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Apple's spending on acquisitions surged to $525 million last quarter - Page 2

post #41 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I'm not sure. It was your expression. You tell me.
I said Cook shouldn't be nailed. You said he should so tell me in what way? Fire him? Demote him? Make him work for $1 with no stock options?
post #42 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

All of which is true. Part of me has always hoped that there are a few gems in the works cooked up by a still healthy Steve, awaiting technological advances to make them actual products. I fear without Steve there are no more industry level, paradigm shifts on the horizon from Apple, or anyone for that matter, for a long time to come with the possible exception of Elon.

Has anyone even given thought to the concept that without significant advances in some technologies, there will be no major product breakthroughs?

Google Glass is getting a lot of press for nothing much. No talk of processing power, memory, storage, battery life. It's been mentioned, but no real discussion.

These watches are pitiful in every way. Poor battery life or really dreadful performance, or some combo of the two. None do very much. Samsung willing be coming out with a second generation, but bets are that it still won't do all that much.

So what are we really expecting? I just don't see it. In car entertainment software? Not a major category, I'll bet, at least, not as far as income is concerned. A "real" Tv? I don't know. How many would Apple sell a year?

This is the problem I say Apple has. It's the same problem their competitors have as well. But their competitors can compete with a lot of products in a space, while Apple has just one or two hero products. That makes it hard to compete once they begin to catch up. We get so used to Apple's products needing to lead the field in sales that we forget they can have products that don't, but incrementally add to sales.
post #43 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Other than demanding mythical new product lines, what would you suggest? I've given my suggestions.

 

I'd love to see Apple transition into something other than just products. Products have a short lifespan. I'd like to see a service as a revenue stream.

 

Payment services is a logical place to turn. The iTunes accounts and 700 million iOS devices (all of which might not be active... I know), tell me that Apple has a huge base to use to implement any strategy.

 

Would it be a drain on the account in the beginning? Sure. The stock price would most likely tank.  :)

 

If Apple did get into payment transactions on its own then I'd like to see a "cheap" iPhone [let me change that to 'iDevice'] that would get even more people into the iOS sphere. Make it bare bones but with the ability to tap into the payment system.

 

The tv game is something that I think would be harder to crack and I don't think the returns would be as great. The mobile transaction business seems to be in its infancy, noticeable by the start ups that keep popping up and finding success.

 

[oh... and this watch thing... obviously I'm not Steve... but I think he'd view it with a jaundiced eye. I see less and less people wearing watches these days. If they are taking them off, what makes us believe that even Apple can get us to put them back on. I know I wouldn't do it. If Apple is heading into some other form of wearable computer I'd say it is something different than a watch... but I don't have enough of an imagination to say what... but it would be wearable as mentioned above, re: iDevice]


Edited by island hermit - 1/30/14 at 12:54pm
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post #44 of 108
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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


I said Cook shouldn't be nailed. You said he should so tell me in what way? Fire him? Demote him? Make him work for $1 with no stock options?

 

I only used it because you used it. Obviously it must mean something to you. What is it?

 

As I said... it's your expression... tell me what you meant by it... and that would be your answer.

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post #45 of 108
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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Here's where I disagree. I think Apple needs new revenue streams. iPhone being over 50% of their revenues isn't healthy. And I do think part of the stock drop was because Wall Street was expecting new categories. That's why they keep badgering Cook about innovation. I don't want Apple to become Samsung. I don't want them to start building cheap phones and tablets just to satisfy Wall Street's obsession with market share. I want them to design and build products people are willing to pay a premium for. I want them to attract and keep profitable market share.

 

agree.

 

i don't understand why Apple can't invest $20 Billion and compete in search

post #46 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

As I said, this goes back to the Jobs philosophy. It has nothing to do with Cook particularly. He's pretty much continuing on with Jobs's policies.

People need to stop blaming Cook for Apple's problems. I don't see Apple operating any differently now. New product categories will still take five, six, or even seven years to make an appearance.

They need to drop some of Jobs's policies. And the one they need to drop the most is the one of only buying smaller companies for purely technical purposes, or for incomplete software that Apple can enlarge upon. They need to buy bigger companies with well developed services, or even products.

Apple now needs to operate like a giant company, which it is. Giant companies rarely can grow quickly without buying into other areas. They also have to change some of their philosophy about product pricing. We see that the 5c didn't sell well. I can understand that. For the first time, Apple is telling people; "Hey, we've got a cheaper phone out, and everyone will know you bought that!"

Previously, people could buy the top line phone a year or two later, while knowing that it had been the top line phone, and people who didn't know when they bought it, could think they bought it at the full price, when it first came out. It's a matter of prestige. People actually do think that way. But the 5C doesn't offer that prestige. If Apple could have made it more cheaply, and sold it for $449 instead, the bigger differential might have made a difference, but the differential wasn't enough to make up for that fact that people would be saying; "I see you bought Apple's cheaper model." That even seems to be the case overseas.

We need new thinking, not more regurgitated Steve Jobs thought. That era is over.

1. Apple is still a small, disheveled company, scattered all over Cupertino. Yes, they have big money, but that's come from focusing very clearly and deeply on a few good products, and by thinking as they say like a small startup to squeeze these products out with a great deal of bleeding-edge pain: machined aluminum with glass inlays, exotic glass-to-film laminations, LCDs with LTPS or IGZO backplanes, etc. Let them get organized in their new headquarters before you ask them to be the new Toyota or General Motors.

Any new big acquisition diffuses focus and causes distracting organizational headaches. You need a layer of supervision that the company is going to devote a whole slice of the wheel to in their new headquarters.

2. Yes they have to build data centers, as in your earlier post, but they have to be built the Apple way, as perfectly as possible, step by step, one at a time, until they learn how to get a system built to start replicating them, particularly in Europe, Asia, and other continents with their unique requirements. Focus applies to infrastructure building as well.

3. Steve Jobs was not only about a way of thinking, a compendium of thought, he bequeathed a method of operation. It became the way you can make 34 million iPhone 5ses with all that advanced sensor and processing technology fitting together almost flawlessly the first time out around the world in three months. This is like Buddhist practice: the making of the thing is just as important as the thing you make. If they lose this approach, they won't be Apple anymore.

4. With products like the 5c, they have a longer view and a more elaborate reasoning than we are privy to. To illustrate, my middle-aged neighbor who wears lots of silver and turquoise jewely, just went from a 4s to a 5c. The coral-colored one looks so good in her hand (and she knows it) that she may never be a candidate for the cold technoid anodized aluminum approach. The 5c is going to pay off later as the radios and the new production machinery are paid off, and the thing can be produced without limits as demand shits to those who buy for delight more than "the sharper image."

Excuse the tone, but I think it is unwise to counsel that Apple make itself into a big bad corporation just to please investors, rather than grow into a multifaceted start-up that hews to the principle of doing good for the world by augmenting the mind.
post #47 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I only used it because you used it. Obviously it must mean something to you. What is it?

As I said... it's your expression... tell me what you meant by it... and that would be your answer.
What I meant by it is the constant slagging of Cook on sites like this or in the financial and tech press. Cook was running the show when the stock shot up to $700 and no one seemed to be complaining about him then.
post #48 of 108

Could Apple buy one of the small Chinese phone makers?

Then allow this company to make 'cheap' phones for the chinese and indian markets using iOS?

The phones would be sold under the Chinese brand so the Apple halo status will be preserved.

 

Benefits:

Marketshare in China

Get customers hooked to iOS

Does not damage Apple halo status

Would be reported seperately on financials so Apple's core Gross Margin won't be hit

post #49 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


What I meant by it is the constant slagging of Cook on sites like this or in the financial and tech press. Cook was running the show when the stock shot up to $700 and no one seemed to be complaining about him then.

 

... and there's your answer. Cook should be slagged upon for not maintaining a steady rate of growth... and I'm not talking about 40 or 50% yoy.

 

10% yoy would keep some folks happy... 15% would shut up anyone who would say otherwise.

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post #50 of 108
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
Could Apple buy one of the small Chinese phone makers?

Then allow this company to make 'cheap' phones for the chinese and indian markets using iOS

 

No. No. No. 

 

Wait, was there a third question mark? Ah, well. For emphasis, then.

 

Are you insane?

 

Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
i don't understand why Apple can't invest $20 Billion and compete in search

 

Because money doesn’t fix problems and they don’t have a problem to begin with.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #51 of 108
If all that's available for Apple is making cheaper versions of existing products then they really are doomed. Those aren't new revenue streams. If anything that just makes Apple more of an iPhone company than anything else. How is it a good thing if 50-60% of Apple's revenues are tied to one product? They need new sources of revenue. Mobile payments is one area. Taking Apple to the next level and out of hobby status is another. Cook said on the earnings call that Apple doesn't have problems finding things to work on; the issue is knowing which ones to say yes to and to focus all their energies on. So unless he's just one big liar we have to assume Apple is working on completely new product and service lines.
post #52 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

No. No. No. 

 

Wait, was there a third question mark? Ah, well. For emphasis, then.

 

Are you insane?

 

 

Because money doesn’t fix problems and they don’t have a problem to begin with.

 

The problem is 90% of their profits is from hardware.

They need to diversify into services.

 

Look what Apple did with Maps.  Now 80% of iPhone users use Apple maps.  Why could they not do the same with Search?  How hard or expensive is it to make a decent search engine?  They have already started with iRadio but there isn't much money in that in comparison to Search.

post #53 of 108
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

The problem is 90% of their profits is from hardware.

 

YEAH. One hundred and fifty billion dollars in cash. That’s a real problem. Plenty of companies only make product and are just fine.

 
They need to diversify into services.

 

I’m pretty sure Apple’s payment system will be the Cialis that returns the raging stiffy Wall Street had for Apple in the early naughties. 

 

At least, I’m hopeful for it. :p Revolutionizing what it means to buy something is about as big as it gets.

 
Why could they not do the same with Search?

 

Because there’s no money in search WHATSOEVER. There’s money in finding out what people search for and then whoring those people out to third party advertisers to spam them.

 

There’s no human benefit in search.


Edited by Tallest Skil - 1/30/14 at 12:28pm

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #54 of 108
Apple getting into search is easier said than done. And how exactly would they make money off of it? Do people want Apple to turn into an advertising company?
post #55 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

YEAH. One hundred and fifty billion dollars in cash. That’s a real problem. Plenty of companies only make product and are just fine.

I’m pretty sure Apple’s payment system will be the Cialis that returns the raging stiff Wall Street had for Apple in the early naughties. 

At least, I’m hopeful for it. 1tongue.gif  Revolutionizing what it means to buy something is about as big as it gets.

Because there’s no money in search WHATSOEVER. There’s money in finding out what people search for and then whoring those people out to third party advertisers to spam them.

There’s no human benefit in search.
Yeah just look at Microsoft and the losses they've taken in their search business over the years.
post #56 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

Frugality is not always good business. Sometimes, you have to spend a lot upfront to get back even more later.

 

That's true, but large acquisition typically have a lot of baggage. Look at the Motorola/Google deal. There have been rumors about what lead up to the deal, but ultimately, it didn't work out. 

 

I think Apple is frugal for a few reasons but the primary reason is the fact that they are a pretty focused company. They invest in things that they need. They will spend billions on data centers, the sapphire plant in Tuscon, Arizona, their new headquarters, and acquisitions that make sense.

 

Beyond that, I think the main reason right now is that since Steve's death, the company has been in transition. From Forstall getting the boot, to their retail situation, things have been a little nuts. Things have been tightening up with a tighter core and the hire of a new retail SVP. I think they are gearing up for a huge year and I mostly say that because Time Cook doesn't seem like the type of guy to just drop statements of big things coming just to appease the stock market or general public.

post #57 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I don't think we need too much "new stuff" though. Apple's stock plummeted, not because there was no new stuff, but because the stuff they have didn't sell as well as we ALL were expecting it would. That's the key; growth to at least equal that of the industry, not significantly below it.

So why punish Apple when everyone was wrong for their GUESSES!
post #58 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

If all that's available for Apple is making cheaper versions of existing products then they really are doomed. Those aren't new revenue streams. If anything that just makes Apple more of an iPhone company than anything else. How is it a good thing if 50-60% of Apple's revenues are tied to one product? They need new sources of revenue. Mobile payments is one area. Taking Apple to the next level and out of hobby status is another. Cook said on the earnings call that Apple doesn't have problems finding things to work on; the issue is knowing which ones to say yes to and to focus all their energies on. So unless he's just one big liar we have to assume Apple is working on completely new product and service lines.

 

Apple is the biggest self product killer. They always say it - they are willing to cannibalize their own products. Hell, they knew iPhone would kill iPod when they launched it. I think that some folks base their opinion on stock performance as a real indicator of what Apple is doing. Others think that repatriating the cash hoard is a good idea even if they have to pay crazy taxes. If Apple did that, the market would crucify Tim Cook. I, like you, am more patient. As far back as I can remember, people have been telling Apple what to do, and Apple does whatever it sees fit for its business. So far, it's them well.

post #59 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


So why punish Apple when everyone was wrong for their GUESSES!

 

Is that what you honestly think? That it's about "guesses".

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post #60 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

YEAH. One hundred and fifty billion dollars in cash. That’s a real problem. Plenty of companies only make product and are just fine.

I’m pretty sure Apple’s payment system will be the Cialis that returns the raging stiff Wall Street had for Apple in the early naughties. 

At least, I’m hopeful for it. 1tongue.gif  Revolutionizing what it means to buy something is about as big as it gets.

Because there’s no money in search WHATSOEVER. There’s money in finding out what people search for and then whoring those people out to third party advertisers to spam them.

There’s no human benefit in search.

Correct, correct, and maybe correct. I mean, there should be a human benefit in search, but it's been pre-verted by the parasitic model. Imagine if there could be some combination of search results and Wikipedia, for example. I don't know how it would work, but it seems like Google's short-cicuited machine could be repurposed to serve humans rather than advertisers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Has anyone even given thought to the concept that without significant advances in some technologies, there will be no major product breakthroughs?

Google Glass is getting a lot of press for nothing much. No talk of processing power, memory, storage, battery life. It's been mentioned, but no real discussion.

These watches are pitiful in every way. Poor battery life or really dreadful performance, or some combo of the two. None do very much. Samsung willing be coming out with a second generation, but bets are that it still won't do all that much.

So what are we really expecting? I just don't see it. In car entertainment software? Not a major category, I'll bet, at least, not as far as income is concerned. A "real" Tv? I don't know. How many would Apple sell a year?

This is the problem I say Apple has. It's the same problem their competitors have as well. But their competitors can compete with a lot of products in a space, while Apple has just one or two hero products. That makes it hard to compete once they begin to catch up. We get so used to Apple's products needing to lead the field in sales that we forget they can have products that don't, but incrementally add to sales.

I agree this is the real issue. We have a couple of breakthroughs in displays that are going to impact battery life tremendously, and shrinkage in processors, both leading to wearable computing. Apple's patents on wearable displays are very interesting, much moreso than the Oculus Rift approach, which people are crazy for even though you are agreeing to wear a box on your face. Google Glass is a very fragrant red herring, only they don't seem to know that, characteristically, because it's monocular and therefore insanity inducing.
post #61 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

The problem is 90% of their profits is from hardware.
They need to diversify into services.
They're a hardware company. Always have been. No-one's seriously suggesting Samsung diversify into services, so why does Apple have to?
Quote:
Look what Apple did with Maps.  Now 80% of iPhone users use Apple maps.  Why could they not do the same with Search?  How hard or expensive is it to make a decent search engine?  They have already started with iRadio but there isn't much money in that in comparison to Search.
On maps: They did that because of what they saw to be unreasonable terms for licensing Google Maps into the future. And they may still have been a little upset over the whole Erich Schmidt/Android thing. But the main reason for Apple Maps was that they were dependent on a third party to provide what is seen as core functionality of the smart phone, and they wanted, for whatever reason, to bring that in house.

As for diversifying into Search - that's a whole lot of hurt for not much gain. Look at the anti-trust investigations Google is currently undergoing. Apple doesn't want that as well.

Plus everyone keeps complaining about Apple's services. I mean, I've had no problems personally with iCloud, but to listen to some pundits, the whole thing is a mess, and a failure. And look at the criticisms of Apple Maps. People are still complaining that it's not as good as Google Maps. A search service would have to go through a fairly long public growth phase to be comparable to the existing services out there, and I don't think they want the negative publicity associated with that.

Perhaps most importantly, Apple only offers services that help to support the hardware business. The iTunes store is there to provide infrastructure for their portable devices, iCloud is there to provide infrastructure that supports their computers and their mobile devices. If they introduced Search, it would be to provide infrastructure for something else, and I don't see anything that needs it.
post #62 of 108
Here's a couple patent applications that were published today.

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2014/01/apple-introduces-us-to-a-major-financial-system-beyond-iwallet.html

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2014/01/apple-exploring-new-transparent-fiber-composite-materials-for-future-devices-including-wearable-computers.html

There is no question in my mind that wearables and mobile payment system are part of the new categories Cook has talked about. Maybe the next product we see from Apple is iBank. 1smoking.gif
Edited by Rogifan - 1/30/14 at 12:57pm
post #63 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by foad View Post

That's true, but large acquisition typically have a lot of baggage. Look at the Motorola/Google deal. There have been rumors about what lead up to the deal, but ultimately, it didn't work out. 

I think Apple is frugal for a few reasons but the primary reason is the fact that they are a pretty focused company. They invest in things that they need. They will spend billions on data centers, the sapphire plant in Tuscon, Arizona, their new headquarters, and acquisitions that make sense.

Beyond that, I think the main reason right now is that since Steve's death, the company has been in transition. From Forstall getting the boot, to their retail situation, things have been a little nuts. Things have been tightening up with a tighter core and the hire of a new retail SVP. I think they are gearing up for a huge year and I mostly say that because Time Cook doesn't seem like the type of guy to just drop statements of big things coming just to appease the stock market or general public.

Exactly.
post #64 of 108

delete

post #65 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

 

agree.

 

i don't understand why Apple can't invest $20 Billion and compete in search

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

 

agree.

 

i don't understand why Apple can't invest $20 Billion and compete in search

What are you talking about? There are Yahoo and Google already at each other throats. The whole Google net profit is what, $3B? Suppose, by some miracle Apple will manage to get a small chunk of that. So what?

post #66 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

1. Apple is still a small, disheveled company, scattered all over Cupertino. Yes, they have big money, but that's come from focusing very clearly and deeply on a few good products, and by thinking as they say like a small startup to squeeze these products out with a great deal of bleeding-edge pain: machined aluminum with glass inlays, exotic glass-to-film laminations, LCDs with LTPS or IGZO backplanes, etc. Let them get organized in their new headquarters before you ask them to be the new Toyota or General Motors.

Any new big acquisition diffuses focus and causes distracting organizational headaches. You need a layer of supervision that the company is going to devote a whole slice of the wheel to in their new headquarters.

2. Yes they have to build data centers, as in your earlier post, but they have to be built the Apple way, as perfectly as possible, step by step, one at a time, until they learn how to get a system built to start replicating them, particularly in Europe, Asia, and other continents with their unique requirements. Focus applies to infrastructure building as well.

3. Steve Jobs was not only about a way of thinking, a compendium of thought, he bequeathed a method of operation. It became the way you can make 34 million iPhone 5ses with all that advanced sensor and processing technology fitting together almost flawlessly the first time out around the world in three months. This is like Buddhist practice: the making of the thing is just as important as the thing you make. If they lose this approach, they won't be Apple anymore.

4. With products like the 5c, they have a longer view and a more elaborate reasoning than we are privy to. To illustrate, my middle-aged neighbor who wears lots of silver and turquoise jewely, just went from a 4s to a 5c. The coral-colored one looks so good in her hand (and she knows it) that she may never be a candidate for the cold technoid anodized aluminum approach. The 5c is going to pay off later as the radios and the new production machinery are paid off, and the thing can be produced without limits as demand shits to those who buy for delight more than "the sharper image."

Excuse the tone, but I think it is unwise to counsel that Apple make itself into a big bad corporation just to please investors, rather than grow into a multifaceted start-up that hews to the principle of doing good for the world by augmenting the mind.

I'm not sure I understand your post.

1. No, Apple isn't a small company, they are a giant company. I don't see how you figure this. They are getting closer to 100,000 employees every day. Almost $200 billion isn't a small company.

I owned two companies. My second one bought two smaller companies over the years. I know what happens when you acquire another company. None of the companies I mentioned would have been difficult for Apple to have integrated. Google could have been run as a seperate division.

2. Really? Come on now. Apple is just like any other company. Data centers are well understood. They are not high end mechanical watches. Apple builds it's data centers using best practices, as does Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, etc. Nothing unusual there. They are doing what others are doing to run them most efficiently, with green power.

3. I doubt Jobs went to Foxconn and other companies that manufacturer all their goods, and detailed how they should be made. He knew little of that. In fact, Cook knows far more about that than Jobs ever did. Jobs was good at coming up with new product ideas, and was detailed oriented. Sometimes, too much so.

4. Apple screwed up with the 5C. That's what happened. He admitted they thought it would sell much better than it did. A good product, but not what consumers really wanted, at least, not in the quantity that Apple predicted. I have to real problem with the 5C. But it's not a major seller. That's fine. But Apple needs more products that are not major sellers. Samsung likely has 10 smartphones that sell 5 million a quarter. That 50 million phones. Then they have their top models which may sell two to four times as many. This give Samsung's sales numbers.

Apple doesn't have enough differenciation for that. But Apple needs to look to some other models, not just to satisfy Wall Street, though, believe it or not, that's important too, but to continue growing. A company that doesn't continue growing loses relevance, and has major problems.

I know that some writers have said that Apple is a giant start-up, but it isn't really true. Start-ups are different. Apple may have some characteristics of a start-up, but they can't be run that way.

Please let's not get into magical thinking about Apple. They have to operate the way other companies operate. Good management can avoid the problems many poorly run companies have, but the way they work, and their goals, are the same.
post #67 of 108
Wow Amazon stock down over 12% on earnings and sales miss and weak outlook for Q1. 1eek.gif

Why do I have this feeling though that come tomorrow afternoon the stock will be essentially flat or even up. That always seems to be the case with Amazon.

Meanwhile Google has another mixed quarter of good and 'meh' and their stock is up almost 5% after hours. 1rolleyes.gif
post #68 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

So why punish Apple when everyone was wrong for their GUESSES!

That's a terrible argument. The fact is that Apple didn't really do all that well. I'm also tired of the "marketshare doesn't matter" argument. Apple knows that's false. Whenever marketshare is good, they mention it as an important point. When it isn't, they talk about quality and customer satisfaction.

We all come up with out own estimates as to how much product Apple will sell. I'm not saying that Apple needs to own more than 50% of the market, but they can't keep shrinking either. When growth falls to single digits, it's in danger of going into negative numbers. That's really bad.
post #69 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

That's a terrible argument. The fact is that Apple didn't really do all that well. I'm also tired of the "marketshare doesn't matter" argument. Apple knows that's false. Whenever marketshare is good, they mention it as an important point. When it isn't, they talk about quality and customer satisfaction.

We all come up with out own estimates as to how much product Apple will sell. I'm not saying that Apple needs to own more than 50% of the market, but they can't keep shrinking either. When growth falls to single digits, it's in danger of going into negative numbers. That's really bad.

Apple met its guidance. The fourth best qtr in history. Market share kind of matters but isnt the sole contributor of success. Would you rather have 80% market share with 20% profits or 20% market share with 80% profits.
post #70 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Correct, correct, and maybe correct. I mean, there should be a human benefit in search, but it's been pre-verted by the parasitic model. Imagine if there could be some combination of search results and Wikipedia, for example. I don't know how it would work, but it seems like Google's short-cicuited machine could be repurposed to serve humans rather than advertisers.

Search is hard. Microsoft is the proof of that. Google also has exclusive license of technology that gives them an advantage.

I don't know what you mean by the human benefit. We benefit by having a good search engine. But it has to be paid for. When Google first was formed, there were a lot of questions as to how they were going to monetize it. They only way is through advertising. It's unfortunate, but true.
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I agree this is the real issue. We have a couple of breakthroughs in displays that are going to impact battery life tremendously, and shrinkage in processors, both leading to wearable computing. Apple's patents on wearable displays are very interesting, much moreso than the Oculus Rift approach, which people are crazy for even though you are agreeing to wear a box on your face. Google Glass is a very fragrant red herring, only they don't seem to know that, characteristically, because it's monocular and therefore insanity inducing.

Oh, if you really think about it, there's so much.

Look, Apple is using Sharp for its IGZO displays. But shortly after, Apple gave Sharp some money, a few hundred million for development, Samsung swept in with a $5 billion investment, which lands them a seat on the board. Why? Samsung is the biggest panel manufacturer. Because it gives them some control in a company Apple may end up depending on, in the area in which they mostly compete with Samsung.

Why didn't Apple put $5 billion into Sharp, and also get a board seat? It's inexplicable! Apple can easily afford this. 78% of their money is overseas. They bought 11% of Imagination several years ago (and almost immediately after, Intel bought 15%). I'm bewildered by Apple's thinking. And remember, this is Jobs's thinking.
post #71 of 108
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Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Frugality is not always good business. Sometimes, you have to spend a lot upfront to get back even more later.

Apple is really good at that! They pay up front to capture a lot of product that would otherwise end up on the open market.
post #72 of 108
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Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Apple met its guidance. The fourth best qtr in history. Market share kind of matters but isnt the sole contributor of success. Would you rather have 80% market share with 20% profits or 20% market share with 80% profits.

Best, shemst. When you only grow a few points in a market that's growing in good double digits, that's disappointing.

What 80% profits are you talking about? The last numbers have Apple just a bit ahead of Samsung in smartphone profits. If you're talking about gross margins, Apple isn't making 80% gross margins on their hardware. Estimates for iPhones are around 56%. But that's gross. Net, or profits, are around 25-30%.

Apple's worldwide iPhone marketshare is a bit over 12%, so not even the 20% you mentioned. Their profits are about 55% of the industry. But two years ago, marketshare was 19%, and industry profit percentage was over 75%.

So the problems I'm referring to are lowering Apple's marketshare AND, worldwide profit share. Is this the direction you want Apple to continue in? I don't.
post #73 of 108
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Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post
 

Surged?!!  Apple spends a measly $525 million dollars in a quarter with $159 billion in the bank.  Amazon spends that much on company expansion in a month with around $6 billion in cash reserves.  Apple is such a tightwad of a company and that's why its share price is in the toilet while the rest of the stock market is on a tear.  Look at the stock market today and which tech stock is in the red.  Apple, of course, while Google and Amazon are taking off.  Tim Cook needs to get a clue on how to put some shareholder value into Apple.  It really is sickening.  

 

Wall Street does not give brownie points to companies that hoard massive amounts of cash because it's considered wasteful.  Either put the money to work or give it to shareholders.  Google's already up about $24 and when earnings are announced the stock will jump another $100.  That's a powerhouse company.  Apple is now considered an also-ran tech company that can't even hold a lousy $500 a share level.  Apple's acquisitions appear to be useless from a value standpoint.  It seems like a no-win situation for Apple shareholders.

according to WS, apple should have been liquidated around 1998, or well before that.

post #74 of 108
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

As I said, this goes back to the Jobs philosophy. It has nothing to do with Cook particularly. He's pretty much continuing on with Jobs's policies.
Cook and Jobs where a team, any policies that Steve had Cook had.
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People need to stop blaming Cook for Apple's problems. I don't see Apple operating any differently now. New product categories will still take five, six, or even seven years to make an appearance.
I honestly believe much of the motivation for all of this hate has nothing to do with economics, they just hate Cook for who he is. If one was objective they would se that Apple has been very successful over the last few quarters when many other companies have gone belly up or drastically reorganized.
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They need to drop some of Jobs's policies. And the one they need to drop the most is the one of only buying smaller companies for purely technical purposes, or for incomplete software that Apple can enlarge upon. They need to buy bigger companies with well developed services, or even products.
I would suspect they have plans to do that and a likely target would be AT&T Mobility. Apples big problem right now isn't the expense of their hardware it is rather the expense customers endure keeping connected. To be truly successful with the new mobile technologies they need to be more competitive cost wise with mobile services.
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Apple now needs to operate like a giant company, which it is. Giant companies rarely can grow quickly without buying into other areas. They also have to change some of their philosophy about product pricing. We see that the 5c didn't sell well. I can understand that. For the first time, Apple is telling people; "Hey, we've got a cheaper phone out, and everyone will know you bought that!"
The issue is what does Apple buy into? Coal power! 😜 Obviously not coal but maybe nuclear power. You might think that is in jest but the fact remains what out there worth 100 billion is worth it for Apple. Even if you widen the consideration to companies of 10 billion or more what makes sense for Apple? I really don't see a lot of technology companies where a purchase by Apple even makes sense.
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Previously, people could buy the top line phone a year or two later, while knowing that it had been the top line phone, and people who didn't know when they bought it, could think they bought it at the full price, when it first came out. It's a matter of prestige. People actually do think that way. But the 5C doesn't offer that prestige. If Apple could have made it more cheaply, and sold it for $449 instead, the bigger differential might have made a difference, but the differential wasn't enough to make up for that fact that people would be saying; "I see you bought Apple's cheaper model." That even seems to be the case overseas.
It depends upon the culture. From what I've seen the 5C hasn't sold that bad in the USA. However that may be due to the mentality of the country right now where far to many are relying on government to solve their problems.

In the end though I think the big factor here is the finger print sensor and probably the performance of the 64 it processor. It wouldn't matter if the 5C was encased in gold, platinum or some other luxury metal. People went for the 5S for the technology it offered more than anything.
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We need new thinking, not more regurgitated Steve Jobs thought. That era is over.

I have no doubt that Apple is looking at the world through new eyes but you can't expect instant gratification. The problem is clear drew up a 1-0 billion + purchase and you will get raked over the coals because of it. Unless of course you are Google but that is another story. So any thing big that might happen will do so with a lot of forethought and planning. I really don't think Apple is in a rush to do a big purchase though, they have done amazingly well with their smaller purchases.

Speaking of which, some people are really discounting the success they have had here with purchases made so far. Just look at how far they have come along with ARM based hardware. It is one example of small purchases paying off big time for Apple.
post #75 of 108
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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Wow Amazon stock down over 12% on earnings and sales miss and weak outlook for Q1. 1eek.gif

Why do I have this feeling though that come tomorrow afternoon the stock will be essentially flat or even up. That always seems to be the case with Amazon.

Meanwhile Google has another mixed quarter of good and 'meh' and their stock is up almost 5% after hours. 1rolleyes.gif

 

AMZN is basically flat from where it started at opening bell this morning.

 

GOOG is definitely heading north.

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post #76 of 108
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Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

AMZN is basically flat from where it started at opening bell this morning.

GOOG is definitely heading north.
I did say I thought it would be flat or slightly up and I'll bet tomorrow afternoon that will be the case. Even though they basically did what Apple did - not meeting analyst expectations and providing weaker than expected guidance for this quarter. But Wall Street looooves Amazon so not surprising.
post #77 of 108
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Change does take some time. Apple has some time, but not too much time. We can see its product sales are up, except for the expected drop in iPod sales. But they aren't up by much. For example, I fully expected to see iPhone sales of upwards of 55 million. But it really needed to be upward of 60 million to keep pace. It wasn't.
Apple has plenty of time. I really don't understand this mentality at all, they are one of the few companies doing well at all in the areas they market in.
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I expected to see iPad sales above 30 million, actually around 32 million. But they were up to 29 million. Not enough.
Why? Look at it this way 30 million is a lot of iPads no matter how you look at it.
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Mac sales were up, but still 400,000 below their best year, I think, two years ago. So not enough there either.
Again absolutely nothing to complain about, they are doing far better than just about every other player int he PC world.
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Apple has always had the problem of coming out with smashing new products, well ahead of others—and then just sitting on them. Incremental improvements aren't enough when it just takes two or at the most, three years for competitors to work around the advantages, either on price, or features.
Come on now, look honestly at the iOS devise and tell me that Apple isn't pushing hard to stay ahead of the competition. Finger print sensing, 64 bit processors, and a host of other innovations has keep them ahead of the competition. Clearly this isn't the Apple of old. Do we see some regressions, yes I will admit to that, but overall Apple has been very aggressive in keeping the product interesting. To say they are sitting on product is asinine really.
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Apple needs to stop thinking that a small handful of blockbuster products is enough. They need to amass a larger number of smaller, but steadily selling products as well.
This I agree with but you do catch hell if you mention things like Apple needs to release an iPhone smaller than the 4. Or that Apple needs to release a real headless desktop. I could go on but you will be going against the current here.

One thing that I'd lover to see Apple do is to get serious about education again. Not so much hardware like iPads and laptops but rather tools and hardware to teach our students about technology at a much lower level One example here would be to recycle iPhones into micro development systems sort of like a cross between a RaspberryPI, Arduino and Beagle Bone Black. This isn't a huge market by any means but it ought to provide for a halo effect and drive interest in Apples other products.
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So perhaps they do need a $250 iPhone, even if it can't work perfectly with high end games and apps. Same thing for the iPad.
I'm still on my iPhone 4 and likely will stay there until it needs to be replaced. Why? Because my iPad is a much better mobile device and further i have no need for a big phone in my pocket. In fact i'm turned off by the migration to large cell phones.

As for the iPad, the price isn't so much a problem as is what you get for the price. The biggest mistake they are making in this regard is not expanding memory capacity, (both RAM and Flash). As it is the sales of the lower cost iPads tanked in the last quarter so I'm not sure where your idea comes from.
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Maybe Apple does need a content device that doesn't run my CAD apps that well, but runs content perfectly fine. Maybe a $225 Mini, and a $349 full size model. I bet that would come close to doubling sales.
Apple needs Mac OS on an ARM based device I will give you that one. An A8 processor should handle such a targeted use just fine. A8 should allow Apple to knock nearly $300 off the price of a Mini.
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But they need to double storage for the same price. No reason why the iPad Air isn't $499 with 32GB flash. $599 with 64GB, and $699 with 128.
I agree with this point 100% If any thing indicates that Apple has fallen into past idiocy it is allowing the iPads to go too long without a bump in flash memory Frankly with the rapid decline in prices it would cost Apple nothing. Related to this is the fact that the incremental cost is so damn high for a puny upgrade to your flash. I'd rather see Apple have a spread like this: 32GB, 128 GB, 512 Gb. In other words if I'm going to dust off the wallet for a higher capacity iPad I want good value for that money.
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And if it's margins we're talking about, then I need to remind people that with Apple lowering the prices of their software, or giving it away, margins are impacted heavily. If you sell FCP for $299 rather than the $999 it was previously, then Apple is losing most of their high margin software profit. Worse for OS X and now free apps. So we can't look to hardware pricing and think that lower margins are just due to them.
Margins are a funny thing, get to greedy and people will shift to other products. however we must realize that when it comes to software each sale is almost all profit anyways. So getting people to cough up $300 for an internet purchase is amazingly good business.
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Apple has to startle people, and that hasn't happened for some time. I just hope this watch, if it comes out, is a major eye opener. Same thing for the new aTv we should be seeing soon.
I'm just not feeling the iWatch, maybe the debut will change my mind but the reality is I don't wear a watch and frankly have no desire to at this time.

As for Apple TV, some of the rumors have me holding off purchasing new networking hardware from Apple. If Apple TV comes with built in WiFi base station support and other rumored features it could be a compelling product. A home media server / Apple TV / game console / WiFi base station / slash whatever would be very interesting in the home. Ideally such a machine would hook up to a TB based disk array of some sort that is also Mac compatible.
post #78 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I've felt for a long time that Apple is not using their money as well as they should. In fact, as a shareholder, I'd like to see them pay those taxes to bring home some of that money from overseas, or use their low borrowing rates against it, and make some more meangful purchases here, and to use more of it abroad to make more purchases there. They had $15 billion in cash flow last quarter, and now have almost $158 billion in cash, and that includes disbursements for dividends, and stock buybacks.

I really do understand the need to hold cash for a rainy day, as a former business owner, but enough is enough. What are they planning here? Are they planning anything?

I read that Apple is spending on R&D, new server farms, buying up technology companies, etc. But by the rapidly expanding cash position, it's clearly minuscule. They can build ten new $1 billion server farms a year and not cut into that cash.

They have been so many companies that Apple could/should have bought over the years that I would have urged them to buy at the time if I could have, and posted about, that would have made a vast difference to their business, that it's frustrating.

When Google put themselves up for sale for $5 billion, Apple could have afforded to buy them, and Google would have been happy with that. Imagine what the tech world would have been like if Apple owned Google?

Apple could have bought Navigon when they were up for sale, instead of Nokia buying them. That was right before the iPhone came out. What would have happened if Apple had its own, well established mapping unit, in 2007, and never needed Google maps?

How about buying Nuance before they came out with Siri? Both Google and Microsoft rely on Nuance, as does Apple, for their own voice operated systems. How would things turn out if there was nowhere for them to have gone?

How about Skype? Apple could have gotten that for $3.4 billion, well under what Microsoft later paid for it. Think of Apple owning that, and the services, instead of Microsoft incorporating it into their own systems.

There have been quite a few companies that Apple could have easily acquired if they got off their duffs and realized that they could add to their services, while at the same time keep it from their competitors.

There are companies that Apple could have aquired that Google has.

Frankly, I'm beginning to wonder if Apple ever had the gumption to move when it needed to in a big way, and this includes the Jobs era. It's coming back to bite them in the posterior.

So...sell your shares.
post #79 of 108
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Apple has plenty of time. I really don't understand this mentality at all, they are one of the few companies doing well at all in the areas they market in.
Why? Look at it this way 30 million is a lot of iPads no matter how you look at it.
Again absolutely nothing to complain about, they are doing far better than just about every other player int he PC world.
Come on now, look honestly at the iOS devise and tell me that Apple isn't pushing hard to stay ahead of the competition. Finger print sensing, 64 bit processors, and a host of other innovations has keep them ahead of the competition. Clearly this isn't the Apple of old. Do we see some regressions, yes I will admit to that, but overall Apple has been very aggressive in keeping the product interesting. To say they are sitting on product is asinine really.
This I agree with but you do catch hell if you mention things like Apple needs to release an iPhone smaller than the 4. Or that Apple needs to release a real headless desktop. I could go on but you will be going against the current here.

One thing that I'd lover to see Apple do is to get serious about education again. Not so much hardware like iPads and laptops but rather tools and hardware to teach our students about technology at a much lower level One example here would be to recycle iPhones into micro development systems sort of like a cross between a RaspberryPI, Arduino and Beagle Bone Black. This isn't a huge market by any means but it ought to provide for a halo effect and drive interest in Apples other products.
I'm still on my iPhone 4 and likely will stay there until it needs to be replaced. Why? Because my iPad is a much better mobile device and further i have no need for a big phone in my pocket. In fact i'm turned off by the migration to large cell phones.

As for the iPad, the price isn't so much a problem as is what you get for the price. The biggest mistake they are making in this regard is not expanding memory capacity, (both RAM and Flash). As it is the sales of the lower cost iPads tanked in the last quarter so I'm not sure where your idea comes from.
Apple needs Mac OS on an ARM based device I will give you that one. An A8 processor should handle such a targeted use just fine. A8 should allow Apple to knock nearly $300 off the price of a Mini.
I agree with this point 100% If any thing indicates that Apple has fallen into past idiocy it is allowing the iPads to go too long without a bump in flash memory Frankly with the rapid decline in prices it would cost Apple nothing. Related to this is the fact that the incremental cost is so damn high for a puny upgrade to your flash. I'd rather see Apple have a spread like this: 32GB, 128 GB, 512 Gb. In other words if I'm going to dust off the wallet for a higher capacity iPad I want good value for that money.
Margins are a funny thing, get to greedy and people will shift to other products. however we must realize that when it comes to software each sale is almost all profit anyways. So getting people to cough up $300 for an internet purchase is amazingly good business.
I'm just not feeling the iWatch, maybe the debut will change my mind but the reality is I don't wear a watch and frankly have no desire to at this time.

As for Apple TV, some of the rumors have me holding off purchasing new networking hardware from Apple. If Apple TV comes with built in WiFi base station support and other rumored features it could be a compelling product. A home media server / Apple TV / game console / WiFi base station / slash whatever would be very interesting in the home. Ideally such a machine would hook up to a TB based disk array of some sort that is also Mac compatible.

No, I don't think Apple did that well. It wasn't too long ago that Apple was growing over 50% a year, and people were screaming when it was said that they couldn't keep that up. Now, growth is in single digits, and people are saying that it's just fine. Often, I notice, the same people!

So worldwide iPhone marketshare is slipping from 14% to 12%. Is that a good thing? No, it's not. iPad worldwide marketshare slipping from 38% to 33%. Not good there either. There's just no way to look at this and say it's fine. Slipping share leads people to consider other products. It's a vicious cycle. Apple needs to end that.

It seems that the cheap tablet Apple came out with is the expensive tablet. This is a major turnaround. Apple's sales have creapt up. Others have leaped up. If Apple is so innovative, then they need to use that innovation to figure out how to make a cheaper device. If it's true that high end smartphone growth is pretty much over, and Samsung,s top model has seen its sales slip the past three quarters as well, then there's no place for growth there. It means that less expensive phones are needed, and a $550 phone qualifies as a high end phone. So does. $499+ 10" tablet, and even more so for a $399 8" tablet, the price of which shocked me when it first came out, and shocked a lot of others as well. I expected Apple to do what they did with the 10" iPad, have the same pricing, and put the old model at $259.
post #80 of 108
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Best, shemst. When you only grow a few points in a market that's growing in good double digits, that's disappointing.

Disappointing that one company can't outgrow 100 companies?
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

What 80% profits are you talking about? The last numbers have Apple just a bit ahead of Samsung in smartphone profits. If you're talking about gross margins, Apple isn't making 80% gross margins on their hardware. Estimates for iPhones are around 56%. But that's gross. Net, or profits, are around 25-30%.


Apple's worldwide iPhone marketshare is a bit over 12%, so not even the 20% you mentioned. Their profits are about 55% of the industry. But two years ago, marketshare was 19%, and industry profit percentage was over 75%.
Hypothetical.
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

So the problems I'm referring to are lowering Apple's marketshare AND, worldwide profit share. Is this the direction you want Apple to continue in? I don't.

Face it, Apple is not going to increase market share in spite of profit share. Do you honestly believe a cheap iPhone won't eat away at the premium iPhone? Do you honestly believe Apple can wave a wand to manufacture 70-80 MM iPhones in a qtr with 10 different models?

Do you remember the 90's when Apple had a confusing mix of Macs: performas, power macs, etc.
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