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  • Apple: Reversing My Call, Stock Is A Buy Once Again  [View article]
    In parts of L.A., they've become a pretty common sight.
    Aug 10, 2015. 03:17 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buying Apple: Consider The Scale Of The Potential Investment  [View article]
    This same kind of argument was used when AAPL got hammered in 2013. At the time, the stock was an adjusted $100 per share, the market cap was almost $700B.

    Now the share price is around $125 and the market cap is $715B.

    The issue in 2013 was how AAPL could maintain its growth and margins in the face of intense competition with Android phones, and the commoditization of the industry. So far, those arguments have been proven to be completely false as AAPL makes 90% of the profit from the high end market, continues to expand in new markets, and regains market share from Samsung.

    The two biggest questions are: 1) when will AAPL saturate the high end market in China? and 2) What will AAPL do to sustain its growth from there?
    Jul 23, 2015. 03:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Surface 3 And Apple Watch - Red Oceans Vs. Blue Oceans  [View article]
    Your response neglects the absolute numbers: AAPL's cap is 741B, while MSFT is 340B. AAPL's net profit was 39.5B in 2014 compared to MSFT's net profit of 22.07B.
    Apr 6, 2015. 01:50 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Surface 3 And Apple Watch - Red Oceans Vs. Blue Oceans  [View article]
    Thanks for the thoughtful article. To be fair to MSFT, they introduced the first tablet, so they do try to innovate.

    And AAPL is never the first company to introduce a new product. But their genius is in design, user interface and seeing how people might use technology in a way unseen by others.

    It will be interesting to see if the Apple Watch and Apple Pay transform a significant number of people's lives in the same way they succeeded with the iPod, iPhone and iPad.
    Apr 3, 2015. 03:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Should Buy Vessel  [View article]
    Thanks for an eye-opening article. While it's impossible to predict the future winner in the content delivery industry (maybe Vessel, maybe something else), it poses a really interesting investment question. I'm sure everyone has had their own personal horror story dealing with cable service, not to mention the near monopoly power they have over their areas, not to mention the ever increasing costs. So, what is the future for the cable behemoths?

    We need to answer three questions:

    1) What will be the future form of content? Will we see more consumption of You Tube style videos and webisodes, or will traditional story telling maintain its place?

    IMO, stories are part of the human DNA, allowing us to process emotions, fantasies, cultural and political issues as well addressing the big existential questions. TV has enjoyed a recent golden age as show runners are telling the networks that the story arc is finite, with shorter seasons and a hard end (Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, etc). The days of the 23 episode per season TV show are numbered. Most of these shows jumped the shark after 2-3 seasons, but crawled on in order to go into syndication.

    3) How will future content creation be financed?

    Besides sports, I hardly watch anything on the big networks. The only thing on my DVR from the major networks are a couple of comedies on ABC; the rest of the recordings are from the cable channels (Mad Men, Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Justified). Everything else of value on TV is coming from the pay channels or Netflix. This is why the big networks fill their schedule with news, talk shows, reality TV and sports. We will probably never see the production values of Game of Thrones on those channels again. We already know that HBO, ShowTime and other pay channels can create top quality content under their current subscription models. The question is whether channels like AMC will survive in their present form as the younger generation reduces its dependence.

    2) How will that content be consumed?

    My son doesn't have cable at his place. He has had Netflix for at least five years. For sports, he has multiple streaming apps on an iPad he streams on his TV. This arrangements covers a lot of the events. It's not perfect, but moving forward, a large part of his generation is going to get content WITHOUT a traditional cable provider. Even if he represents a small portion of the young population that 20-25% will never become subscribers and the chances are their children will not go backwards. I don't know if cable TV and major networks will become the horse and carriage industries of the 21st century, but major changes are coming.

    Even my wife and my viewing habits changed radically. Three years ago my son got me a gift subscription to Netflix and this year I started using HBO Go which allows me to watch my favorite shows on my computer and iPad as well as on my home TV. These streaming services have allowed us to completely break the tether of weekly viewing habits. While most people don't want to sit through a three hour movie in the theater, binge watching 2-4 episodes of Game of Thrones provides more continuity for the story and characters while everything is fresh in our minds. And you can pause at any time to get a snack or take a bathroom break. Even though I'm part of the older generation, I'm going to start looking harder at the Apple TV subscription model in order to save $100+ a month off my cable bill.
    Mar 26, 2015. 05:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Watch Out Apple: Here Comes Xiaomi, Microsoft Might Be Right Behind  [View article]
    What a house of cards argument:

    1) A nice table that the authors admits is subjective to "prove" that Xiaomi is comparable to the iPhone.

    2) A vague analysis of Google Play vs. Apple's App Store with no real numbers: "The Android ecosystem has also closed the gap with Apple's App Store. Google Play downloads are now greater than Apple's and Google Play revenue is catching up."

    3) The opinion that a "commanding unit share may ultimately lead developers to shift from iOS to Android..."

    With regard to argument #1, considering that Mr. Blair's is known for only looking at price points, I'm going to ignore his silly opinion table and let it be trashed by any techie who has actually used both devices.

    With regard to arguments #2 and #3, this is another rehash of the old market share means everything fallacy. According to Apple, their App Store billings rose 50% from the previous year, resulting in $15B in revenues for developers and a $4.5B cut for Apple. As long as these numbers continue (even with 0 growth), Apple will maintain a profitable and sticky ecosystem and have no problem with developers working in the iOS environment.

    The problem with any type of investment is the time horizon. Apple may go down in the long run, but as a wise man once said "in the long run we shall all be dead." Shorting Apple over the next 2-3 years may not kill you, but it could be really painful.
    Jan 17, 2015. 06:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why You Shouldn't Freak Out About Google's 2% Cost Per Click Decline  [View article]
    I love the tone of the article how it's not even the worst of the YoY losses. It reminds me of this other tech company that disappointed over multiple quarters and suffered a 45% pull back from it's all-time high.
    Oct 17, 2014. 01:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Apple Undervalued?  [View article]
    It's funny how Apple is "stagnating" at 100 considering that was the all-time high for Apple in September 2012.
    Oct 14, 2014. 04:28 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Seriously Siri-Less Apple  [View article]
    The author is making that claim that Apple will have major problems in the future if they allow Nuance to be bought by Samsung, but that if Apple bids for the company, they will waste millions of dollars.

    If Apple doubled the bid to $100 million, that would represent less than 1/1000 of Apple's cash reserves. (0.000629722921914% of their $158.8 billion in cash reserves as of Jan. 2014 to be exact).

    Using these proportions, it would be like saying a human being was severely injured after tripping over a grain of sand.
    Oct 1, 2014. 04:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What 'Bendgate' Means For Apple  [View article]
    Christ. Is that what they're calling it? Adding "gate" to the end of stuff is worse than adding "i" to the beginning.

    zd2002's comment is spot on.
    Sep 26, 2014. 04:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Difference Between Apple And Samsung  [View article]
    Considering market studies report that three times more people switch from Android to iOS than the other way around, the question is not whether the new phones will be enough, but how much the 6's will cut into Android's high end smartphones.

    "Among buyers who switched brands, Apple took three times as many from Samsung (33%) as Samsung took from Apple (11%)"
    Sep 11, 2014. 01:25 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Tell The iWatch What It Can't Do  [View article]
    Good article that hints at the iWatch becoming a new category that reaches outside the traditional watch industry.

    Tech analysts have already guessed at some of these new applications, but has anyone thought much about the health applications?

    There are new portable diabetes pumps that can administer insulin through a patch the user wears instead of a needle. If a medication can be administered without a needle, we shouldn't be far from being able to test a patient's blood sugar level the same way. Once this is in place, developers should be able to create a smart phone app that monitors blood sugar levels, knows when to administer insulin and also stays in contact with a personal physician. The iWatch seems like the perfect device to alert people to these kind of changes in their body chemistry.

    Lifeline is a service that provides a device that the elderly wear around their necks. It is a combination telephone and motion sensor. If a person gets hurt, they push a button and the lifeline service calls for an ambulance. The premium service can automatically detect if a person falls (with a 95% certainty) and automatically calls for help. This seems like another health service that could be replaced by the iWatch.

    These are just two of the ways Apple could open up completely new markets with the iWatch.
    Jun 30, 2014. 01:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Dithers While Google Reinvents The Smartwatch  [View article]
    "Three different high-quality smartwatches are set to be released this summer, so Apple has an increased level of competition in the wearables category already."

    "Currently, the only comparison that consumers have to a smartwatch would be a Fitbit-type device, but products in this category have only sold 2.7 million units in the first quarter of this year..."

    I'm not sure you can have it both ways. Either these companies are spending huge amounts of R&D money to release smart watches because they anticipate that it will become a huge market, or Apple is going to revolutionize a new product category in which crappy products like the Samsung smart watch are only selling 10K units per month.
    Jun 27, 2014. 12:45 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Ecosystem Is Unmatched  [View article]
    Thanks for the article on the convergence of Apple operating systems and how this will help create a seamless user experience over multiple devices. My only correction would be the life span of computers. Anyone who uses MACs for their business will get to a point where the productivity gains outweigh the cost of upgrading. I would say the average turnover rate would be 3-5 years.
    Jun 11, 2014. 02:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Was Wrong About Apple  [View article]
    "Consumers are not stupid. Brand is important but brand alone will not carry double the price of a comparable product forever, and brand loyalty is easily damaged if consumers believe they are being ripped off."

    Source, Michael Blair's voiced opinion (although some would ascribe these pronouncements to another orifice)

    This is the fundamental assumption MB always makes and it is completely false. Operating systems and user experience are the fundamental reason why people are loyal to Apple and the vast majority of them won't change.

    It is also why more Android users than ever are switching to iOS

    There will always be a huge number of people who prefer Android and Windows to the Apple operating systems. Just like there will always be a large number of people who love Apple and who would never change because they love the simplicity, ease of use and customer support that Apple offers. To engage in these kinds of debates is about as useful as arguing which religion is better.

    Setting aside all the people how get a free iPhone with their mobile contract, people are more than happy to pay a premium for top line iPhones and memory upgrades because it represents an extra $10-15 a month for to enhance their lives every day for a period of two years.

    People check their smart phone hundreds of times per day:

    On top of that, people use their smart phone to make calls, do research, take photos, play games, etc.

    When you use something on such a repetitive basis, a small feature that makes your life easier and saves time is worth not hundreds but thousands of dollars.

    It's that simple. The number of Apple users continues to increase on an absolute basis, and that's never going to change because Mr. Blair wants to argue that consumer behavior is the same toward an OS as it is to a brand of toilet paper.

    And as long as that user base continues to grow, Apple revenues will continue to grow, completely refuting MB's valuation projections.
    Jun 9, 2014. 12:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment