Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
  • It May Be Time for Apple to Buy Sprint  [View article]
    As a point of possible interest, Google bought up thousands of miles of dark fibre some years ago without ever revealing their intentions (as I recall). So far as I know, this remains largely unused. I thought at the time they might have been planning an alternative to a cellular network, lighting up the dark fibre between high powered WiMax locations.... or something!
    Jul 30, 2011. 07:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It May Be Time for Apple to Buy Sprint  [View article]
    I am unclear why Apple would take the risk of becoming a competitor to its partners in exchange for cash-flow. I'm not aware that cash is a problem for Apple, either in flowing form or static, stuffed under the Cupertino mattress.

    Having said that, you guys are all much more experienced in financial matters than myself, so I can't claim any insights as to ways of optimising cash usage: my problem has always been acquiring the damn stuff in the first place!

    Apple doesn't do things to make money. Sounds strange, but that's how it works. It builds products its own people would love to have and then figures its customers will come buy them, too. It's never built a me-too product so far as I can recall, and it's hard to see how any existing network infrastructure would be anything other than a me-too offering for a long time into the future, because of regulations and so on. Unless it could add Apple sauce in overpowering dollops to make something new and unique, I don't see the company going that route, and even if it did have a special sauce in the cupboard, my bet would be it would license that to incumbents.
    Jul 30, 2011. 09:35 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • It May Be Time for Apple to Buy Sprint  [View article]
    I see the rationale used to support the idea that Apple would benefit from buying Sprint, but I still think the disadvantages would outweigh any conceivable advantage.

    Firstly, because competing with your partners does not make good business sense in general: they will find a way to get you, and why bother when they're selling millions of your devices at full price for you on their dollar?

    Secondly, because cell networks are more or less fungible: Apple really scores when it can use its brilliance to differentiate. What could it add to Sprint to make it compelling over ATT or Verizon?

    Thirdly, because somewhere there is a new technology that will either replace cell networks, or remove the need for them, or provide bandwidth in a novel way. If Apple were to become a bandwidth supplier, it seems to me it would likely be with such a technology. As an example ( I am not suggesting this particular technology is something Apple would be interested in per se: it's just an example of a possibility):

    "The IEEE standards body that oversees the development of WiFi technology announced today a next-generation WiFi 802.22 technology designed to facilitate wireless data transfer up to 22Mbps over great distances up to 60 miles, or a hundred kilometers. The interesting thing is, the new technology is utilizing television bands without interfering with reception of existing TV broadcast stations:

    This new standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRANs) takes advantage of the favorable transmission characteristics of the VHF and UHF TV bands to provide broadband wireless access over a large area up to 100 km from the transmitter. Each WRAN will deliver up to 22 Mbps per channel without interfering with reception of existing TV broadcast stations, using the so-called white spaces between the occupied TV channels.

    The technology will be great in rural areas and developing countries with vacant TV channels, IEEE says. In our view, this could also knock out any rationale for the much talked-about AT&T/T-Mobile merger. For example, why use pricey cellular data if your phone is within the range of a 802.22 hotspot?

    Apple is one of the leading backers of WiFi and has long ago incorporated wireless capabilities to all their products. As of recently, Apple ships its Macs with souped up WiFi capable of hitting 450Mbps over wireless networks, even though they aren’t advertising this as a feature."
    Jul 29, 2011. 03:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Mania Warranted?  [View article]
    Thank you for your observation Camden.

    I used to dine occasionally with a Professor of philosophy and logic from my alma mater. The subject invariably slid around to why people believe what they believe and the lengths they will go to in order to bolster their position.

    He warned against people force-feeding words into your mouth. His advice was to ignore them and discuss the subject with somebody else.

    A most telling piece of advice, I thought. One that saves many hours otherwise wasted trying to use logic and reason to prise open a door that remains resolutely locked and barred, pinned to which is the dismal notice 'No Callers'.
    Jul 29, 2011. 07:22 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Mania Warranted?  [View article]
    I stand by my characterisation that anyone who says people buy Apple products only because they have been bamboozled by hype is delusional.

    Millions of people every months take their hard earned cash out of their wallet and buy an Apple product. They do so because they have figured this represents the best deal for them. It's an insult to their intelligence, and to their ability to rationally consider their options, to say they are only doing so because they've been conned by some slick marketing story. There IS no slick marketing story. Apple products are what they are and do what they say they will do.

    Not everyone thinks Apple represents the best deal for them, of course: everyone is entitled to their opinion and it is, after all, their money. I respect their decisions to buy other products.

    What I object to is the constant beating of the drum that all decisions to buy Apple are dumb. I submit that anyone claiming this is indeed deluded (from the verb DELUDE: impose a misleading belief upon (someone); deceive; fool:)
    Jul 28, 2011. 04:10 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It May Be Time for Apple to Buy Sprint  [View article]
    Why would Apple become a competitor to its carrier partners? Why would anyone consider a kamikaze deal such as this?

    The day Apple invests in a commodity such as bandwidth is the day it loses the plot. Never is a long time, but I simply can't see Apple going this route in the foreseeable future, when there are so many highly profitable options for its future.

    Now high-powered WiMax combined with a mesh of low powered relay technologies... now you might be talking. But they won't need to buy a carrier to do this, being Apple they'd probably invent the whole thing themselves and lease it to any carrier that's interested.
    Jul 28, 2011. 03:52 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Mania Warranted?  [View article]
    I think one is entitled to doubt the sagacity of anyone who claims, persistently, that Apple will NEVER succeed in business because the Mac is too expensive, and then go on to say most of the success Apple does achieve is the result of hype and blindness on the part of ignorant consumers.

    There's not a shred of evidence to support these wild claims, yet they go on being made with boring repetition.

    Aligned to a wildly improbably notion that RIM will soon recover to $70, whilst Apple will fall dramatically (actually at least one is on record as saying the fall will be as low as $270, when, apparently, this maestro of the crystal ball plans to buy back into Apple), this for me at least condemns these naysayers to oblivion. They can be safely ignored. A detachment from professional, realistic analysis based on reliable data and established methodology allied to a strong attachment to delusions about why people buy Apple products in huge - and growing - numbers render their opinions unworthy of consideration.
    Jul 28, 2011. 07:17 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The iPad's Potential: Bigger Than You Think  [View article]
    I know some people sneered when Steve Jobs characterised the iPad as 'magical'. Before touching it, I have to confess, I too wondered if there was more than a bit of hyperbole going on. Not that there's anything wrong about being excited about your product, they are like babies to developers and everyone is proud of their new kid. But just a few seconds after lifting an iPad off an Apple desk I saw what Jobs was on about.

    The last time this happened to me in the tech field was when my colleague showed me the first iteration of the OS that would become Macintosh. A white screen with a picture of a folder was all there was to be seen. He positioned a cursor over the folder and clicked twice. Damn me if it didn't open up and I could see what was inside. I thought it was magic. That was a Eureka moment in 1982 or early 83.

    It would be hard to recreate that magical moment, but the iPad comes pretty close.

    For an older generation which may never had anything to do with computers before, to have an iPad put in their hands... well, as you say, you have to beat them off. If that's not magic, I'll eat my mouse.
    Jul 27, 2011. 12:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Undervalued at $400  [View article]
    "They deliver an excellent technology experience in most of their products (Final Cut Pro X is a disaster!)"

    Are you sure? My reading is that it is a game changer in the way it handles multiple streams in realtime, something no other solution can do, so far as I know (at least nothing on the desktop). As such it presents a huge forward move.

    The only apparent drawback is that ProX cannot import projects from the original Final Cut. This is because of a radically different architecture and file format, required by the new architecture. No doubt this is a disappointment for many who have unfinished projects in Final Cut who would like to take advantage of the new functionality in Pro X to finish their projects, but that's the way it goes sometimes with technology. Sometimes you just have to move on. Building bridges to the past sometimes just doesn't make economic sense: you can either spend your resources doing that, or spend them on building for the future.

    Apple could have positioned and launched the Pro X better so as not to build disappointment for the Final Cut community, and no doubt several rockets were fired in the direction of those who failed to do this. But this error should not, in my opinion, detract from recognising the significant forward move in video editing and movie making made possible by Pro X.

    Or have I got the whole thing wrong?
    Jul 27, 2011. 11:38 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Undervalued at $400  [View article]
    Oh! I am a dumbo! I just kept thinking of Derren Brown!
    Jul 26, 2011. 05:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Undervalued at $400  [View article]
    You may be right in saying RIM was outpaced by tech, but I think the evidence points elsewhere.

    Given their engineering talent it's perfectly possible they could have designed and brought to market a valid competitor to the iPhone, say within a year (this is just a guess.)

    But from the evidence we have been given by insiders it is clear the joint CEOs considered the iPhone when it launched to be a joke. They reportedly dismissed it out of hand as a toy that would NEVER appeal to business, and were perfectly happy for their company to carry on with their BlackBerry design plans. They dismissed the camera ('no business needs a camera'), they dismissed mp3 ('no business wants people playing music'), they dismissed the touchscreen ('useless compared to a physical keyboard), the idea of apps was simply dismissed, they thought it could never be made secure enough for corporate email. We are told that when the engineering team looked inside the iPhone and saw 'it was just a little circuit board strapped to a big battery' this only cemented in the joint CEO's minds that the thing was just a toy. (More technically and farsighted people might have concluded 'if they can do this with just a tiny circuit board.. what are they capable of when they get motoring' but apparently this thought never crossed their minds)

    Since RIM is a company where (we are told) only 2 voices count, no team was put onto building a response to the iPhone and Apple was given a free run that has led, as we know, to a serious (some say it could even be fatal) undermining of RIM's entire business. Indeed, insiders tell us that even to this day, nobody dares be seen using an iPhone inside the company.

    Heads in the sand.
    Jul 26, 2011. 04:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Undervalued at $400  [View article]
    Great story! Love it!

    Derren Brown, a UK master at manipulating thought patterns and a sophisticated magician (the 2 are intertwined of course) shot a very interesting movie. On the pavement at a very busy intersection in London he drew a circle in yellow chalk inside of which he placed a £20 note - about 50 bucks. He then secretly filmed hundreds of people as they passed by. Not one of them stopped to pick up the note. After an hour he passed by himself and picked it up.

    I don't know what this means either.
    Jul 26, 2011. 04:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Silent About Fake Stores in China  [View article]
    'I have been waiting for a press release to hit the wires, but thus far there’s no response from Apple regarding the issue.'

    If Apple responded to every issue concerning it, its products or its people it would have a staff of thousands working in PR.

    I prefer it that, by and large, Apple lets its products do the talking.
    Jul 26, 2011. 04:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Undervalued at $400  [View article]
    Good point.

    Hard to stay humble when you're that successful!
    Jul 26, 2011. 03:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Undervalued at $400  [View article]
    Thanks.. I hesitated before posting as my comments do not relate directly to the numbers, so I appreciate your response.
    Jul 26, 2011. 02:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment