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Apple, Inc. and the pursuit of affordable luxury electronics - Page 4

post #121 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

There was an idiot in the other thread who was going on about 'why should consumers be loyal to brands?'

I hope he had the sense to read this blog. He might actually learn something.

Very few brands are loyal to customers, so why should they receive loyalty in return?

Lol. Your posts are usually of a much higher quality than that, so I'll attribute it to your just not thinking very much before hitting 'submit.'

Btw, let me ask you: do you love posting regularly on AI only because of all the love you're feeling in return?
post #122 of 255

A good article, and it all rings true. I am a long time AAPL user because to me it represents value. I use my tech a lot, and want to to the stable, predictable, and functional. I'm forced to use a MS box at work, and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't swear at it.

 

I did a bit of chin pulling at the word "luxury" though. That word has some subjective quality to it. I'm typing tis on a MBA and it doesn't seem like a luxury device. It seems to me like value received. I too go through product cycles. Next replacement cycle on my iMac won't be an iMac - it will be a thunderbolt display to dock the MBA to. And then at some point in the future, the desktop will get a cycle upgrade to a mac mini. All this stuff works together, and I see the value in it.

 

Interestingly, AAPL is about the only brand loyalty I have. 

post #123 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 
So how many have thunderbolt 2, seeing as how the discussion involves parity?

 

The same number as all of Google's, Microsoft's and Apple's data center servers combined. Zero!

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #124 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Lol. Your posts are usually of a much higher quality than that, so I'll attribute it to your just not thinking very much before hitting 'submit.'

Btw, let me ask you: do you love posting regularly on AI only because of all the love you're feeling in return?

I was speaking in general terms. Most companies do not do what's best for its customers, but what's best for their bottom line. I wasn't suggesting that there shouldn't be any customer loyalty, but only to companies that are just as loyal to its customers, and that is a very short list.

Thanks for the compliment. The exchanges between you and I are always entertaining and informative.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #125 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Very few brands are loyal to customers, so why should they receive loyalty in return?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

I was speaking in general terms. Most companies do not do what's best for its customers, but what's best for their bottom line. I wasn't suggesting that there shouldn't be any customer loyalty, but only to companies that are just as loyal to its customers, and that is a very short list.

Thanks for the compliment. The exchanges between you and I are always entertaining and informative.

I am not a fan of that word it comes to a company or product. On the surface the definition doesn't sound too bad…

loyalty |ˈloiəltē|
noun (pl. loyalties)
the quality of being loyal to someone or something:

loyal |ˈloiəl|
adjective
giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution:

…but the synonyms for that word paint a picture that isn't someone who is being objective or freely choosing the best option.

loyalty
noun
allegiance, faithfulness, obedience, adherence, homage, devotion; steadfastness, staunchness, trueheartedness, dependability, reliability, trustworthiness, duty, dedication, commitment; patriotism; historical fealty.

loyal
adjective
faithful, true, devoted; constant, steadfast, staunch, dependable, reliable, trusted, trustworthy, trusty, dutiful, dedicated, unchanging, unwavering, unswerving; patriotic.

i think the odds are that I'll choose Apple the next time around and can give countless reasons why but I would never call myself loyal to Apple or any other company. I will purchase the products that suit my needs the best. I suppose I do like that it's an American company since I'm an American but I don't think Apple's taxes make a huge difference to the bottom of my country.

When it comes down to it all I really want is for technology to progress as fast and efficiently as possible so I can have products that enrich my life, which includes enriching everything else around me. If that's mostly by Apple's hand then great. if that's other companies then that's great, too. In the end I just want my life to be better for it.

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

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

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

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

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post #126 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I am not a fan of that word it comes to a company or product. On the surface the definition doesn't sound too bad…

IMO the word is too strong. It would suggest a unwavering commitment to a brand regardless of what they produce. How many BB, and Palm 'loyalists' now have a iPhone, or Android device? It's used because of the lack of a better word.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #127 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

IMO the word is too strong. It would suggest a unwavering commitment to a brand regardless of what they produce. How many BB, and Palm 'loyalists' now have a iPhone, or Android device? It's used because of the lack of a better word.

Let's find a better word: How about brand likalists?

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

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

Reply

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

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

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post #128 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Very few brands are loyal to customers, so why should they receive loyalty in return?

 

How can a company be loyal to their customers?

My thoughts are if they continually make great products and services, then they get loyalty.  If the company doesn't provide great products and services, then a customer may eventually leave that brand and buy another.   Yeah, Apple users have to buy Apple hardware in order to use the software, but if they do their job and are loyal to customers by making better products, provide great support and fix problems quickly, then the continually get more loyalty from the customers, so how a company can be loyal is always providing continually great products, services, and fixing problems quickly.

 

Microsoft doesn't have a good track record for continually coming out with better products, hence why many of their major OS releases have flopped and didn't get very good adoption.  As far as the PC mfg., they don't have the same level of loyalty from their customers because they don't have a good track record.  Companies like IBM, Microsoft typically use FUD sales techniques with their Enterprise customers.  Apple doesn't use FUD tactics, they never have.  Microsoft does that ALL of the time.  They took that idea from IBM.  Some get loyally more by means of forceful tactics, and some are loyal out of their own free choice and that scares the pants off of companies and users of Microsoft.  They are afraid of losing market share., so they'll put out FUD, and their loyal customers seem to take on the same tactics when Apple releases a new product. 

post #129 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpo344 View Post

Great article. Yet the stock price has been languishing in the low 500's. Why is it that Carl Icahn, Bill Miller, and many other people feel it is a "no brainer", but the stock can't move. With all the cash, they could buy themselves back in a few years, but the stock is so out of favor. Now we have to worry about earnings, and guidance for the June quarter.
Daniel, can you comment about the stock price?
Wall Street isn't rational.
post #130 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

How can a company be loyal to their customers?

They can foolishly listen to their customers instead of doing what is good for them. I mean actually doing what their customers say, not just saying that they do that; kind of like the Homer Car.

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

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

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

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

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post #131 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

How can a company be loyal to their customers?

My thoughts are if they continually make great products and services, then they get loyalty.

How many companies have started out with a great product only for its quality to degrade over time? Yes companies earn their customers loyalty first, but continually offering a great product and service is IMO loyalty in return.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #132 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

They can foolishly listen to their customers instead of doing what is good for them. I mean actually doing what their customers say, not just saying that they do that; kind of like the Homer Car.

Somebody actually built one. lol.gif


"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #133 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Wall Street isn't rational.

Apple has to make some strides in pumping out more products and increasing their Gross Sales with the same profit margins they been experiencing.  The problem Apple has had is they didn't pump out large screen iPhones sooner and ramped up production, they were late in getting the MacPro out, and they haven't released their much anticipated wearables and SmartTV.

 

Part of the problem is more based on getting production levels up to speed, and pumping out new products to meet the demands of other markets they haven't gone after.

 

Many analysts THOUGHT Apple was going to come out with their own Smart TVs, which hasn't happened.  If they did and Apple saw success in that market, Apple Gross Sales, Profits and stock price would have gone through the roof.  If Apple came out with a AppleTV box that allowed cable provider access and would be a viable alternative to a cable box, they would probably increase sales enough to push the stock price up.

 

Wall Street looks at spreadsheets and they look at the growth rate of Gross Sales and Profits and then they look at HOW they are going to increase it at the same rate as before.  When a company doesn't increase Gross Sales and Profits at the same rate, then the stock price won't increase.  Apple needs to go after new markets to achieve this.   these are just some of the markets Apple COULD go after and some they are and will see some benefits.

 

1.  SmartTVs.  It's a tough play, but if they did it right, they could definitely get a decent part of the market that would equal increased sales and profits, but since that market is a tough business, they are afraid to enter it.   People don't replace TVs every 2 to 5 years like they do with iDevices, laptops and desktops.

 

2.  Systems in cars.  They are doing that now, but we don't know what the amount of revenue/profits from that market segment, but once it gets monetized where Wall Street can add that revenue/profits to their spreadsheets, then the stock might reflect that.

 

3.  Larger screen iPhones.

 

4.  Wearables.

 

5.  A more enhanced AppleTV box that might allow things like recording shows like Tivo, playing high quality games, more channels, faster access to more content, etc.

 

6.  24 bit tunes on iTunes as well as adding 24 Bit DACs to their entire product line.   It's a growing market, believe it or not, and if done properly, Apple could kick start some more life into increased sales of iPods, iTunes content, etc.

 

7.  Obviously refreshing aging products. The MacMini needs to get refreshed (even though it's a small portion of revenue/profits), maybe a new beardless midrange computer that lies in between the MacMini and the MacPro.  I think there is untapped revenue as the iMac is the only thing they offer and I think they need to have a headless unit that might increase desktop sales.

 

8.  Does Apple need a larger iPad?  I'm sure there is a market for that.

 

9.  I think Wall Street is waiting for that next iPod, iPhone, IPad device category that will jump start another new revenue stream.  What that is, if it even exists remains to be seen.  Wearables is an interesting category, but it remains to be seen how much that category will actually bring in.

 

10.  It's too bad Apple wasn't successful in the server market.  I think Apple is going to have to buy into that market if and when they want that business.  Unforauntley, it would take a LOT of money, they would have to buy the right company and that takes an obscene amount of money to make a dent and Cook doesn't have the experience to do that.  I think Apple stock price would benefit greatly if they were able to go after the server market in a serious way where they could garner a solid 10 to 25% of that market in hardware, but it's a crowded space right now.  They would have to merge with Oracle would be probably the best play, but I don't know if the SEC will allow that or if they could even figure out how to do it since Apple doesn't have $200 Billion in cash to blow on buying Oracle.  It would have to be a mutual merger and they would have to get REAL creative to pull that one off.

post #134 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpo344 View Post

Great article. Yet the stock price has been languishing in the low 500's. Why is it that Carl Icahn, Bill Miller, and many other people feel it is a "no brainer", but the stock can't move. With all the cash, they could buy themselves back in a few years, but the stock is so out of favor. Now we have to worry about earnings, and guidance for the June quarter.
Daniel, can you comment about the stock price?

The mark of a good writer is to never stray outside his/her sphere of competence.

I hope DED will stay far away from stock price prognostications.
post #135 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Let's find a better word: How about brand likalists?

Like this guy? lol.gif
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #136 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

How many companies have started out with a great product only for its quality to degrade over time? Yes companies earn their customers loyalty first, but continually offering a great product and service is IMO loyalty in return.


What's another form of loyalty are the people that buy Ferrai clothing and anything wth a Ferrari logo, but they have never owned one, or most likely never will, but they buy the clothing and promote Ferrari whenever they get into a discussion on sports cars, of the people that collect Coca Cola memorabilia, they'll pay large sums of money for an old sign, empty bottles, etc. etc. and even decorate rooms in their house with Coca Cola items. It to MOST people is just another soft drink! But to some loyal customers, it's an institution. Same goes with other companies. Some just get that loyalty and keep it by continuing their quality of products/services that people always need.
post #137 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I am not a fan of that word it comes to a company or product. On the surface the definition doesn't sound too bad…

loyalty |ˈloiəltē|
noun (pl. loyalties)
the quality of being loyal to someone or something:

loyal |ˈloiəl|
adjective
giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution:

…but the synonyms for that word paint a picture that isn't someone who is being objective or freely choosing the best option.

loyalty
noun
allegiance, faithfulness, obedience, adherence, homage, devotion; steadfastness, staunchness, trueheartedness, dependability, reliability, trustworthiness, duty, dedication, commitment; patriotism; historical fealty.

loyal
adjective
faithful, true, devoted; constant, steadfast, staunch, dependable, reliable, trusted, trustworthy, trusty, dutiful, dedicated, unchanging, unwavering, unswerving; patriotic.

i think the odds are that I'll choose Apple the next time around and can give countless reasons why but I would never call myself loyal to Apple or any other company. I will purchase the products that suit my needs the best. I suppose I do like that it's an American company since I'm an American but I don't think Apple's taxes make a huge difference to the bottom of my country.

When it comes down to it all I really want is for technology to progress as fast and efficiently as possible so I can have products that enrich my life, which includes enriching everything else around me. If that's mostly by Apple's hand then great. if that's other companies then that's great, too. In the end I just want my life to be better for it.

Having been involved with the personal computer industry as long as I have, I see a great benefit in sticking with a quality brand/platform because every company does business differently and I don't want to go through that learning curve of having to learn another platform that I already know ahead of time doesn't have the same level of customer service and tech support which we do need from time to time when it comes to technology based products. Apple's learning curve is a lot shorter and easier between the different platforms, which is why I stick with it. I just don't find myself irritated as much as I have with other platforms. That, to me, is worth the entry price and that gets my loyalty, I just wish more people would understand this concept.
post #138 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

What's another form of loyalty are the people that buy Ferrai clothing and anything wth a Ferrari logo, but they have never owned one, or most likely never will, but they buy the clothing and promote Ferrari whenever they get into a discussion on sports cars, of the people that collect Coca Cola memorabilia, they'll pay large sums of money for an old sign, empty bottles, etc. etc. and even decorate rooms in their house with Coca Cola items. It to MOST people is just another soft drink! But to some loyal customers, it's an institution. Same goes with other companies. Some just get that loyalty and keep it by continuing their quality of products/services that people always need.

I hadn't considered that side of it but I think that's a good analogy. Buying a band T-shirt at $30 always seemed ridiculous. They want you pay an inflated price to advertise for them but their loyal members are happy to do it because they identify with them in some way. I don't go so far as to obfuscate the Apple logo on my MBP like on a TV show but I am not going to put one of their stickers on my car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Having been involved with the personal computer industry as long as I have, I see a great benefit in sticking with a quality brand/platform because every company does business differently and I don't want to go through that learning curve of having to learn another platform that I already know ahead of time doesn't have the same level of customer service and tech support which we do need from time to time when it comes to technology based products. Apple's learning curve is a lot shorter and easier between the different platforms, which is why I stick with it. I just don't find myself irritated as much as I have with other platforms. That, to me, is worth the entry price and that gets my loyalty, I just wish more people would understand this concept.

Is that loyalty — which I see as at least a semi-bond commitment — or simply a longterm relationship that has worked out well for both you and Apple. As previously stated, I'm likely going to buy another Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV because Apple has a history of producing the products that fit my needs, but I will jump to another company without looking back if they produce something that fits my needs better. I have zero allegiance or devotion to any company. They get their dues when I agree to purchase one of their products. That's it for me.

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

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

Reply

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

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

Reply
post #139 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Apple has to make some strides in pumping out more products and increasing their Gross Sales with the same profit margins they been experiencing.  The problem Apple has had is they didn't pump out large screen iPhones sooner and ramped up production, they were late in getting the MacPro out, and they haven't released their much anticipated wearables and SmartTV.

Nope. Apple can proceed as normal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Part of the problem is more based on getting production levels up to speed, and pumping out new products to meet the demands of other markets they haven't gone after.
.

Nope. Apple just needs to focus like they have been doing. No sense being a jack of all trades.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Many analysts THOUGHT Apple was going to come out with their own Smart TVs, which hasn't happened.  If they did and Apple saw success in that market, Apple Gross Sales, Profits and stock price would have gone through the roof.  If Apple came out with a AppleTV box that allowed cable provider access and would be a viable alternative to a cable box, they would probably increase sales enough to push the stock price up.
.

TVs are commodities. No money in them. You think it's just easy to add cable to Apple TVs? You do realize cable companies charge rent for their own boxes. Why would they give that up?
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Wall Street looks at spreadsheets and they look at the growth rate of Gross Sales and Profits and then they look at HOW they are going to increase it at the same rate as before.  When a company doesn't increase Gross Sales and Profits at the same rate, then the stock price won't increase.  Apple needs to go after new markets to achieve this.   these are just some of the markets Apple COULD go after and some they are and will see some benefits.
.

Didn't WS want netbooks and cheap iPhones? Both are low margin products. Apple doesn't care what analysts want.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post


1.  SmartTVs.  It's a tough play, but if they did it right, they could definitely get a decent part of the market that would equal increased sales and profits, but since that market is a tough business, they are afraid to enter it.   People don't replace TVs every 2 to 5 years like they do with iDevices, laptops and desktops.
.

Again, TVs are low margin and aren't replaced as often as phones, pcs. Then you have to consider the sizes. So it's too much trouble than its worth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

2.  Systems in cars.  They are doing that now, but we don't know what the amount of revenue/profits from that market segment, but once it gets monetized where Wall Street can add that revenue/profits to their spreadsheets, then the stock might reflect that.
.

I doubt Apple makes a significant amount from this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

3.  Larger screen iPhones.

4.  Wearables.
.

Would a larger screen iPhone earn more than a new 4" iPhone? Personally I think they will release a 4"and a <5" iPhones. No iPhablet, though.

I'm not sold on wearables. The size of this market is relatively small.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

5.  A more enhanced AppleTV box that might allow things like recording shows like Tivo, playing high quality games, more channels, faster access to more content, etc.

6.  24 bit tunes on iTunes as well as adding 24 Bit DACs to their entire product line.   It's a growing market, believe it or not, and if done properly, Apple could kick start some more life into increased sales of iPods, iTunes content, etc.

.

None of these are significant in $$$.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

7.  Obviously refreshing aging products. The MacMini needs to get refreshed (even though it's a small portion of revenue/profits), maybe a new beardless midrange computer that lies in between the MacMini and the MacPro.  I think there is untapped revenue as the iMac is the only thing they offer and I think they need to have a headless unit that might increase desktop sales.
.

People are trending to laptops or iPads. A headless iMac is a mini.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

8.  Does Apple need a larger iPad?  I'm sure there is a market for that.
.

Apple doesn't NEED anything.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

9.  I think Wall Street is waiting for that next iPod, iPhone, IPad device category that will jump start another new revenue stream.  What that is, if it even exists remains to be seen.  Wearables is an interesting category, but it remains to be seen how much that category will actually bring in.
.

Of course they do. WS is clueless. They expect innovation on a schedule. Do you know why they analyze instead of doing? Because they failed on their own.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

10.  It's too bad Apple wasn't successful in the server market.  I think Apple is going to have to buy into that market if and when they want that business.  Unforauntley, it would take a LOT of money, they would have to buy the right company and that takes an obscene amount of money to make a dent and Cook doesn't have the experience to do that.  I think Apple stock price would benefit greatly if they were able to go after the server market in a serious way where they could garner a solid 10 to 25% of that market in hardware, but it's a crowded space right now.  They would have to merge with Oracle would be probably the best play, but I don't know if the SEC will allow that or if they could even figure out how to do it since Apple doesn't have $200 Billion in cash to blow on buying Oracle.  It would have to be a 
mutual merger and they would have to get REAL creative to pull that one off.

Servers aren't Apple's forte. They don't need to be in the server market. The consumer market is more valuable.
post #140 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I hadn't considered that side of it but I think that's a good analogy. Buying a band T-shirt at $30 always seemed ridiculous. They want you pay an inflated price to advertise for them but their loyal members are happy to do it because they identify with them in some way. 

 

Well, considering that a Clash: London Calling tee once led to quite a fun -- if short -- relationship of types for me, I won't speak with disdain about band t-shirts. :)

post #141 of 255
Apple is high end being there low end is mosts high or medium end. I hate a market such as Samsung which throws all they got into random devices. Apple now offers 2 (new) smartphones and 1 old. They offer 2 new tablets. 2 New Laptops and 2 Desktops, with 1 all in 1. They are all labeled for med/high end besides iPad which is big vs little, but maintain 2 or 3 high end devices per category.
post #142 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


How many companies have started out with a great product only for its quality to degrade over time? Yes companies earn their customers loyalty first, but continually offering a great product and service is IMO loyalty in return.

A lot of companies degrade over time.  Many times because the original founders aren't involved anymore.  Look at HP.  They used to have rock solid built products that were more expensive and they normally catered to people with a more engineering background.  ALL of their products used to use gold plated motherboards, top quality parts, etc.  But then the founders retired, they got a new CEO that was a schmuck and then HP split off into two companies and one kept the fundamental aspects of original company's origins even though they changed the name.  But HP went into making low grade crap PCs for the consumer market and they started just using lower quality components, etc.  They still try to keep decent quality for their top end servers and workstations, but they aren't like they USED to be.  Their consumer grade products are just pure junk. Even an HP sales rep that I was always hanging around during the late 90's admitted to me that their Pavillion product line which neither he or I was selling, was junk. 

 

Compaq did the same thing, IBM did the same thing. In fact a lot of companies tend to do this.  Apple had a short period of time with their polycarb MacBooks, but I think they learned from that mistake.   They weren't as good as they could have been.

 

That's the inherent problem when trying to go after the low end market, you have to cut costs and that typically means cheaper quality components.  Sometimes they filter that mentality upwards and that's what can piss customers off and that's what removes that loyalty.   I'm still shocked at the cheap quality of keyboards some of these companies put out.  Apple's not as bad, the only area I think they need improvement is the quality of the cables they use. I think that could improve.  Obviously, anyone can nitpick a company's product line to death.


If the company doesn't care about the quality of what they sell, then that customer loyalty goes VERY quickly.  It's hard to get loyalty, and it's EASY to lose it if you mess up too many times and don't pay attention.   Microsoft, to me, just has this arrogant attitude that they can put out a POS OS, smartphone, etc. and that they DESERVER 90% of the market.  BS.  That attitude is going to cost Microsoft marketshare and as far as I'm concerned, they deserve to lose market share.  Google and Samsung have that kind of same attitude and it will catch up to them.  People say that Apple is arrogant, I don't see that much arrogance, I see more confidence, which is typically confused by the Anti-Apple community.  They are just confident in what they are doing and if they get overly confident, it sometimes hurts them, but overall, I'd give them a B to B+ as an overall score for the past 3 years.  They still have room for improvement, but it's not that much they need to do from an overall perspective.

 

What's the old saying.  Make someone happy, a few people hear about it, but if you make someone upset EVERYONE hears about it.     Apple just has to do whatever they can not to make people upset.

post #143 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I hadn't considered that side of it but I think that's a good analogy. Buying a band T-shirt at $30 always seemed ridiculous. They want you pay an inflated price to advertise for them but their loyal members are happy to do it because they identify with them in some way. 

Well, considering that a Clash: London Calling tee once led to quite a fun -- if short -- relationship of types for me, I won't speak with disdain about band t-shirts. 1smile.gif

I empathize. Considering all the $$ I've spent on John McLaughlin tees..... (for the past 35 years, with just about every incarnation of his)!
post #144 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 

Beats me why people come here to whine, perhaps it's because Daniel hits a nerve among those who know they are living a lie.

 

I agree wholeheartedly.  People complaining about DED should take a look at his credentials:

 

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/resume.html

 

These complainers should be ashamed that they dare dispute a man who has:

 

"A decade of experience in technical consulting or employment in information technology, recognized by the University of California to be equivalent to a Master’s Degree in Computer Science."


Edited by Haggar - 4/20/14 at 8:49pm
post #145 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Nope. Apple can proceed as normal.
Nope. Apple just needs to focus like they have been doing. No sense being a jack of all trades.
TVs are commodities. No money in them. You think it's just easy to add cable to Apple TVs? You do realize cable companies charge rent for their own boxes. Why would they give that up?

Didn't WS want netbooks and cheap iPhones? Both are low margin products. Apple doesn't care what analysts want.
Again, TVs are low margin and aren't replaced as often as phones, pcs. Then you have to consider the sizes. So it's too much trouble than its worth.
I doubt Apple makes a significant amount from this.
Would a larger screen iPhone earn more than a new 4" iPhone? Personally I think they will release a 4"and a <5" iPhones. No iPhablet, though.

I'm not sold on wearables. The size of this market is relatively small.
None of these are significant in $$$.
People are trending to laptops or iPads. A headless iMac is a mini.
Apple doesn't NEED anything.
Of course they do. WS is clueless. They expect innovation on a schedule. Do you know why they analyze instead of doing? Because they failed on their own.
Servers aren't Apple's forte. They don't need to be in the server market. The consumer market is more valuable.

So, how is Apple going to increase sales/profits by 30 to 35% annual growth rate for the next 5 to 10 years CONSISTENTLY?  Please explain how that could be done?   That's why the share price isn't as high as some were expecting.  

 

A MacMini is a very LOW end iMac.  Look at the processors, the amount of RAM, speed of SSD, ports on the back, video, Sorry, the MacMini, even by last year's iMac was not even close to an iMac.  MacMinis are 2 core, not 4 core and they aren't as fast, only have 16GB of RAM, not 32GB, they have slower SSD, less ports.  The MacMini is below the specs of an iMac.  I looked and analyzed that one to death before I settled on the iMac.  If I could get what I have in a MacMini, I would have done that, but it wasn't available, at any price.

 

Apple needs to kick out 2 or 3 different sizes iPhones and probably 3 different sized iPads and spit out the different sizes throughout the year rather than pushing everything at the end of the year.  They are playing a VERY dangerous game by making most of the product announcement in Sept/Oct.   They don't have the supply to ship during the Christmas season, and then during the June and Sept quarters, their numbers suck compared to the Dec and March quarters.

 

They haven't announced anything in over 3 months now.  They usually make at least one product announcement per quarter.  When they go 6 months without any major product announcements, the analysts get nervous as do the shareholders.

 

HDTVs on the low end have no margin, but the TVs they would go after do.  At least they can figure out a way to do it.  If you crack open a $2500 to $4000 TV, there is a lot of crap inside that Apple could do a LOT smaller and actually better than what these other guys do.  Case in point.  I looked at a tear down of a 27inch IMac vs a similar sized HP and Dell AIO.  The HP and Dell were crammed with really low grade power supplies, and other crap that made it a night mare to assemble, tear down, etc.  By contrast, the iMac is so streamlined, it's obvious that Apple knows how to design the insides of a product while still maintaining high quality reliability.  Apple knows how to design better power supplies that are smaller.

Apple just can't go after the $1500 and lower TVs, those don't make any money, but the $2500 to $4000 models do.  Again, Apple doesn't need to go after gaining tons of market share.  I  ran some numbers based on the price point they would go after and it wouldn't be that difficult for them do put out a much better product and get some decent margins, and enough sales to do a rather sizable increase in yearly sales/profits from HDTVs. Especially when you consider that they would be installed and setup which they can get an additional revenue from with their Apple Stores, not to mention AppleCare warranty, which a lot of people buy when they are buying a higher priced HDTV.  There's margins in the higher end TVs, but not in the El Cheapos.

 

I know people are trending towards laptops and iPads, but there is still desktops to be sold if they went after the Enterprise market a little stronger.  

 

Do you have any experience in how the Enterprise market works?  I do.  Lots of experience.  The Enterprise market is what Apple's missing quite a bit of revenue.  Apple is moving at a snails pace going after the Enterprise market and once they standardize on a brand, they are loyal as long as the company doesn't screw up.

post #146 of 255
You're never going to convince people of the value of Apple products if they're wired not to see it. A lot of the Android or MS trolls we get are just viciously enraged at the implication that anything could actually be better than anything else. If someone sees more value in one brand than another, because of aesthetics, or ergonomics, or ease-of-use, or build quality, or any of the other terms they do not or will not understand, those sheep have just been deluded by cynical marketing ploys. If one continues to insist that there's a hierarchy of quality, this is just rank elitism, to be fought tooth and nail.

The worst heresy is that actual thought could be put into making something better, or easier to use, or whatever. It's just pretentiousness to do anything other than throw a bunch of random parts into a box and throw it out on the market. A S00perjeenyus (which all of them are, of course) can figure out how to make this jumble of crap do something—it doesn't matter what—and wasting any thought on making something "just work" is pandering to the technically illiterate.
post #147 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

They run 24/7 for about 5+ years and then certified recycled. They are completely depreciated from an accounting perspective and the company policy is that they must be destroyed. Never had one fail yet. They are mostly running LAMP configurations but I do build Windows Server boxes as well. In fact that is what I'm working on right now.

They must be destroyed??? Nice environmental concern there.
post #148 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The same number as all of Google's, Microsoft's and Apple's data center servers combined. Zero!

Then there is the matter of graphics, servers don't really need high end graphics cards.

When it comes down to it, the Linux box you build yourself basically has very little in common with a Mac Pro and cost comparisons are worthless.
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #149 of 255
I would alway pay a premium for a quality product today that Only Apple can deliver.
post #150 of 255
@drblank I don't feel like editing your comment in my reply so...Who says Apple has to get 30% growth every year? Apple doesn't NEED to do anything they aren't doing now.

Why are you comparing qtrs to each other in the same fiscal year? Apple is in the consumer electronics business. The Dec qtr will always be the biggest qtr due to gifts and such. Why would you want to move away from that?
Oh no, 3 months! The horror of waiting. I had forgotten Jobs announced new products every quarter. Who the **** cares about analysts. Apple releases products when the products are ready and Not to fill some meaningless gap in the calendar.

The enterprise market is where Dell and HP have control. How's that working out for them.
post #151 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Nope. Apple can proceed as normal.
Nope. Apple just needs to focus like they have been doing. No sense being a jack of all trades.
TVs are commodities. No money in them. You think it's just easy to add cable to Apple TVs? You do realize cable companies charge rent for their own boxes. Why would they give that up?

Didn't WS want netbooks and cheap iPhones? Both are low margin products. Apple doesn't care what analysts want.
Again, TVs are low margin and aren't replaced as often as phones, pcs. Then you have to consider the sizes. So it's too much trouble than its worth.
I doubt Apple makes a significant amount from this.
Would a larger screen iPhone earn more than a new 4" iPhone? Personally I think they will release a 4"and a <5" iPhones. No iPhablet, though.

I'm not sold on wearables. The size of this market is relatively small.
None of these are significant in $$$.
People are trending to laptops or iPads. A headless iMac is a mini.
Apple doesn't NEED anything.
Of course they do. WS is clueless. They expect innovation on a schedule. Do you know why they analyze instead of doing? Because they failed on their own.
Servers aren't Apple's forte. They don't need to be in the server market. The consumer market is more valuable.

On some levels Wall Street isn't clueless, on some levels they are.  But there are plenty of areas Apple can go after that they would increase their gross sales and profits.  Relying solely on iPhones isn't the best way to do it. That's 1/2 of their revenue is from iPhones.  They need to do the same business and more by introducing larger screen models with the current 4inch and grow it that way, with increasing their production levels so they can get up to over 400 Million units a year within about 5 years.  If you took 180 Milllion and ran at a 20% yearly increase, that would put them at about 380 Million iPhones a year in 5 years.  They WERE running at a much higher growth rate up until about 3 years ago and then it started to slow down.  Obviously, they started paying dividends which kind of takes them out of the high growth stock category, which is why the stock price hasn't done much, but they have to prove to Wall Street and the Shareholders that they can get back to 35% a year growth rate.  How are they going to do that?  iPhones? NO.  iPads? NO.  

 

What you are missing is that no ONE single thing is going to do it, but several of them will.

 

Pumping out 4, 5, and 5.5 inch iPhones and staggering product announcements throughout the year and getting their yearly production levels from 180 Million to 400 Million will help.  Adding a 3rd screen size iPad will help a little, unless for some reason it takes off. I could see that take off maybe in the Enterprise market.

 

Adding a midrange headless that is between a Mac Mini and a MacPro is needed.  I see a lot of people that complain that the MacPro is too much for certain markets and the MacMini isn't enough and they don't like the AIO for a prosumer computer that's doing certain types of things like 1080p Video production, Audio production, and other things that just don't need a MacPro.   They are either doing them on MacBookPro or iMacs but many of them actually want a headless Mac with the power they need.  A lot of people out there buying i7 PCs instead.

 

Servers, they would probably have to merge with Oracle, but I don't think that's going to happen, but that would definitely get them more Enterprise.  The problem with just relying on the consumer market is they don't buy in large quantities, whereas Enterprise customers do.  Enterprise customers also buy extended service contracts.  They are getting more visibility but it's taking time doing so.  The biggest hurdle is getting an administration app that can manage both PCs and Macs.  That s/w app that these IT departments currently use only do PCs, but if they covered Macs, then the IT departments would be more open to adding Macs.  There was a recent article/survey on this subject not too long ago that discussed the primary reasons why Apple isn't getting more Enterprise business.  They used to have a LOT before Windows 95 hit.


Again, Wall Street looks at Gross Sales, Margins, Net Profits and yearly growth rate and how Apple is going to increase on a yearly basis to reach 35%.  Right now, they aren't considered a high growth stock and paying dividends is partly why, the other is they just aren't growing as fast as they used to which is why Wall Street isn't promoting the stock as much as they used to.

 

So again, how is Apple going to get their Gross Sales/Proifts back to the 35% yearly rate. CONSISTENTLY?  Doing what they are doing now, seems to only get about 20% increase, which isn't big enough to kick the stock back up.

 

The problem with your responses is you just disagreed with me, but didn't state as to WHY they don't need to do what I suggested. Again, they need to do a variety of things, not just one or two.  

post #152 of 255

Exactly, Nothing is more frustrating than having to deal with idiots (and ultimately they ARE idiots) like Sheldon at work and their condescending/patronizing attitudes. They love Microsoft   and disdain people they consider less intelligent than themselves. 

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

Reply

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

Reply
post #153 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

@drblank I don't feel like editing your comment in my reply so...Who says Apple has to get 30% growth every year? Apple doesn't NEED to do anything they aren't doing now.

Why are you comparing qtrs to each other in the same fiscal year? Apple is in the consumer electronics business. The Dec qtr will always be the biggest qtr due to gifts and such. Why would you want to move away from that?
Oh no, 3 months! The horror of waiting. I had forgotten Jobs announced new products every quarter. Who the **** cares about analysts. Apple releases products when the products are ready and Not to fill some meaningless gap in the calendar.

The enterprise market is where Dell and HP have control. How's that working out for them.

Wall Street and Investors.  If Wall Street and Investors don't see at least a 30 to 35% growth rate with good margins, then they won't put BUY recommendations to help kick the stock price up.  
 

When an investor invests in a company, they want to see growth.  20% with slightly smaller margins doesn't attract a lot of investors.  I'm just simply talking about what they NEED to do to kick that stock price back into gear so it will see $700 a share or higher within the next couple of years.


The problem is that some of the analysts were under the impression due to various hints of an Apple SmartTV, that they would have something out by now, etc.   The analysts need to see some positive movement before they will recommend a strong buy recommendation on the stock.  Now, how they do it is another thing.  There are many ways they CAN do it.  I think 2013 was a horrible growth year, even though they came out with a couple of cool new products, but they really need to get the market attention because Samsung got a lot of it because they were having good sales with their larger screen models which is where it's profitable.  Apple had production problems when they introduced the iPhone 5 and 5S, MacPro, iMacs, and other models.  Part of that was due to announcing too many products at once and they had production issues with the Fingerprint ID sensor, which hopefully is fixed.  I was actually hoping that the Fingerprint ID sensor would have been on the iPad Air.  It's good technology that works.

 

But Apple kind of lost footing in 2013 and they haven't gotten back on track to prove to Wall Street to get the Strong Buy recommendations.  Otherwise, the stock won't have much movement. Obviously, they are buying back stock, but it's not doing much to increase the share price.  I think they could have used that money to go heavy into various areas to crack into new markets like the SmartTVs.   Wearables i see as a neat accessory, but nothing to spearhead HUGE sales figures.  It's more of smaller incremental sales at most.  Heck, they haven't even updated their Thunderbolt monitors or even come out with their own 4K display which is a little surprising.

 

One thing that Tim Cook has failed to prove is where is he going to see more growth to excite the analysts?   He hints at things, but they haven't had a single product announcement since Oct of last year.  That's very unlike Apple.  They typically had at least something to announce every quarter.  I, like a lot of others, get REAL nervous when they go 6 months without any product announcements.  They are late on updating the MacMini and AppleTV.

 

Just to let you know, I have a lot of background in the Enterprise market, I also have a finance degree and know how to look at their numbers, and I also have been intensely following Apple for many years.  It's my hobby, if you will and I see a LOT of areas that would help drive more revenues and they haven't pursued them fast enough or at all.  I personally think they would do best to spit out the 5inch iPhone by WWDC, and then update the 4inch model in Sept along with a 5.5 inch model at that time.  That should increase sales over the entire year AND increase demand as long as they can build the product.  They have China Mobile on line, which was a big deal for them, now they have to start kicking in the phones to go after the higher end segment of larger screen.  I personally don't want the 5.5 inch size, but there are that do and that's incremental revenue and marketshare for them. A larger iPad is only good if they can keep it under a certain weight, $, etc. it may not be this year, but I think there is enough demand for that type of product that will help increase sales/profits.

 

24 Bit AAC files and refreshing all of their products with 24 bit internal DACs would be something as an additional way to add more value to their products.  24 bit audio sales is increasing as more content is available.  It's not HUGE, yet, but it's getting bigger and bigger each year.  And Apple didn't refresh the iPods last year, which they kind of need to.  It's still a viable market for Apple to lead the way for 24 Bit.  Pono is getting the attention, but they can't compete with Apple and I think Apple would be better off to start the refresh of their products with 24 bit audio.  It's an area that the Wintel and Android platforms would have a difficult time competing against.

post #154 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

@drblank I don't feel like editing your comment in my reply so...Who says Apple has to get 30% growth every year? Apple doesn't NEED to do anything they aren't doing now.

Why are you comparing qtrs to each other in the same fiscal year? Apple is in the consumer electronics business. The Dec qtr will always be the biggest qtr due to gifts and such. Why would you want to move away from that?
Oh no, 3 months! The horror of waiting. I had forgotten Jobs announced new products every quarter. Who the **** cares about analysts. Apple releases products when the products are ready and Not to fill some meaningless gap in the calendar.

The enterprise market is where Dell and HP have control. How's that working out for them.

I'm not comparing qtrs to each other in the same fiscal year.  I compare year to year quarter to quarter.  But I think they should not put all of their eggs in one quarter.  It's cramps up production.  When Apple announces a new product, during the following 6 months is their best sales for that product and then it tapers off.  So what's happening is they are pushing their announcements to the end of the year, which helps their December quarter and flows into the March quarter, but not much happens in the June and Sept quarter because they don't really announce anything.  They would be much better off trying to stagnate product announcements more evenly.  What happens when they announce too many products at once, the average consumer gets confused as they can't comprehend everything.  It's like getting a drink of water from a firehose on full blast rather than drinking from a garden hose with a lot less pressure.  I know they are shifting producting of their desktops from China to the US, which is partly why the delays and they are shifting production through different suppliers.  I know it's a freaking nightmare to manage. but forcing all of the product announcements in one 30 day period is crazy.  it's not a good way to manage their product line.  It definitely produces a lot of stress and it shows.


I also think that woman from Burrberry needs to get off her a$$ and get over to Apple and not put her big bonus check in the way.  I think she should have moved over within 30 days from the announcement, not months later.

post #155 of 255
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

24 Bit AAC files and refreshing all of their products with 24 bit internal DACs would be something as an additional way to add more value to their products.  24 bit audio sales is increasing as more content is available.  It's not HUGE, yet, but it's getting bigger and bigger each year.  And Apple didn't refresh the iPods last year, which they kind of need to.  It's still a viable market for Apple to lead the way for 24 Bit

 

24-bit audio, H.265 hardware decoding. If Apple’s smart, they’ll build these into their next Apple TV (and by extension, the entire iDevice line). Oh, and Macs, of course. Can’t give HandBrake H.265 encoding until Apple supports it well enough!

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 fucked.

 

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 fucked.

 

Reply
post #156 of 255
A bit off topic or perhaps not.

I just noticed that a commercial for the Microsoft Surface uses the Sara Bareilles song Brave. That doesn't send an encouraging message to potential buyers.
post #157 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

24-bit audio, H.265 hardware decoding. If Apple’s smart, they’ll build these into their next Apple TV (and by extension, the entire iDevice line). Oh, and Macs, of course. Can’t give HandBrake H.265 encoding until Apple supports it well enough!

I'm not familiar with Handbrake. I'll do some reading on it.  But in general, it would greatly help Apple separate themselves from the rest of the industry by refreshing products with internal 24 bit dacs and getting a high quality AAC 24 content on iTunes.  It would take Apple about 3 years to fully refresh everything and that would help in all aspects including iTunes sales.  Right now, I buy content either the 16 bit CD and rip it to the computer or I am buying 24 bit from other sites.  I would rather buy my 24 Bit content from iTunes if it was "AS GOOD" in sound quality but compressed to take up less storage.  They would also have to increase the storage in their iDevices.


As far as the TV, most people that are going to buy a higher end TV are MOST likely going to connect it to a 5.1 receiver that all ready has 24 bit capabilities.  if the receiver does TrueHD and DTS Master, they do 24 bit decoding.  The high end audio geeks that do stereo are using MacMinis and iPads more and more, but they typically use higher end external DACs, but to get the masses to 24Bit, an internal DAC is good enough and then they just connect to a pair of powered speakers. etc.  Even with Headphones or earbuds, if the device has an internal 24 bit DAC, you can hear an improvement with 24 bit content.  I think that will help Apple with their "Premium" market strategy. 

post #158 of 255
Apple's new iPhone, the Veblen. Doesn't Apple's domination of the smartphone market tell you something about the iPhone's price elasticity. Heck, it's absolutely astonishing, given the likelihood that Apple will sell 75million iPhones at around an ASP of $650, while the S4 (which IMO is identical to the S5) will be had for $250.

I think every single analyst has underestimated how big a boon the 6 will be to iPhone sales. The size disadvantage that the iPhone has endured will be no more. No more consumers walking through a carrier's door, comparing an iPhone side-by-side with a larger screened phone, and walking out with an Android.

Couple the absolutely horrible upgrade Samsung just released with the soon-to-be nixed advantage of having the only desired larger phone, and I see a bunch of coals in Samsung's stockings this Xmas.
post #159 of 255
Originally Posted by drblank View Post
I'm not familiar with Handbrake.


Really? Shocking. Spectacular software.

 
It would take Apple about 3 years to fully refresh everything and that would help in all aspects including iTunes sales.

 

Hmm. Why? They could have the appropriate hardware out in… oh, you mean three years before their entire actively sold lineup is compatible. Bah, silly.

 
…you can hear an improvement…

 

Now you’ve done it. ;)

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 fucked.

 

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 fucked.

 

Reply
post #160 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Really? Shocking. Spectacular software.

Handbrake developers probably won't be keen on supporting H.265 until WinPCs start getting HW support for it.
Quote:
Hmm. Why? They could have the appropriate hardware out in… oh, you mean three years before their entire actively sold lineup is compatible. Bah, silly.

With Apple only updating the iPod line, including the iPod Touch every two years lets hope that is this year.

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

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

Reply

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

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

Reply
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