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lorin schultz said:brucemc said: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?
The fact that another manufacturer is shouting "ME TOO!" does nothing to make me feel better about Apple's choice. Especially since I'm likely to want another iPhone at some point, whereas I'm not as likely to buy an HTC so am less concerned about what they do.
Perhaps you can explain how you perceive HTC's actions as a vindication of Apple's decision? Or were you just trying to stir up shit, and I bit?
I don't really think HTC's move validates Apple's position. I am sure Apple had this road mapped out for a couple of years now. It was going to be removed at some point, and so they planned for when they felt it was best.
To each there own, but to me it was a fine tradeoff. For phone calls and general use I use the included EarPods. I have Sony over-ear cans with noise cancellation, and can use either the adapter, or buy a new cord (my headphones have a removable cord & are always stored that way, so only takes an inexpensive 3.5mm & Lightning cord to not require the adapter). I just received the AirPods for Christmas, and am loving them. The battery on my iPhone 7 is so much better that I have never had to charge the phone during day, so no issue with not being able to charge & listen at same time.
In return, we got much better water & dust resistance (given a few months since launch and not having a "gate", I would say Apple did much better than Samsung in their waterproofing, so perhaps this was a better path). If the space also allowed better Taptic engine and stereo speakers, I also say it was a good tradeoff.
To each their own of course, but it worked for me.
I've never been with a single job for more than three years.
The fact that you've seen something in your career amounts to a hill of beans. Why don't you then explain Cook, Ive, Schiller, Cue, Frederighi, pretty much every board member of Apple, etc. and how much they "...put in w/one gig"?
Like I said, I work in big tech and a guy staying for over a decade is rare. Citing the very top echelon of executive leadership with their millions upon millions of personal stock investment has very little bearing on the conversation of what is normal. You get that, right?
gmgravytrain said:If that $1T in revenue is a milestone for a consumer product company, then why is Apple always said to be doomed? It's not as though Apple doesn't have any cash resources to acquire whatever they need to move forward. There was some article I saw telling how Apple's next iPhone MUST become the greatest iPhone Apple has ever made or the company is going to be in big trouble. There's this idea that an amazing iPhone will somehow force consumers in poor countries to suddenly have an urgent desire to buy an iPhone they can't afford. To me, that's like if Lamborghini came out with the most amazing vehicle on the planet, I would do anything to buy one. Hardly. No matter how amazing and innovative it is I definitely won't be able to afford it.
Google is going in the opposite direction and I think their strategy makes more sense to promote smartphone sales. Google is trying to make the entry level smartphone cost about $30. (I thought Android One was already a failed strategy but maybe I'm wrong). I can hardly imagine some smartphone that cheap but maybe that's all third-world consumers can afford to spend on a smartphone. I don't know what group Apple is going to be able to convert unless it's to make current iPhone owners get a new iPhone. I know they claim there are switchers from Android smartphones to iPhones but I'm thinking that market might already have reached its limit. Those Chinese-manufactured Android smartphones keep getting cheaper and cheaper and they're always seen as a huge threat to Apple's iPhone business. Those are the smartphones the Indian consumer will likely be buying. If Apple isn't able to find a way to get at least a few more iPhones sold in poorer countries, the company will continue to be perceived as a failing company in terms of growth.
I sincerely hope Dediu knows what he's talking about but I think it will be very hard to convince Wall Street that Apple will be able to survive the threat of dirt-cheap smartphones. Everything Apple seems to do is viewed with doubt and great risk. I'm almost ready to give up hoping Apple will convince skeptics. Tim Cook simply doesn't inspire investor or shareholder confidence like other tech company CEOs do. With buybacks and dividends and good fundamentals, Apple seems like a strong company, but Apple's share price seems to be somewhat stuck in a tight range and the doom and gloom articles are always aimed directly at Apple.
You seem to define success as single metric - "number of units sold". If it were the Olympics and that was how to win an event, then that does matter. But in the world of business, that only matters if it translates into "lasting" profit & growth. Either the units themselves have to be sold at a good profit, or there installed base makes an ecosystem that generates profits. As the numbers published by different analytics firms will show you, Apple leads in profits (90%+) and profitable ecosystem. The only other smartphone vendors that make money are Samsung, and perhaps some of the Chinese vendors (reporting always suspect there). That has been the case now for 7+ years.
The view that smartphones are now a commodity and "good enough" will dominate is a view that ignores reality. Apple today is only about 15% market share, and the rest is already mostly lower end. Those that buy Apple or other high end devices do so because they want a better product (performance, screen, responsiveness, applications and ecosystem, security, privacy, reliability, resell value, etc). Why would the demographic that has valued these attributes today & in the past no longer value them in the future?
Look at every other market. Why doesn't everybody buy the cheapest car that is available? Why are there things such as higher end fashion brands? Why would anyone go to an upscale restaurant when McDonalds is cheaper? Surely it is possible for you to think this one through a bit. In fact, if you look into these markets, you will see that the number of units in the "upper tier" are growing - when people have the means, they wish to spend it on better products.
Apple has spent the entire life of the company building a brand that represents "premium" - ease of use, experience, quality materials, reliability, security... It makes absolutely no sense for them to pursue any avenue which would cheapen the brand. That doesn't mean they can't introduce products which allow more of the population to enter into product category (e.g. iPhone SE at $399). Apple's approach is to entice the consumer to move up to the Apple line. Yes, the vast majority of the worlds population without a smartphone will buy a cheap Android product going forward. Not much money to be made there - it isn't Apple's target. But if the world's economy continues to grow, then a % of the population does move into the zone where they can afford to buy and Apple product, and some of them will. Apple will make more profit on that one sale than perhaps 100 or even 1000 (or infinite...?) $30 devices.
I think Apple is well positioned to grow the company going forward, but the growth in foreseeable future does seem like in the low double-digits or high single digits, given the amount of revenue and profit Apple already make. That isn't a "failure" as Apple is the world's most profitable company by far at their current level. Let's revisit what Facebook's P/E looks like when they double their revenue and then make only 10x less than Apple. You think Amazon will be a trillion $ company - I am not sure even Wall Street would push their valuation that high when making less than $1B in profits in a year (what Apple makes in less than a week...). Google is similarly seeing a slow down in revenue growth, but I do see that they of course could come out with some machine learning product that could lead to growth - question is though on how to monetize.
Final comments - just because other companies in non-related industries are strongly growing (but also quite hyped), doesn't necessarily impact Apple. Facebook being successful doesn't impact Apple. Amazon being successful for the most part does not impact Apple (maybe a bit with some h/w, and in content, but both are relatively small). Google is more of a competitive threat potential, but still not greatly impacting Apple right now (...because there would always be a low-cost smartphone market...Android is it now, but that market would have been filled by another). You think that Facebook and Google will dominate? They are both entirely funded by advertising, which itself is a finite resource (growing roughly a few % in its entirety per year). No matter how good they get, there are only so many advertising $$ to go around, and while they will increase their share, they aren't going to get it all. How does advertising monetize Google Assistant? That is the reason for the Pixel - try to monetize it with premium h/w. Not off to a good start, but it is early & we will see. Going from advertising to selling premium stuff isn't easy - it is as hard as developing great products in the first place, and takes a lot longer.