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'Amazing' demand for iPad 2 seen as 'insurmountable lead' for Apple - Page 4

post #121 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Based on what they've said, I don't see them paying a dividend anytime soon, and if they do, I'll just accept it on what I already hold.

I just suspect if Apple do any serious spending with the cash, even if they get the best deal in the world, the market will ding the stock.

what happened after MSFT paid a dividend to their whining & complaining shareholders? The stock has been stagnant for the better part of the past decade. Despite being 30+ years old, Apple is a GROWTH company and as such does not pay dividends. Doing such would imply they have run out of better uses for their cash. Not a good message to send to the market. Somebody mentioned how could Apple possibly build enough iPads if they were to become the (sustained) global marketshare leader in tablets? Well, they would need to build capacity - and that takes cash.
post #122 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Granmastak View Post

Uh no! not at all. Europeans are very gadget oriented and when I took my ipad1 there last spring, everyone knew about it even if it wasn't available in any market there, except the gray market! They actually warned me to watch out and some offered to buy it from me as high as 1200 Euros.

A small number of people are VERY gadget orientated.

I bet if you ask a group of random people on the street in london what is better about the iPad 2 than the iPad 1, at least half would say they didn't know there was an iPad 2
post #123 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

Some people will have very limited uses for a tablet and may choose a different brand if they only wanted to serf the web. Of course that would require someone to release a tablet that is significantly cheaper then the iPad. That was widely predicted a year ago, but it seems that isn't going to materialize. Google is still good enough to be an underdog, but they will continue to have trouble competing with too many offerings on the table. Google tablets will also suffer from supply chain issues related to too many different devices out there. As long as they never stagnate, Apple will stay on top.

It might be interesting if they could do the same to the phone market if they release a lower-end iPhone to compete with the Android market. A superior supply chain coupled with a very good product might allow them to overtake the low-end smartphone market where Android is making large share gains.

See, here's the thing though: if you buy a cheap plastic tablet so you can surf the web, why not just get a netbook? That tablet isn't going to be able to take advantage of the touch tech anyways -- you aren't going to be able to run stuff like Garage Band or higher end games.

Why not just get a $150 netbook if all you want to do is watch porn ... erm, read the NYT?
post #124 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

See, here's the thing though: if you buy a cheap plastic tablet so you can surf the web, why not just get a netbook? That tablet isn't going to be able to take advantage of the touch tech anyways -- you aren't going to be able to run stuff like Garage Band or higher end games.

Why not just get a $150 netbook if all you want to do is watch porn ... erm, read the NYT?

Because it's not comfortable to do that with a netbook on your couch/ in bed, and it's not finger-friendly. As successful iPad is, most people I know use it just to fool around when they're on the couch/in bed/when they're eating on the dining table etc.

Nook color is mildly successful especially when they're on sale (slickdeals generated close to 1k replies when they knocked down the price to $200), because it's cheap, has an OK screen, and you can fool around with it once rooted. If all these other manufacturers would create more Nook color like tablets, they'd get probably close to 25% mkt shares together, although they still won't touch iPad because iPad is just a much more superior product in terms of value/$.
post #125 of 177
It's not about specs, it's not about flash, it's about the iPad.There were no viable tablets then there was iPad. All the other co's developed there's or are trying to, but the sales will be weak. People want iPads not just a jacked up tablet. If all these other manufactures were so smart and cool and clever they would have invented the iPad but they didn't, now they want to tell us how Great their product is but they miss the point. They may have big flashy specs but they have no cool factor, never will. iPad is the new iPod. Live in NYC but visiting family upstate. Went to a Walmart Friday to grab iPad2, really small town, still 40 people in line and only 20 iPads, which seemed like a lot in a tiny town. Got mine thankfully!
post #126 of 177
Quote:
Originally posted by esummers (emphasis added):
Some people will have very limited uses for a tablet and may choose a different brand if they only wanted to serf the web.

Best spelling mistake of the week! Yep, those who choose Android to surf the web will be... ....the serfs on the web!

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post #127 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

Call me an optimist, but I hope that in 5 years (or less) there will be no "clear majority" in the tablet space.

WebOS, iOS, Android, Bberry (if they can get their act together), Windows8, and hopefully a handful we haven't heard of yet.

Steve Jobs said we're living in the post PC era. Something I agree with, but I'm hoping it goes further. I don't want a single OS to dictate the market like it currently does with PC's, no matter who makes that OS or how amazing it might be.

Multiple competitive platforms will mean that developers and content creators will start thinking about how to make their apps work on the web, and it will force current product manufacturers to open up their devices to this new market (for example, allowing an HTML5 based app to have access to the GPU, like some new browsers are offering). It will mean that smaller companies with really unique ideas on hardware/software will be able to create something without worrying it will be DOA because too few devs are willing to devote the time to port their apps over to native code.

I don't think native apps will go away, at least in the short term. But I think "Universal" applications will become more important.

Post PC is all about making the "computer" actually personal. something to fit your lifestyle, your wants and needs. NO single OS, Hardware design, or app platform will be able to satisfy everyone, and it shouldn't try to. If you try mastering EVERYTHING, you won't master anything.

For me? I want a tablet that's a bit more like a computer than most current offerings. For my brother? He would be happy with something like an iPad. My dad needs something that can take some abuse and is really resistant to dust and grime and can (hopefully) fit in his pocket.

Why should any of us feel the need to all compromise on the SAME type of device, simply because it's so big, devs won't look elseware?

Translation based on Menno's posting history:

Quote:
I really hope the premise of this article isn't true, 'cause I'm an Android lovin', Apple hatin' fool.

I love it when you guys try to pretend to be fair and balanced.
post #128 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morky View Post

I would agree except that Android has more than a foothold in the phone space at this point, largely thanks to the period of AT&T exclusivity. There are a lot of Android phone users out there that will stick with their platform, which may give Android tablets a foothold by extension. My larger point is, if the market for tablets reaches, say 500M, can Apple ever make close to that many? Perhaps, if the growth is incremental enough, but man, that's a lot of iPads.

Good points, but:

1) Android's foothold is carrier driven and largely not based on a free choice by consumers - restricted by price, availability on network, lock-in by family plan etc.
2) There are an awful lot of Android users who wish they could have an iPhone. Here is their opportunity (without having the beat the restrictions in 1). With their largely free apps and non-buying ways, there is a much lower cost to leave Android or add Apple than vice versa.
3) When tablets beat out PC sales (400-500M in about 5-7 years time) Apple will be able to make 80% - capacity to make 40-50 this year, 80-100 next, 120-150 by 2013 etc. You should see the size of Foxconn City then!! That assumes that PC sales don't plummet based on replacement by tablets - if that happens the cross-over point happens way sooner. 3-5 yrs
post #129 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Natural monopolies are completely legal. But many people don't know that so yes, people will start crying soon.

Yes! When I worked for IBM (1964-1980) they had a monopoly of the mainframe market -- some years reaching 97%.

They were constantly being examined/reviewed by Justice -- but were never found to be in violation of the law(s).

Long story short -- It isn't illegal to make better products or do a superior job of marketing and supporting them.
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post #130 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihxo View Post

are they going to do BOGO for Android tablets?

I think the operative acronym is BNGO (pronounced "Bingo") -- Buy None Get One
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post #131 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by captbilly View Post

Apple once had a tremendous lead in personal computers, now they have 3-4% of a market dominated by Microsoft Windows (92+%). Only a couple of years ago Apple seemed to have a totally insurmountable lead in smartphones, today the IPhone is #3 in the US and #4 in the world, and Android, which nobody took seriously only a year ago, is number one in the world (both in sales and total units in use). Apple is the clear leader in a market which had essentially zero competitors until about a week ago (when the Xoom came out) and it is clear that Motorola pushed the release date earlier then they wanted (Flash won't be working until this Friday and the SD card and 4G even later then that) in order to get in before the IPAd 2). But as more and more Android tablets are released with better specs then the IPad 2 (even the Xoom beats the IPad hardware in virtually every category, and better quad core units are on the way) and almost certainly lower prices, the IPad 2 is going to take a big hit. Remember that Android is free and open and works very well, and even one of those criteria would make Android tablets a serious threat to Apple.

Look Jobs wouldn't continue to harp about how fragmented and silly Android was if he wasn't worried about it. He isn't worried about Windows mobile 7 or RIM, because they suck so bad, but if Android phone and tablet sales continue to increase at their present rate (about 900% in just one year) in a few years Apple will be about as relevant in mobile computing as they are in presently in PCs. I would love to see Apple remain a serious force in mobile computing, but IPods are going to disappear soon (it just doesn't make sense to have a separate device that doesn't do anything that any smartphone can do), Macs are a tiny niche market, Iphones are losing market share rapidly to Android, and there are finally going to be competitors to IPad. If Apple doesn't open their OS to other companies then IOS will whither away, that's just a fact.

What universe are you in?

J.
post #132 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

That's a very good point. Even if someone manages to come up with a tablet that is cheaper than iPad (like has happened with alternatives to iPhones), people are more likely to wait a while longer to save the money they need to buy iPad.

Boy, this is deja vu from what i heard from the microsoft people in the 90's. Boy's be careful what you wish for, you may not like the results!!!!
post #133 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Because it's not comfortable to do that with a netbook on your couch/ in bed, and it's not finger-friendly. As successful iPad is, most people I know use it just to fool around when they're on the couch/in bed/when they're eating on the dining table etc.

Nook color is mildly successful especially when they're on sale (slickdeals generated close to 1k replies when they knocked down the price to $200), because it's cheap, has an OK screen, and you can fool around with it once rooted. If all these other manufacturers would create more Nook color like tablets, they'd get probably close to 25% mkt shares together, although they still won't touch iPad because iPad is just a much more superior product in terms of value/$.

I think there is another place where the iPad (tablet format) is superior to either a laptop or a netback...

When traveling on an airplane, with the iPad:

-- you go through a lot less check-n hassle - computer, batteries, accessories, etc.

-- the iPad can be used regardless of the position of the seat-back ahead of you

-- you can watch a movie, read books, play games without depleting the battery
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post #134 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

Seems to me that Apple have already demonstrated what they are spending their money on ... a huge data center and a policy of buying up massive quantities of parts/components for their devices. The smart thing about that is it benefits Apple in two ways ... adds to their sales/bottom line and freezes out their competition. Give me a company with no debt and a ton of $$$$$ anytime.

This is very true. But, it's just a small fraction of that they're pulling in. Apple is going to generate about $7 to $10 billion a quarter on average this year. Even investing $4 billion in suppliers, and another couple of billion for parts in the year doesn't cover even one quarter's cash.

What are they planning with the increasing cash and investment portfolio? It's up to $61 billion as of the end of last quarter, and will be close to $67 billion even in this slowest of all quarters of the year.
post #135 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morky View Post

The problem for Apple in maintaining dominance in tablets is that if they can't make enough for everyone who wants one, it will give a major boost the soon-to-be bonanza of Android tablets.

For this to be viable, it assumes that just because they can't get an iPad they will get an Android device - even if there were any available.

I don't think Apple has to worry about that for all but the most techie.

Tablets are different from phones. With no data plans, give aways and supplemental marketing by carriers I just don't see that many people going out of their way to get an Android tablet - and that's if they were the same price or a little cheaper than the iPad. So far all Android tablets have been more than the iPad - much, much more if you factor in the mandatory data plan
post #136 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel001 View Post

Massive lead? Yes. Insurmountable? No.

Theoretically we could get hit by an asteroid tomorrow too.

Does Apple have anything to worry about in the tablet space any time soon? No.
post #137 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

The question is how can Motorola/Samsung et al jump two generations of iPad hardware while maintaining price parity? Even if they could match the iPad hardware performance for the same cost right now, Apple's advantage in terms of number of apps would still put the iPad as the sensible choice to buy.

Not just hardware, but software too.

That's the nut they have to crack. Good luck - get innovating!
post #138 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by captbilly View Post

Macs are a tiny niche market, Iphones are losing market share rapidly to Android, and there are finally going to be competitors to IPad. If Apple doesn't open their OS to other companies then IOS will whither away, that's just a fact.

Enjoy your wait for Apple's "inevitable slide to irrelevancy".
post #139 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

what happened after MSFT paid a dividend to their whining & complaining shareholders? The stock has been stagnant for the better part of the past decade. Despite being 30+ years old, Apple is a GROWTH company and as such does not pay dividends. Doing such would imply they have run out of better uses for their cash. Not a good message to send to the market. Somebody mentioned how could Apple possibly build enough iPads if they were to become the (sustained) global marketshare leader in tablets? Well, they would need to build capacity - and that takes cash.

It's not that simple. I wasn't talking about a regular dividend, though I could.

At what point does Apple's investments become too large? If they don't make some really large purchase this financial year, it will have ballooned to a good $80 billion plus. If we look at the calendar year instead, it will likely be around $85 billion.

Then what? At some point, they're going to have to divest themselves of some of that in one way or another. Most don't think a a large company buy is the way to go. If not, then there's no where for that money to go. What can Apple spend it on? There's just so much they can lend their suppliers for plant and machinery. There's only so much they can spend on locking in parts. And the cash will continue to come in.

If Apple sells $100 billion this financial year as increasingly seems possible, then cash will roll in at ever increasing rates. In 2012, it could be $10 to $13 billion a quarter. This is getting ridiculous. at some time they've got to do something with it. They have three choices.

One is to do a stock buyback, which I hope they won't do. They can give some back to shareholders directly. They can buy one or more very large companies, which I also hope they won't do.

But they WILL have to do something.
post #140 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

AAPL 400 .... soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

How does the non-business geek invest in tech stocks? Is it simple as going to a website? What should I look out for and how much cash is reasonable to invest in a stock like Apple and still consider it disposable? I mean, for the investment to be worth it how many shares would I have to look at buying?

Without knowing your age, family structure, income, other savings, investments, assets (like a home), debts, investment goals, risk tolerance and more - there's no way anyone can responsibly give you an exact answer to that question.

Your financial life is a 3-legged stool: Fiscal assets (stocks and bonds, either held individually or in mutual funds/ETF's), Real assets (homes, land, gold, collections) and Monetary assets (cash, savings, CD's) and wise investors know they need a balance between the three that works for them.

I've pursued a "get rich slowly" strategy of widely diversified mutual funds since 1985 and have done quite well, thank you. I started with investing $50/month in a single, broad-based fund. I've never owned a single stock as I feel they're too volatile for the average individual who doesn't follow the markets closely, and dig into every document a company issues. And even if you want to go that route, a rule of thumb is to never put more than a few % of your investments into one egg in your basket.

AAPL may be the rare exception to the rule - and with the perfect 20/20 vision of hindsight wish I'd followed my impulse when it was at $17/share. The broad-based horizontally AND vertically integrated "ecosystem" we keep talking about here that they've built is unprecedented in the industry. And their buzz and branding is second to none in the world today. But I do own a number of funds who own fair amounts of AAPL, so I'm in.

Still, what goes up, does come down. The digital and internet revolutions are STILL in their infancy, and the next totally unexpected "insanely great" leap forward could come from anywhere.

The current AAPL team will retire someday, and the "law of reversion to the mean" will exact a toll someday, as the past and current owners of MySpace found out when a pimply Harvard student started facebook. There WILL be a next great product that doesn't come from Apple, and eventually, Apple will make a wrong bet. Doesn't mean they'll implode or never get back to leadership, but there WILL be twists and turns over an investor's lifetime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The answers to those questions vary from person to person. One way to invest in an industry is to invest in the leading companies, the cream of the crop. Go to CNN Money online, and open a free account. Join The Motley Fool, also free. Make up lists of stocks you're interested in and track them. You will be able to see stock performance over years, look up financial information, etc. Read the free articles and reports to get some idea of what the thinking is out there, but don't take any one of them too seriously. Remember that past performance doesn't guarantee future performance.

There's a lot more detail I could give you here, but it's a start. I'm heavily invested in Apple, and I'm long, meaning that I'm holding it for at least a year, in my case several years. If I have the cash on hand, I buy more during a downturn, and don't sell when things move upwards.

How much cash can you afford to lose? That's a criterion. If it's $5,000, and you pay attention to what you're doing, then you can invest $15,000, because you would be able to abandon your position before losing a third. That's one way of looking at it.

Agree about CNN, but I'm not much of a fan of the Motley Fool - there's some sound info there - but they're out to sell their own offerings, they hype hot ideas (even while preaching that they don't) and much of their advice is way above the level that neophytes can handle out of context.

Vanguard has a number of excellent, free guides for new investors based on time-tested principles. Plus they charge the lowest fees of any mutual fund company and their brokerage fees for stocks are fair as well. Fees are the MOST underrated factor in most people's portfolios - over time 1-2%/year can make a huge difference. Fidelity Investments has a lot of useful educational tools as well. And both offer a broad array of products suited for all kinds of investors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

'worth it?' You're definitely non-business. Talk to a financial planner. Disposable investments are all about your total portfolio and risk tolerance and not the value of a particular stock.

IMHO, Apple is likely on a 10% per year growth rate over the next 2ish year (400-450 by 2013)... that's the same (and likely less) than the S&P500 and/or Russell 2000. I'm long, and hope I'm conservatively wrong, but that's my analysis;-) My problem is that AAPL is now about 30% of my retirement portfolio. I need to rebalance, but I hate to not dance with the date that brung me.

Notice the technical terms introduced in this reply. Do you really understand all of them? And there's thousands more.

I have nothing against "financial planners" per se - but they're mostly unregulated, and in many states anybody can claim to be one. Further, most work for companies who have particular "financial products" to sell, i.e., their own in-house funds, annuities and more. And nearly every company who uses this model offers a stable of mediocre to poor offerings - but the "planner" makes far more (on commissions) if you buy those, so the planner has a bias to lead you making decisions that are in the planner's interest - not yours! Total conflict of interest.

If you use a financial planner - which is advisable for people who don't want to spend years learning to manage their portfolios - here are two screaming rules: 1. Use a CERTIFIED Financial Planner (CFP), and 2. ONLY use FEE-BASED planners, and never COMMISSION-BASED ones, i.e., what they make is either a straight-up, out-front fee no matter what they advise you to buy - or if they're going to manage your portfolio over time, that what they make is based on how well they do for you

Quote:
Originally Posted by syracuse View Post

Apple is a screaming BUY. Pristine balance sheet + 40% margins + tremendous growth. Call TD Ameritrade or Charles Schwab and they will set you up to buy APPL stock, its as easy as setting up a checking/savings account at a bank

Again, respectfully, this person doesn't know you or your situation - so while he could be right, taking a "tout" like this is a shot in the dark. Even if it's Apple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

+1

An Apple Investor (me) wants every store to be sold out at closing, and fully stocked by the next day. wash. rinse, repeat.

I think the key post iPad 2 story will be is laptop cannibalization.... I see growth in laptops to drop 50%. Everyone that needs one has one, and all those people who have one don't need another one.

Samsung, Motorola, BB... they aren't fighting for 2nd place, they're fighting for marketplace relevancy.

This will be a world of home based computing (mac mini's and what ever Dell/Acer/HP/sony sell), and portable computing (Hi End = SSD based laptops, Mid= 'personal internet devices', LE = 'personal comm devices' [aka smarter_than_featurephones]), and home infrastructure (TimeCapsule, AppleTV, Airport Express, free Lion Server OS, airplay and airprint)

Apple is the only company that seems to have leadership/growth/dominance/convergance across all those lines.

Not quite on the rest of my topic (except that you own AAPL), but mostly right on the money about the company.

Except I think that Apple's finally aiming for the Enterprise too - people want to use their favorite tools all the time, and not lug a satchel around for job and home - and they're bringing their Pads, Phones and Pods with them to work every day. IT is feeling the pressure to embrace what their users want, and this time Apple's likely to do quite well in the business computing world - by being on the bleeding edge of mobile tech, not trying to catch up in commodity markets like rack servers.

An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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post #141 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

But they WILL have to do something.

Very well put.

It's going to be interesting to see what that something is. I suspect you're probably right and a dividend of some sort would make sense. Let's face it, even if they blew $20bn on a purchase, that's only really three quarters worth of cash, then they're back with the same question.
post #142 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by captbilly View Post

I would love to see Apple remain a serious force in mobile computing, but IPods are going to disappear soon (it just doesn't make sense to have a separate device that doesn't do anything that any smartphone can do), Macs are a tiny niche market, Iphones are losing market share rapidly to Android, and there are finally going to be competitors to IPad. If Apple doesn't open their OS to other companies then IOS will whither away, that's just a fact.

There are plenty of parents who get iPods for the their children instead of an iPhone. And, many adults may be perfectly fine with an Ipod Touch and not an iPhone.

As for IOS whithering away, I'm sure there will always be enough people willing to go for quality. Even if an Android phone was the same price I'd stick with Apple - all my devices are very nicely integrated. I also have the various apps that I've purchased, that wouldn't work on Android.
post #143 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcompuser View Post

There are plenty of parents who get iPods for the their children instead of an iPhone. And, many adults may be perfectly fine with an Ipod Touch and not an iPhone.

As for IOS whithering away, I'm sure there will always be enough people willing to go for quality. Even if an Android phone was the same price I'd stick with Apple - all my devices are very nicely integrated. I also have the various apps that I've purchased, that wouldn't work on Android.

When I dropped my iPhone 4 and smashed the screen while trying to change albums when walking the dog yesterday, I found myself wishing I'd stuck to owning a music player separate to my phone!
post #144 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

Without knowing your age, family structure, income, other savings, investments, assets (like a home), debts, investment goals, risk tolerance and more - there's no way anyone can responsibly give you an exact answer to that question.

Your financial life is a 3-legged stool: Fiscal assets (stocks and bonds, either held individually or in mutual funds/ETF's), Real assets (homes, land, gold, collections) and Monetary assets (cash, savings, CD's) and wise investors know they need a balance between the three that works for them.

I've pursued a "get rich slowly" strategy of widely diversified mutual funds since 1985 and have done quite well, thank you. I started with investing $50/month in a single, broad-based fund. I've never owned a single stock as I feel they're too volatile for the average individual who doesn't follow the markets closely, and dig into every document a company issues. And even if you want to go that route, a rule of thumb is to never put more than a few % of your investments into one egg in your basket.

AAPL may be the rare exception to the rule - and with the perfect 20/20 vision of hindsight wish I'd followed my impulse when it was at $17/share. The broad-based horizontally AND vertically integrated "ecosystem" we keep talking about here that they've built is unprecedented in the industry. And their buzz and branding is second to none in the world today. But I do own a number of funds who own fair amounts of AAPL, so I'm in.

Still, what goes up, does come down. The digital and internet revolutions are STILL in their infancy, and the next totally unexpected "insanely great" leap forward could come from anywhere.

The current AAPL team will retire someday, and the "law of reversion to the mean" will exact a toll someday, as the past and current owners of MySpace found out when a pimply Harvard student started facebook. There WILL be a next great product that doesn't come from Apple, and eventually, Apple will make a wrong bet. Doesn't mean they'll implode or never get back to leadership, but there WILL be twists and turns over an investor's lifetime.



Agree about CNN, but I'm not much of a fan of the Motley Fool - there's some sound info there - but they're out to sell their own offerings, they hype hot ideas (even while preaching that they don't) and much of their advice is way above the level that neophytes can handle out of context.

Vanguard has a number of excellent, free guides for new investors based on time-tested principles. Plus they charge the lowest fees of any mutual fund company and their brokerage fees for stocks are fair as well. Fees are the MOST underrated factor in most people's portfolios - over time 1-2%/year can make a huge difference. Fidelity Investments has a lot of useful educational tools as well. And both offer a broad array of products suited for all kinds of investors.

Notice the technical terms introduced in this reply. Do you really understand all of them? And there's thousands more.

I have nothing against "financial planners" per se - but they're mostly unregulated, and in many states anybody can claim to be one. Further, most work for companies who have particular "financial products" to sell, i.e., their own in-house funds, annuities and more. And nearly every company who uses this model offers a stable of mediocre to poor offerings - but the "planner" makes far more (on commissions) if you buy those, so the planner has a bias to lead you making decisions that are in the planner's interest - not yours! Total conflict of interest.

If you use a financial planner - which is advisable for people who don't want to spend years learning to manage their portfolios - here are two screaming rules: 1. Use a CERTIFIED Financial Planner (CFP), and 2. ONLY use FEE-BASED planners, and never COMMISSION-BASED ones, i.e., what they make is either a straight-up, out-front fee no matter what they advise you to buy - or if they're going to manage your portfolio over time, that what they make is based on how well they do for you

Again, respectfully, this person doesn't know you or your situation - so while he could be right, taking a "tout" like this is a shot in the dark. Even if it's Apple.

Not quite on the rest of my topic (except that you own AAPL), but mostly right on the money about the company.

Except I think that Apple's finally aiming for the Enterprise too - people want to use their favorite tools all the time, and not lug a satchel around for job and home - and they're bringing their Pads, Phones and Pods with them to work every day. IT is feeling the pressure to embrace what their users want, and this time Apple's likely to do quite well in the business computing world - by being on the bleeding edge of mobile tech, not trying to catch up in commodity markets like rack servers.

Good post. I wasn't going to write that much. A new study found that financial advisors and planners, on average, did worse than the market as a whole. I would agree with that. They tend to be very conservative. Too conservative as far as I'm concerned.

Late last year, when Apple was just above $300, a friend asked me if he should invest some money in Apple. He's got enough money so that another $75,000 isn't going to make or break anything. My answer was to take that and invest it in Apple. He had a meeting with his advisor later that week. He's got a managed account, which always gives me the shivers. His advisor told him that he would do that, but he wanted to wait until the stock dropped back to the low 290's. Well, we know what happened. He never did buy it.

Financial advisers are more worried about losing money for you than making it..
post #145 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Very well put.

It's going to be interesting to see what that something is. I suspect you're probably right and a dividend of some sort would make sense. Let's face it, even if they blew $20bn on a purchase, that's only really three quarters worth of cash, then they're back with the same question.

I'm totally out of ideas as to what they would be buying. When they had half as much, it was easier, because their options were much more limited. But now, considering that they seem to be continuing to hold to it, their universe of options is continually getting larger. To me, that means more dangerous.
post #146 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm totally out of ideas as to what they would be buying. When they had half as much, it was easier, because their options were much more limited. But now, considering that they seem to be continuing to hold to it, their universe of options is continually getting larger. To me, that means more dangerous.

Theyve also added two major legs and a hobby that could become a leg of their business. On top of that, they are using so many of the same resources over a vast number of product categories. While this is smart it can also be dangerous. Using too many species are competing for the same resources. Apple might have to create invest in manufacturing resources closer to the raw materials if they are going to continually grow like this or itll have to create some new beaks for its finches*. I think weve seen glimpses of it with the Retina Display, Apple A4 processor, partial ownership of Imagination. Does Apple own any of the new Foxconn plant?



* Too obscure?
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post #147 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Theyve also added two major legs and a hobby that could become a leg of their business. On top of that, they are using so many of the same resources over a vast number of product categories. While this is smart it can also be dangerous. Using too many species are competing for the same resources. Apple might have to create invest in manufacturing resources closer to the raw materials if they are going to continually grow like this or itll have to create some new beaks for its finches*. I think weve seen glimpses of it with the Retina Display, Apple A4 processor, partial ownership of Imagination. Does Apple own any of the new Foxconn plant?



* Too obscure?

Too obscure? For me, yes!

The thing is, no matter what legs they add, how much cash could they need for it? At the rate they're going they will be adding $10bn per quarter. That would surely fund moves into pretty much any business they would like.

Let's say for argument that they did decide to make an Apple television. Unless they decided to make the panels for it themselves (and much though I'd like to see them manufacture their own stuff, it seems unlikely) I honestly can't see how it would cost them $10bn per quarter to set themselves up in that space.
post #148 of 177
"
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_K View Post

By end of 2012 (if the world hasn't collapsed), they'll have sold more than 100 million iPads and counting...

I just see no competition. The iPhone was tied to a carrier at launch so the competitors were given the chance to catch up.

The iPod was mainly about music and videos. Apple's advance was not enough especially now that smartphones play music too.

The Mac was revolutionary but Windows knew more how to take advantage of it than Apple, relegating the Mac to a niche product."


With the iPad, none of the above applies. It has enough apps to lead as a closed platform. It's not carrier dependent. It's a better product.

And even more important. Apple has its own distribution network. Plus, the iPad is more affordable than other tablets... Again no competition.

Actually, years ago most computers were business oriented. As distributed computers, towers, became more affordable people for homes went with what they were familiar with at work. So the business user, also a comsumer chose PC for home use. Economies of scale were in place, and MS was living high.

With mobility and smart phones, a user shift started. It jumped when Apple introduced iPHONE the smart computer. Also, computers in the form of laptops became as powerful as towers just a few years old. So who wanted the stay at home tower computer. As more and more demand for mobility grew, the idea of the true mobile computer ... (to be hand held with a decent size screen came into focus.) Who captured the trend, and created an easy to use computer. Apple with iPAD. MS still doesn't seem to know how to stop the transition.

Actually, Apple chose GSM (proprietary for US) but open to 40 plus world wide carriers.
It is so interesting that Apple really did know what they were doing.

The theme of "being open standards leads to better..." is interesting hype. In truth Apple has a distinct advantage ... it makes its own hardware, develops outstanding software to optimize the performance of their hardware ... and as standard for interconnection and interaction via worldwide networks for better communications and sharing exploded, so Apple improved its distribution and sales ability. I won't continue, but I am sure you might be seeing the business side of Apple is exploding, and has now passed Microsoft in profitability. The the momentum continues, with iPAD and now iPAD2. How many people are waiting in line for Xoom, Galaxy, and maybe Playbook?
post #149 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm totally out of ideas as to what they would be buying. When they had half as much, it was easier, because their options were much more limited. But now, considering that they seem to be continuing to hold to it, their universe of options is continually getting larger. To me, that means more dangerous.

Two ends of the spectrum: Arm Holdings and Cisco offer interesting possibilities.

... or they could buy Dell for cash/spite and...
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post #150 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Two ends of the spectrum: Arm Holdings and Cisco offer interesting possibilities.

... or they could buy Dell for cash/spite and...

ARM could be an interesting one, but at the same time, it's the sort of purchase that as soon as they bought it, it would be worth far less than they paid for it. Much of ARM's value is the fact that they sell to everyone. I would have thought if Apple bought them they would use their technology just for themselves, hence a lot of the value would be gone.

Cisco seems a bit too dull for Apple!

I like the idea of buying Dell out of spite. They'll be able to do the same to Microsoft in a couple of years at the rate they are adding cash!
post #151 of 177
Along with the superior everything, the long headstart, the price advantage - add mindshare.

I was on a plane today, using my iPad 1, and the matronly woman across the aisle put down her paperback (you know, those analog reading devices people used to use), and asked me if that was the new iPad. "Why yes it is", I lied, and proceeded to give her a tour. She told me she is planning on getting one.

I'm pretty sure that if I had been using a Xoom she still would have asked how I liked my iPad. Just like mp3 players are universally known as iPods.
post #152 of 177
Insurmountable is a terrible term. Over what time frame? Its true, the iPod wiped the competition, but Android is indeed selling some phones. My guess is lots of folks will buy Android tablets, not because they are better, but because every retailer will have them. Kinda the same story about Macs and PC's back in the day. My sister still purchases a new PC about every 2 years, cause her old one craps out with viruses or poor quality. She is indeed PC ignorant. An iPad would be perfect for her.
post #153 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

They’ve also added two major legs and a hobby that could become a leg of their business. On top of that, they are using so many of the same resources over a vast number of product categories. While this is smart it can also be dangerous. Using too many “species” are competing for the same resources. Apple might have to create invest in manufacturing resources closer to the raw materials if they are going to continually grow like this or it’ll have to create some new beaks for its finches*. I think we’ve seen glimpses of it with the Retina Display, Apple A4 processor, partial ownership of Imagination. Does Apple own any of the new Foxconn plant?



* Too obscure?

Nah, a Darwin reference is always welcome.

If Apple can use suppliers who can guarantee supplies, then they've got little risk there, unless an earthquake in the wrong area then damages their supplies. But that can happen no matter what.

Apple gives loans to manufacturers by investing in plant and machinery. That loan is paid back upon parts delivery to Apple. It's a risk to Apple if they don't need the quantity they've specified, but that doesn't seem to be a problem.

So while they don't own the plant or machinery, they are invested in some of it for a while. We don't know which companies are getting this investment.
post #154 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

ARM could be an interesting one, but at the same time, it's the sort of purchase that as soon as they bought it, it would be worth far less than they paid for it. Much of ARM's value is the fact that they sell to everyone. I would have thought if Apple bought them they would use their technology just for themselves, hence a lot of the value would be gone.

Cisco seems a bit too dull for Apple!

I like the idea of buying Dell out of spite. They'll be able to do the same to Microsoft in a couple of years at the rate they are adding cash!

I suspect the purchase of ARM by Apple would pretty much kill the nascent ARM tablet competition for the iPad. As to smart phones -- where are the gonna go?

I mentioned Cisco, considering that the may want to use it as an entré into the enterprise & server farm market.

Shortly after Apple went public, Jobs joked that Apple would buy IBM -- still a bit expensive.

However, if Apple can find someone established * in the server business, Smooth-Stone offers some interesting possibilities -- from server farms, enterprise, SMB and home:

Ready for ARM-based server chips? Smooth-Stone hopes so

* Mmmm... that puts Dell back in the picture

.
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post #155 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Two ends of the spectrum: Arm Holdings and Cisco offer interesting possibilities.

... or they could buy Dell for cash/spite and...

I've seen the ARm argument a number of times, but I don't think it could happen these days.

When Apple and Acorn started ARM, it was just for themselves. Once Apple stopped making the Newton, they lost interest in the company, and over some years, sold off their stock. If they purchased the company now, that would present a problem for all the other OEM's out there. Could they trust that Apple would continue offering their designs fairly, or would they keep some secrets for themselves? That would destroy the value of the purchase, and Apple would have to write it off. I don't think they would want to do that.

As of today, ARM is worth $11.6 billion, say a purchase would go for $16. With the huge run-up last year and this, if they wanted it, they would have been better off buying it a year ago.

Cisco is having problems now, and I don't think that Apple is interested in manufacturing the large routers that help run the Internet, or continue sales of the cheap ones for home use. Basically, the company is out of Apple's area of expertise.
post #156 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkevwill View Post

Insurmountable is a terrible term. Over what time frame? Its true, the iPod wiped the competition, but Android is indeed selling some phones. My guess is lots of folks will buy Android tablets, not because they are better, but because every retailer will have them. Kinda the same story about Macs and PC's back in the day. My sister still purchases a new PC about every 2 years, cause her old one craps out with viruses or poor quality. She is indeed PC ignorant. An iPad would be perfect for her.

First, I agree that insurmountable is a terrible term -- ever date a (_______ you supply the religion) * girl?

* Sorry, Lucy!


Second, I don't know if the Android tabs will get the shelf space at retailers (other than the carriers). I don't believe that they will carry a low enough price advantage -- they certainly won't show as well.
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post #157 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Good post. I wasn't going to write that much. A new study found that financial advisors and planners, on average, did worse than the market as a whole. I would agree with that. They tend to be very conservative. Too conservative as far as I'm concerned.

Late last year, when Apple was just above $300, a friend asked me if he should invest some money in Apple. He's got enough money so that another $75,000 isn't going to make or break anything. My answer was to take that and invest it in Apple. He had a meeting with his advisor later that week. He's got a managed account, which always gives me the shivers. His advisor told him that he would do that, but he wanted to wait until the stock dropped back to the low 290's. Well, we know what happened. He never did buy it.

Financial advisers are more worried about losing money for you than making it..

Steering people away from inappropriate financial advice is a personal mission - so many wolves looking for sheep to fleece - so I do go on.

However, I agree with you about financial advisors - even the best and most principled often have the bias you mentioned. Still, set and forget types who want to try to beat plain vanilla index funds can get fairly decent management - not from top tier people, but well-trained ones - at Schwab, Fidelity and Vanguard to name three discounters - who will hew to any risk curve you specify for about 1%/year. (As you note, though, they might often - or most often - not beat the indexes in the long run!)

And once you have a sizable portfolio, you can also get one time "portfolio reviews" for a reasonable fee. I got a free one once my account went over a certain threshold at one of the above, and it was highly detailed (about 50 pages!) and kind of useful.

I'm also very leery of "retail brokers" in general - and avoiding both those and put-up-a-shingle "planners and advisors" is why I always push newbies to Vanguard - not necessarily the best for an educated investor in every case or every investment, but because of its ethical practices, lowest-in-the-industry fees and where the people who buy Vanguard products are also buying Vanguard itself - since it's only big player where the funds own the fund company instead of the other way round, so the profits are passed back to the funds, and therefore to the shareholders.

Among the real scum out there, many unregulated "financial advisors" heavily push variable annuities (often on their friends and neighbors) with some single selling point like "guaranteed principal" (the same way Wintel (and now Google and friends) have long sold a headline spec or two!) while hiding high commissions, high fees, insurance components and 10 year lock-ins (kind of like a two year cell contract on a mediocre Android). And push them generally to people who don't even have IRA's or 401K's when V.A.'s are really only suitable for those who've maxxed out other "tax-advantaged" investments in the first place. Because a single no-transaction-fee Target Date fund will be just as safe and much less expensive for the truly unsophisticated over the long haul.

People who want to deal with a personal stock broker on the other hand should look up "burn and churn" before they let "their guy" decide when to buy and sell at any institution where the broker gets a commission for each trade. The worst of these guys will buy and sell you into oblivion with continuous frequent trading.

And even at some of the big houses, the "advice" can be atrocious (or nearly criminal). A friend of mine was widowed and was left with a large IRA account full of individual stocks she didn't understand at all. UBS sold her a variable annuity to "simplify" her life - with all the above defects - PLUS the fact it was a "tax-advantaged vehicle" INSIDE of an IRA - which is already tax-deferred!! And most of it, believe it or not - since she went in to go conservative and was near 60 - was in an aggressive growth fund!

That's a triple bogey...

And so with that, Mr. Mod, I allow the thread to get back on topic. Please 'scuse the soapboxy diversion.

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post #158 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

I personally believe that GarageBand is the killer app. Thats sometimes over-used as a phrase so here is a good definition from wikipedia.

in the jargon of technologists, has been used to refer to any computer program that is so necessary or desirable that it proves the core value of some larger technology, such as computer hardware, gaming console, software, or an operating system. A killer app can substantially increase sales of the platform on which it runs.

I dont think that Android can compete.

1) They dont have the rich SDK.
2) They dont have the hardware integration.
3) They dont have the design ability to create these kinds of apps for Android. Nobody has, for iOS either, except Apple. Luckily Apple have done so.

I don't think it is a killer app. In years I upgrade my iLife on my Macs and I don't even open GarageBand. However, the app is a GIGANTIC milestone. 1) Apple is going all "postPC" portable, simple, touchy... 2) the app shows developers and consumers that "postPC" touchy feely devices can be used to create content and that apps can be tremendously capable and feature rich
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post #159 of 177
This insurmountable lead is a result of a product that stands alone. Apple also has the headwater of media content of music, books, games and applications that grows larger every day. After a few minutes of use, any competing product seems nothing more than some paltry lackluster imitation of little use or value.
post #160 of 177
Android DOES NOT equal iPhone.
Anyone doing so is comparing an operating system to a smart phone which is NOT a valid comparison.

Ex: GPS units have a larger market share than BMW. Makes sense? I don't think so.
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