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Apple's spending on acquisitions surged to $525 million last quarter - Page 3

post #81 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

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.

Usage share is still high for iOS. Why should Apple cater to cheap bastards who won't use an iPhone or iPad for what they are?

Of course The idevices were growing faster, there were no numbers. Now that the quantities are greater, it's difficult to grow as fast. To grow 50% from 100, you have to sell 150. To grow 50% from 50MM, you have to sell 75MM. I guess those 25 MM units can magically be produced with a finger snap.
post #82 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.

It really makes no sense. Apple has done amazingly well the last few quarters when compared to the rest of the industry. Lets be honest and compare Apple to the likes of HP, Dell, Nokia, RIM, HTC and a whole bunch of others that have suffered immensely for the industry slow down.
post #83 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

... 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.
People whining like this need to be slagged upon.
Quote:

10% yoy would keep some folks happy... 15% would shut up anyone who would say otherwise.
You should frankly be happy that Apple has had decent results in many lines. Compared to the rest of the industry they are doing very well. You can judge Apple performance based on some mythical ideal percentage of what ever. You need to judge them against what is happening to the rest of the industry. In that regard they did well.

Could they have done better? Sure the "could" have just like a baseball player can always do better, people just have to realize that you can't hit one out of the park everyday.
post #84 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


People whining like this need to be slagged upon.
You should frankly be happy that Apple has had decent results in many lines. Compared to the rest of the industry they are doing very well. You can judge Apple performance based on some mythical ideal percentage of what ever. You need to judge them against what is happening to the rest of the industry. In that regard they did well.

Could they have done better? Sure the "could" have just like a baseball player can always do better, people just have to realize that you can't hit one out of the park everyday.

 

Obviously you are not a shareholder. Nuff said.

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post #85 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

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?

I never understood the demand that Apple get into search either. As noted search is advertising and frankly those involved in the search industry mine far to much personal data in my opinion. People see search as free but it is nasty in what it takes from you as an individual.
post #86 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Obviously you are not a shareholder. Nuff said.

Cry me a river! By the way I do have some shares but I'm not the least bit worried about Apple right now, and i don't get excited over one quarters results. The fact of the matter is companies go through cycles and frankly Apple has bottomed out.

My biggest concern is what happens to companies when they start to listen to the demands of their investors. I've seen this first hand and frankly it is pretty. Executives end up making lots of stupid mistakes trying to get 12% when the market is only there for 8%.

As for products certainly Apple needs new products but there are no assurances at all that those new products will sell. This is what business is all about really, throwing your best effort onto the market and hoping it meets some consumer need that is hard to grasp onto. Frankly blaming Cook for the 5C not selling as well as they had hoped for is nonsense, nobody blamed Steve for everything that failed under his leadership. Remember the boom box, the Cube and all the other machines that went nowhere.
post #87 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Disappointing that one company can't outgrow 100 companies?

No, keep up with its major competitors, as you know I was saying.
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Hypothetical.

What hypothetical? Those numbers I gave are real. And the trajectory has been real as well.
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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.

What do you mean that they aren't going to increase marketshare in SPITE of profit share? What does that mean?

So a cheaper iPhone eats into margins? So what? They could sell twice as many, maybe more. But there's no reason it would cut significantly into their top model. Sales in areas in which Apple's top model is too expensive for most people would have sales Apple otherwise doesn't have, such as in India, China, South America, Africa, etc. so they lose some high end sales. It could actually increase high end sales if interest in Apple's products becomes greater as a result.

Apple doesn't manufacture their phones. Why do you ask about that? Of course they could have Foxconn, Petragon, and others manufacturer as many phones as needed. Samsung seems to manage. Apple's problem with supply is that historically, and this goes back as far as I can remember, they been conservative about sales estimates, except for a few models that haven't done well. All they have to do is to estimate somewhat realistically, and give the numbers to the manufacturers in time. That's the way it works.

Back in the 90's, Apple had a lot if different lines of products. I'm not talking about different lines.
post #88 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Cry me a river! By the way I do have some shares but I'm not the least bit worried about Apple right now, and i don't get excited over one quarters results. The fact of the matter is companies go through cycles and frankly Apple has bottomed out.

My biggest concern is what happens to companies when they start to listen to the demands of their investors. I've seen this first hand and frankly it is pretty. Executives end up making lots of stupid mistakes trying to get 12% when the market is only there for 8%.

As for products certainly Apple needs new products but there are no assurances at all that those new products will sell. This is what business is all about really, throwing your best effort onto the market and hoping it meets some consumer need that is hard to grasp onto. Frankly blaming Cook for the 5C not selling as well as they had hoped for is nonsense, nobody blamed Steve for everything that failed under his leadership. Remember the boom box, the Cube and all the other machines that went nowhere.

 

Hahahaha... oh boy. You are a funny guy.

 

You admit that Apple has bottomed out and you are not worried at all.

 

One quarter?

 

The 5c was Apple's best effort?

 

Okay... you're right... Tim Cook is looking pretty good about now because we could have someone with your attitude running the company.

 

Thank you for underscoring exactly what I was saying.

 

I remember a couple of flubs of Steve's where he got reamed royally [ the Cube... are you shitting me or are you just really young. Steve was damn near laughed out of Apple. People were wondering who had kidnapped Jobs and Ive and put dummies in charge of the company] It was easier to forgive Steve, though, because the eps kept going up... not sideways or down... let alone that he brought life back into Apple.

 

lol


Edited by island hermit - 1/30/14 at 5:51pm
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post #89 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacManFelix View Post

So...sell your shares.

Brilliant, I never could have thought of that. Any other suggestions? This is supposed to be a dialog you know.
post #90 of 108
Quote:
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.

You want them to do a lot of things. But that's what you want of them. I'm just looking for what will help them as a business. When what you're doing isn't working as well, you have to look somewhere else. We can't snap our fingers and major new categories magically appear. In between, which is most of the time, they need to keep up with their peers.
post #91 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You want them to do a lot of things. But that's what you want of them. I'm just looking for what will help them as a business. When what you're doing isn't working as well, you have to look somewhere else. We can't snap our fingers and major new categories magically appear. In between, which is most of the time, they need to keep up with their peers.

I don't know what you do but it's kind of arrogant to think you can "help" Apple.
post #92 of 108
Really interesting discussion. I can't think of any great ways Apple would really benefit from doing much more than they already are with their money.

-Large acquisitions are messy, distract Apple's focus, and dilute its ethos.
-Why should Apple invest more in wall street with a buy back or dividend? Hasn't done them much good so far.
-Repatriate the money? With the way Apple is being dragged through the mud by the DOJ, hell no.

There isn't much they can buy that they can't already do better themselves. They already seem to be working in their own proprietary technology (hiring nuance employees in Boston, flash memory in Israel, custom SOC design, etc.).

I think Apple would do fantastic, make plenty of money, if all they did was iterate on their current products. However, they're obviously not going to do that, and they have plenty of options to pursue. Some things I think they should be doing, that they are likely/hopefully already working on, are providing services through their devices. These services would largely replicate and surpass the experience and revenue generated by google/yahoo/bing selling search ads, and Apple doesn't need to even need to bother with it's own search engine:

-iBeacons and supporting payment software systems: for restaurants and brick and mortar shopping (monetizing transactions, targeted ads, POS hardware).

-Shopping app: for online shopping with payment via iTunes (another source of ad revenue and transaction revenue). Apps like Wanelo, Fancy, Fab, Gilt, all seem to be pretty popular. I know I'd check an Apple shopping app before I'd check those or amazon.

-iTube: Like youtube but better looking and without the intrusive ads (and minus the commentary from 11 year olds). This I think should maybe be cross platform though, even with an app for android (offer up a glass of ice water) to encourage people to submit content. Also, supported by iAd, possibly with some ad revenue going back to the content providers. I think this could be huge if implemented well.

Some other interesting opportunities:
-iWatch (will be HUGE with medical sensors)
-Apple TV
-iOS in the car
-iHome
-Photography
-last but not least: refrigerator toasters!

I'm not worried about where Apple is going.

edit: used the wrong "it's"

   

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post #93 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Usage share is still high for iOS. Why should Apple cater to cheap bastards who won't use an iPhone or iPad for what they are?

Whoa! That's just insulting potential customers. That ain't good! Usage isn't purchase.
Quote:
Of course The idevices were growing faster, there were no numbers. Now that the quantities are greater, it's difficult to grow as fast. To grow 50% from 100, you have to sell 150. To grow 50% from 50MM, you have to sell 75MM. I guess those 25 MM units can magically be produced with a finger snap.

I really do understand this, but it's not what's happening. If smartphone sales grow at 24% in a quarter, as they have, and Apple's sales grow at 7%, then that's lagging the average growth rate, and should be attainable. But it wasn't, because Apple only sells to part of the market, the part that's not growing.

They don't need to make really cheap $100 smartphones, but catering to the lower $250 bracket is something that Apple should be able to do.

And that's a straw dog, when you starting giving those numbers. Apple's large manufacturers can easily produce 24% more phones. That not an issue at all.
post #94 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

I don't know what you do but it's kind of arrogant to think you can "help" Apple.

Really? Every person here is doing it, including you. I've had some business experience.
post #95 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

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.

1. The reason I think it's small is that they make so few products, even though they farm out the manufacturing. No one is goldbricking, either. They're designing and supporting the best consumer products ever made by concentrating on only a few. Disheveled? They're going to spend 6 B on a new headquarters to focus their work.

2. Ok, you think Apple just hires an experienced contractor and builds one turnkey style. I think being Apple they work very closely to see how it's done, so that when it comes time to start building more simultaneously in earnest, they know how to oversee. I am assuming that good data center contractors aren't sitting around waiting for a phone call, and you better know how they operate when you start building out the 10 or 15 that Apple is going to need.

3. Jobs and Ive had engineers going to China for months at a time to oversee the aluminum chassis process getting started. You know Ive wanted perfection, as did his pal Jobs.

4. I don't think they screwed up with the 5c, just that its real market has yet to be opened up. Time will tell, over the coming year.

Apple is not like other companies, which is why there is an AI and five other such sites, a Gruber, an Elmer-DeWitt, a Dediu, and several other really smart guys studying this phenomenon. We're watching the unfolding of the world's first relentlessly value-driven consumer company, as far as I can see into history. It's not magical thinking, but it does derive from 60s and 70s cultural-ecological thinking. They're going to grow very large, but in spurts, as the revolutionary products appear.

Edit: Looking at #2, it's also obvious that they would have hired in their own data center engineers who may know best practices, have done best practices, but who would still need to figure out with Apple just how they want things to go. The largest solar installation in private hands, and all that.
Edited by Flaneur - 1/30/14 at 7:31pm
post #96 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Whoa! That's just insulting potential customers. That ain't good! Usage isn't purchase.
I really do understand this, but it's not what's happening. If smartphone sales grow at 24% in a quarter, as they have, and Apple's sales grow at 7%, then that's lagging the average growth rate, and should be attainable. But it wasn't, because Apple only sells to part of the market, the part that's not growing.

They don't need to make really cheap $100 smartphones, but catering to the lower $250 bracket is something that Apple should be able to do.

And that's a straw dog, when you starting giving those numbers. Apple's large manufacturers can easily produce 24% more phones. That not an issue at all.

 

I really believe that Apple is going to introduce an iDevice that will lend itself really well to the ubiquitous nature that will be required for Apple to get into more hands... and, at the same time, introduce a proprietary iOS mobile payment system.

 

... okay... hoping more than believing.

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post #97 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Whoa! That's just insulting potential customers. That ain't good! Usage isn't purchase.
I really do understand this, but it's not what's happening. If smartphone sales grow at 24% in a quarter, as they have, and Apple's sales grow at 7%, then that's lagging the average growth rate, and should be attainable. But it wasn't, because Apple only sells to part of the market, the part that's not growing.

They don't need to make really cheap $100 smartphones, but catering to the lower $250 bracket is something that Apple should be able to do.

And that's a straw dog, when you starting giving those numbers. Apple's large manufacturers can easily produce 24% more phones. That not an issue at all.

Define smart phone market. There is an overall cell phone market. People who buy smart phones generally came from having a cell phone.

Apple should not cater to the $250 phone market just like they shouldn't cater to the sub $500 PC market. Apple isn't going to release a new device with crippled specs.

How can it be not an issue? If they could, why aren't they doing it now. Why were there supply constraints?
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Really? Every person here is doing it, including you. I've had some business experience.

I apologize for that comment.
post #98 of 108
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Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

agree.

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

If only it were that simple...
post #99 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You want them to do a lot of things. But that's what you want of them. I'm just looking for what will help them as a business. When what you're doing isn't working as well, you have to look somewhere else. We can't snap our fingers and major new categories magically appear. In between, which is most of the time, they need to keep up with their peers.
Sorry I think making cheap phones and tablets just to feed wall streets obsession with market share is a recipe for disaster. Because someone else will always be able to undercut them on price. Stay premium and give people a reason to pay more for your products.
post #100 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Sorry I think making cheap phones and tablets just to feed wall streets obsession with market share is a recipe for disaster. Because someone else will always be able to undercut them on price. Stay premium and give people a reason to pay more for your products.

 

look at the iPod to see what Apple should do once the top end is saturated.

 

Just because a phone cost $350 does not mean it needs to be junk.  Are you calling the iPodNano or shuffle junk?  They have no choice but to enter the mid range. 


Edited by sog35 - 1/31/14 at 7:54am
Apple Purchases last 12 months - iPhone 5S (two), iPhone 6, iPhone 6+ (two), iPadAir, iPadAir2, iPadMini2, AppleTV (two), MacMini, Airport Extreme, iPod Classic.
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Apple Purchases last 12 months - iPhone 5S (two), iPhone 6, iPhone 6+ (two), iPadAir, iPadAir2, iPadMini2, AppleTV (two), MacMini, Airport Extreme, iPod Classic.
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post #101 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

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.
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.

That's what I was thinking of, but unless you've seen something i haven't, I think it's more or less the other way around. I remember Apple investing a billion or two in Sharp, thought to be for IGZO production development, then Samsung investing 100 million or so in Sharp, and Foxconn pitching in with some hundreds of millions also.

Yes, this bet on IGZO goes back to the Jobs era. It is just starting to bear some results (iPad Air), but it may be way behind (iPad mini retina—not, 4K Apple displays—not), not because of Cook or Apple's neglect, i would think, but because of technical difficulties.
post #102 of 108
Quote:
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.

Is this a real post or a troll post?

Apple amassing a cash pile of $100 billion+ is "wasteful" but buying a money-loser for $12.5 billion only to sell at a loss isn't wasteful? And you call Apple a tightwad when they're executing massive buy backs and paying huge dividends. What does that make Google. They've never paid a dividend and for all the news about self-driving cars and other stuff, Google has only one true engine of growth-ads. In fact, Google is executing a stock split buy giving shareholders NONvoting shares of common stock. What kind of stock is that where you give up voting rights and get nothing out of the deal-no dividends, no nothing.

And since when has spending a whole bunch of of money been a mark of a well-run company?
post #103 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

 

look at the iPod to see what Apple should do once the top end is saturated.

 

Just because a phone cost $350 does not mean it needs to be junk.  Are you calling the iPodNano or shuffle junk?  They have no choice but to enter the mid range. 

 

I agree that they will need to enter the mid-range, and I think the 5c or some variation will get there. I think the 5c was a calculated risk that hasn't worked out as expected but like you said, it shows the same pattern that Apple had with the iPod, and heck, even the iPad. Apple isn't adverse to expanding their product portfolio into the mid-range but it is a careful balance of price, feature and quality so as to not lose the aspirational quality of the brand. There were so many pundits that said the iPad mini was too expensive and it's been selling like gangbusters since it went on sale. If there's anyone that understands the concept of commoditization, it's Apple. They were the ones that knew the trajectory of the iPod and they set up the product to take it over. Apple does transitions better than most, especially at the scale they are operating at right now. I think if there is anyone to kill the iPhone by moving onto the next thing, it'll be Apple.

post #104 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

1. The reason I think it's small is that they make so few products, even though they farm out the manufacturing. No one is goldbricking, either. They're designing and supporting the best consumer products ever made by concentrating on only a few. Disheveled? They're going to spend 6 B on a new headquarters to focus their work.

2. Ok, you think Apple just hires an experienced contractor and builds one turnkey style. I think being Apple they work very closely to see how it's done, so that when it comes time to start building more simultaneously in earnest, they know how to oversee. I am assuming that good data center contractors aren't sitting around waiting for a phone call, and you better know how they operate when you start building out the 10 or 15 that Apple is going to need.

3. Jobs and Ive had engineers going to China for months at a time to oversee the aluminum chassis process getting started. You know Ive wanted perfection, as did his pal Jobs.

4. I don't think they screwed up with the 5c, just that its real market has yet to be opened up. Time will tell, over the coming year.

Apple is not like other companies, which is why there is an AI and five other such sites, a Gruber, an Elmer-DeWitt, a Dediu, and several other really smart guys studying this phenomenon. We're watching the unfolding of the world's first relentlessly value-driven consumer company, as far as I can see into history. It's not magical thinking, but it does derive from 60s and 70s cultural-ecological thinking. They're going to grow very large, but in spurts, as the revolutionary products appear.

Edit: Looking at #2, it's also obvious that they would have hired in their own data center engineers who may know best practices, have done best practices, but who would still need to figure out with Apple just how they want things to go. The largest solar installation in private hands, and all that.

Number of products has nothing to do with size.

You can be sure that Apple doesn oversee Foxconn's work. Yes, I'm sure they like knowing what going on, but Apple has little expertise in manufacturing these days, while Foxconn is the worlds largest third party manufacturer, with 2013 sales of over $80 billion, I believe. IG Apple's manufacturers can't figure this out, then they will lose business. And every so often, a manufacturer has some problems, even Foxconn, because of Apple's requirements, which, if Apple did have more experience in manufacturing, they might have redesigned around in the first place.

A company like Apple, or any company that has a manufacturing partner, and I have a number of friends whose products are at least partly made in China, needs to go there and have serious discussions about EXACTLY what they want, and need done. Those companies will tour the facilities, and ask plenty of questions. But the actual manufacturing is left to those manufacturers. Some companies, if they are large enough, will have so e production and Qc engineers on site to check on continuing production a quality. But they don't interfere in that production, well, maybe very rarely. But that normally just in the case of smaller producers.

Screwed it up in that people just don't seem to be very interested. You have you feelings about it, but the evidence shows that there is no reason to believe your feelings will hold up. If sales haven't moved by now, there's much less chance of it as time goes down, and the model year begins to wind down, as sales drop overall. Apple miscalculated here, pure and simple. There's no reason to try to defend what they themselves acknowledged.

Of course Apple is like other companies. You can find fan sites for just about every company on the planet. That proves nothing anyway. The distinguishing feature about Apple, the company, is that is always been interested in quality, exclusively, even in the "bad times", whereas many other companies have just chased marketshare. Yes, that's a good thing. But to think that Apple can't make a quality product that is less expensive is wrong. Of course they can. But the pricing needs to reflect that. The 5C, for example is still a high end phone, at high end pricing. It's more sophisticated than my 5.

I get it with Apple mobile product lines. They have a problem of their own making. I'm not saying this problem is bad, as it's responsible for Apple's success too. But it locks them into making products that need to fit within a narrow performance range, which limits what they can sell.

What I'm talking about it their content stores. In order for Apple to assure that everyone who buys a current model device will have one that can run all the latest apps well, and run all the latest movie standards, etc. without lag, or hiccups, those devices need a fast SoC, high grade screen and enough memory, etc. that makes it very difficult for them to have a less expensive device that uses less expensive components that won't perform well enough. People will accept the idea that they are buying a new phone that one or two years out of date, and will be slower, but not a new, and current design. So the 5c is their attempt to build a less expensive phone that still performs well enough, and has most of the bells and whistles, such as true world phone capabilities, which even last year's 5 doesn't have. Most other manufacturers have bothered with that, coming out with numerous models for more local condition but the question here is whether Apple should bow to the inevitable, and build lower cost phones for markets that simply can't afford these Apple products, but want one. I think they need to.

The excuse that marketshRe doesn't matter isn't really correct. So yes, maybe 25% worldwide would be fine! considering that so mNy Android products are forked enough to hardly qualify as real Android in much anything but name. But now it's 12%, and it could slip further. How far down can it go before it slips into irrelevance? Look at Blackberry, it's at a very low point. Do we want to see iOS there as well? I don't.

So it think Apple does need to do something about it. Two thirds if the worlds population can't afford a current Apple product, perhaps more than two thirds. With Apple growing to such a large size, and 63% of its sales overseas, it knows it can't ignore that! and indeed, in their conference calls Apple make a big deal about sales growth in those regions! along with marketshare.

All companies who own their data centers have their own engineers running them, and all if the competent ones conform to best practices. I don't understand your point here. You think that Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and many others don't have state of the art data centers that confirm to best practices? Seriously? That only Apple can have a state of the art, green data center? What can possibly give you that idea?
post #105 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

That's what I was thinking of, but unless you've seen something i haven't, I think it's more or less the other way around. I remember Apple investing a billion or two in Sharp, thought to be for IGZO production development, then Samsung investing 100 million or so in Sharp, and Foxconn pitching in with some hundreds of millions also.

Yes, this bet on IGZO goes back to the Jobs era. It is just starting to bear some results (iPad Air), but it may be way behind (iPad mini retina—not, 4K Apple displays—not), not because of Cook or Apple's neglect, i would think, but because of technical difficulties.

It was in the financial sites. Apple gave Sharp something like $300 million to $500 million for prodution quarantees. I don't remember the exact number. Samsung did invest $5 billion in Sharp stock. This isn't in question. Foxconn was going to invest a few billion in Sharp, and actually came to an agreement, but as Sharp's stock continued to slide, due to their uncertain future viability, they demanded a re-negotiation of terms. Offhand, I don't remember the result of that. If I have time, I'll try to post a link or two, but I won't be able to do that right now, as my daughter is tugging me to work on here own project right now.

It took Sharp more time than was thought, to come out with reliable IGZO production. It was believed that the iPad 3, the first retina model, was to have the first IGZO display, but that Apple needed to redesign the device because Sharp failed to get production working properly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I really believe that Apple is going to introduce an iDevice that will lend itself really well to the ubiquitous nature that will be required for Apple to get into more hands... and, at the same time, introduce a proprietary iOS mobile payment system.

... okay... hoping more than believing.


I think it IS pretty clear that they are getting into the mobile payment market. Ever since Passport, and their own Apple Store app that allows purchases, which I've used a number of times (though when I was in London last, and tried it in an Apple Store there it didn't work for purchases. A sales person in the store said that a lot of people from the USA complain about that, but that the app only works in the USA), it's seemed obvious that Apple was testing the waters on this.

It's interesting that Paypal is reported to be making overtures to Apple about being the back end to Apple's payment scheme. Apple would be a major competitor to them, and possibly to companies like square as well.

iBeacons already seems to be moving quickly int acceptance, if what we are reading is true. If that one way Apple will be working this, they are off to a great start, even before they have a payment system to offer. If enough stadiums, and stores continue deploying iBeacons, then they will have a large network in place at the beginning.

This is exciting because it follows the iPhone model. As we know, when the iPhone first came out, there was no third oRty app support at all, and no way to get any apps. The first iPhone was really much more of a very sophisticated featurephone than a real smartphone. When I said that on various sites, I was generally lambasted for it, particularly if it was an Apple-centric site, such as ours here.

But I said from the very beginning, from my interpTTion of SJ's remarks about it that Apple would indeed have third part app support. I do t know why they didn't from the beginning, but my supposition was that it took a while to get the pieces in place for it to happen. Building a unique, and very sophisticated App Store, and app delivery system is very hard. So it took some time.

But, another important reason which may have been there is that with no phones sold, an App Store and third party apps may not have been such a success at the very beginning. If Apple considered that to be true, then they may have decided to wait a year, until enough phones were sold, with people hungry for apps, to actually announce it. I mention this long saga for a reason.

If Apple considers getting enough customers BEFORE releasing a major new service to be of primary importance, the doing what they did with the original iPhone and App Store may be an experience they want to repeat. In other words, get many venues to deploy iBeacon, so thT when Apple announces their payment system, they will be hundreds, and even possibly some thousand, or more locations that can immediately take part. An instant customer base!

I've seen many great ideas fail because there was no customer base to take advantage of it, and the time it would take to build one up was just too long to support it. Essentially, major companies won't support some system that they do t have confidence will grow enough to at least offset their own costs. By using iBeaco s for this other stuff that is of interest to them, and the low cost of deploying them, gives them, and Apple a major advantage here.

This is why NFc never took off here, or most anywhere else. I know people say it's popular in Japan, and a few other places, but that doesn make me really care. We need to remember that it was being said by some wags that the iPhone would never sell in Japan because of the "sophisticated" phones they had their, with Tv, mobile vending machine payments, and a lot of other junk. But the iPhone took off right away, and now is close to 70% of smartphone sales there. I believe the same thing will happen to NFC in the places whe it is being used now. It will go away. It's really only good for vending machines and terminals in train and bus stations where you can easily swipe them on a physical reader. Very limiting for general use.

As for a less expensive devices, well, I can only hope they do.

Oops, I didn't mean to co-join these two posts. Sorry.
post #106 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Number of products has nothing to do with size.

You can be sure that Apple doesn oversee Foxconn's work. Yes, I'm sure they like knowing what going on, but Apple has little expertise in manufacturing these days, while Foxconn is the worlds largest third party manufacturer, with 2013 sales of over $80 billion, I believe. IG Apple's manufacturers can't figure this out, then they will lose business. And every so often, a manufacturer has some problems, even Foxconn, because of Apple's requirements, which, if Apple did have more experience in manufacturing, they might have redesigned around in the first place.

A company like Apple, or any company that has a manufacturing partner, and I have a number of friends whose products are at least partly made in China, needs to go there and have serious discussions about EXACTLY what they want, and need done. Those companies will tour the facilities, and ask plenty of questions. But the actual manufacturing is left to those manufacturers. Some companies, if they are large enough, will have so e production and Qc engineers on site to check on continuing production a quality. But they don't interfere in that production, well, maybe very rarely. But that normally just in the case of smaller producers.

Screwed it up in that people just don't seem to be very interested. You have you feelings about it, but the evidence shows that there is no reason to believe your feelings will hold up. If sales haven't moved by now, there's much less chance of it as time goes down, and the model year begins to wind down, as sales drop overall. Apple miscalculated here, pure and simple. There's no reason to try to defend what they themselves acknowledged.

Of course Apple is like other companies. You can find fan sites for just about every company on the planet. That proves nothing anyway. The distinguishing feature about Apple, the company, is that is always been interested in quality, exclusively, even in the "bad times", whereas many other companies have just chased marketshare. Yes, that's a good thing. But to think that Apple can't make a quality product that is less expensive is wrong. Of course they can. But the pricing needs to reflect that. The 5C, for example is still a high end phone, at high end pricing. It's more sophisticated than my 5.

I get it with Apple mobile product lines. They have a problem of their own making. I'm not saying this problem is bad, as it's responsible for Apple's success too. But it locks them into making products that need to fit within a narrow performance range, which limits what they can sell.

What I'm talking about it their content stores. In order for Apple to assure that everyone who buys a current model device will have one that can run all the latest apps well, and run all the latest movie standards, etc. without lag, or hiccups, those devices need a fast SoC, high grade screen and enough memory, etc. that makes it very difficult for them to have a less expensive device that uses less expensive components that won't perform well enough. People will accept the idea that they are buying a new phone that one or two years out of date, and will be slower, but not a new, and current design. So the 5c is their attempt to build a less expensive phone that still performs well enough, and has most of the bells and whistles, such as true world phone capabilities, which even last year's 5 doesn't have. Most other manufacturers have bothered with that, coming out with numerous models for more local condition but the question here is whether Apple should bow to the inevitable, and build lower cost phones for markets that simply can't afford these Apple products, but want one. I think they need to.

The excuse that marketshRe doesn't matter isn't really correct. So yes, maybe 25% worldwide would be fine! considering that so mNy Android products are forked enough to hardly qualify as real Android in much anything but name. But now it's 12%, and it could slip further. How far down can it go before it slips into irrelevance? Look at Blackberry, it's at a very low point. Do we want to see iOS there as well? I don't.

So it think Apple does need to do something about it. Two thirds if the worlds population can't afford a current Apple product, perhaps more than two thirds. With Apple growing to such a large size, and 63% of its sales overseas, it knows it can't ignore that! and indeed, in their conference calls Apple make a big deal about sales growth in those regions! along with marketshare.

All companies who own their data centers have their own engineers running them, and all if the competent ones conform to best practices. I don't understand your point here. You think that Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and many others don't have state of the art data centers that confirm to best practices? Seriously? That only Apple can have a state of the art, green data center? What can possibly give you that idea?

Size of company: if products expand, they must add people and teams of people. Size determines what you can make.

Wasn't talking about Foxconn, but the CNC shops that have to be brought up to the precision jobs like the first Airs, the shops that made first friction-stir welded iMacs, the first glass-inlaid iPhone backs, the first stainless-steel antenna bands, the first lacquer-sprayed polycarbonate cases, etc. Apple is doing rarefied materials engineering and production design in California and exporting the basic procedures to shops in China, where the high volume procedures are worked out with the engineers there. Then the assembly of these precision parts go to Foxconn, where the volume assembly expertise takes over without Apple's input, as you say. How do we know this? There is no other way it could work! These radical details are not designed in China!

The 5c's success will not be known until China Mobile has had a chance to influence, and until the initial costs of the redesign are paid off (I would imagine), allowing for a price reduction, and until the flexibility of a plastic case is allowed to show itself in future models and build rates. It's crazy for people to pronounce the model a screw-up on the basis of the ultra-aspirational U.S. Market. All that Tim Cook was saying was that they didn't forecast the popularity of the 5s.

My data center point was based on misreading your post saying that Apple might build 10 centers at once and spend so many billions doing so, it still wouldn't matter. I overlooked your facetiousness in saying this.

The point of all this is that there is an "Apple needs to . . ." circle of armchair CEOs that contributes a general perception that the company isn't being run right by Tim Cook. It's similar to the "if Steve Jobs were still alive this would never . . ."

I find that all this unsolicited advising, or most of it, is very, very weak on realism about what is technically possible for the company to accomplish at this stage. They do need to build more data centers, to get their software and services tightened up, to get their headquarters built, to get through the transition post Jobs, and probably a thousand other things we don't know about. It's common sense that we shouldn't be contributing to the negative perception about Apple's future by this nagging.
post #107 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Size of company: if products expand, they must add people and teams of people. Size determines what you can make.

Wasn't talking about Foxconn, but the CNC shops that have to be brought up to the precision jobs like the first Airs, the shops that made first friction-stir welded iMacs, the first glass-inlaid iPhone backs, the first stainless-steel antenna bands, the first lacquer-sprayed polycarbonate cases, etc. Apple is doing rarefied materials engineering and production design in California and exporting the basic procedures to shops in China, where the high volume procedures are worked out with the engineers there. Then the assembly of these precision parts go to Foxconn, where the volume assembly expertise takes over without Apple's input, as you say. How do we know this? There is no other way it could work! These radical details are not designed in China!

The 5c's success will not be known until China Mobile has had a chance to influence, and until the initial costs of the redesign are paid off (I would imagine), allowing for a price reduction, and until the flexibility of a plastic case is allowed to show itself in future models and build rates. It's crazy for people to pronounce the model a screw-up on the basis of the ultra-aspirational U.S. Market. All that Tim Cook was saying was that they didn't forecast the popularity of the 5s.

My data center point was based on misreading your post saying that Apple might build 10 centers at once and spend so many billions doing so, it still wouldn't matter. I overlooked your facetiousness in saying this.

The point of all this is that there is an "Apple needs to . . ." circle of armchair CEOs that contributes a general perception that the company isn't being run right by Tim Cook. It's similar to the "if Steve Jobs were still alive this would never . . ."

I find that all this unsolicited advising, or most of it, is very, very weak on realism about what is technically possible for the company to accomplish at this stage. They do need to build more data centers, to get their software and services tightened up, to get their headquarters built, to get through the transition post Jobs, and probably a thousand other things we don't know about. It's common sense that we shouldn't be contributing to the negative perception about Apple's future by this nagging.

I'd like to start with the last part. We're not nagging Apple. Carl Icahn is nagging Apple. We're just enjoying ourselves (that is, I hope we're enjoying ourselves) in musing about what's happening, and what we think would be solutions to problems, real, or perceived. That's healthy. Certainly better than the fanboy attitude that macdailynews takes. They're embarrassing.

I agree that Apple comes up with new concepts, and even new technologies. I've no argument with that. And like other companies like them, they work with manufacturers. But that's nothing new. Nothing uncommon. But the big manufacturers do their own thing. Apple is not the expert.

Cook was basically admitting that the 5C wasn't popular. From the 51 million phones sold, the 5s wasn't as popular as we all had hoped. 7% growth was very disappointing in a market with 24% growth.
post #108 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Cook was basically admitting that the 5C wasn't popular. From the 51 million phones sold, the 5s wasn't as popular as we all had hoped. 7% growth was very disappointing in a market with 24% growth.
No, Cook stated the 5C was short of its expectations but still sold more than the 4S did in 1QFY13. That's a far cry from "not popular". Again, define smart phone market.
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