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All the negative vibers re: Apple


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#1 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted May 29 2013 - 11:33 AM

Comedian Louis CK famously said "Everything's amazing and nobody's happy" and there is no clearer example of this being true.

In an attempt to catalog all of the Apple bears, I'm going to start linking em here.

To be clear, I think most of these are bunk or written by folks who have ulterior motives, but the shear volume of them these days is breathtaking.

This is the one that finally got me to post something:
http://www.businessi...at-apple-2013-5

A gradual loss of supremacy in the smartphone market (relatively slow innovation and new product rollouts that allowed competitors to catch up)
A decision not to launch a lower-price iPhone that is affordable in emerging markets, where the hyper-growth in the smartphone industry has migrated in the past few years
A decision to protect profit margins at the expense of market share, pricing, and aggressive investment in future products
In the tablet market, the abandonment of the "best price AND best product" combination that made the iPad the only viable tablet choice in the first couple of years (now, other excellent tablets are cheaper)
Relatively weak offerings in apps and services, which have allowed Google and other competitors to gain stronger footholds in mobile
Taking too big a cut of app and content revenue, which has prompted some developers to try to find ways to avoid the iOS ecosystem


All stuff I simply shake my head at.

But then they note something I myself have pointed out a few times (backpat/cookie!)

As BI's Jay Yarow observed earlier this year, by the time Apple's developer conference, WWDC, rolls around in a couple of weeks, Apple will have gone a staggering 230 days between new product announcements. That's more than twice as long as any new product gap in recent history. And it's 3-4 times as long as Apple's normal new-product gap over this period.

Given Apple's extraordinary skill at developing, manufacturing, and launching new products, we highly doubt that this drought was planned.

Rather, we suspect that Apple had planned to launch a major new product late last year or early this year, one that would have carried the company through this drought.


Even for apple 9 months is a huge gap. And clearly they could have delayed the iMac to make that a smaller gap, it was rushed needlessly to make holiday and then they didn't have stock.

But.... Perhaps they needed that out of the way to put a line in the sand. To focus on big changes and new products. We'll see.

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#2 of 29 OFFLINE   PaulDA

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Posted May 29 2013 - 12:40 PM

A gradual loss of supremacy in the smartphone market (relatively slow innovation and new product rollouts that allowed competitors to catch up) No single company in today's market could hope to maintain an absolute majority of hardware market share.

A decision not to launch a lower-price iPhone that is affordable in emerging markets, where the hyper-growth in the smartphone industry has migrated in the past few years. And what, dilute the brand? Why?

A decision to protect profit margins at the expense of market share, pricing, and aggressive investment in future products. Again, why? As long as market share does not drop precipitously into the "where are they now" file--better to do things properly than too swiftly and have to course correct.

In the tablet market, the abandonment of the "best price AND best product" combination that made the iPad the only viable tablet choice in the first couple of years (now, other excellent tablets are cheaper). More of the same. The iPad was never "best price" and I would argue the iPad remains the best product even at a "second best price". The gap is not so great as to make the iPad a bad choice. Plus, the excellent (even though not superior) "cheaper" choices are a good thing--they push Apple to innovate, perhaps not as quickly as some critics would like, but who said we need a new device every six friggin' minutes anyway? 

Relatively weak offerings in apps and services, which have allowed Google and other competitors to gain stronger footholds in mobile. Sour grapes and lacking in serious evidentiary foundation. I've compared my Apple environment to my friends with Android and others (my wife's company provides her with a BlackBerry, so I can make that comparison easily and regularly) and I've seen nothing that would tempt me to switch.

Taking too big a cut of app and content revenue, which has prompted some developers to try to find ways to avoid the iOS ecosystem. Like any (including all the competitors) good business in a capitalist economic system, Apple takes the cut it can get. When market forces render that cut too big, they'll adjust. Do these critics really think Apple is run by drooling, brain-damaged gibbons?

 

Is Apple perfect? Of course not. But it's hardly the sclerotic "past its prime" company some bitter critics and observers make it out to be.


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#3 of 29 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted May 29 2013 - 04:46 PM

Sour grapes and lacking in serious evidentiary foundation. I've compared my Apple environment to my friends with Android and others (my wife's company provides her with a BlackBerry, so I can make that comparison easily and regularly) and I've seen nothing that would tempt me to switch.

 

I think, though in this case they aren't really talking about "apps" as far as you can buy on a tablet or phone, but enterprise backend applications that keep revenue coming in.   For example:   Microsoft has Server, SQL, Exchange, etc. that keep quarterly streams of incoming coming in.. and more than that, tend to lock people into services; Google has SEO, GoogleApps.   Both offer their own enterprise Cloud storage and Big Data interfaces.

 

I think for a lot of people (analysts) this is very confusing the direction that Apple has taken.   Over the last few years, Apple has killed off most of it's real enterprise offerings.  Apple X-Serve is basically a dead horse  (I would challenge others to argue otherwise effectively) and Apple long ago killed off many of it's "enterprise" oriented serving background.   Apple has kept it's hardware completely out of the Virtualization game, so while VMWare Fusion exists, you don't find apple services running anywhere in a VM oriented environment, because it can't. 

 

Now, those were all Apple's choices.   And, they haven't really hurt Apple which has basically made the move since about 2007 or 2008 to say: let MS have the corporate world, we're going to grab consumers who want something different.  What a lot of analysts don't seem to grasp is that it's a market sphere that is growing every day, so Apple doesn't need to win every quadrant..

 

This is the problem with Gartner logic.   Everyone thnks there is a magic quadrant to success; but the reality is all you have to do is win your one corner, your one slice of the market and win it very effectively and you are way out ahead.

 

It's why I laugh when people say "Microsoft is DOOMED" as they have predicted for years; they may be mis-managed, I'd agree, but I can tell you that as long as they have: SQL, Great Plains, Server, etc. they aren't bowing out of any market anytime soon, because the sheer licensing money they make from those things, as well as kickback costs and service fees cover a lot of screw ups.

 

I think a lot of pressure is on Apple to do something truly interesting this year because, as Sam noted, it has been a while since a major product launch.   Frankly, if I were to complain about Apple it would be less to do with those things and more that their own software has went the wrong way (IMHO) lately (most notably iTunes).. but to each their own.

 

I'm not worried about Apple on a huge downslide.. and if it slides a lot, I'll snag some stock and laugh my way to the bank later.


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#4 of 29 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 29 2013 - 07:29 PM

Does Apple have its secrecy mojo back? No leaks on ios7 , and its rumored heavily for significant graphical refresh. No rumored new features either. Any hardware leaks for iPhone 5s6 this fall?

#5 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted May 30 2013 - 05:24 AM

Hah, reset the timeline to 0 days:
http://www.engadget....new-ipod-touch/

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#6 of 29 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 01 2013 - 12:14 PM

Hah, reset the timeline to 0 days:
http://www.engadget....new-ipod-touch/

 

This is a pretty weak sauce offering; I'm not sure who will be interested in an Ipod touch with a chopped down camera and limited to 16Gb.  It seems as though this is just a "we are producing the prior iPod in the 16Gb, so here's the new flavor.."   If it's a sign then all iPods may drop the rear cam or ??


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#7 of 29 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted June 08 2013 - 06:48 PM

I keep expecting snakes in this thread.

 

I read the title as "All the negative vipers"



#8 of 29 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted June 09 2013 - 02:06 AM

I'll bring up my crazy AppleTV idea that apple will ship a stripped down iPod touch for its remote. This new release shows them pushing cost and feature set down, though the cost is much too high to be a pack-in for a $99 tv box.

#9 of 29 OFFLINE   HDvision

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Posted June 12 2013 - 09:01 AM

Anyone checked iOS 7? Tried it for a day. I quickly went back, erased the iPhone 4 and put back the Steve approved iOS 6. This was just a plain weird and awful experience, nothing work, the phone stuttered, I couldn't read the hour on the main menu if I used a microscope, and generaly it just doesn't work. (Someone phoned me, I couldn't pick up the call. I phoned him back, and when the conversation was over, I just put the phone down, hoping it would revert to a dark screen as usual. One hour later, the screen was still on, and the battery had lost about 20% charge.)



#10 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted June 12 2013 - 10:44 AM

It's beta.  =)

 

And I'm using (redacted) on my (redacted) just fine.  It's got the usual pre release bugs including (redacted) but I've found more to like than to not.  I'm having a bit of trouble (redacted) but I'm sure it will be fixed in the next point release, we've got at least (redacted) (redacted) until it ships to consumers.


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#11 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted July 24 2013 - 05:40 AM

OK, let's assume that the growth picture is the real stopping point for Apple stocks (I'm not convinced it's that rational, since the explosive growth was never really valued in their stock price to begin with, but whatever), here's the wall:

http://techcrunch.co...-growth-decade/

 

Now, looking at that data you can see that this quarter is usually the slowest growth too, but let's toss that out too.

 

What are the options for increasing growth?

 

- Lower cost products, higher volume (You can guess where I think Apple will prioritize that)

- Product differentiation (ie bigger screen choices), I think this is a non starter too

- New product categories (watches, TV) ok lets say Apple makes a TV, 6 months later and the "What's the next product category gonna be"?

 

Numbing to work through this logic when on the face of it you have a record profit generating machine.  Once again I have to wonder if Apple will zag where others want zigs.  The best way to do this would be to take it private once again.


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#12 of 29 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted July 24 2013 - 06:55 PM

[quote name="Sam Posten" post="3981403" timestamp="1374673211"]
- New product categories (watches, TV) ok lets say Apple makes a TV, 6 months later and the "What's the next product category gonna be"?
 
[quote]

Video games

I want to start a thread on this, when I've got space to put it together. But the pieces are all there:
AppleTV / AirPlay
iOS 7 MFi support of controllers
AppStore
EA single biggest revenue stream is apple
Multi-billion $ industry

And here's where apple magic comes in: entrenched competitors sell hardware at loss and make money from expensive software sold retail. Because of this, hardware is stagnant for 5+ years. And attempts to get developers to adopt paradigm-busting interfaces have had lukewarm results.

Apple sells highly profitable hardware propelled by cheap (but not loss leader) software. Hardware updates incrementally, but significantly, every year. And people have embraced paradigm busting UI change for new games and improvements on old ones.

And unlike TVs and watches, this is a business that consumers are frequent, repeat buyers of software and potentially hardware.

There is an obvious opportunity for apple to embrace video games in a massive way. I think they're obviously setting the dominoes up right now to knock them over. And their backwards approach applied could again be that industry inverting event.

#13 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted July 25 2013 - 05:09 AM

I dont think video games will ever be more than gravy for Apple.  They are happy to feature them as a benefit with iOS but it will never be the entree...


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#14 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 27 2014 - 06:11 AM

It's earnings day.  Consensus on the street is a 4-6% YoY growth factor, will it be enough?

http://tech.fortune....fiscal-q1-2014/

 

On the plus side, Apple likes to introduce updates and new products soon after the earnings report, so bring that on.


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#15 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 27 2014 - 04:07 PM

13 billion dollar profit 'mixed' quarter...
http://www.theverge....1-2014-earnings

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#16 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted April 04 2014 - 06:36 AM

Good advice:

http://www.imore.com..._medium=twitter


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#17 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted April 23 2014 - 09:36 AM

Earnings tonight, roughly 4:30 eastern.  Sharks are circling, everyone is expecting a bloodbath.  Mims points out that the smart money already had their bloodbath on this news, tonight is just the confirmation or kicking the can down the road:

http://qz.com/201885...topped-growing/

 

Mims was just hired to be WSJ's new tech editor today, smart guy.

 

He gives a pretty succinct reasoning for why Apple -has- to make a bigger smartphone, and that is not due to customer demand for bigger phones so much as it is an indication that tablets will continue to be a niche product and that the PHONE form factor is really the leading Post-PC device, not the tablet form factor.  Bigger phones could allow that to continue peaking at the cost of tablets.  Which seems a strange thing for Apple to concede.  Worth thinking about more and watching closely, I remain skeptical =)


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#18 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted April 23 2014 - 12:39 PM

Welp....

http://techcrunch.co.../apple-q2-2014/


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#19 of 29 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 25 2014 - 05:52 AM

Woohoo! Now I have six more shares of AAPL than I did yesterday! :D

#20 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted April 26 2014 - 08:02 AM

Well, you will in June. I might actually be able to afford a few shares...

I'm not a fan of Dilger up till now, his style is usually so abrasive, but I think he finally hits his stride on this one dismantling the poor job the press has been doing and their motivations for doing so:
http://appleinsider...._medium=twitter
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