 914.7ms.

    At this point in time, when it comes to sheer utility, one simply cannot beat the iPhone5.

    Disclaimer: I own shares of AAPL, GOOG, T and VZ.
    Sep 20 02:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why A Mini iPad Will Kill The Kindle [View article]
    To me, there are two general challenges for Apple at this point in the market; one comes from the phone space, the other from the tablet space:

    1. All competitors are releasing phones that are bigger than the (dare I say) "old" crop of less than 4-inch screens. If the larger screens were not selling, then all handset makers would go back to sub-4-inch screens; it's as simple as supply and demand. Specifically, Samsung is coming out with another "phablet," because they've been selling reasonably well, yet they wouldn't be doing this if they didn't think the market would support it.

    Therefore, the iPhone itself will *have* to become bigger in some way, otherwise it loses a certain amount of *perceptive* relevance, the numbers of which wouldn't immediately drop for buyers, but no change would initiate a negative trajectory, precisely where Apple does *not* want to be.

    2. The iPad, while a great device, does not present enough of a value proposition for those of us with an iPhone to add to our portfolio of devices *without more available disposable income*. I once asked a local (Mall of GA) Apple store *why* I should get an iPad when I already have an iPhone (this was back in the days of iPad version 1) and, while they are overall smart people, they couldn't give me a solidly value-added answer beyond that it provides for additional screen real estate on which to perform tasks. So, spending a minimum of $500 for a bigger screen that does essentially the same thing as my iPhone was and is out of the question for me.

    Yet, all competitors in this space have sub-$300 devices that *essentially* do the same thing as what the iPad does. However, in my opinion, after briefly trying most of them out, they don't *perform* to the same degree as the iPad, so just on that fact alone, I wouldn't spend the money for one of these smaller devices (besides the inertia of money spent on apps/music/what not that currently exists in my Apple account).

    Apple will need to win over this lower-priced demo, else it's very conceivable that they could give up this space to another competitor. And that's not in Apple's profile to do -- give up, that is.

    There are many who would, at this point, pull out many Steve Jobs quotes in an attempt to prove that Apple would never go in these directions. However, in my observations, the following appear to have been true for Mr. Jobs:

    1. He despised the Android platform with a passion and consistently was willing to do whatever it took to beat them at what he saw as his game;
    2. Recent patent filings prove that many of these types of concepts were alive and well at Apple, and would always be a consistent part of their arsenal to fully polish once and/or should the market veer in those directions;
    3. Many of his quotes regarding reactions to then-current devices were literally in the context of why *those particular devices* would never "make it" in the market, where "make it" could be defined as "being the clear market leader and innovator."
    Aug 9 12:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • No One Wants The iPhone? Think Again [View article]

    Thx for the heads up and response. I'll be reading it shortly (my alert already flagged it).
    Aug 9 12:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment