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After 'astonishingly' poor quarter, Mac sales predicted to rebound

post #1 of 115
Thread Starter 
Mac sales outgrew the overall PC market for 26 consecutive quarters until December, but Apple is expected to see sales improve in the current quarter.

Needham


The Mac's sudden collapse in the December quarter was described as "astonishing" by analyst Charlie Wolf of Needham & Co. on Friday. He noted that Mac shipments fell below PC shipment growth in all geographic regions and segments in the quarter.

"There was absolutely not one iota of positive news in the Mac shipment numbers," Wolf said.

Apple blamed the Mac's poor quarter, in which shipments fell by 22.1 percent year over year, on a lack of availability of the iMac. The new all-in-one desktop went on sale in the month of December, but supply was severely constrained through the end of the quarter, and Apple has still not yet caught up with demand.

However, there are signs that iMac availability is improving, as the NPD Group reported this week that domestic Mac sales were up 31 percent year over year in the month of January. As a result, Wolf believes Apple could be in a position to surpass the overall PC market again in the current March quarter.

Needham


Beating the PC market may not even require year over year growth. For example, Mac sales were down 6.1 percent in the third quarter of 2012, but that still managed to outperform the overall PC market, which was down 13.8 percent in the quarter, according to Gartner.

Beyond limited iMac availability, Wolf said that it's likely that a "material percentage of consumers" opted to buy an iPad over a Mac. He also noted that Apple's recent price cuts on its MacBook Pro models with Retina displays are a sign that the company "overestimated the allure" of its high-end notebooks.

Finally, Wolf admitted that Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system will present "a major test" to the Mac, particularly in the business market. He believes the tiled Metro interface employed by Microsoft is a refreshing alternative to the iPhone and Android devices, but said it's an "unanswered question" whether the interface will catch on with desktop PCs.

"It's conceivable that desktop users will eventually fall in love with the new interface," Wolf said. "In the meantime, however, Metro involves a steep learning curve."
post #2 of 115

What a silly article.  It was completely attributable to production issues that have since been resolved.  Mac sales are going to be great this quarter.

post #3 of 115
Well, production issue is also a reflection of managament's aptitude on supply chain. Nobody was expecting a thinner iMac. What was sorely needed, however, was an updated iMac with Ivy Bridge and USB3. Apple could have easily jammed those into the existing package, take the time to iron out the production issues on the new chasis and have it ready for Haswell. They chose the hard route and was punished as a reseult. Tim Cook mentioned a backlog of 700,000 iMacs on the quarterly call. I suspect this quarter won't fill all of them.
post #4 of 115
Supply constraint was predicted by Apple and no one listened.

On the other hand, after 25 years of Mac only use, I am buying a couple desktop PC's running Win7. No Mac Pro makes me sad, and an iMac is just a vertical laptop.
post #5 of 115
What a load of crap! Any analyst with half a brain would understand that due to some supply chain issues which are now completely corrected there was a shifting (not a loss) of revenue from the Dec. quarter to the March quarter.

Regardless... the REAL reason for Apples huge stock drive, is now pretty well understood to be caused by the major short selling and gaming that hedge funds were doing pretty much from the Sept. top right through into Jan. If anyone doesn't believe that was the real cause, they simply DO NOT understand how easily stocks CAN be manipulated.

We just saw another case of this with that Hedge fund putz Kass's recent Twitter manipulation.
post #6 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by xZu View Post

Supply constraint was predicted by Apple and no one listened.

On the other hand, after 25 years of Mac only use, I am buying a couple desktop PC's running Win7. No Mac Pro makes me sad, and an iMac is just a vertical laptop.

 

 

And the Mac Pro as well... even though there are rumors they will release it before June. Honestly though, what the f---- is so new and so revolutionary about the new Mac Pro? Top end CPUs, top end graphics, truck load of RAM, massive HDD, multiple SSDs, plenty of expandability... those are plain-to-see requirements for a pro machine. And the fact that the current Mac Pro aren’t selling like hot cakes (I doubt the new one will either), it makes sense for Apple to preannounce it and have it ship later.

 

What they totally miss is a stable road map. If I buy a workstation from Dell, I know they will come out with a faster version once a new Intel chip is out next year, and the year after next. It’s like clockwork that allows me to plan for a stable upgrade route for my business.

post #7 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post

What a silly article.  It was completely attributable to production issues that have since been resolved.  Mac sales are going to be great this quarter.

Have the production issues of the iMac been resolved? They are producing them which was an issue when they stopped selling the older models after the new ones were introduced but the times are still 2-3 weeks and 3-4 weeks for the 21.5" and 27" models, respectively. Did a lot more people buy right away because they knew they had to wait or are they buying more now.

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post #8 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFBI View Post

Regardless... the REAL reason for Apples huge stock drive, is now pretty well understood to be caused by the major short selling and gaming that hedge funds were doing pretty much from the Sept. top right through into Jan. If anyone doesn't believe that was the real cause, they simply DO NOT understand how easily stocks CAN be manipulated.

 

Have you stopped crying wolf for a moment and think why it’s been going down so spectacularly in the past 5 months? I don’t disagree that short sellers and hedgies play a (major?) role in it, but how can they do it so far and for so long? It’s because Tim Cook and the board doesn’t care one bit about shareholders. All he keeps saying is “we take a long view”,  “we care more about innovation”. None of these is wrong, but he isn’t feeling or sharing the pain of the shareholder when the stock keeps dropping and dropping. He has tools to fight against it: a PR to announce X millions iPhones sold, a denial of rumors, dividend hikes, buyback boosts, …. And yet he chose to do nothing.


It’s like you have a gangster brother but the bullies know you aren’t telling him nothing. Do you think they will stop stealing your lunch money or giving you wedgies? They will bully you until you’re on life support. Your friends will be too scared to play with you now.

 

Last week there was news of Foxconn hiring freeze that was automatically translated to Apple’s production cut. In fact it was due to better than expected retention rate (note how no one credited Apple with improving the working conditions at Foxconn). Just today, there’s rumor of inventory buildup in Europe because iPhone 5 isn’t selling--it can be due to a myriad of things, including that Apple has solved iPhone 5 production problems and start to build channel inventory toward their 4 - 6 weeks target. Every Apple story has been twisted to shine negative light on the company, and management refused to clarify it. Tim Cook could have simply call his broker and order a $1B share buyback. Announce it at 3pm, and slap the bears in the face. That would convince me that he means serious business.

post #9 of 115
"after 25 years of Mac only use, I am buying a couple desktop PC's running Win7. No Mac Pro makes me sad, and an iMac is just a vertical laptop."

@xzu With the statements you made, there is no way that you were a Mac user for any time. You sound like a hard core Windows box user and may have used a Mac for half an hour. You just don't 'get' Macs if you put down the iMac as a vertical laptop. Powerful computers are made with powerful processors and graphics chips regardless of the shape of the box.
post #10 of 115

Astonishing? Well, I suppose it's astonishing that Apple could have screwed up the iMac refresh so badly in the first place, but after they had done so the sales figures should have been expected, quite frankly I'm surprised they were not worse.

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post #11 of 115

That says a lot about Tim Cook who is supposed to be the supply chain genius.  He updated the entire product line and none of them are working as well as he expected.   The only bright spot was the iPad mini which due to supply constraint could not be manufactured faster enough to meet demand.  Low cost or larger size iPhone should be on the design shelf ready to go with a moment's notice.  Now, we hear all these rumors about late 2013 or 2014 introduction.  The market is not going to sit still, and Apple should get its a$$ moving.  Premium products need innovation, and I hope that they have a lot around.   

post #12 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post

Well, production issue is also a reflection of managament's aptitude on supply chain. Nobody was expecting a thinner iMac. What was sorely needed, however, was an updated iMac with Ivy Bridge and USB3. Apple could have easily jammed those into the existing package, take the time to iron out the production issues on the new chasis and have it ready for Haswell. They chose the hard route and was punished as a reseult. Tim Cook mentioned a backlog of 700,000 iMacs on the quarterly call. I suspect this quarter won't fill all of them.

"Well, production issue is also a reflection of managament's aptitude on supply chain."

No it isn't. Trial production of a new screen laminating process will not tell you how everything is going to work when full production begins. They are doing something complex that has never been done before. Unless you know the details, specific details, of what happened with those lamination processes, you have NO damn business talking shit about "supply chain aptitude."

"Nobody was expecting a thinner iMac."

So you caught that meme, did you? The new iMac is about the new screen, which is coated by an anti-reflective coating and now missing a layer of glass as well. So you want to tell them to "jam" this amzing new screen in the old fat frame? Yeah, that sounds like something Jony Ive would do.

Have you looked at the displays on these machines?

This story by Neil Hughes is written so blankly, lacking all reference to the production background, that it allows for perfidious comments like this about "supply chain aptitude." I'm beginning to think there's something funny going on at AI with regard to these "analyst" stories.
Edited by Flaneur - 3/1/13 at 8:05am
post #13 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectroTech View Post

"after 25 years of Mac only use, I am buying a couple desktop PC's running Win7. No Mac Pro makes me sad, and an iMac is just a vertical laptop."

@xzu With the statements you made, there is no way that you were a Mac user for any time. You sound like a hard core Windows box user and may have used a Mac for half an hour. You just don't 'get' Macs if you put down the iMac as a vertical laptop. Powerful computers are made with powerful processors and graphics chips regardless of the shape of the box.

He isn't really far off though. The imac does not have desktop class graphics. The imac uses laptop grade video cards which aren't as powerful as their desktop counterparts. /shrug
post #14 of 115
Apple killed the older model iMac before they had sufficient stock of the new one, which was horrendously bad planning. They literally had no iMacs to sell anyone, because they could not time the new release correctly. This is management's fault, plain and simple.
post #15 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Astonishing? Well, I suppose it's astonishing that Apple could have screwed up the iMac refresh so badly in the first place, but after they had done so the sales figures should have been expected, quite frankly I'm surprised they were not worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsdofny View Post

That says a lot about Tim Cook who is supposed to be the supply chain genius.  He updated the entire product line and none of them are working as well as he expected.   The only bright spot was the iPad mini which due to supply constraint could not be manufactured faster enough to meet demand.  Low cost or larger size iPhone should be on the design shelf ready to go with a moment's notice.  Now, we hear all these rumors about late 2013 or 2014 introduction.  The market is not going to sit still, and Apple should get its a$$ moving.  Premium products need innovation, and I hope that they have a lot around.   

You two are jumping the gun with your hypotheses. While it could be Apple or Cook's fault there is no clear evidence that is the case all we known that it's negatively affecting Apple's sales.

Consider the original iPhone which had only 270k units sold its entire 4th quarter. This is not unlike what Apple did with the old iMac style not being available after the new iMac was announced. Now consider all the other delays constricted shipments Apple has seen over the years under Steve Jobs. There have been plenty but we tend not to remember them as we can see with many pundit claiming that Apple is collapsing without Steve at the helm.

My question is why would Apple make a new iMac and risk losing sales altogether for 1-2 months and then have severely constricted supply for so long? You can't just say that Apple is stupid or Tim Cook sucks (not that you two would be so superficial or impudent). They cold have just kept the same design and then updated the internals. I am certain they have backup designs for many projects so why not just update the internals of the iMac and be done with it months earlier.

Did a supplier fall through at the last minute (which means that some of the blame is off of them) or could there be a more complex and longterm reason why Apple choose to lose some sales on the least popular type of device (desktop PC) within their least popular product category (PCs)?

One hypothesis I've put forward is that these iMacs were necessary for them not to get behind. But how if they are behind on iMac sales? That's looking at just the iMac. Apple has a long history o incorporating skills perfected in one area with other areas. This reduces costs and increases margins while still being competitively priced. What if these iMacs — the stir-friction welding, large laminated display, or something else entirely — are trials for a bigger, more colossal project that would be set back a year if Apple had waited a year to release this new iMac design?

I'm not saying that is the case, just that there isn't enough information to say what circumstances that led to why they did what they did, just as looking at only the original iPhone's 4th quarter would show that Apple dropped the ball… which they clearly didn't.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #16 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post

What a silly article.  It was completely attributable to production issues that have since been resolved.  Mac sales are going to be great this quarter.

This is correct. The story is written as if by a zombie. Where the hell is the background?

At the newspaper I worked for, the city editor would have tossed the copy across your desk, and said," "Fix this." If you asked him, "Fix what?" he would have screamed at you, "Who, what, where, when and why! You forgot why!"

Maybe I should stop thinking of this as a news site.

Edit: Forgot "when." : )
Edited by Flaneur - 3/1/13 at 8:26am
post #17 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post

 

 

And the Mac Pro as well... even though there are rumors they will release it before June. Honestly though, what the f---- is so new and so revolutionary about the new Mac Pro? Top end CPUs, top end graphics, truck load of RAM, massive HDD, multiple SSDs, plenty of expandability... those are plain-to-see requirements for a pro machine. And the fact that the current Mac Pro aren’t selling like hot cakes (I doubt the new one will either), it makes sense for Apple to preannounce it and have it ship later.

 

What they totally miss is a stable road map. If I buy a workstation from Dell, I know they will come out with a faster version once a new Intel chip is out next year, and the year after next. It’s like clockwork that allows me to plan for a stable upgrade route for my business.

Totally agree. I would rather wait for Haswell than rush one out, but I need to know it is coming. The Mac Pro is not an iPhone with that type of competition or need for secrecy. No one else makes an OSX workstation. It would seem management has a lot to learn about the pro pipeline. Used to be much more predictable. That is necessary when year out and beyond budgeting decisions need to be made and you only have one supplier of your workstations. There are many companies and individuals who refuse to go to Windows, but their patience is being sorely tested.

post #18 of 115

Get a grip there, the wait for the new Pro isn't the end of the world.  

 

As to revolutionary there is actually a lot of tech that is about to come on line that could end up in the new Mac Pro.    It is hard to say what we will get obviously but it is reasonable to hold out hope that this years new Mac Pro will break new ground.   

 

It is never a good idea to pre announce in the tech world.   Time after time it has caused significant issues with companies that have done so.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post

 

 

And the Mac Pro as well... even though there are rumors they will release it before June. Honestly though, what the f---- is so new and so revolutionary about the new Mac Pro? Top end CPUs, top end graphics, truck load of RAM, massive HDD, multiple SSDs, plenty of expandability... those are plain-to-see requirements for a pro machine. And the fact that the current Mac Pro aren’t selling like hot cakes (I doubt the new one will either), it makes sense for Apple to preannounce it and have it ship later.

 

What they totally miss is a stable road map. If I buy a workstation from Dell, I know they will come out with a faster version once a new Intel chip is out next year, and the year after next. It’s like clockwork that allows me to plan for a stable upgrade route for my business.

Yes Dell often does bump their machines in sync with Intel.   Often they do so with minor benefit to the user.   At this point it doesn't hurt any reasonable work station user to wait to see what Apple delivers.    If it is just another run of the mill upgrade you have your choice of Dell or Apple.    If it is ground breaking then the wait is worth it.  

post #19 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post

 

Have you stopped crying wolf for a moment and think why it’s been going down so spectacularly in the past 5 months? I don’t disagree that short sellers and hedgies play a (major?) role in it, but how can they do it so far and for so long? It’s because Tim Cook and the board doesn’t care one bit about shareholders. All he keeps saying is “we take a long view”,  “we care more about innovation”. None of these is wrong, but he isn’t feeling or sharing the pain of the shareholder when the stock keeps dropping and dropping. He has tools to fight against it: a PR to announce X millions iPhones sold, a denial of rumors, dividend hikes, buyback boosts, …. And yet he chose to do nothing.


It’s like you have a gangster brother but the bullies know you aren’t telling him nothing. Do you think they will stop stealing your lunch money or giving you wedgies? They will bully you until you’re on life support. Your friends will be too scared to play with you now.

 

Last week there was news of Foxconn hiring freeze that was automatically translated to Apple’s production cut. In fact it was due to better than expected retention rate (note how no one credited Apple with improving the working conditions at Foxconn). Just today, there’s rumor of inventory buildup in Europe because iPhone 5 isn’t selling--it can be due to a myriad of things, including that Apple has solved iPhone 5 production problems and start to build channel inventory toward their 4 - 6 weeks target. Every Apple story has been twisted to shine negative light on the company, and management refused to clarify it. Tim Cook could have simply call his broker and order a $1B share buyback. Announce it at 3pm, and slap the bears in the face. That would convince me that he means serious business.

 

If you are a long term investor and you believe in the longer term strategy of Apple, then the price drop of Apple stock is not going to be a pain for you.  In fact, you will rejoice at the fact that it's now much cheaper, and you can get nearly twice as much stocks for the same amount of money.

 

Whenever a company start doing things like you proposed for no other reason than to prop up the stock price, the company inevitably start on a slippery slop to long term decline.  Stock price should be a reflection of a company's future earnings.  PR announcements, dividend hikes, stock buybacks does absolutely NOTHING for future earnings.  

post #20 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


You two are jumping the gun with your hypotheses. While it could be Apple or Cook's fault there is no clear evidence that is the case all we known that it's negatively affecting Apple's sales.

Consider the original iPhone which had only 270k units sold its entire 4th quarter. This is not unlike what Apple did with the old iMac style not being available after the new iMac was announced. Now consider all the other delays constricted shipments Apple has seen over the years under Steve Jobs. There have been plenty but we tend not to remember them as we can see with many pundit claiming that Apple is collapsing without Steve at the helm.

My question is why would Apple make a new iMac and risk losing sales altogether for 1-2 months and then have severely constricted supply for so long? You can't just say that Apple is stupid or Tim Cook sucks (not that you two would be so superficial or impudent). They cold have just kept the same design and then updated the internals. I am certain they have backup designs for many projects so why not just update the internals of the iMac and be done with it months earlier.

Did a supplier fall through at the last minute (which means that some of the blame is off of them) or could there be a more complex and longterm reason why Apple choose to lose some sales on the least popular type of device (desktop PC) within their least popular product category (PCs)?

One hypothesis I've put forward is that these iMacs were necessary for them not to get behind. But how if they are behind on iMac sales? That's looking at just the iMac. Apple has a long history o incorporating skills perfected in one area with other areas. This reduces costs and increases margins while still being competitively priced. What if these iMacs — the stir-friction welding, large laminated display, or something else entirely — are trials for a bigger, more colossal project that would be set back a year if Apple had waited a year to release this new iMac design?

I'm not saying that is the case, just that there isn't enough information to say what circumstances that led to why they did what they did, just as looking at only the original iPhone's 4th quarter would show that Apple dropped the ball… which they clearly didn't.

Exactly. This bears quoting to double the chances that some of these supply chain geniuses here might read it.

I think you might have said this before, too: for all we know, the same production facilities are involved with the new iMac that were making the old one. So they had to shut down production of one to set up for the other. They knew there would be a gap, but so it goes, we can afford it. At least buyers of the old model are not going to bitch when the new one comes out only a week later.

The only surprise might have been how clueless the "analysts" and the market are. And posters on the news sites like here, of course. (Like they care about us—hah!)
post #21 of 115

You make assumptions here about what will be in the new Mac Pro.   Haswell might not even be in the picture.   

 

As for Apple letting Pros know what is up, they already did that some time ago.   Maybe you where asleep at the wheel but they told everybody that a new Mac Pro was coming in 2013 what in the hell do you want besides that.   Do you really think Apple owes you a personally addressed letter, detailing to the minute when the machine will come out?     

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

Totally agree. I would rather wait for Haswell than rush one out, but I need to know it is coming. The Mac Pro is not an iPhone with that type of competition or need for secrecy. No one else makes an OSX workstation. It would seem management has a lot to learn about the pro pipeline. Used to be much more predictable. That is necessary when year out and beyond budgeting decisions need to be made and you only have one supplier of your workstations. There are many companies and individuals who refuse to go to Windows, but their patience is being sorely tested.

post #22 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post

Well, production issue is also a reflection of managament's aptitude on supply chain. Nobody was expecting a thinner iMac. What was sorely needed, however, was an updated iMac with Ivy Bridge and USB3. Apple could have easily jammed those into the existing package, take the time to iron out the production issues on the new chasis and have it ready for Haswell. They chose the hard route and was punished as a reseult. Tim Cook mentioned a backlog of 700,000 iMacs on the quarterly call. I suspect this quarter won't fill all of them.

 

Oh, give me a break. People on this forum have been bitching for a damn long time about wanting a redesigned iMac. Stop pretending noone wanted or was expecting it, and don't pretend that the people on this forum would have been satisfied with a spec bump. 

post #23 of 115

 

Since when has the Mac unit share been HIGHER than it's revenue share?

 

Who writes this stuff? Who checks it?

post #24 of 115
Quote:

If you are a long term investor and you believe in the longer term strategy of Apple, then the price drop of Apple stock is not going to be a pain for you.  In fact, you will rejoice at the fact that it's now much cheaper, and you can get nearly twice as much stocks for the same amount of money.

 

Whenever a company start doing things like you proposed for no other reason than to prop up the stock price, the company inevitably start on a slippery slop to long term decline.  Stock price should be a reflection of a company's future earnings.  PR announcements, dividend hikes, stock buybacks does absolutely NOTHING for future earnings.  

 

Do you even own Apple shares? I do, my average purchase price is slightly above $360, starting with the first 50 @ $90 bought in November 2008 (read: at the depth of the recession). Back then there was so much uncertainty and fear that even Apple may go bankrupt (nobody would buy their iPhones, iPods were fading, etc). Watching the stock go to $700 then $430 while nothing has changed is super frustrating. Am I not long term enough? I haven’t sold a single share in 5 years, through a recession, antennagate, or Jobs’ passing. My company (remember that I’m shareholder hence I’m entitled to part of the company) is doing spectacularly well, with truck load of cash and I can’t get access to any of those--it’s my cash.

The agents I put in place to run the company (management and the board) are ignoring my concerns and let the market runs its course on my company. Shareprice is partially based on perception of the market. The market sees that my agents are not doing anything to help so they continue to drive the share down. If they show care, the market will listen and put a proper value back to my shares.

post #25 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

You make assumptions here about what will be in the new Mac Pro.   Haswell might not even be in the picture.   

 

As for Apple letting Pros know what is up, they already did that some time ago.   Maybe you where asleep at the wheel but they told everybody that a new Mac Pro was coming in 2013 what in the hell do you want besides that.   Do you really think Apple owes you a personally addressed letter, detailing to the minute when the machine will come out?     

I have been following this closely for quite some time, actually. My former business was six years as the exclusive Avid dealer for Hawaii with dozens of pro level clients. Now devoted to doing video and photo production. Cook only said that "something really great was coming" and suggested late 2013. Didn't even specify if it would be a similar form factor.  Apple doesn't owe ME anything personally. It owes ALL of the people whose businesses depend on Mac Pro level machines some predictability. The tech in the current Mac Pro is pushing 4 years old. GPU choice is even more pathetic. No Thunderbolt, I could go on. Make the next one a real update. Should be Haswell or Haswell as soon as it comes out. They used to be the first with new Intel CPUs. Now they are beyond last in workstations. Surely they could provide a bit more information than they have. Once again, the Mac Pro is not an iPhone. Only one supplier. A bit more info would at least slow the bleeding to Windows and cost nothing in sales.

post #26 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by xZu View Post

Supply constraint was predicted by Apple and no one listened.

On the other hand, after 25 years of Mac only use, I am buying a couple desktop PC's running Win7. No Mac Pro makes me sad, and an iMac is just a vertical laptop.

Yeah right! If you've been on a Mac for 25 years, you won't have the slightest idea how to set up those new Win7 boxes to get the same performance as those "vertical laptops". Hint: such as turning off unused services and visual fluff AND install a low footprint anti-virus/malware package.

But by all means: go for it! 1rolleyes.gif
Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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post #27 of 115
I don't believe that Apple has ironed out its issues. The iPad (especially iPad mini) is cannibalizing the laptop market (which is really the only driver on the Mac side of the business). The recent discounts on Mac's as highlighted here on AppleInsider is very disturbing and portends a continued drop in the entire Mac line.

The iPad is getting tantalizingly close to having the capabilities of a high end laptop and the market for desktops is actually shrinking worldwide.

I expect Apple to still gain in the overall personal computer sector, but that sector will continue to shrink.

The future is in mobile devices - and it is here that Apple's lead was paramount, until last year. It is their's to lose if they don't continue to innovate. Devices will get smaller, but just as capable as larger devices by leveraging the Cloud.

The key for both Apple and Google (and others) is an ever more efficient and high speed internet, as this will drive ever more efficient portable devices. Apple would do well to use its cash hoard to partner and eventually control the distribution (pipelines) of data to compliment its hardware and software.
post #28 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectroTech View Post

"after 25 years of Mac only use, I am buying a couple desktop PC's running Win7. No Mac Pro makes me sad, and an iMac is just a vertical laptop."

@xzu With the statements you made, there is no way that you were a Mac user for any time. You sound like a hard core Windows box user and may have used a Mac for half an hour. You just don't 'get' Macs if you put down the iMac as a vertical laptop. Powerful computers are made with powerful processors and graphics chips regardless of the shape of the box.

It may appear that way, but my first Mac was a Mac Plus in 1988 (used), still my favorite was my IIci...yes i am old.  I have owned 52 macs since for my business, personal use and family (5 newtons, in fact). Your point about powerful graphics chips... a 680m is still a mobile chip, some people need more... I am looking to replace 7 iMacs that had their hard drives fail from heat every 18 months, repeatedly, for my business (I have a stack of hard drives to prove it). I am tired of running smc fan control at maximum just to use them.  I have two xserves.. I have to consider what to replace them with. All I am saying is that there is a portion of Mac users that do require a MacPro, maybe its only 5%, but it would be great if we could get updates, or better yet something that isnt a vertical laptop. They are beautiful machines, I will probably buy a new 27" for home, I have the last generation 27"... I want to replace my early 2009 Mac Pro I use with a 30" apple display and I don't want an iMac. As Steve Jobs said, some people are still going to need trucks... 

post #29 of 115
@rsdofny:
"That says a lot about Tim Cook who is supposed to be the supply chain genius. He updated the entire product line and none of them are working as well as he expected. The only bright spot was the iPad mini which due to supply constraint could not be manufactured faster enough to meet demand. Low cost or larger size iPhone should be on the design shelf ready to go with a moment's notice. Now, we hear all these rumors about late 2013 or 2014 introduction. The market is not going to sit still, and Apple should get its a$$ moving. Premium products need innovation, and I hope that they have a lot around."

Couldn't agree more. I think just about every Apple product introduction over the past few years has experienced problems with lack of supply. Could have sold more, but didn't have enough product. He's supposed to be a supply chain expert?
post #30 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post

 

Do you even own Apple shares? I do, my average purchase price is slightly above $360, starting with the first 50 @ $90 bought in November 2008 (read: at the depth of the recession). Back then there was so much uncertainty and fear that even Apple may go bankrupt (nobody would buy their iPhones, iPods were fading, etc). Watching the stock go to $700 then $430 while nothing has changed is super frustrating. Am I not long term enough? I haven’t sold a single share in 5 years, through a recession, antennagate, or Jobs’ passing. My company (remember that I’m shareholder hence I’m entitled to part of the company) is doing spectacularly well, with truck load of cash and I can’t get access to any of those--it’s my cash.

The agents I put in place to run the company (management and the board) are ignoring my concerns and let the market runs its course on my company. Shareprice is partially based on perception of the market. The market sees that my agents are not doing anything to help so they continue to drive the share down. If they show care, the market will listen and put a proper value back to my shares.

 

so you're upset the price is ONLY $70 above your avg purchase price? it's not YOUR cash. You invested prior to any dividends. So at the time of the investment, you weren't promised any cash.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsdofny View Post

That says a lot about Tim Cook who is supposed to be the supply chain genius.  He updated the entire product line and none of them are working as well as he expected.   The only bright spot was the iPad mini which due to supply constraint could not be manufactured faster enough to meet demand.  Low cost or larger size iPhone should be on the design shelf ready to go with a moment's notice.  Now, we hear all these rumors about late 2013 or 2014 introduction.  The market is not going to sit still, and Apple should get its a$$ moving.  Premium products need innovation, and I hope that they have a lot around.   

 

Guess what, sh1t happens. You have to shut down the previous like to start the new line if the old line will not be sold anymore.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post

 

Have you stopped crying wolf for a moment and think why it’s been going down so spectacularly in the past 5 months? I don’t disagree that short sellers and hedgies play a (major?) role in it, but how can they do it so far and for so long? It’s because Tim Cook and the board doesn’t care one bit about shareholders. All he keeps saying is “we take a long view”,  “we care more about innovation”. None of these is wrong, but he isn’t feeling or sharing the pain of the shareholder when the stock keeps dropping and dropping. He has tools to fight against it: a PR to announce X millions iPhones sold, a denial of rumors, dividend hikes, buyback boosts, …. And yet he chose to do nothing.


Last week there was news of Foxconn hiring freeze that was automatically translated to Apple’s production cut. In fact it was due to better than expected retention rate (note how no one credited Apple with improving the working conditions at Foxconn). Just today, there’s rumor of inventory buildup in Europe because iPhone 5 isn’t selling--it can be due to a myriad of things, including that Apple has solved iPhone 5 production problems and start to build channel inventory toward their 4 - 6 weeks target. Every Apple story has been twisted to shine negative light on the company, and management refused to clarify it. Tim Cook could have simply call his broker and order a $1B share buyback. Announce it at 3pm, and slap the bears in the face. That would convince me that he means serious business.

 

um. Cook did announce how many iphones they sold during the qtrly calls. Apple shouldn't comment on rumors because if they are true, what are they going to say? nothing = confirmation.

 

Why should mgmt comment on analysts twisting the facts. The analysts aren't going to care about it. They ignored Cook's warning about mac sales which he alluded to in the sept qtrly call. Cook works for the BoD. The Board decides whether to authorize stock buybacks.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post

Well, production issue is also a reflection of managament's aptitude on supply chain. Nobody was expecting a thinner iMac. What was sorely needed, however, was an updated iMac with Ivy Bridge and USB3. Apple could have easily jammed those into the existing package, take the time to iron out the production issues on the new chasis and have it ready for Haswell. They chose the hard route and was punished as a reseult. Tim Cook mentioned a backlog of 700,000 iMacs on the quarterly call. I suspect this quarter won't fill all of them.

 

please, then analysts and people like you would claim this isn't innovative, it's the same boring design...blah blah blah.

post #31 of 115
Originally Posted by SDDave View Post
Couldn't agree more. I think just about every Apple product introduction over the past few years has experienced problems with lack of supply. Could have sold more, but didn't have enough product. He's supposed to be a supply chain expert?

 

Those 'past few years' goes back about five years and includes Steve Jobs' era. Blame Steve Jobs. 

 

Oh, right, that's not passé. "It's Cook's fault."

 

I guess it is Tim Cook's fault that there just aren't enough people on the planet able to do the work needed to "make more product", even if it was possible to build the extra factories required for that.

 

Wait, how is Cook, the "supply chain expert", supposed to be blamed for a problem of manufacturing? They still turn over their entire inventory every week. THAT is the supply chain.

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post #32 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDDave View Post

Couldn't agree more. I think just about every Apple product introduction over the past few years has experienced problems with lack of supply. Could have sold more, but didn't have enough product. He's supposed to be a supply chain expert?

So when demand outstrips supply it's Cook's fault no matter how excessive demand is. You think that's a reasonable conclusion to make? You think that if there are 50 million that want to buy the next iPhone in the first weekend they need to have produced 50 million units before they go on sale even if that means pushing back the launch by several months? You don't see how Apple is constrained by what can be sourced and produced at any one time at a given rate? You don't see anything wrong that logic?

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post #33 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDDave View Post

Couldn't agree more. I think just about every Apple product introduction over the past few years has experienced problems with lack of supply. Could have sold more, but didn't have enough product. He's supposed to be a supply chain expert?

 

um..there wasn't enough supply to meet the unexpectedly large demand. Please learn Supply and demand. I'll give you $100 if you can predict initial demand on a new product without having too much supply or any shortages. I also want you to ramp up production of the new product while still selling the old product in quantities the old product still demands. I also want you to coordinate the purchasing of new components for the old and new products without having too much or too little of each component but maintain Apple's high level of quality control.

 

Personally I rather have shortages than too much inventory.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMoeller View Post

The future is in mobile devices - and it is here that Apple's lead was paramount, until last year. It is their's to lose if they don't continue to innovate. Devices will get smaller, but just as capable as larger devices by leveraging the Cloud.
 

 

yup. without your help, I would imagine Apple employees playing pong all day. Who knew they had to continue improving their products.

post #34 of 115
I believe the Mac desktops are to blame. It's wrongly designed in this moment. Current Mac desktops assume you either want laptop performance, or you want an "all in one machine", or otherwise you want a Xeon. All these assumptions are plain wrong, because:

-People looking for a desktop don't want laptop performance. Otherwise they wouldn't buy a desktop, but a MacBook (Pro or Air) and plug it to a big display if needed.

-Most people don't want an "all in one" in this moment, because most users already have great displays, and they don't see the need in getting yet another display when they can invest the display money in getting a better Mac. Paying for a display you already have looks absurd (note: I've been a friend of the iMac, and have owned a G5 iMac, but I think it no longer fits with the market reality anymore.

-And it's also plain wrong to assume you want a Xeon if you want more performance than a laptop but don't want an "all in one".

So, the Mac desktop line is wrong at this moment: it doesn't provide what desktop users expect, but what laptop users expect, or what Xeon users expect. It misses the real desktop market entirely
post #35 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecs View Post


-Most people don't want an "all in one" in this moment, because most users already have great displays, and they don't see the need in getting yet another display when they can invest the display money in getting a better Mac. Paying for a display you already have looks absurd (note: I've been a friend of the iMac, and have owned a G5 iMac, but I think it no longer fits with the market reality anymore.

So, the Mac desktop line is wrong at this moment: it doesn't provide what desktop users expect, but what laptop users expect, or what Xeon users expect. It misses the real desktop market entirely

Most people have great displays? Even first time computer buyers? Even people who want to switch from crappy Dells? Oh if you have a "great monitor", get a mini.

My brothers and I will all be buying iMacs this year.
post #36 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecs View Post

I believe the Mac desktops are to blame. It's wrongly designed in this moment. Current Mac desktops assume you either want laptop performance, or you want an "all in one machine", or otherwise you want a Xeon. All these assumptions are plain wrong, because:

-People looking for a desktop don't want laptop performance. Otherwise they wouldn't buy a desktop, but a MacBook (Pro or Air) and plug it to a big display if needed.

-Most people don't want an "all in one" in this moment, because most users already have great displays, and they don't see the need in getting yet another display when they can invest the display money in getting a better Mac. Paying for a display you already have looks absurd (note: I've been a friend of the iMac, and have owned a G5 iMac, but I think it no longer fits with the market reality anymore.

-And it's also plain wrong to assume you want a Xeon if you want more performance than a laptop but don't want an "all in one".

So, the Mac desktop line is wrong at this moment: it doesn't provide what desktop users expect, but what laptop users expect, or what Xeon users expect. It misses the real desktop market entirely

EXACTLY!, thank you, i wish i could have expressed that as elegantly as you did. There is a huge whole in the desktop line, and that is, in part, why desktop sales are down. Apple makes and iMac and a workstation, nothing in between. Some users + small business need what is in between. 

post #37 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Most people have great displays? Even first time computer buyers? Even people who want to switch from crappy Dells? Oh if you have a "great monitor", get a mini.

My brothers and I will all be buying iMacs this year.
Obviously, not everybody has a great display, but most current desktop users I know have a very good (and *big*, usually bigger than 21 inch) display. Being forced to buy an "all in one" looks nonsense when you already have the display you need. This wasn't true in the past, because we were in the transition from CRTs or from small LCDs, but that's not the market reality anymore.

People who don't want an "all in one" don't want a Mini, because the Mini is less powerful in GPU. And don't want a Xeon either.

If Apple released a powerful i7 with a 2GB GPU, with 512 GB SSD and without display, they could offer it in the $1900 price range. And I'm confident this would sell in larger amounts than the whole desktop line in this moment, because that's exactly the kind of performance most desktop users expect in this moment. And Apple could meet such price within its usual pricing, without any new pricing policy
post #38 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDO2000 View Post

He isn't really far off though. The imac does not have desktop class graphics. The imac uses laptop grade video cards which aren't as powerful as their desktop counterparts. /shrug

Other than the 17 people globally who play high performance games on their Mac, who cares? The iMac is an incredibly powerful machine that more than meets the needs of 99% of users. If someone needs the fastest video card, they're probably in the group that will want to upgrade the video card regularly - so they're not looking at the iMac, anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post

Apple killed the older model iMac before they had sufficient stock of the new one, which was horrendously bad planning. They literally had no iMacs to sell anyone, because they could not time the new release correctly. This is management's fault, plain and simple.

We don't know that. Perhaps they had solid commitments from reputable suppliers and expected adequate supplies right away.

Granted, it looks very odd that they dropped the old models before the new ones were available, so there's a good chance that you are right, but we can't be absolutely certain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by piot View Post




Since when has the Mac unit share been HIGHER than it's revenue share?

Who writes this stuff? Who checks it?

I noticed the same thing.

I suspect that they got the two labels backwards. Either way, though, who else besides a Wall Street Analysts can look at that chart showing years of steady growth in market share, combined with steady growth of profits - and call it bad news?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So when demand outstrips supply it's Cook's fault no matter how excessive demand is. You think that's a reasonable conclusion to make? You think that if there are 50 million that want to buy the next iPhone in the first weekend they need to have produced 50 million units before they go on sale even if that means pushing back the launch by several months? You don't see how Apple is constrained by what can be sourced and produced at any one time at a given rate? You don't see anything wrong that logic?

That misses a key point. It's not a demand issue. If sales had increased and they still couldn't supply, then "demand was too great" would make sense. But when sales plummeted, it's certainly a supply issue.

Now, the argument makes sense with the iPhone - because they've continued to sell more of each new model. It doesn't make sense wrt the iMac.
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post #39 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecs View Post


but most current desktop users I know have a very good (and *big*, usually bigger than 21 inch) display.

 

I appreciate that your acquaintances (however many they number) have very good (whatever that means) stand-alone monitors, but sadly, anecdotal evidence and subjective standards get us nowhere. If the iMac were as insensitive to market requirements as you infer, it wouldn't sell. As nearly as I can tell, that is the opposite of the "problem" addressed in this article.
post #40 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post

Apple killed the older model iMac before they had sufficient stock of the new one, which was horrendously bad planning. They literally had no iMacs to sell anyone, because they could not time the new release correctly. This is management's fault, plain and simple.

Couldn't agree more. It was embarrassing to watch them let the holiday season slide by with no new or pervious gen iMacs.

 

I hope, if they're genuinely taking the 'long view,' that they wait until they have reasonably sufficient inventory to sell before grandly announcing any more new products. 

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