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  • Apple stock hits all-time high of $133.29, market capitalization approaching $700 billion

    sog35 said:
    All time high?

    Did time begin last year?

    Because I seem to remember a high around 134 and 1/2. About two years ago. 
    All time high Close (price at end of day)

    $700 billion is impressive. But if you take out Net Cash its actually worth less than Google.
    Actually, not if you do the same with Alphabet.  Apple's net cash is ~$150B ($246B-$90B debt with a bit of rounding down).  So Apple's value - net cash is ~$547B.  Alphabet's valuation is $575B, but they have ~$80B net cash, so Alphabet - net cash =~ $495B.

    Of course, one is doing it with a P/E of 16, and the other a P/E of 30...(P/E's not calculated excluding cash).

  • How Apple achieves the high-gloss 'jet black' color on the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus

    designr said:
    "Apple in fact warns that this layer ismore prone to showing scratching and scuffing, and hence people should use a case if they want to keep a device untarnished."

    LOL. They spend all of this time and energy creating this gorgeous shell...and then recommend people cover it. This is in the same vein of phones that are getting so thin that you need a case just to be able to pick them up.

    Irony: It's what's for dinner.

    Serious question.  What do you recommend as a better course of action?  Try to think of this from Apple's perspective, or just any business, not the perspective of someone simply looks to criticize.

    1) Not produce such a finish in the first place?  
    - Consider though that reviewers who had access to the iPhone 7 on Sept. 7th said this was the best looking model.
    - Apple gets more than its fair share of criticism that its devices are lacking "dazzle" or "wow factor".  One way to do that is to have a really great looking finish.
    - Lots of positive press for Samsung with the Edge, even though it makes the device more fragile and has no (real) benefits.  But it is "cool"

    2) Not recommend a case for those that want to maintain a pristine look for the phone.  Wouldn't the complaint then be that Apple wasn't being honest?

    3) Make a jet black material with a magic quality that is impervious to any scratches?
  • Apple iPad decline continues with 19 percent drop in holiday quarter

    In comments during an investor conference call on Tuesday, CFO Luca Maestri said sales were higher than expected, noting iPad captured 85 percent of the market for tablets costing more than $200. The company's earnings release further touted satisfaction and business adoption in a subsequent conference call.
    This comment is actually the most interesting info. I would have easily believed 85% of say over $400 or $500, but over $200??!!  So there really isn't a tablet market - just an iPad market - with a low end video / game device and toy market. 
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  • How Apple achieves the high-gloss 'jet black' color on the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus

    williamh said:
    sog35 said:
    designr said:
    "Apple in fact warns that this layer ismore prone to showing scratching and scuffing, and hence people should use a case if they want to keep a device untarnished."

    Apple is simply protecting themself from stupid law suits.

    Instead of trying to protect themselves from lawsuits by warning of a problem they know people will have, perhaps they would better serve their customers by sticking with more durable finishes.  It seems Apple is so enthralled by their own cleverness that they can't give up a flawed finish.  Why should anyone care how complicated it was to make the phone really shiny? And then advise us to hide the shine?
    They have 4 other colours/finishes.  No one is forced to buy this model.  Apple is being upfront about the potential for scratches and so a case can reduce the risk.  You are not forced to read this article and feel bothered by it.
  • Apple an 'antifragile monopoly,' more secure than critics believe, analyst claims

    Everybody needs to chill out. Go and listen to the Critical Path podcast (latest one), which is hosted by Horace Dediu, who did the work. He provides all of the context around the few snippets that AI has used here in this article.  

    He is not implying that Apple has a traditional monopoly at all - he clearly states the opposite. He basically talks about the big 5 in tech, and how the reason for the much higher P/E ratios attributed to the others is that they are perceived to be "like" monopolies (none of them are traditional monopolies either).  The clear leaders in their field, with no real competition in their core business, and big barriers to entry. 

    Apple is perceived the opposite - no end of competition. Always under attack. The iPhone killer is right around the corner.  Hence discounted to the S&P 500 average, while the others are much higher. But he then looks at pricing power, and notes that Apple has maintained or increased pricing in most products over time. iPhone and Mac at highest levels in recent quarter.  That Apple has very strong market power like a monopoly.  And that with Facebook and Google their price per unit of advertising is going down (overall revenue still rising of course). So he simply asks the rhetorical question - who is the monopoly.  And perhaps, given Apple has been in business for 40 years, perhaps they are not so vulnerable after all. 

    Anti-fragile is used due to the fact that Apple does face competition all of the time, and thus in order to succeed over the decades they have developed the culture, processes and approach on how to deal with that. Likening it to someone who is exposed to infections all the time and develops resistance. And this might make Apple stronger in the long run than some of the firms who are like de facto monopolies. 

    But what does he know vs the geniuses on the AI forum...
  • HTC's new U series phones follow Apple's iPhone 7 in eliminating headphone jacks

    It is awfully quiet here...where are the dozens of posters that said the iPhone 7 abandoning analog audio out was the stupidest decision ever?  
  • Apple's iPhone, Samsung phones nearly equal in J.D. Power satisfaction survey

    Clearly having your phone catch fire / banned from flights / recalled / shutdown doesn't impact customer satisfaction.

    Good to know.
  • No, an LTE-equipped Apple Watch will not come with a physical SIM card

    well first of all, there is no real legitimate reason to include LTE in a watch. all you need is 3G. AT&T says for a watch you do not need more then 50 mb a month! second of all, if they go apple sim, then that means its just going to be like the iPad. and Verizon will want none of that. and no one on verizon will be able to use it. so you will need to have a regular sim card slot. you are free to express your own opinions on your insider website , but lets deal with the facts. and lets be realistic.
    LTE utilizes a global standard (although across different bands in different countries), where as 3G was split between UMTS and CDMA (your Verizon example).  LTE is also more power efficient.  Given the LTE deployment state, there is no need for Apple to support the older 3G technologies on a device category like Apple Watch.

    No compelling reason for a cellular Apple Watch to support voice - data only would support 90+% of all use cases (supporting voice via VoLTE, FaceTime, Skype, etc...).
  • Apple captured 540% the profits of Samsung Mobile in 2016 as China's phone makers battled ...

    avon b7 said:
    maestro64 said:
    sog35 said:
    avon b7 said:
    Avon B7 said, "No manufacturer of low or mid tier phones has even the slightest intention of massive profit. Comparing those profits to those of Apple serves little or no purpose."

    If maximizing profits isn't the goal, then it's time for those companies to get out of the business. 

    The criticism of the points DED made with statements like this are pretty ridiculous. 

    Apple and Samsung are the only two companies capable of reliably profiting from the smartphone industry. Samsung primarily in components and Apple in the finished product and vertically integrated system. 

    Samsung is attempting to move to Apple's vertically integrated model much to the consternation of Google. Samsung's plan is to move off of Android all together and over to Tizen. Samsung's Tizen phone sales in India are pretty nice. And it is quite worrisome to Google. Because if Samsung is successful, the only high end players will be Apple and Samsung. And neither will be running on Android.

    So it actually be self-fulfilling if the low end Android device manufacturers aren't interested in large profits. Because it won't happen. There will be Apple and Samsung. The others, including Huawei won't be playing at the high end of anything. Samsung's Gear S3 makes the Android wear watches from Huawei and LG look atrocious. 
    You appear to be confusing 'massive' profit with 'maximising' profit.

    My point is that low to mid tier manufacturers can't get away with 30-40% margins and they know it. That isn't part of the plan.

    Huawei hasn't even stretched its legs in the premium segment but has already released a phone well over the $1,000 mark and has units at all the price points down to the entry level. It took such a jump on quality with the P9 that it has allowed itself to take a breather with last week's P10 announcements which were more lifestyle focussed. Expect a bigger jump later in the year with the successor to the Mate 9 and perhaps an attack on the US market.
    Sorry dude. But Huawei is in deep SHIT.

    They missed profit targets in the phone division and massive layoffs are coming:

    “Huawei will not pay for those that don’t work hard,” which suggests the company may start cutting back jobs. Huawei employs a total of 170,000 people, with 45% of them working on research and development. A Huawei engineer is quoted by Reuters as saying “everybody is nervous” since they know they are now at risk of being laid off.

    Deep SHIT Huawei.

    As Apple dominates the top end and cheap POS china phones start under pricing even cheap SHIT Huawei phones.

    Huawei will quickly disappear into irrelevance like Xiaomi before it.

    You do know that Huawei is a government funded business entity, as long as Huawei is doing things which the China government feels is in the best interest of the country they will be fine and will be around for a while longer. It has nothing to do with whether they are making money or not. As far as I know Xiaomi does not fall into the Huawei category of business in China. I do not know how the Government see them in the big scheme of things.

    jbdragon said:
    lwio said:
    and Apple makes an increasingly large profit from services including the App Store were Android makers have a very hard time making anything at all.
    This is the problem with Android, and Windows has gone through the same type of thing. Android phones have turned into a commodity. There is very little money to be made in selling the hardware. Everyone is fighting each other to sell the phones and so prices drop down to nothing. So then like windows, you throw on 3rd party crapware because you get a little money from that which is better then breaking even or losing money. People don't like that crap on their phones. The only real winner with Android is Google because they're making money from their services and from Ad's. Google doesn't care if you make money selling Android phones or not, Google still wins. If you disappear, there's always someone else to take your place. Google still wins. Google's services have to be up front and center. Other company's are trying to offer their own things. Samesung had done their MILK Music service thing which has failed. They're trying to make money with Samesung Pay, which in the end will fail over Android Pay. Google is trying to sell their Pixel phones at iPhone prices. I don't think they're selling all that many of them. Android all this time has been marketed as the CHEAP phones. Why would you then turn around, stop selling cheap NEXUS phones and sell iPhone priced Pixel phones? It's just not going to work well. China is the exception to the rule so much in that Google doesn't have a presence in China. So people there are going to 3rd party App stores. Pirating like crazy and Viruses are running rampant there. You can fork Android, but then you can't use Google's services and there's a lot of other Negatives to go along with it. Amazon tried with their Fire Phone and it bombed. The EU is trying to do something about it, but I don't see how. There's no money in selling low end to mid range phones. Who would you rather be, Android (Everyone) selling 1 BILLION Android phones and breaking even or Apple selling 1 iPhone and making a $50 profit? How about 10 billion for Android, still breaking even, or 10 iPhones making a $500 profit. So who's winning? Well the Investors and Android fanboys will say Android, they have a huge Market share over Apple, Look 10 billion Android phones to 10 iphones. Not even close. While everyone else with a brain will say Apple WON. They actually made a $500 profit and only had to sell 10 iPhones to do it. You've heard the saying, "Work Smarter, not harder!" What is Market Share in the phone industry getting you?
    Forgive me for taking a simplistic approach but there is an angle you haven't touched on. Android handsets sell 10 billion. Let's run with that notion but forget Google, Apple, Samsung etc. just for a second. Let's forget the profits or lack of them. That means 10 billion people got a phone and it serves their use, for better or worse, but it satisfies their use. That angle is key.

    Let's put the manufacturers back in and we see Apple were ignored by 10 billion shoppers. 

    Should Apple stay premium and ignore those 10 billion users and hope there are enough left to keep buying high margin, premium phones well into the future, or move into a lower tier in the hope of selling much more units?

    Will the main future earnings drivers be unit sales or services?

    If services are going to make up an ever increasing part of revenues, doesn't it make sense to have the largest possible pool to feed off? Surely that pool implies getting a lot of the 10 billion onto your platform or should Apple open up its platform to Android users?

    There are lots of possible scenarios but most of the ones that involve services require the highest possible share to feed off. The same logic applies to 'home kit' style devices.

    I'm in the camp that says smartphones have hit the comfort zone and shoppers can get far more than they ever could out of a mid tier phone and that premium prices will be a harder sell in a saturated market with a decent spread of top class phones. Past the iPhone 8/7s I see Apple having a harder time shifting units in the premium segment.

    The problem with some "simplistic" approaches is that they miss the nuances of the "real world":
    - Android has been outselling Apple in units sold for the last 7 years.  In any year of the last 4 there has been no stop commentary that Apple will soon be commoditized.  Yet Apple has managed to grow both their iPhone h/w sales and services sales.  Services have been growing ~18% YoY over last few years.

    - You assume that every smartphone buyer is the same w.r.t. services potential.  History and the real world have shown that to be false.  Those with more disposable income tend to purchase more expensive devices, and also are more willing to spend on s/w, content, and services.  Those who seek out lower cost devices often don't want to pay for the extras.  Hence why Apple continues to lead (after 9 years) still with revenue from App Store vs. the much larger Android installed base.

    - You assume that in a market which becomes saturated all that matters is price.  That is true if no differentiation, but Apple continues to differentiate in many ways (h/w itself, longevity & reliability, s/w, content & ecosystem, payments, security, and increasingly differentiated accessories).  In a case study of how a company can grow revenue in a commodity / saturated market, I present you with Apple and the Mac.

    - You ignore the present and historical data regarding Apple's customer satisfaction ratings and retention.  Simply put, most iPhone users will upgrade to a new iPhone (of some variety) - not move to a different vendor.  Sure, there are some, just as Apple gets Android switchers (many estimate this 2nd number is much higher than first).  While the upgrade cycle lengthens, it doesn't alter what most of that installed base will upgrade to - and it is not likely to be Huawei, Samsung, or Oppy.

    - You believe that people will only ever purchase "what they need".  That there is no brand value, or desire for something better, or customer satisfaction, or resale value, or ease-of-use value,....  Perhaps that is how you and your friends think.  You buy all of your clothes at the lowest price location, most of them looking the same, as there is no need for anything else.  I can tell you though that others don't think this way.

  • New Apple 9.7-inch iPad aimed squarely at iPad 2 owners looking to affordably upgrade

    entropys said:
    sog35 said:
    macxpress said:
    If the iPad 2 still does everything someone wants then there's still no compelling reason to upgrade. There's no wow factor here. Nothing that makes someone say I gotta have this! Sure, maybe the price will lure some in, but as I've said before, I don't think price is an issue. If you release an iPad with features that make someone want to buy it, they'll buy it at yesterday's prices. I don't really see where at least on the consumer side where price has been an issue as of late. Even when the US was in a recession Apple had record sales. 
    the weight and A9 makes this an insta-upgrade from iPad2-4

    No it doesn't. This heavily used iPad 4 (currently main home machine as iMac video card died and I won't pay a premium price for two gen old current iMac. Waiting, waiting) still works OK, starting to lag a bit, not as bad as our iPad 2 though, so OK. But increased snappiness is not enough. I will keep on plodding with the iPad 4. Maybe if the iPad 2 was all we had..

    What this enforced iPad only experience has taught me is that what iPad needs is a better, more flexible and powerful iOS. The hardware is fine. But it will not be a desktop replacement until it can manage groups of files, as one example of a long list that is pretty much all software based with the exception of maybe, a USB port. But a non phone iOS is what it needs to be an Insta-upgrade.
    There is a subtle distinction that many don't get.  Apple is not advertising (nor targeting) the iPad as a "desktop replacement" by replicating PC functions, but rather as a great "computer" for many that don't need those functions.  I am pretty sure that Apple is NEVER going to add a user-visible file system, mouse, pure USB port, Terminal, etc - to the iPad.  They already make a Mac for that.  The iPad is a great computer for those that don't want or need the complexity of a file system & indirect UI with mouse, prefer touch based system as it is easier to understand, like the more secure system, mobility, etc.  The iPad "feature gaps" you note are by design.

    I do hope that Apple does continue to add new s/w and h/w features specific to iPad to improve is usefulness, enable more use cases, support new workflows, etc.  We saw this bit s/w wise in IOS9, and of course h/w wise with the Pro lineup.  It definitely needs more functionality for keyboard navigation.  Handwriting recognition for small tasks like markups, notes, etc - would definitely enhance its value.  Continue to take the friction out of some multi-tasking.
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