Hi, and a warm welcome to my new Instablog on Seeking Alpha.
This blog aims to offer unbiased commentary on the state of financial markets and how this relates to investing in stocks connected to the smart phone / tablet / app revolution.
Many talk about a new internet bubble forming with sky-high stock prices for cloud-computing companies, huge hype around the new tablet computing platform, and a general bullishness reminiscent of the dot-com era. However it is my opinion that we are only at the beginning of a new paradigm in web-connected mobile devices which will revolutionise the way we interact with the web.
Apple is a company that divides opinion right now. What was once a niche uber-cool brand has, for many, become a huge monopolistic behemoth which threatens to dominate the landscape in the way that Microsoft did in the 1990s. However,
there are many parallels developing between Apple's iOS and earlier Apple products which, due to their 'closed' ecosystem, ultimately lost out to Microsoft Windows. Google now threatens iOS with the Android OS, and the defacto standard has yet to be established. The product development cycles from Motorola, Samsung and Nokia are ever-shrinking as they strive to catch up. Amazon lurks in the background with a newly launched App Store and cloud data store of its own.
In the meantime, Apple itself shows no sign of slowing down, both with out-and-out growth, and innovative new products. Its iPad tablet has huge first-move advantage and is making big inroads into the enterprise and education markets. There is every sign that tablet computing will become as big as the iPod - and subsequently the iPhone - did during the last decade.
Combine this with Apple's App Store and the clones which this has generated, and you have a huge new marketplace which simply did not exist a few years ago. From the firms involved in writing apps, to the networking companies which provide the infrastructure to cope with the huge surge in data volumes, to the hardware manufacturers which produce the handsets - make no mistake, this is a big deal for investors.
Although a lot of this is already reflected in stock valuations for many of these companies, I continue to believe that the true scale of this revolution has yet to be recognised by the market. I have been investing in Apple since the launch of the iPhone in 2007 - unfortunately later than many - but enough to see strong growth relative to the general market. I believe that there is a lot of room to run in AAPL despite its huge market cap, which probably puts off a lot of new retail investors who believe they have 'missed the boat'.
I will be writing about the risk and reward of investing in Apple shares, as well as the wider app/mobile ecosystems of its competitors and the companies which stand to benefit from this new paradigm. I will be tackling some of the big issues currently facing Apple and its competitors, and how to profit from both short and long-dated Spread trades, as well as holding ordinary shares. I hope you find this insight interesting, and I welcome any comments which help to create a balanced view of investing in this exciting sector.
Disclosure: I am Long AAPL through ordinary shares and may initiate further trades as market conditions dictate.