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  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 03:58 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Should Benefit From This Samsung And Apple Challenger [View article]
    MS surface is a laptop pretending to be a tablet, and this device is a clunker phone pretending to be a netbook. They both fail in each of their 2 roles.

    Maybe Google has bought the best talent and the best startups to create new products, but they remain a web advertising broker in business terms, who needs to pay companies like Apple and Samsung to keep Google services pre-installed on their devices. Success is not inevitable for Google.
    Dec 17 04:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Google Making Motorola A Loss Leader? [View article]
    The problem with Google is greed, arrogance and megalomania, qualities Apple is often accused of. They may end up without a friend in the world, despite excellent services free at the point of delivery.

    So far Google's bargain smartphones have been supply limited. So the bargain price is no more than posturing. The problem with mobile is that successful handset suppliers like Apple or Samsung can direct service away from Google, or else extract billions from Google for the privilege of being the default service on the phone. This has forced Google to put pressure on their "partners" by offering cheap phones and moving Android updates into non open source add on components, so that the manufacturing partners lose the power. If Google continue with their policies to destroy all competition, they will encounter severe antitrust problems. The carriers are a near cartel, and where Apple has proved itself indispensable for carrier survival, Google is less than worthless to the carrier.
    Dec 4 02:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Is Slowly Rotting: Rosy Financials Mask Competitive Disadvantage And Souring Future [View article]
    If you don't understand why 9 million people recently bought iPhones over a long weekend, you don't understand Apple's customers, so you don't understand Apple's business, so you don't understand how to value Apple. Here's a starter clue: it's the carriers that give Apple those high margins. Because they want Apple's customers. Apple's margins are a levy on mobile service, just as Microsoft's margins were a levy on PC sales. Apple's customers are extremely loyal. You have to accept that, even if you think that makes them stupid.
    Oct 27 02:41 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Free Software Announcement - Much Ado About Nothing [View article]
    The individual points made may be true. But it doesn't matter. Free iWork, able to read and write Office documents on every platform with a browser, has Office surrounded. Over the next four years, IOS wIll replace the Wintel PC as the information worker's standard platform. Free software and complete control of hardware will let Apple take their installed base wherever they need to be. Microsoft can do nothing about it. Apple's 20 year programme is finished. It just remains for the competition to accept defeat and Apple to collect the prize. Just as it once was with PCs and Wintel, and with music players and iPod.
    Oct 25 05:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Funds Are Selling Out Of Apple: What You Need To Know [View article]
    After being made fools of by the collapse of Nokia and Blackberry, the money managers made fools of themselves with unjustified fears that Apple is just a lucky fashion gadget maker, crashing AAPL by nearly 50%.

    Far from being totally dependant on inventing the next hit, Apple's market position is so strong they can hold back obvious features for next year or the year after and still make more profit than competitors. Far from inventing new gadgets, Apple just sells carefully designed personal computers in a range of formats, as they have for 35 years.
    Oct 23 09:57 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment