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  • Apple Watch: The Hidden Advantages [View article]
    @Perry - And because of this, Apple is the only company that can deliver a watch. Apple's customers trust Apple to define and build the future, and Apple can move tens of millions of people to a new technology within a few months. Most recent example: Apple Pay. Android heads say Apple is 2 years late to the payments game. But Apple delivered what Google could not.
    Dec 19, 2014. 10:01 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will The Samsung S6 Overtake The iPhone 6? Probably [View article]
    This article emailed to nearly a million. Add links from search, blogs, discussion groups. At $.01/page view, there's a more immediate agenda for the author than hoping $AAPL will go down. Jack Tramiel said "business is war". Read "The Art of War". See how Apple allows the enemy to occupy territory Apple does not need, preferring to be invincible on home territory. See how Samsung takes easy territory (phablets), and worthless territory (NFC and fingerprint readers that aren't good enough to deliver a major user benefit), where Apple builds real solutions like Apple Pay over multiple generations of iPhone (BLUETOOTH LE, Touch ID, NFC). Samsung's business is hugely capital intensive, yet by fighting short term minor skirmishes, they cannot manage demand. Samsung's phone customers are an army of conscripts put together for each battle. Apple's customers are a loyal army that can be moved swiftly en masse to take major territories. Samsung's decision to rip off the iPhone forced/allowed Apple to obtain second sourcing for components while those phablets soaked up Samsung's component capacity. Now Apple steps into Samsung's phone territory, and Samsung has no way to sustain high margin sales. Suddenly Apple has the pricing power in component supply and a wider range of suppliers. Apple has always managed demand and manufactured to meet demand, stepping up demand year after year. That way lies stability and high margins. I suspect MB knows all this, but he may not be writing to spread truth and light.

    The idea that Apple don't know what they are doing because they are "2 years late" with iPhone 6 is absurd. They lost the PC wars. Not going to lose the mobile wars.
    Oct 5, 2014. 03:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • eBay And Samsung Versus Apple Payments: Here Comes The Big Show Down [View article]
    First they have to make a fingerprint scanner that works reliably, and doesn't degrade for at least 3 years. Apple bought the only company that had such a product, and took the product off the market. 2. Applepay is not in competition with the incumbents, but Paypal for sure is. They won't want to cooperate. 3. The customers are intensely aware of the 7% ebay/paypal monopoly tax. When Applepay goes online too, if eBay don't accept Applepay, they will lose their monopoly; if they do, they will lose their margins.

    So there's three things holding back PaySung.

    For many years Microsoft was so strong they could kill anything new just by saying "wait for ours", even though it always took years and multiple releases before the MS solution was good. Making an announcement is a nice try, but for anything to come of it, Applepay will have to fail first. Paypal/Samsung just don't have the strength to stop Applepay with an announcement.
    Sep 21, 2014. 08:43 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Reasons Amazon Should Buy RadioShack [View article]
    It would make 4400 landlords very happy to magically acquire a solvent tenant.
    Sep 17, 2014. 12:46 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Apple Become A Services Company? [View article]
    "as markets saturate, Apple has to make this transition"

    Right there are the two BIG mistakes.

    1. "markets" don't exist in the real world, they are simply a convenient way to group sales into categories. We all know Apple "skates to where the puck will be". The phrase "as markets saturate" implies that the collection of features and services offered by smartphones will be essentially the same going forward, and the ways they are used will remain constant. Nothing could be further from the truth. Look at the original iPhone, which changed the world. The features it didn't have compared to today's smartphones are numerous. However beautiful and well made, it couldn't sell at a premium today. And when, eventually, you look at todays iPhone against what is for sale seven years hence, again the product and the way it is used will have changed completely. The market for the iPhone 1 is indeed saturated and it wouldn't stand a chance. But that's not today's market.

    2. "Apple has to make this transition". No it doesn't; customers already buy their iPhones for the services they can access, and the trustworthiness of a provider that doesn't sell them to advertisers. Apple is already a service company, and it is the character of those services, together with the quality of the hardware, that enables the premium price. Customers prefer to "own" services rather than rent, just as they prefer to own their music.

    There are lower priced iPhones; they are the second user iPhones. Simultaneously, the resale value of an iPhone enables the premium customer to replace his phone every two years, and that in turn enables Apple to move its customer base forward to where the puck will be. And it saves Apple from needing to "piss in the soup" by offering a cheaper product. iPhone users rarely switch away unless they have no prior experience of Android, and a used iPhone, with all the free updates and free services that Apple offers, is a cost effective way into the ecosystem.

    So: the article is nonsense. But I suspect the author knows that. Everyone that understands Apple's strength (including me) is constantly checking to see if Apple may have some vulnerability. Once again, this isn't it. The article is clickbait to boost the author's earnings. Readers keep clicking to make sure each "sell AAPL" article is still nonsense.
    Sep 2, 2014. 02:35 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Biggest Threat - Declining Prices Of Computing Devices [View article]
    Apple is a new species of megacorp which self disrupts and constantly changes, not a dominant player defending a static market, as this analysis presumes. It is irrelevant to say: if Apple continues sitting on this lily pad, it must lose weight or sink. Apple actually hops constantly from lily pad to lily pad chased by competitors. The constants in the situation are Apple, and consumers; not "the market" or "the product". The useful analysis is to compare the customer relationships sustained by Apple and by its competitors.
    Jun 29, 2014. 07:24 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google, Amazon May Join Xiaomi, Micromax In Leading Smartphone Prices To The Basement [View article]
    The two year value to a platform-owner of a smartphone, in terms of tracking the user, and of advertising to the user, far exceeds the manufacturing cost. So an end user price of zero, off contract, is already unsustainably high. But the value of that two year connected smartphone experience to the user is many times greater still than the platform owner's value. The maximum conceivable selling price of a basic off contract smartphone is the sum of these two values. There is no problem for smartphones to continue to sell at high prices, where the experience delivered justifies it, and the connected ecosystem works for the buyer, rather than for those that want to exploit the buyer.

    The problems for Google are that for various reasons, they don't properly control their own platform, and they don't place the user first in the parts they do control. Apple and Microsoft are the two that are fully in control of their platform, and Microsoft doesn't have critical mass in installed base to be able to move technology forward.

    This is why Apple is currently the one taking 87% of the profits, and why that will continue to be the case. Another way of saying it is that the smartphone market (whatever that is) is worth seven times as much to Apple as it is to everyone else put together.
    Apr 21, 2014. 10:28 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Really Doomed? [View article]
    Can I just say that Apple makes personal computers and always has. iPhone is a personal computer, iPod touch is a personal computer, and iPad is a personal computer. What Steve Jobs did is much simpler than people sometimes make out. What he had behind him was the experience and failures of Apple II, Mac and Next.

    Ideas are cheap. Look at Google. Or even at Microsoft, with all the initiatives that went nowhere (eg the "big ass table"). It's easy to design a "fantastic" new product. But it will simply fade away without years of preparation to launch it into a market preconfigured for success, which is what Apple did with iPhone and iPad.

    To make a difference now that Apple is so big, a new product needs to be huge. Organic growth is what is achievable for Apple now, with or without Steve Jobs.
    Mar 24, 2014. 03:06 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • If Tim Cook Does Not Care About The 'Bloody ROI', Does He Care About The 'Bloody Stock Price'? [View article]
    The share price is directly determined by the market, not the CEO. Only those selling want a high price, and they won't be shareholders any more. Thus the CEO manages operations for the long term, with little regard for the current share price. Tim Cook's uncharacteristic show of emotion signals that he's expecting to release major news in the next 6 months, and all the small minded criticism of him is finally going to be answered.

    The share price is probably down because sheep-like institutional investors have been duped into the idea that Apple is no different than Blackberry and could go downhill any time. Watch out for another violent swing up from AAPL. This time, institutional investors may finally get it. There's a good reason why Samsung copies everything Apple does: that's where the innovation is.
    Mar 3, 2014. 03:42 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Onslaught Of High Performance, Low Cost Smartphones Spells Trouble For Apple [View article]
    Apple is a customer relationship company, not a gadget maker. Carriers may bleat about "subsidies" (which are actually purchase financing), but since they are uniquely positioned to bundle financing, and since iPhone delivers the greatest ARPU, and the loyalest subscribers, they don't really have a choice. If they really scrap financing, their revenues will crash, and they will become the dumb pipes Steve Jobs originally wanted. Apple can then become a global MVNO, powerful enough to make carriers loss making, and takeover of the customer relationship from carriers will be complete.

    This is the reality that created Apple's current position, and will maintain it. Because otherwise, Apple could end up controlling the trillion dollar carrier business even more completely. There's nothing they'd like better than the guaranteed regular income of the carriers. Don't forget that Apple can make phones as cheaply as anyone, and bundle them with service, once they become MVNO.

    The analysis of this article is correct if Apple throws away their control of the customer relationship, and also licences clones, as they once did with Mac.
    Feb 27, 2014. 01:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Moore's Law, Not Apple, Is Driving The Mobile Market [View article]
    The argument is invalid because the smartphone requires service, and (a) the price of the service substantially exceeds the price of replacing the phone every 2-3 years, (b) the marginal cost to the carrier of providing service is almost zero and (c) Apple is an ecosystem and customer relationship company, not a commodity chip supplier. The customer attributes the quality of his experience to Apple, and is generally antagonistic to the carrier, who is seen as a "necessary evil". Therefore, the carrier finances the purchase of the iPhone, thus locking in the unwilling customer for a contract period. Because there are multiple carriers, with mandated competition, in most markets, if this setup ever collapses, Apple can become an MVNO, and the carriers degenerate into brandless utitility companies. I believe this setup will be broadly stable for a few more years.
    Jan 29, 2014. 08:12 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple EPS Setup Against The Whisper Number [View article]
    About your advice to Apple management to be more open: Remember the story of the boy who cried "wolf"? Announcing new stuff in the form of prototypes, without doing the years of preparation needed to make a market for them, is the way to make even your good ideas flop. For years Bill Gates, then Steve Ballmer, would announce new stuff at CES. But it nearly always flopped. The worthlessness of such announcements is shown in this Microsoft video with spoof commentary:
    Jan 27, 2014. 10:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Will Be The Main Victim Of Microsoft And Google Cutthroat Smartphone Pricing [View article]
    Price matters, but until the carriers stop needing Apple to deliver the best subscribers, carriers will do what's necessary to get iPhone to their subscribers. First Verizon, then Docomo, and now China Mobile have capitulated on this. Apple locks them into long term contracts, so it's far from trivial for the carriers to extricate themselves. Apple works with incumbents to exploit markets, milking revenue. They don't like it, but it's their best option, and Apple is safe behind their strength. Google thinks they can destroy incumbents and take everything. But they can't. It may even turn out like Blackberry and Microsoft - continuing to grow for 5-10 years despite a losing strategy.
    Jan 3, 2014. 08:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Screwed Up Big Time [View article]
    Apple must be upset by this state of affairs. But it's silly to say that it's simply love of high margins that made Apple choose an "inferior" screen. Much more likely a combination of some of: -Apple committed to IGZO and made investments when it was the best option. -the screen Amazon used on the preproduction HDX wasn't an option when Apple committed. -Amazon's screen isn't available in the volumes Apple requires. -the screen Amazon uses can't deliver the battery life Apple requires. (Gamut is only one metric for a screen.)

    Note that the ipad mini screen is also 40% or so larger in area than the HDX screen. They aren't direct alternatives.

    Would the iPads be overall better products than they are, using the same type of screen as the HDX? We don't know. Is Apple upset that a different display technology has leapfrogged the one they committed to (in gamut). Certainly.
    Jan 1, 2014. 04:22 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Potential Threats This Tech Giant Is Facing [View article]
    Perhaps the most glaring mistake is the assertion that iWork is only available on Apple devices. Not any more. iWork documents can be opened and edited with browsers, including IE, Chrome and Safari.

    Google's biggest threat is the balkanisation of the internet through Apps and Portals replacing web sites and browsers, so that Google loses control of ad placement. Paradoxically, Android is accelerating this process.
    Dec 31, 2013. 03:58 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment