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Apple to enter a new golden age in 2010 with 70% earnings growth

post #1 of 125
Thread Starter 
In the four years I’ve followed Apple (AAPL) grow from a mere mid-sized tech stock to becoming the second largest corporation in the United States in terms of market capitalization, I never imagined that it or any other company of its size would be able to consistently grow its earnings by well over 50% a year.

While Apple is now larger than Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG), Cisco (CSCO), Hewlett Packard (HPQ) and Intel (INTC), Apple still enjoys the growth rate of small cap tech stocks. A few weeks ago I wrote a detailed article entitled Apple’s $63.5 Billion Revenue Year where I offer comprehensive revenue estimates for Apple’s fiscal Q3 and Q4 of 2010 – a must read for any Apple investor.

This article will pick up where that report left off, and take a look at Apple’s potential 2010 earnings. To get an idea of how deeply Apple continues to penetrate the market, last year the company produced 50% less in sales and over 71% less in earnings than it will this year. That means the 2010 Apple is nearly 50% larger than the Apple of 2009 – almost an entirely different company. If this growth continues into 2011, Apple will surpass Exxon (XOM) to become the largest corporation in America. Not to mention that it already has more cash than any other company in the United States - $41 billion.

That is absolutely stunning when one considers that Apple recorded a whopping $43 billion in revenue during the 2009 reporting period – almost double the $24 billion it recorded in 2007. While the market continues to generally slobber over the financial prospects of the iPhone and Apple’s business, I think it’s important to step back and examine exactly where Apple’s business stands. We often hear about the strength of Apple’s stock in very general terms. Yet, we rarely get a broad picture of Apple’s past, present and future growth rates.

Not only is Apple accelerating its revenue, it’s pushing more of that revenue to the bottom line. But while its sales are accelerating, the growth in the cost to run the entire Apple operation is barely climbing. This means Apple is becoming increasingly efficient at printing money as it makes more revenue per dollar spent to run the operation. This is something that every company, big or small, could only wish to achieve. It is very difficult to accelerate sales as a large cap tech stock while tempering costs.

Based on the analysis presented below, I’m expecting Apple to report $15.51 in earnings per share (EPS) on an explosive $63.409 billion in revenue in 2010. That compares to $9.08 in EPS on $42.9 billion in revenue in the fiscal year ended 2009. The two tables below outline my revenue and earnings estimates for Apple’s 2010 fiscal year. For those who would like to see my track record on Apple, you can find that record at Philip Elmer-DeWitt’s quarterly analyst review published in his Fortune column ‘Apple 2.0.’



Again, this report will focus on Apple’s income statement based on the revenue estimates I’ve already published. For those who are interested on how I arrive at these revenue estimates, please refer to that article. I will also be publishing a detailed analysis of my Q3 2010 estimates in an earnings preview ahead of Apple’s numbers due out after the bell on Tuesday, July 20, 2010. Thus, to get a full picture of Apple’s 2010 fiscal year, I will present a detailed analysis of how, based on a projected revenue estimate of $18.9 billion for Q4, that a forecast of $4.90 in EPS logically follows.

Gross Margin Estimates: 41.9%

Anyone can draw relatively reliable quarterly estimates for Apple simply by analyzing the seasonal trends of consumer spending of Apple products. Once one arrives at rigorously thought out revenue estimates, he or she must then perform an analysis of each line item of Apple’s income statement starting with gross margin.

Gross margin is the amount of money Apple makes on each of its products less the cost it takes to make those products. The only costs considered are the manufacturing cost, the bill of materials, and the packaging cost. These costs are called the cost of goods sold or ‘COGS.’ Subtracting the total cost of goods sold from Apple’s overall revenue will give you Apple’s gross margin.

Determining what Apple’s total gross margin will be in any one of Apple’s fiscal quarters requires an understanding of which of Apple’s product tend to carry higher gross margins, a careful analysis of Apple’s guidance for gross margin, the seasonal trend, the strength of the U.S. Dollar relative to the Euro, and whether a newly introduced product carries a higher or lower gross margin relative to the company’s average.

For example, in Q2 Apple reported 41.67% in overall gross margin percentage. The relevant information required to forecast gross margin for Q3 is: (1) Apple’s comments where it guides down gross margin to 36% owing to supposed lower margins on the iPad; (2) the seasonal trend which suggests that Q3 is stronger than Q2 for the past 4 years; (3) the amount by which Apple generally beats its own forecast (its sizable), (4) the number of iPhones Apple sells as the iPhone possesses the highest gross margin of Apple’s products, (5) the collapse of the Euro which suggests that Apple will see some pressure on ASPs this quarter (though Apple has admitted to be hedged for this potential event) and (6) the lower ASP on the iPod and Macintosh this quarter.

Based on an analysis of these issues (which I will publish in my earnings preview), I arrive at a 40.3% gross margin estimate for Q3. For while Q3 generally outperforms Q2, the weakness in the dollar, and the introduction of the iPad will undoubtedly put margin pressure on Apple this quarter.

Yet, when looking at Q4 gross margin estimates, one must consider the fact that Apple will likely sell well over 11 million iPhones due to the introduction of the iPhone 4. Knowing the iPhone to enjoy higher gross margins than Apple’s other products, one should conclude that overall gross margins will strongly benefit from huge iPhone sales in Q4.

Moreover, since the introduction of the iPhone, Apple’s best quarter for gross margins has been Q4. In Q4 2008, gross margin jumped from 36.28% in Q3 to 38.57% in Q4. In 2009, Apple saw a 1% increase from 40.92% to 41.82%. As Apple is set to record explosive iPhone 4 sales in Q4, I’m expecting gross margin to rise to 41.9% from the projected 40.3% I’m expecting in Q3. The chart below outlines Apple’s gross margin percentage from 2006 to 2010, which include my estimates for Q3 and Q4 2010.



Operating Expenses: $2 Billion

Based on the gross margin percentage estimate of 41.9%, I’m looking for Apple to post $7.922 billion in overall gross margin. To arrive at operating income, one must project operating expenses. Operating expenses are all the expenses related to running the Apple operation. The geniuses at the Apple store, Steve Jobs’ $1 income, the rental cost of all of Apple’s retail stores, the employees, the paperwork, the Apple campus in Cupertino and all other money spent to run the company are all what is included in operating expenses. Based on the current trend in Apple’s guidance, one can produce almost exact estimates for operating expenses.

There are several quarters where I was able to forecast these expenses almost perfectly because Apple would regularly guide $40 million under the actual results. Picking up on this trend, it has been relatively easy to predict these expenses. Yet, one must also consider the growth trend of these expenses to help facilitate a strong forecast.

For Q3, I arrived at an estimate of $1.850 billion in operating expenses based on Apple’s guidance, and based on the trend. Knowing that Q4 tends to be one of the highest quarters in terms of operating expenses due to Apple mass hiring to meet consumer demand of the iPhone and back to school shopping season, I’m expecting a $150 million bump to $2 billion in Q4. The chart below outlines Apple’s operating expenses from 2006 to 2010. Q3 and Q4 are merely estimates and actual results may vary.



Operating Income, OI&E and Income before Taxes

To arrive at operating income, income that Apple generates from its primary operations, one must simply subtract operating expenses from gross margin. Remember operating expenses are those expenses that only include the costs to run the entire Apple operation. Gross margin, on the other hand, is the amount of money Apple makes on the sale of each of its goods (revenue) minus the cost it takes to bring those goods into existence i.e. to make those goods. Thus, for Q4 I’m forecasting an operating income of $5.922 billion, which is the difference of subtracting $2 billion in operating expenses from the projected gross margin of $7.922 billion.

Yet, companies will regularly make and/or lose money on the sale of property, from interest on their cash deposits, or from investments. Good accounting requires that we keep that income or loss in a separate category because it would be inappropriate to suggest that income from an investment should be part of the income that Apple receives from the sale of its goods.

So under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) we have a line item in the income statement called “Other Income & Expenses” or OI&E. Though the dollar amount of OI&E is generally a small amount compared to Apple’s operating income, it can and will regularly affect EPS and so it should be taken seriously. Based on Apple’s guidance, which generally undercuts or overstates OI&E by $5 million, I’m projecting OI&E to come in at about $50 million for Q3 and $35 million for Q4.

Finally, to arrive at income before a provision for income taxes, one only needs to add operating income to OI&E. In this case, I’m expecting $5.922 billion in operating income, and $35 million in OI&E for Q4. Thus, we arrive at a net income before taxes of $5.957 billion.

Provision for Income Taxes & Net Income

Income taxes can greatly influence the outcome in earnings per share, and thus demands careful consideration. Evidence suggests that Apple will post some very favorable tax rates for Q3 and Q4 of 2010. In Q2, Apple already posted an unusual low tax rate of 23.7%, and looks to continue that rate, based on its guidance, in Q3 and probably in Q4. Q4 is generally Apple’s most favorable tax rate quarter but only slightly better than Q3.

For Q3, I’m estimating a tax rate of 23.4% based on Apple’s comments for the quarter. I’m also expecting a very favorable rate of 23.0% in Q4. Thus, based on a tax rate of 23.0% for Q4, I’m looking for Apple to record a post tax profit of $4.587 billion in fiscal Q4. The chart below outlines Apple’s tax rate, inclusive of my Q3 and Q4 estimates, from 2006 through 2010.



Earnings Per Share

Once you arrive at net income, the job is basically done. One only needs to divide net income by the number of projected outstanding diluted shares to arrive at Earnings Per Share or EPS. Based on a projection of 935 million shares outstanding at the end of Q4 2010, my estimates are calling for Apple to report $4.90 in EPS on $18.906 billion in revenue versus the current consensus of $3.73 in EPS on a conservative $16.54 billion in revenue. The chart below outlines Apple’s EPS growth from 2006 to 2010. This chart presents undeniable evidence that Apple has entered yet another golden age of growth. Apple is truly firing on all cylinders.







Apple’s Earnings History

The four tables below present Apple’s revenue and earnings history from 2006 to 2010. Due diligence begs the average investor to have at least a general working knowledge of these tables. These income statements have been amended to account for Apple’s new GAAP accounting measures. These new accounting measures were implemented in Q1 2010 resulting in dramatic amendments to each of Apple’s fiscal quarters between 2007 and 2010. These income statements can also be found on Apple’s website.



Apple’s Year over Year Growth Rates

The three tables below outline Apple’s (AAPL) year-over-year growth rates for the past 3 fiscal years. The first thing that should be noticed is how Apple’s growth rate decelerated in 2009, and then reaccelerated in 2010. These tables are a very useful guide for performing fundamental analysis and establishing price targets on Apple. Also note the 75% net income growth and the 70.8% EPS growth in fiscal 2010. If this type of growth continues into 2011, then Apple will likely see $350 sometime next year.



Andy Zaky is a graduate from the UCLA School of Law, an AppleInsider contributor and the founder and author of Bullish Cross -- an online publication that provides in-depth analysis of Apple's financial health.
post #2 of 125
Sloppy financial reporting really bothers me:

"To get an idea of how deeply Apple continues to penetrate the market, last year the company produced 50% less in sales and over 71% less in earnings than it will this year. That means the 2010 Apple is nearly 50% larger than the Apple of 2009 almost an entirely different company."

No, if Apple increases sales by 50% in 2010, that means that 2009 revenues will be 33% less, not 50% less.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #3 of 125
That's a lot of data and charts.

But this, from the same site that says iPods are an insignificant source of revenue at $1.2 billion.
post #4 of 125
I love these articles most of all.
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #5 of 125
Marvelous.

Now, how does Apple intend to appease iPhone 4 customers over the death grip issue? (The "stunning" bars issue is entirely separate). A free bumper or credit for a previously purchased bumper seems reasonable to me.
post #6 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I love these articles most of all.

Sure makes those annual proxy ballots fun to fill out.

post #7 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Marvelous.

Now, how does Apple intend to appease iPhone 4 customers over the death grip issue? (The "stunning" bars issue is entirely separate). A free bumper or credit for a previously purchased bumper seems reasonable to me.

After issuing a press release, they plan to get on with their lives.

Unfortunately now that Apple makes very popular sub $500 products, all the cheapskates are hanging around looking for the slightest perceived offense to validate entitlement feelings and wishes.

If you want an Apple branded piece of rubber, cough up the $30 bucks. I'm sure most of these whiners have saved enough from their pirated software and content to afford it. Bam!
post #8 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxygenhose View Post

After issuing a press release, they plan to get on with their lives.

Of course they have lives. Their lives will be even better and longer if the cover-up ends sooner rather than later. Cover-ups have a tendency to cause more harm than the original issue.

Quote:
Unfortunately now that Apple makes very popular sub $500 products, all the cheapskates are hanging around looking for the slightest perceived offense to validate entitlement feelings and wishes.

If you want an Apple branded piece of rubber, cough up the $30 bucks. I'm sure most of these whiners have saved enough from their pirated software and content to afford it. Bam!

Sadly, you are misinformed.

Incidentally, smoking can be hazardous to your health.
post #9 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Sloppy financial reporting really bothers me:

"To get an idea of how deeply Apple continues to penetrate the market, last year the company produced 50% less in sales and over 71% less in earnings than it will this year. That means the 2010 Apple is nearly 50% larger than the Apple of 2009 almost an entirely different company."

No, if Apple increases sales by 50% in 2010, that means that 2009 revenues will be 33% less, not 50% less.

No, he's correct. He's working backward.
post #10 of 125
So by the numbers given and some extrapolation on my part (40% earnings growth in 2011, 2012), Apple could have $100B in cash as early as the end of 2012 (net income + 3% return on cash), barring any major (multi-billion dollar) acquisitions.

What on earth would Apple do with $100B in cash?
post #11 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Marvelous.

Now, how does Apple intend to appease iPhone 4 customers over the death grip issue? (The "stunning" bars issue is entirely separate). A free bumper or credit for a previously purchased bumper seems reasonable to me.

Despite all the news about this, it doesn't seem to be a real problem for most people.

A free bumper would be a very big problem for all of Apple's partners selling cases. It would kill their businesses. Everyone on the various sites writing articles about this recommending that Apple do that are forgetting this. The best Apple could do is to offer an amount back on cases people bought. Proving that it was bought because of this problem is itself a problem for Apple. How much could they offer? $5, $10? For how long?

Since reviews have said that the 4 has much better reception in places where signal is low, and the older phones drop calls, or have other problems, how much of a problem is this really? It seems more a problem of perception than otherwise.
post #12 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Despite all the news about this, it doesn't seem to be a real problem for most people.

A free bumper would be a very big problem for all of Apple's partners selling cases. It would kill their businesses. Everyone on the various sites writing articles about this recommending that Apple do that are forgetting this. The best Apple could do is to offer an amount back on cases people bought. Proving that it was bought because of this problem is itself a problem for Apple. How much could they offer? $5, $10? For how long?

Since reviews have said that the 4 has much better reception in places where signal is low, and the older phones drop calls, or have other problems, how much of a problem is this really? It seems more a problem of perception than otherwise.

Totally agree. I have a 4 and i've seen this issue... I was one of the ones complaining about it here on these forums on launch day. You know what, though? I really did just learn to hold it a little differently and the rest of the device is so amazing I'd never dream of returning it. I don't think Apple is going to have any problems selling vast quantities of these things even if there is no "fix".
post #13 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxygenhose View Post

After issuing a press release, they plan to get on with their lives.

Unfortunately now that Apple makes very popular sub $500 products, all the cheapskates are hanging around looking for the slightest perceived offense to validate entitlement feelings and wishes.

If you want an Apple branded piece of rubber, cough up the $30 bucks. I'm sure most of these whiners have saved enough from their pirated software and content to afford it. Bam!

The thing is, unlike skin cases, which are a thin rubber molding, the bumper isn't. it's a rigid plastic rim, with a rubber surround on both sides, and includes bonded in metal buttons. It may not seem like much but it costs more to make than the simple molded rubber parts which cost $20 to $25.
post #14 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

A free bumper would be a very big problem for all of Apple's partners selling cases. It would kill their businesses.

There are already class action lawsuits over the iPhone 4 reception when the users have the option to take it back, void their contract and get their money refunded. I postulated on a different thread if the solution was to cover it up how the lawyers would see it, not to mention the lawsuits from case makers.

PS: Has your upload speeds increased and latency gone down since yesterday?
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #15 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by siromega View Post

So by the numbers given and some extrapolation on my part (40% earnings growth in 2011, 2012), Apple could have $100B in cash as early as the end of 2012 (net income + 3% return on cash), barring any major (multi-billion dollar) acquisitions.

What on earth would Apple do with $100B in cash?

Buy Adobe just to kill Flash permanently out of pure spite?
post #16 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by siromega View Post

So by the numbers given and some extrapolation on my part (40% earnings growth in 2011, 2012), Apple could have $100B in cash as early as the end of 2012 (net income + 3% return on cash), barring any major (multi-billion dollar) acquisitions.

What on earth would Apple do with $100B in cash?

They could give some of it to me.
post #17 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Despite all the news about this, it doesn't seem to be a real problem for most people.

Right, it isn't a problem for most people most of the time. I agree with that. The problem is that it easily and dramatically arises--even if the user doesn't recognize the cause--when holding the phone "the wrong way".[/QUOTE]

Quote:
A free bumper would be a very big problem for all of Apple's partners selling cases. It would kill their businesses. Everyone on the various sites writing articles about this recommending that Apple do that are forgetting this. The best Apple could do is to offer an amount back on cases people bought. Proving that it was bought because of this problem is itself a problem for Apple. How much could they offer? $5, $10? For how long?

Well, Apple needs to figure something out. It's their design, their product, their problem.

Quote:
Since reviews have said that the 4 has much better reception in places where signal is low, and the older phones drop calls, or have other problems, how much of a problem is this really? It seems more a problem of perception than otherwise.

The iPhone 4 has the best reception when it's not being held "the wrong way". When held "the wrong way", which is the natural way, it often has no reception.
post #18 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There are already class action lawsuits over the iPhone 4 reception when the users have the option to take it back, void their contract and get their money refunded. I postulated on a different thread if the solution was to cover it up how the lawyers would see it, not to mention the lawsuits from case makers.

PS: Has your upload speeds increased and latency gone down since yesterday?

Class action lawsuits are often a bunch of BS. Ever since Apple has done well, people creep out of the woodwork trying to suck some money out of them. If we read reviews of phones going back for years, we see that many have terrible reception. How many people sued the makers of those phones? Pretty much none. Rarely do any of these lawsuits go anywhere, which is why Apple ignores them. They would have to prove that reception is worse in a significant way, often enough so as to make the phone unusable significantly more so than the average phone. Good luck with that!

Reception earlier today was wonky. I've been getting upload and download speeds that are all over the place, for both the phone and iPad. Several times though I got upload speeds in excess of 175Kbs. But other times less than 50. One time with the iPad, I got 4Kbs download, and 0Kbs upload. But immediately afterwards, 1847 download and 154 upload.
post #19 of 125
You guys who continue to complain about Apple and its products completely miss the lesson to be learnt from this article.
Apple, under Steve Jobs, has clearly demonstrated how really dumb IT companies like Microsoft and their followers are, and that a long-term strategy based on quality rather than price can have spectacular results. Let's just hope all the MBA programs are putting together case studies that illustrate why Apple has been so successful. They could even distribute those case studies on an iPad!
post #20 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Right, it isn't a problem for most people most of the time. I agree with that. The problem is that it easily and dramatically arises--even if the user doesn't recognize the cause--when holding the phone "the wrong way".[


Well, Apple needs to figure something out. It's their design, their product, their problem.


The iPhone 4 has the best reception when it's not being held "the wrong way". When held "the wrong way", which is the natural way, it often has no reception.


It's still got better reception than most other phones most of the time.

The bar and reception drop when gripped in certain ways is not an Apple problem alone. The "wrong" way is not a natural way for most people either. Only a few. And it seems that many people who have the problem have it because they read about it and duplicated the "grip" from what they read, and then decided they had a "problem" which they didn't before.

Others who had the problem made slight modifications to the way they held it, and the problem went away. That's what we all do with our phones, whether we realize it or not.

Look at this YouTube video of the Nokia N97 showing the exact same problem. And that's with an antenna inside the unit. Of course, the N97 was a crappy phone to begin with, so no one cared.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZvCQfQxiPM&hd=1
post #21 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by siromega View Post

So by the numbers given and some extrapolation on my part (40% earnings growth in 2011, 2012), Apple could have $100B in cash as early as the end of 2012 (net income + 3% return on cash), barring any major (multi-billion dollar) acquisitions.

What on earth would Apple do with $100B in cash?

If things continue as they are, they should have just enough cash to buy Microsoft.
post #22 of 125
post #23 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Marvelous.

Now, how does Apple intend to appease iPhone 4 customers over the death grip issue? (The "stunning" bars issue is entirely separate). A free bumper or credit for a previously purchased bumper seems reasonable to me.

There are some nice iPhone 4 cases for about $20. They're relatively rugged and look nice. They'll protect your iPhone 4 investment from scratches and maybe some short drops for the life of the iPhone 4 contract. Anyone with even a lick of sense doesn't have to wait for Apple to improve the iPhone 4's reception or give them a bumper. I think that anyone with enough money to purchase an iPhone 4 should be able to afford to buy their own case.

There's some jackass doctor who's initiating a lawsuit because he's forced to carry two cellphones since he says the iPhone 4 drops his calls. He's worried about his patients not getting through to him. Most doctors draw down pretty decent salaries. He must be either too cheap to buy a case or too damn lazy to just return his iPhone 4 and get something else. I believe this highly-educated jackass is trying to prove some point about Apple not being able to screw consumers and get away with it. Of course, doctors would never try to deceive their own patients and get more money out of them. Nobody is twisting this doctor's arm to keep the iPhone 4, but I suppose there are always some people who want to become comic book superheroes and fight for the rights of mankind. It's not about the money, of course, it's the principle of the matter.
post #24 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonkin View Post

Once you get past the Ford ad:

http://www.theonion.com/video/new-ap...e-to-ta,17693/

That was very good, I can (almost) see Apple doing that.
post #25 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Not only is Apple accelerating its revenue, its pushing more of that revenue to the bottom line. But while its sales are accelerating, the growth in the cost to run the entire Apple operation is barely climbing.

Yes, it really is a big deal to have more than one iPhone model - say, a CDMA iPhone.

Apple's success isn't a happy accident.

Great article with some interesting insight - thanks!
post #26 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by siromega View Post

So by the numbers given and some extrapolation on my part (40% earnings growth in 2011, 2012), Apple could have $100B in cash as early as the end of 2012 (net income + 3% return on cash), barring any major (multi-billion dollar) acquisitions.

What on earth would Apple do with $100B in cash?

Yes. They'll probably have $100 billion in cash very soon. No one has any clue as to what the hell Apple plans to do with that cash. IF they were smart, they would have purchased a shit ton of their shares when Apple's share price was at $80. Interestingly enough, Apple will have over $80 per share in cash in just a few years. Can you believe the market got that irrational with the share price?
Andy M. Zaky
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Andy M. Zaky
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post #27 of 125
I hate to burst the fanboy bubble here (count me as one) but Apple's revenue and profit growth is threatened by their dependance on outsourced manufacturing. A combination of rising chinese salaries, a stronger yuan, and economic and supply chain factors will force Apple to raise prices (already did on the Mini) or to take a hit on their profit margins (not likely).

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-...Report-366390/

It may be time that Apple looked to taking manufacturing in-house once again. Foxconn/Hon Hai employees about 800,000 workers. More than a quarter of that number work on manufacturing Apple products. That's about 10 times as many workers as Apple has on its payrolls. Naturally one would imagine that highly automated factories in the US, Mexico, and Europe could replace many of those workers and be just as efficient and cost effective. Why it takes that many workers to produce a small number of products is a mystery. Are they assembling the Apple products by hand?
post #28 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Of course, doctors would never try to deceive their own patients and get more money out of them. Nobody is twisting this doctor's arm to keep the iPhone 4, but I suppose there are always some people who want to become comic book superheroes and fight for the rights of mankind. It's not about the money, of course, it's the principle of the matter.

I agree: Apple should be held accountable.

You do realize the costs and inconvenience associated with reverting to a previous phone.
post #29 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It's still got better reception than most other phones most of the time.

For all it's benefits, the unexpected dropped calls, missed calls and missed communications are what's at issue. As a crude analogy, Major League Baseball doesn't condone drug use even if players are setting records. Neither should Apple let stand a flawed design just because it's better most of the time.

Quote:
The bar and reception drop when gripped in certain ways is not an Apple problem alone. The "wrong" way is not a natural way for most people either.

On the contrary, the "wrong way" is natural for most people and is the manner of holding the iPhone 4 that Apple demonstrates in its own promotional videos. An unnatural cupping of the base of previous iPhones would cause reception problems. The iPhone 4 issue is far different, as it merely requires a light touch at the bottom left to completely kill reception in low-signal areas where other phones (previous generation iPhones) are able to make a call and are not so sensitive to normal handling.

We have seen reception drop isn't the problem. It's reception killed (hence death grip). I know of no other manufacturer who has this issue with their phones, nor has any previous model iPhone had this issue. It is no coincidence the iPhone 4 is the only one with an antenna exposed as part of the frame where the user is likely to touch it.
post #30 of 125
Apple is only paying a 23% tax rate? How can that be when the corporate rate is 36%? They are obviously not paying their fair share. The government is losing billions of dollars of revenue due to some tricky accounting!
post #31 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Of course they have lives. Their lives will be even better and longer if the cover-up ends sooner rather than later. Cover-ups have a tendency to cause more harm than the original issue.

There is no cover up! The issue is the bar display is not an accurate logarithmic progression - it's back loaded - it shows 5 bars until the signal starts to really drop off, then goes from 5 to 1 quickly. In other words, it's overly optimistic. That's the software fix that Apple is talking about, making the bars represent more of what is happening in the real world.

It has NOTHING to do with the antenna design. There is no hardware problem. The main hardware problem is users don't like extending antenna's and the FCC has regulations about how much radiation can be exposed to a users head so the antenna is moved to where your hand is. Your hand is full of salty water and great at absorbing radio frequency radiation, so there you are. You can make the 3Gs and 3G do the same thing with the bars when upgraded to OS4 - the fact that the metal is exposed has nothing to do with it. Heck, you can make any cell phone with an internal antenna at the bottom where you normally put your hand do it! Unless you are in a faraday cage with controlled transmitters in a controlled environment, field tests are pretty much useless. One minute you could be on one tower, the next minute (that could coincided with you shifting the phone when changing grip, etc.) you can be on another. Farting around with a phone - any phone, not just an iPhone - and expecting to get any kind of meaningful data is purely anecdotal and far from conclusive.

If you really want to get informed about radio frequency radiation, design considerations and an all around interesting discussion I highly recommend you listen to This Week in Tech episode 255:

http://twit.tv/255

Specifically, the discussion gets good around the 34 minute mark when Leo starts asking some of the points you are making as questions, and Spencer Webb does a great job explaining why the bumper has a small effect - from moving your hand away from the antenna and not because it is "insulating" your hand from it. He points out that RF energy is not like electrical current. It's a pretty good discussion overall, and if you are really interesting in learning something and not just agitating on the Internet to hear yourself complain I highly recommend you give it a listen (or watch - they also have video up).
post #32 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

It may be time that Apple looked to taking manufacturing in-house once again.

I've been waiting for this - the first Macintosh and NeXT lines were automated. I think the problem for Apple is that all the components come from overseas as well. As someone pointed out, it's far easier to assemble the product near the point of origin for all the sub-components and then ship a completed product once than ship over lots of parts.

Then again, maybe it isn't and Apple is building a secret set of factories somewhere Production (or the lack of) does seem to be their main limiting factor. Lack of demand sure isn't (death grip "problems" aside )
post #33 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyzaky View Post

Yes. They'll probably have $100 billion in cash very soon. No one has any clue as to what the hell Apple plans to do with that cash. IF they were smart, they would have purchased a shit ton of their shares when Apple's share price was at $80. Interestingly enough, Apple will have over $80 per share in cash in just a few years. Can you believe the market got that irrational with the share price?

It's not irrational, unless you're talking about the big drop rather than the current price. I was fortunately able to buy more at about 80. Have you looked at the P/E? It's 20. That's not high at all for a growth company. Cisco's is a bit over 19. Even though RIMM's stock is way down from earlier this year, the P/E is still over 23. Google's is also way down, but the P/E is over 20 as well. Look at ARM's P/E, it's over 59!
post #34 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

For all it's benefits, the unexpected dropped calls, missed calls and missed communications are what's at issue.

Then your doing something wrong, since the iPhone 4 easily rides out areas where my 3G and 3Gs would drop. And I'm not alone - Anadtech and others have published that the iPhone is demonstratively better than it's predicessors

Quote:
It is no coincidence the iPhone 4 is the only one with an antenna exposed as part of the frame where the user is likely to touch it.

Actually it is a coincidence (combined with 1 part angry blog and a thousand parts of internet echo chamber). Listen to the TWIT episode and become informed. It might save you from looking like a nonsensical idiot.
post #35 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It's not irrational, unless you're talking about the big drop rather than the current price. I was fortunately able to buy more at about 80. Have you looked at the P/E? It's 20. That's not high at all for a growth company. Cisco's is a bit over 19. Even though RIMM's stock is way down from earlier this year, the P/E is still over 23. Google's is also way down, but the P/E is over 20 as well. Look at ARM's P/E, it's over 59!

Yes I'm fully aware of the fundamentals. I'll be writing a comparative analysis of Apple versus several large cap tech stocks over the next few weeks. Here are my comments of Apple in the $80's:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/1029...-sector-stocks

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/forums/viewthread/74040/
Andy M. Zaky
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post #36 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Free2B View Post

Apple is only paying a 23% tax rate? How can that be when the corporate rate is 36%? They are obviously not paying their fair share. The government is losing billions of dollars of revenue due to some tricky accounting!

Want to eliminate tricky accounting? Eliminate production taxes and switch to use tax. Drop all other taxes and just have a national sales tax. Illegal alien? Creative Accounting? Irrelevant. You consume, you pay tax. Everyone pays the same share. It simplifies the system, eliminates a bunch of bureaucratic red tape...

It will never happen since 90% of the time when people are crowing about "fair" payment of taxes, they want those better off than them to simply pay more than they do. Too many people like the current system because it's so complicated it's easy to manipulate.
post #37 of 125
In other news: Google is losing its Mojo. lost $58 Billion in stock value in 6 months.



http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/07/mark...buzz/index.htm

Quote:
Google's down nearly 30% in 2010, worse than the drops experienced by top rivals Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) and Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500).


Quote:
It's also looking more and more like Google, despite all its efforts to diversify, may be a one-trick pony after all.

Quote:
Some investors are also worried that Google has not been able to replicate its market dominance in other areas -- most notably, in the world of mobile devices and social networking.
post #38 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesw View Post

Some investors are also worried that Google has not been able to replicate its market dominance in other areas -- most notably, in the world of mobile devices and social networking.

That's the problem with dominance - it's fleeting. That's why Apple isn't focused on blind market share. Profitability is a far more logical goal - and if that strategy hasn't been validated by Apple's continued success then I don't know what will convince people.
post #39 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

There is no cover up!

Then can we call it Apple's not taking direct aim at the real issue?
Quote:
The issue is the bar display is not an accurate logarithmic progression - it's back loaded - it shows 5 bars until the signal starts to really drop off, then goes from 5 to 1 quickly. In other words, it's overly optimistic. That's the software fix that Apple is talking about, making the bars represent more of what is happening in the real world.

The number of bars displayed is indeed software. Apple was "stunned". Gosh, oh, golly. The press repeats the story and naively assumes this will address the antenna design problem. From my own observations and the number of similar observations posted on the 'net, I'm quite certain it won't.
Quote:
It has NOTHING to do with the antenna design. There is no hardware problem.

Right, the bars displayed is all about software. I agree with that. The real problem, though, is complete loss of reception when a perfectly good (even if low) signal is available.
Quote:
The main hardware problem is users don't like extending antenna's and the FCC has regulations about how much radiation can be exposed to a users head so the antenna is moved to where your hand is. Your hand is full of salty water and great at absorbing radio frequency radiation, so there you are.

Oh, please. When was the last time you saw a cell phone with retractable antenna? We're talking about an issue with the iPhone 4 as compared to all other cell phones manufactured in the past 3 years (to include the original iPhone).
Quote:
You can make the 3Gs and 3G do the same thing with the bars when upgraded to OS4

But Apple said the bars issue (which you suggest is the real issue) goes back to the original iPhone and iPhone OS 1.0. And the 3G and 3GS are not and never were so "touchy" as the iPhone 4.
Quote:
the fact that the metal is exposed has nothing to do with it.

How does the metal being exposed not have anything to do with it? It's unique to the iPhone 4 design, that your body can get so close to the antenna.
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Heck, you can make any cell phone with an internal antenna at the bottom where you normally put your hand do it!

Ah, but not so easily and naturally as with the iPhone 4.
Quote:
If you really want to get informed about radio frequency radiation, design considerations and an all around interesting discussion I highly recommend...

Actually, all I'm interested in is having Apple satisfy its customers and make sure they know what the real issue is so that they're not unwittingly bitten by it.
post #40 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

I hate to burst the fanboy bubble here (count me as one) but Apple's revenue and profit growth is threatened by their dependance on outsourced manufacturing. A combination of rising chinese salaries, a stronger yuan, and economic and supply chain factors will force Apple to raise prices (already did on the Mini) or to take a hit on their profit margins (not likely).

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-...Report-366390/

It may be time that Apple looked to taking manufacturing in-house once again. Foxconn/Hon Hai employees about 800,000 workers. More than a quarter of that number work on manufacturing Apple products. That's about 10 times as many workers as Apple has on its payrolls. Naturally one would imagine that highly automated factories in the US, Mexico, and Europe could replace many of those workers and be just as efficient and cost effective. Why it takes that many workers to produce a small number of products is a mystery. Are they assembling the Apple products by hand?

I'm not terribly worried if the price of manufacturing goes up. Apple's margin on an iPhone is about 40%? So even a $10 increase in manufacturing costs only represents 1.7% decrease in margins assuming a $600 cost to AT&T - so down to 38.3%. Not the end of the world. The BOM is made up of parts from around the world, not all Chinese sourced. Its just assembled there. Meanwhile the average Foxconn worker gets paid $300/mo including overtime - pennies per iPhone produced.

Crazy stuff would have to happen to get Apple or any other consumer electronics company to move out of China on a cost basis.
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