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Steve Jobs to Apple investors: 'hang in there'

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 
In a private communication last week, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs acknowledged the beating his company's shares have taken during this time of economic uncertainty, but remained confident that investors would inevitably recoup their losses and then some.

"Wow... what a remarkable last few days," he wrote in an email to employees, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider. "Our stock is being buffeted around by factors a lot larger than ourselves."

The Apple co-founder expressed sadness for many of the company's investors who may have seen their investments fall under water, but encouraged those with positions to put the matter into perspective by examining the performance of Apple shares over the past 24 months.

"As you can see, we have outperformed many other blue-chip tech companies, including Google," he wrote, tacking on a stock performance comparison chart for illustration. "I continue to believe that our fundamentals - our remarkable people, our clear and focused strategy, our new product pipeline, our 200+ retail stores, our $18 billion of cash in the bank with no debt, etc., will serve us well in the coming months and years."

Jobs, whose 5.54 million shares make him the single largest shareholder in Apple behind Fidelity Investments, was among the hardest hit by Wall Street's recent sell-off, with losses in company shares alone totaling an estimated $377.5 million on paper since the start of the new year.



In closing out his remarks to employees, Jobs remained upbeat, reiterating confidence that those who remain loyal to their positions in Apple would reap the benefits in the long run.

"I believe that investors who stay with us will be rewarded as the market's confidence is restored over time," he wrote. "Hang in there."
post #2 of 70
post #3 of 70
Hey, anything over and above one's living expenses is just gravy... so Steve's got no complaints.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #4 of 70
Nice letter, and likely a correct prognostication, but it's a lot of CEO boilerplate.

However, the reference to a "...our new product pipeline..." caught my eye. I am sure that they have lots of interesting stuff up their sleeves!
post #5 of 70
Whoa... Steve has 5.5 million shares. With the stock price drop, is he no longer a billionaire? What will his bud Larry Ellison say?

I'm happy that Steve's giving a pep talk, but actions speak much louder than words. A 3G iPhone soon, more aggressive notebook pricing, filling some holes in the Mac product line-up (the Air may be a bit niche)... all this would do a lot to help AAPL out during these tough times.

That said, I'd still definitely hold onto my shares...

.
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post #6 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

I'd still definitely hold onto my shares...

.

Not only am I holding onto mine, I'm getting set to buy a little more. I'm not giving anybody advice, I'm just sayin' . . .
post #7 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Whoa... Steve has 5.5 million shares. With the stock price drop, is he no longer a billionaire?

Only with AAPL.
He still has 138 million shares (~7%) of Disney at ~$30 = $4,140,000,000, I don't think he's worried about his billionaire status at all.
post #8 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

Only with AAPL.
He still has 138 million shares (~7%) of Disney at ~$30 = $4,140,000,000, I don't think he's worried about his billionaire status at all.


Disney gave him 7% of the company? Wow.

Think about how many mock turtlenecks and pairs of Levis he can buy with that!


.
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post #9 of 70
He mentions Google yet uses the Yahoo finance charts. So balanced. Is Yahoo still the best for free finance info?

Also I don't see google in the same light as HP and Dell. That's not a good comparison.
post #10 of 70
You'd almost think the stock market as a whole took a downturn, not just Apple. (Crazy thought.)
post #11 of 70
If they don't fix the new Mac Pro's, the disabled Matshita drives, come out with new displays, and get Leopard up to par... then I think it's going to be a very rough year for Apple. Not the time to buy. Look at picking up APPL shares for $86 in Sept.
post #12 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

A 3G iPhone soon, more aggressive notebook pricing, filling some holes in the Mac product line-up (the Air may be a bit niche)... all this would do a lot to help AAPL out during these tough times.

That said, I'd still definitely hold onto my shares...

.

Lowering margins will not increase AAPL, plus it would dilute the brand.

I'm holding onto mine too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Nice letter, and likely a correct prognostication, but it's a lot of CEO boilerplate.

However, the reference to a "...our new product pipeline..." caught my eye. I am sure that they have lots of interesting stuff up their sleeves!

You are too cynical about Jobs' comments. But I hope the you are right about new products.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

Not only am I holding onto mine, I'm getting set to buy a little more. I'm not giving anybody advice, I'm just sayin' . . .

I would take that advice if I had any money
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post #13 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Whoa... Steve has 5.5 million shares. With the stock price drop, is he no longer a billionaire?

He's going to have to start taking $2 a year for his salary now.

Boy I really wish this new product pipeline would ramp up though. Only the MBP and Mac Pro are decent just now and the MBP still needs some Penryn in there.

I think Apple just needs to pull their finger out. There's just not enough coming out to warrant any company growth. I think that it's a good strategy to even out the updates to ensure some longevity but people are getting tired of waiting. No Geforce 8 series for over a year was just laughable, the enclosure redesigns are welcome but hardly worthy of much interest when they don't offer significant improvements - the opposite in the case of the iMac in fact.

I'd say if they really want to impress people, maybe do a similar metallic overhaul on the Macbook as the MBA, either upgrade or replace the Mini already and introduce Penryn across the board within the next 4 weeks. Otherwise it's below 100 you go AAPL and rightly so.
post #14 of 70
buy Buy Buy!!!! :-)
post #15 of 70
Hold fast.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #16 of 70
Apple shares aren't undervalued now. They are cheap!
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post #17 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwdawso View Post

Lowering margins will not increase AAPL, plus it would dilute the brand.


Nah. The stock got hammered because, above and beyond the US's economic outlook being dismal, the 'Apple growth story' is not what it once was, in investors' eyes.

The iPod was flat year over year, and the iPhone is not doing very well in Europe. A 3G iPhone looks to be a ways off. US sales are the lion's share of iPhone sales, but again, the US is likely heading towards recession. Mac sales are a bright spot... they're up, but they could be up much more with some more aggressive pricing and some new products that aren't niche, but rather fill some obvious product lineup holes.

More aggressive Mac pricing wouldn't dilute the brand anymore than the iPhone price cut diluted the iPhone's appeal... that'd only happen if Apple started trying to compete in the bargain basement portion of the market, which is certainly not what's being suggested.

But it would be refeshing if Apple were more aggressive in the midrange of the computer market. Instead, they do things like getting rid of the $999 iMac, and even their cheapest, bottom-end notebook is still more expensive than the industry average notebook price, i.e. Apple's notebook lineup starts in the upper midrange. Ugh.

How much more of a growth story would the Mac business be if Apple said, "We don't want just the high-end, we want the midrange too... with a vengeance."

Far as the low-end of the computer business goes, who cares, no significant margins there... the eMachines bottom feeders can fight over that.


.
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post #18 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Boy I really wish this new product pipeline would ramp up though. Only the MBP and Mac Pro are decent just now and the MBP still needs some Penryn in there.

I think Apple just needs to pull their finger out. There's just not enough coming out to warrant any company growth. I think that it's a good strategy to even out the updates to ensure some longevity but people are getting tired of waiting. No Geforce 8 series for over a year was just laughable, the enclosure redesigns are welcome but hardly worthy of much interest when they don't offer significant improvements - the opposite in the case of the iMac in fact.


Can't say I disagree with too much of that. \

.
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post #19 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


I'd say if they really want to impress people, maybe do a similar metallic overhaul on the Macbook as the MBA, either upgrade or replace the Mini already and introduce Penryn across the board within the next 4 weeks. Otherwise it's below 100 you go AAPL and rightly so.

Ummm. You're joking right?
post #20 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Disney gave him 7% of the company? Wow.

No, he received 7% of Disney stock for Disney's acquisition of Pixar, which he owned.
post #21 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

No, he received 7% of Disney stock for Disney's acquisition of Pixar, which he owned.


Yeah, I know. 'Gave' was used loosely.

.
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post #22 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Disney gave him 7% of the company? Wow.

Think about how many mock turtlenecks and pairs of Levis he can buy with that!

I suspect he will still only own three of each.
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post #23 of 70
I dunno - this supposed SJ e-mail doesn't pass the smell test for me ... too banal and a bit touchy feelie. Fake, for some reason ...
post #24 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

If they don't fix the new Mac Pro's, the disabled Matshita drives, come out with new displays, and get Leopard up to par... then I think it's going to be a very rough year for Apple. Not the time to buy. Look at picking up APPL shares for $86 in Sept.

If AAPL hit $86, that would be a PE of around 10 discounting for the $16/share they have in cash. No matter how bad things get, I can't imagine them with a price less than $112. I just wish I had enough cash to buy some more.

I know... that's a sign of an addict...
post #25 of 70
Apple just needs to listen to their customers and stop trying to change what we need based on design. The stock fell because nothing happened at Macworld.

1. Macbook Air? How can you sell an ultra portable laptop that can't change batteries on the fly? Plus where's the ethernet jack? If I travel allot those two things are a deal breaker.

2. Apple TV, Great idea, now release it already!!! Plus, add the ability to loop video, that would make it a huge selling point for trade show use.

3. iPOd touch update $20? Lame. Should be free.

4. iPhone updates? Thanks for being free but whatever, nothing we need. We need cut and paste, syncing of notes (I lost mine twice when my 2 phone's had to be replaced) and open it up to developers already, they now how to make software people actually want, and they would save your snobby asses.
post #26 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawporta View Post

Apple just needs to listen to their customers and stop trying to change what we need based on design. The stock fell because nothing happened at Macworld.

1. Macbook Air? How can you sell an ultra portable laptop that can't change batteries on the fly? Plus where's the ethernet jack? If I travel allot those two things are a deal breaker.

2. Apple TV, Great idea, now release it already!!! Plus, add the ability to loop video, that would make it a huge selling point for trade show use.

3. iPOd touch update $20? Lame. Should be free.

4. iPhone updates? Thanks for being free but whatever, nothing we need. We need cut and paste, syncing of notes (I lost mine twice when my 2 phone's had to be replaced) and open it up to developers already, they now how to make software people actually want, and they would save your snobby asses.

1. Considering that the battery in the MBA lasts twice as long as other batteries, there is not a need to carry a backup. Ethernet jack? That defeats the whole purpose of calling it the MacBook Air. It is designed to be a completely wireless computer. If that's not what you want then there is always the MB and MBP.

2. Ummm.. didn't you hear the part where he said it will be released in two weeks?

3. It is free if you buy a new one.. If you already bought one, $20 is reasonable for five additional apps.

4. I agree about needing cut and paste, but this update was really about iTunes movie rentals and making room for new apps from third parties with the upcoming SDK release.
post #27 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

1. Considering that the battery in the MBA lasts twice as long as other batteries, there is not a need to carry a backup.

"Twice as long?" Really? 'Cuz most of the reviews that tested the batt life said to expect 3.5 to 4.5 hours for the MBAir. My iBook and my gfriend's MacBook both last nearly that long.


Quote:
Ethernet jack? That defeats the whole purpose of calling it the MacBook Air.

Who cares about preserving the marketing speak? If the lack of a jack is a deal-breaker for a significant enough number of ppl, Apple should rectify that. We'll see how it goes.

.
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post #28 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

"Twice as long?" Really? 'Cuz most of the reviews that tested the batt life said to expect 3.5 to 4.5 hours for the MBAir. My iBook and my gfriend's MacBook both last nearly that long.




Who cares about preserving the marketing speak? If the lack of a jack is a deal-breaker for a significant enough number of ppl, Apple should rectify that. We'll see how it goes.

.


The MBA battery lasts 2x as long as other ultraportables. Of course a full size battery in a full size notebook will last longer. But you have to compare Apples to Apples and when you do, you will see that most ultraportable notebooks batteries last appx 2 to 2.5 hours.

And I'm not preserving "Market Speak." The MBA is designed to be an ultra portable wireless computer, not a full featured notebook. There are other options available if you don't want a strictly wireless computer.

Comparing the specs of an ultra portable to a full size is pointless. They are different products for different purposes. When size and weight are a priority, you have to sacrifice some functionality.. I think that Apple did a fine job of finding a very useable balance of form and function with the Air.
post #29 of 70
Would you guys mind posting his email in its entirety?

Just to see how he actually sent it out. For the curious...
post #30 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

You'd almost think the stock market as a whole took a downturn, not just Apple. (Crazy thought.)

As far as I can tell, Apple was disprortionately hit.
post #31 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

The MBA battery lasts 2x as long as other ultraportables. Of course a full size battery in a full size notebook will last longer. But you have to compare Apples to Apples and when you do, you will see that most ultraportable notebooks batteries last appx 2 to 2.5 hours.

Sony TZ: 6+ hours.

Thinkpad X60: 6+ hours with wireless on, 10+ hours with low backlight/no wireless.

The MacBook Air is a little weaker on battery life than other ultraportables.
post #32 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk View Post

Sony TZ: 6+ hours.

Thinkpad X60: 6+ hours with wireless on, 10+ hours with low backlight/no wireless.

The MacBook Air is a little weaker on battery life than other ultraportables.

To be fair the TZ is a 11.1 in screen and a 1.2Ghz proc. If anything it appears a wash considering the much faster MBA proc and larger screen.
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post #33 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

To be fair the TZ is a 11.1 in screen and a 1.2Ghz proc. If anything it appears a wash considering the much faster MBA proc and larger screen.

The Sony as reviewed also has a 32GB flash drive.
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post #34 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

And I'm not preserving "Market Speak." The MBA is designed to be an ultra portable wireless computer, not a full featured notebook.


Not exactly... the MB Air is designed to be Apple's 'better alternative' to an ultraportable, it is not a true ultraportable itself.

If it were intended to be a true ultraportable, it wouldn't have the same footprint as a regular MacBook, which it does.

Another point on portability: Sure, there must be some afterthought doohickey you can buy which will let you plug into an Ethernet port (USB port adapter), but then that becomes one more thing to carry around, doesn't it? Not to mention the carry along external optical drive. Perhaps you don't watch DVDs on long train or plane rides, but I sure do.

At some point, there's too many things to carry along to make up for insufficient built-in functionality, and your 'portable' really isn't, anymore. \

I really like the MB Air, but for its gorgeous design more than anything else. If I were a true day-in, day-out road warrior, I'd probably go with something else.

.
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post #35 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

If they don't fix the new Mac Pro's, the disabled Matshita drives, come out with new displays, and get Leopard up to par... then I think it's going to be a very rough year for Apple. Not the time to buy. Look at picking up APPL shares for $86 in Sept.

i'd like to see you put your money where your mouth is and go short aapl all the way down to $86, where you can reverse your position as it climbs back up.
post #36 of 70
Augh. AAPL is down to $129 in after-hours trading. Why the frak didn't I sell at $200??

Some of us are long-term by strategy. I'm long-term by necessity now. \

.
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post #37 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Not exactly... the MB Air is designed to be Apple's 'better alternative' to an ultraportable, it is not a true ultraportable itself.

If it were intended to be a true ultraportable, it wouldn't have the same footprint as a regular MacBook, which it does.

Another point on portability: Sure, there must be some afterthought doohickey you can buy which will let you plug into an Ethernet port (USB port adapter), but then that becomes one more thing to carry around, doesn't it? Not to mention the carry along external optical drive. Perhaps you don't watch DVDs on long train or plane rides, but I sure do.

At some point, there's too many things to carry along to make up for insufficient built-in functionality, and your 'portable' really isn't, anymore. \

I really like the MB Air, but for its gorgeous design more than anything else. If I were a true day-in, day-out road warrior, I'd probably go with something else.

.

What's stopping you from ripping your DVD to the hard drive first? The problem with those that want ultraportable meaning "small" is that they're ok with the smaller keyboard and screen. Frankly I'm more aligned with Apple in if you can deliver a 3lb notebook with a fullsized keyboard and popular monitor size that's more important than overall dimensions. The laptop is going to be in a bag or on your lap..I don't need it small I need it light.

The USB adapter is another device to carry around but let's be honest a candybar weighs more. The optical drive is another personal thing. Frankly I don't use the optical drive on my PC much so I probably wouldn't ante up for the external drive.
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post #38 of 70
I love Apple, but I'm with the folks who are pessimistic as to AAPL over the next year. I've been buying Apple computers since the 80's, and, well, they don't sell any desktop or laptop computers I want right now. At all. I realize there's a lot of people out there buying Apple products, and that's great, but I can't invest in a company whose products I no longer understand the appeal of. I like their iPod lineup, but I buy one of those every 2-3 years, and that's not enough to sustain the current valuation let alone grow it.

Now, my mind might change significantly if I see a nice Touch SDK next month and maybe a new model on the horizon. I've been amazed at how useful the darn thing is in the month I've owned it, and I could see the Touch and iPhone becoming a significant computing platform over the next year. But I don't have any confidence that Apple will shed the Not Invented Here syndrome and really do what's best with the SDK, and I suspect they'll just shovel more of the same developer crap with fancy marketing tied to it. The Mac's development environment leaves a LOT to be desired, and so I'm skeptical they'll do the iPod one right. (Why couldn't they have just adopted Java and had an instant army of already-trained developers and a top-notch free IDE? This is the sort of thing Java was DESIGNED for!)
post #39 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Frankly I'm more aligned with Apple in if you can deliver a 3lb notebook with a fullsized keyboard and popular monitor size that's more important than overall dimensions. The laptop is going to be in a bag or on your lap... I don't need it small I need it light.


That is indeed the bet that Apple is making. We'll see if they're right.

Short-term, the launch orders will be great. But long-term, the worry is that the MBA will have only niche sales.


.
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post #40 of 70
I find a lot of pessimism coming from Apple fans who someone have been fooled into thinking that life's been rosy for PC owners. I look forward to the day I can get rid of the junky old PCs I have at home. I entertain thoughts of building another PC for fun but then reality hits. Why? Vista isn't all that sexy and frankly I'd rather virtualize.

I'm not too happy with the Mac Pro starting price. The iMac is a simplistic and handsome system but I'd be more happy if it eschewed mobile parts at the high end.

I'm looking forward to getting a Macbook. I'd love for the "black tax" to go away. I'm not using it for gaming so an X3100 graphics system is fine. I prefer the 13.3 size.

I'm actually in a situation where I have plenty of room (sadly not enough cash) to evolve my Mac setup. This years purchase will certainly bring a new Ipod in and a Apple TV. I'd love an iPhone but my job currently will only expense a Blackberry so hopefully by the end of my 2yr contract I'll be able to segue into a iPhone 3G with proper Exchange support.

By and large the problem right now with Apple pertains to blatant attempts by the media Empires to hobble Apple's success in music and video downloads. Apple cannot lose itself here. It's not their content and thus they will not be able to manufacture huge profits like homegrown content. In essence Apple's lack of ownership prevents them from "printing money" like they do with OS X.

Hopefully Apple delivers a unified iPhone SDK that allows for easy creation of iPhone and Touch apps. Lately Apple has been fine with developer tools. I don't see them working overtime to thwart the fringe iPhone developers jailbreaking the phones.

The Tech market is taking a beating and you're only as good as your last deal on Wall Street. By the end of the year I think we'll acknowledge that we had a recession yet the hope is that positive momentum is going to carry forward into 2009.
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