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Piper Jaffray addresses 15 more 'unanswered Apple questions'

post #1 of 38
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Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster on Thursday issued a report to clients that analytically addresses 16 more unanswered questions surrounding the Apple story, including some pertaining to the company's iPhone hardware roadmap and approach to the enterprise.

Back in May of 2006, the analyst issued a similar report with comments on more than 20 questions about the Cupertino, Calif.-based company that had been lingering in the minds of investors and enthusiasts. He later followed up by addressing 16 more questions that november.

The latest report addresses a broad spectrum of questions, ranging from Munster's take on the iPhone hardware roadmap to Apple's international retail expansion.

Both the questions and answers are being republished in full in order to offer readers the full benefit of the analyst's insight:

Questions on General Business Operations:

Will Apple alter its pricing strategy?
Apple sells its products at the full MSRP 364 days a year (with one exception on Black Friday). And because its products can garner a premium, we do not expect Apple to alter its stance towards relatively higher prices. From time to time Apple will lower prices to drive demand, as we have seen with the 2/19 shuffle price cut to $49 from $79, and the recent price actions taken in Europe with the iPhone. For more on iPhone pricing, see below. It's important to note, Apple legally can not influence the retail price of its products sold through 3rd parties. Talk that Apple has broad pricing control are false.

How does Apple approach the Enterprise business?
In the past, Apple has indicated that at its core, it is a consumer company. We believe this is still true; however, we believe Apple is slightly changing its perspective on selling to the Enterprise. The recent iPhone software announcements with Exchange support and other enterprise solutions provide Apple with a foot in the door. In fact, 1/3 of all Fortune 500 companies have approached Apple with interest in the iPhone Enterprise Beta program. While Apple will let consumer demand drive the product decisions it makes, the company recognizes that every consumer is likely PC user at work, and we expect the company to focus on improving its outreach to Enterprise users. Overall, we see this as a slight change, and we expect Apple to remain singularly focused on the consumer segment.

Will Apple TV become a full 4th cylinder business, or will it remain a hobby?
Currently, the Apple TV represents a very small part of Apple's overall business. In fact, Steve Jobs refers to it as a "hobby", rather than a complete fourth cylinder of Apple's strategy (along with iPod, iPhone, and Mac). During Macworld, the company acknowledged that it did not get the Apple TV right the first time around. But we believe Apple is more confident in the business after the recently updated software update, internally dubbed "Take 2". Widespread adoption of the product is limited by the need for a broadband internet connection and a widescreen TV, but the movie rentals offering is becoming increasingly robust, and we believe Apple intends to continue innovating on the Apple TV platform. That said, our expectations for the Apple TV business remain conservative.

Mac Related Questions:

Why did Apple stop selling a $999 iMac?
When Apple last redesigned the iMac, in Aug-07, the company dropped the 17" model at the $999 price point. We believe the company ended shipping the 17" iMac simply because it was not selling as well as the 20" model. And it is likely that the company increased the margins on the iMacs by reducing the amount of SKUs in the lineup, particularly with the elimination of an entire screen and form factor size.

How is Mac growth in the education market relative to overall Mac growth?
We believe Apple's growth in the education markets is outpacing its overall Mac growth. And this is significant considering Mac units grew 51% y/y in the March quarter. Specifically, we believe higher ed has been growing significantly faster for Apple than overall Mac units, and the K-12 business has also been a key driver.

What are the key selling points of a Mac?
Mac market share is rising, and we believe consumers are choosing to buy Macs for four reasons: 1) Apple offers unique, eye-catching hardware, 2) Apple's OSX is widely understood to be more secure and stable than Windows, 3) The iLife suite (iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, etc.) attracts users who are looking for a digital lifestyle solution, 4) Apple has worked to improve the Mac buying experience, especially in its retail stores.

How is Apple approaching Multi-Touch?
We believe the Multi-Touch gestures recently added to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are just the beginning of Apple's exploration of Multi-Touch on the Mac. Apple is clearly leveraging its technology portfolio from the iPhone to improve the Mac experience as well, and we believe Apple will continue to add Multi-Touch gestures to its notebooks. Currently, these gestures require the same touch-sensing technology used in the iPhone, but they use a traditional looking trackpad. Eventually, we expect Apple to change the trackpad to backlit color screens for a more dynamic user interface on the Mac. And ultimately, we expect Apple to develop a full touch-screen MacBook, although not until the technology has fully matured over the next 3-5 years. We believe Multi-Touch is a core differentiator of Apple products (relative to other touchscreen devices), and Apple has adequately protected its innovations in order to maintain a leading edge in the touchscreen device categories (phones, portable computing devices like the iPod touch, and Mac notebooks).

How serious is Apple about the enterprise opportunity for the Mac?
When we talk about building products, it's a consumer focus. Choices that favor a consumer and the purchasing behavior of a consumer.Businesses are looking at Mac and its great technology regardless. Could pushing enterprise opportunity hurt the consumer biz? Maybe, there are concerns. We believe that they will always focus on driving the product forward. It's Apple's DNA. Driving forward not hesitant to eat their young.

In the coming years, how will people use their Macs in ways they aren't today?
In addition to significant advancements in touchscreen features, we expect Apple to continue to invest in the digital lifestyle trend. From the beginning, Apple has led the way with its iLife suite of applications for digital music, movies, and photos. We believe this focus will be primarily driven by software, with periodic updates to the iLife suite. Additionally, we believe that devices in Apple's entertainment ecosystem like the iPod and Apple TV will augment the digital lifestyle trend on the Mac side. The integration between the elements of the ecosystem is a critical piece of the Mac growth, from the Halo Effect of those devices.

On page 2 of 2: What is the iPhone's hardware roadmap?; How is the price a carrier charges for the iPhone set?; What was the driver for the App Store on the iPhone for 3rd party applications?; Is the iPhone cannibalizing iPod sales?; What did Apple management mean when it referred to the iPod as a "Wi-Fi mobile platform"?; How are the Apple stores performing as a business segment?; and What are Apple's plans for international expansion?.

iPhone Related Questions:

What is the iPhone's hardware roadmap?
We continue to expect Apple to offer a family of iPhones (2-3 separate models) in the first half of 2009, including lower priced ($200-$300) models. Just as the company slowly diversified the iPod lineup and entered lower price points with every new version of the iPod, we expect Apple to launch new models of the iPhone at lower price points in CY09. This expectation, along with the expectation for lower price points, and world wide availability of the phone, is critical to our CY09 iPhone estimate of 45m units.

How is the price a carrier charges for the iPhone set?
Although Apple is able to garner a premium price for its devices, we believe its carrier partners are free to price the device at their discretion. In fact, when Apple's carrier partner in the UK, O2, lowered the price of the 8GB iPhone by £100, the price of the same device on Apple's UK Web-based store remained at the original, higher price. We believe one reason why wireless carriers were eager to sell the iPhone is that Apple can maintain a higher ASP; however Apple has made it clear that they are not hesitant to explore alternate pricing schemes. For example, the company is currently exploring a subsidized model in Germany with an 8GB phone going for as low as 99. Furthermore, we believe Apple is not hesitant to try business models other than the exclusive models the company has chosen during the iPhone's first year. It has enabled Apple to maintain tight control on the user experience of the iPhone, but expanded availability will likely become a higher priority, and we believe it will eventually drive Apple to offer the iPhone on multiple carriers in each country.

What was the driver for the App Store on the iPhone for 3rd party applications?
The thriving iPhone hacking community adequately showed that there was significant demand for features the iPhone is capable of, but Apple is not offering. Games, instant messaging, and industry-specific applications are several examples of features that the iPhone does not currently offer in a native application setting. We believe Apple recognized that its user base was dissatisfied with the simplified Web 2.0 apps available on the iPhone's web browser; as a result, the company announced the availability of 3rd party applications in March along with the iPhone operating system 2.0, which is on track to arrive in late June.

iPod Related Questions:

Is the iPhone cannibalizing iPod sales?
We believe that there is some degree of iPod cannibalization due to the iPhone, but the impact is difficult to measure. In general, it is clear that iPod growth is slowing, but we believe that Apple will counteract the maturity in the iPod market with innovative new touchscreen iPods at lower price points. Additionally, Apple is well positioned to upsell its users from lower priced iPods to more expensive iPhones, in which case the cannibalization of iPod sales is a net positive to the company.

What did Apple management mean when it referred to the iPod as a "Wi-Fi mobile platform"?
History has shown that iPod growth is largely tied to: 1) the holiday shopping season and 2) innovative iPods. During the Dec-07 conference call, management referred to the iPod touch as the beginning of a "mainstream Wi-Fi mobile platform." We believe that the iPod touch is the first of several Internet-connected iPods that Apple is currently developing. Internet connectivity enables applications like email and a web browser to add significant value to the iPod lineup, which will drive incremental growth and spur the replacement cycle for current iPod owners. With 70% market share, we believe Apple is positioned to transform the MP3 market into a portable computing market. And with the addition of the iPhone and iPod touch SDK, along with a robust and growing developer community working with the beta, Apple is well positioned to expand its iPod user base into the mobile computing category.

Questions On Apple's Retail Stores:

How are the Apple stores performing as a business segment?
Simply put, we believe its retail stores are one of Apple's most underappreciated business segments. Despite talk of a retail recession, revenue from all retail stores rose to $1.45b in March, up 75% y/y in total. Additionally, the average store revenue (not comparable stores, but an average of all stores) grew 48% to 7.1m in the quarter. Finally, Mac sales grew to 458k units in the March quarter, or 20% of all Macs sold, despite the fact that the 200+ retail stores account for just 2% of the ~10,000 Mac points of sale.

What are Apple's plans for international expansion?
The concentration of Apple retail stores reflect Apple's strongest markets. Clearly, the US is Apple's strongest market, and it also has the most Apple retail stores. The UK is second, with 15 stores, and it is Apple's second largest market. We expect Apple to capitalize on this market with more stores in the UK. According to the relationship between Apple's business in a country and the amount of retail stores, Canada is slightly behind on the retail front, and we expect the company to add stores in Canada in the near future. We also expect the company to launch a store in Beijing, China before the Olympic games (around the July '08 timeframe). In other words, we expect Apple to lead with its retail stores into the Chinese market, which represents a large opportunity for the company. This would not only provide a significant point of sale for Macs in the country, but it would also establish a center for iPhone sales and marketing for an iPhone launch in the country (which we expect some time in 2009).
post #2 of 38
No way did apple go ahead with the app store due to 'the hacker community' these products and there strategies are thought out 2 or more years before their release, apple just had a lot on their plate getting the iphone out the gate and also love to keep things current and in the news in this staggered approach. The SDK was being worked on before the iphones release.
post #3 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by speakerwizard View Post

No way did apple go ahead with the app store due to 'the hacker community' these products and there strategies are thought out 2 or more years before their release, apple just had a lot on their plate getting the iphone out the gate and also love to keep things current and in the news in this staggered approach. The SDK was being worked on before the iphones release.

Is that how you know? I'm guessing it's a bit of both. They planned ahead, and if there was demand--which there was--they would release the SDK. If everyone was more than happy with web apps, why spend the resources on building and maintining an SDK?
post #4 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It's Apple's DNA. Driving forward not hesitant to eat their young.

Wrong metaphor. Apple is not hesitant to discard their old. To make way for their young.
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

How does Apple approach the Enterprise business?
In the past, Apple has indicated that at its core, it is a consumer company. We believe this is still true; however, we believe Apple is slightly changing its perspective on selling to the Enterprise. The recent iPhone software announcements with Exchange support and other enterprise solutions provide Apple with a foot in the door. In fact, 1/3 of all Fortune 500 companies have approached Apple with interest in the iPhone Enterprise Beta program. While Apple will let consumer demand drive the product decisions it makes, the company recognizes that every consumer is likely PC user at work, and we expect the company to focus on improving its outreach to Enterprise users. Overall, we see this as a slight change, and we expect Apple to remain singularly focused on the consumer segment.


What are the key selling points of a Mac?
Mac market share is rising, and we believe consumers are choosing to buy Macs for four reasons: 1) Apple offers unique, eye-catching hardware, 2) Apple's OSX is widely understood to be more secure and stable than Windows, 3) The iLife suite (iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, etc.) attracts users who are looking for a digital lifestyle solution, 4) Apple has worked to improve the Mac buying experience, especially in its retail stores.
2009).

Apple will clearly chase the Enterprise market, but all in good time. it is doing exceedingly well in the consumer market and the education market, these are both computer buying niches that Apple owns by deliberately targeting such customers. meanwhile, every other PC manufacturer has been targeting business users. Apple was smart to target different segments.

The key to Apple's success is its key selling points which i see a little different from PJ's.

Apple's core positioning is: "Computers that are easy to use out of the box."

The quality and aesthetics are important, but are not the key factor driving improved performance. Apple has always delivered great looking computers, what has made the crucial difference is the operating system: OSX.

When Tiger arrived together with Intel processors, we saw a quantum leap in reliability that enhanced ease of use. These are the two factors that have most delivered financial results for Apple. OS 10.5 simply builds on a great foundation as does better and better designs.

While OS10 has got better, Microsoft truly dropped the ball with Windows Vista. In doing so they gave people who might have otherwise stuck it out with the PC platform the impetus to try a Mac.

While macs are relatively virus free, this is primarily due to the fact that not many hackers are bothering to write Mac viruses. macs are not immune to viruses and with growing market share it ma only be a matter of time before we see a major virus hit Macs. Most people buying macs are smart enough to realize this, but in truth buying a Mac only means you don't really need to buy Norton AV anymore.

To re-state then, Apple's core positioning is all about the user experience: the interface between man and machine. Be it a Mac, an iPod or an IPhone, all of its hardware and software is focused around making the tasks they were designed to fulfill easier, faster and more of a no-brainer to complete.

The sheer functionality Apple Macs deliver make them an ideal productivity tool for an office environment. I am sure it is only a matter of time before we see OSX Pro with more security features and less leisure-based applications targeted directly at large organizations. Even without it, we're already seeing major corporate migrations to the Mac platform. From my own company's perspective, Office 2008 for the Mac offers a better user-experience than the PC version Office 2007, with one exception, the lack of Macro support in Excel. (Which i think was a deliberately left out just in case a trickle of Windows defectors becomes a flood.)

Apple is doing so many things right, it is an object lesson in marketing for just about any other major business. In particular, a fact that PJ to my surprise did manage to identify correctly was the quality of the buying experience. In fact, the entire experience offered by Apple is superb. The web, with cool little movies that provide heaps of relevant product info, the in-store environment, helpful staff who know their stuff, the product packaging, warranties, third-party products, satisfied users sharing tips and the whole Mac aficionado fan base all support the experience. mac isn't just a product, it's a religion.

Perhaps that's overstating it, but Apple has created a corporate philosophy and culture that it adheres to consistently and it shows. When you truly put customer satisfaction before profit, profits flow abundantly. This is something that many other consumer products manufacturers would do well to take note of.

When people see great companies producing great products, they get behind them and champion them. Perhaps that's the strongest reason of all to understand why Apple commands a price premium as well as loyalty.
post #6 of 38
My brother is a financial analyst with Western-Southern. He says that the only person they listen to regarding all things Apple is Gene Munster. He is the only one who has been consistently correct and "gets it".
post #7 of 38
Another mac key selling point which he doesn't list is that you can run Windows on Intel Macs. This is BIG. This allows windows users to ease into using macs without 'risk' . This especially will be key driver in Mac business sales (businesses are now so PC centric). Gradually I suspect once seduced by OsX superiority these folks will become more and more pure OsX users.
post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

My brother is a financial analyst with Western-Southern. He says that the only person they listen to regarding all things Apple is Gene Munster. He is the only one who has been consistently correct and "gets it".

Cubert, you and your brother are spot on when it comes to AAPL and Gene Munster! Shaw Woo-Hoo and his coterie of stock manipulators underestimated last quarter's earnings by HALF A BILLION DOLLARS (!), and several downgraded the equity to "Hold" or "Underperform" immediately before data were released. How can ANYTHING these brigands say be trusted or acted upon? Gene was doing his excellent research into AAPL years before Shaw and Co. even heard of Steve Jobs, and following his advice has netted me almost a million now in this stock alone. (Av. per share 12.5, 5700 shares, current price 177+)

Live long and prosper, Gene Munster!
post #9 of 38
Testing, testing ... 1-2-3, testing, testing ... 1-2-3.
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
Reply
post #10 of 38
Overall, some pretty solid analysis and insights. Nothing ground-breaking (except perhaps for his confidence in multiple versions of the iPhone in 2009, and one that could be priced as low as $200).

Nice work, Mr. Munster!
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmcphers View Post

If everyone was more than happy with web apps, why spend the resources on building and maintining an SDK?

Because there is a real need for both types of applications. Take real estate for instance:

Web apps - If you have an iPhone and you happen to be in an area where you think you would like to live you could go to 21st century's web site, enter your criteria and the address where you are and the web based app will look for matches, including the agents responsible for the houses listed and/or assigned to that area. Other information such as schools, hospitals, etc could also be available.

SDK apps - This type of app would be good for flippers and agents. Agents could have all their houses along with the details (floor plans, virtual tour, pictures, etc) so they could show it to potential buyers. Flippers would be able to get specific details such as foreclosures, section 8, type of home (house, townhouse, condo, etc.) along with the names of the agents, or select a specific agent and see what they are selling. Any picture taken could be associated with a particular location. Both would need internet access to update their information, but would be able to view it without a connection.
post #12 of 38
I think the thing that people don't realise about apple is that they're fairly single focused - sure they've got different product areas, but they take it slowly and gradually work on each area. They don't attack every possible buisness they can like Microsoft & Google...
post #13 of 38
Even if not many of the $999 iMacs were sold to the public, I thought it would be a good starting point, I thought Apple tries upselling whenever they can. The lower price of the entry machine might get them in the door, but they might buy something better if they think it suits them.
post #14 of 38
One item not covered in the report here that I think is integral to understanding Apple's unfair advantage in the market is the 'halo effect' of synergies across its strategies, lines of business, channels and the like.

I have done some analysis of this one in a post called Holy Sh-t! Apple's Halo Effect. Here is the URL:

http://thenetworkgarden.com/weblog/2...hit-apple.html

Check it out if interested (side note: some forums packages pull out profanity words, which may break the URL. If it does just click HERE.

Cheers,

Mark
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts View Post

Because there is a real need for both types of applications. Take real estate for instance:

I think maybe you took nmc out of context. I don't think nmc suggested that everyone (users & developers) was happy with webapps.
post #16 of 38
On cannibalization:

Who was the Apple executive who said "Better for us to cannibalize ourselves than for other companies to take our business"?
post #17 of 38
Quote:
While Apple will let consumer demand drive the product decisions it makes, the company recognizes that every consumer is likely PC user at work, and we expect the company to focus on improving its outreach to Enterprise users.

People often purchase home computers based on what they use at work, so they can work at home and be "compatible". In the real world, workers have to follow their paychecks. The idea that big businesses will suddenly start buying truckloads of Macs because some employees have Macs at home is absurdly optimistic and delusional. Convincing people to buy Macs for home because they are well supported at work is a lot more realistic than trying to go in the reverse direction.
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Eventually, we expect Apple to change the trackpad to backlit color screens for a more dynamic user interface on the Mac. And ultimately, we expect Apple to develop a full touch-screen MacBook...

Can't believe these analysts continue to miss to mention the Mac touch (tablet).
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmcphers View Post

Is that how you know? I'm guessing it's a bit of both. They planned ahead, and if there was demand--which there was--they would release the SDK. If everyone was more than happy with web apps, why spend the resources on building and maintining an SDK?

He's right though, they planned it in advance. Although Installer.app obviously gave them some ideas.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #20 of 38
Will Apple make TV's before 2010?

YES
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Will Apple make TV's before 2010?

YES

Why? I'm not sure it really makes sense.

Do you say that in part because you want one?

For the most part, I think Apple is better off staying out of the TV market, it's way too competitive and even some of the high end companies are refactoring how they operate to adjust to the market. I think Apple is better off producing devices that comply with the appropriate standards, and leave the TV to other companies.
post #22 of 38
Apple will support the Enterprise but they won't "Go Enterprise"

I think they're comfortable bridging their technology with the EPrise where it they stand to profits and enjoy high ROI.

The iPone "will" cannibalize the iPod and it's supposed to. The future is about your "digital life" in your pocket" Why carry two devices when consolidation is the key?

Apple TV will continue to grow in power and influence as faster broadband speeds become available and the next wave of compression technology hits promising at least a %50 reduction in datarate for a given level of picture quality.

The $999 iMac will be replaced by a portable device sans keys that fits between the iPhone and the Macbook. Touch on steroids but more than a tablet.
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post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by speakerwizard View Post

The SDK was being worked on before the iphones release.

Anyone who takes a look at the SDK and documentation (and is familiar with software development) knows this all too well.
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

For the most part, I think Apple is better off staying out of the TV market, it's way too competitive and even some of the high end companies are refactoring how they operate to adjust to the market.

I think Apple is better off staying out of the cell phone market, it's way too competitive and even some of the high end... That said, I agree: unless Apple can re-imagine what a TV should be able to do (and Apple TV integration is not that), they should stay out of the TV market.
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Overall, some pretty solid analysis and insights. Nothing ground-breaking (except perhaps for his confidence in multiple versions of the iPhone in 2009, and one that could be priced as low as $200).

Nice work, Mr. Munster!

That's a no brainer. The only way he's off, in my opinion, is if there is any doubt Apple will sell 10million in 2008. That's when we'll see a nano iPhone in 2008 (at the iPod refresh in September).
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Stevenson View Post

I think Apple is better off staying out of the cell phone market, it's way too competitive and even some of the high end... That said, I agree: unless Apple can re-imagine what a TV should be able to do (and Apple TV integration is not that), they should stay out of the TV market.

I realized that when I wrote it, but to me, there's something different about the two circumstances that I can't put my finger on, so I didn't want to make a mess of it. On the surface, it does look hypocritical of me to say that about TV and not the iPhone, I think there's a good reason for it that I can't articulate.

At least maybe with the phone, back a couple years ago, seemed to me to be the next logical step of the iPod because it's one less device to carry. I figured Apple was going to lose out if they don't offer a phone and the phones out there might do it "good enough" that it's not worth the hassle of carrying two separate devices. It also helps that Apple came up with a slick device too.

So, yes, I do agree with your reinterpretation. Maybe if "smart TVs" started getting traction, I don't know. It's tough to describe, but an Apple "dumb TV" doesn't seem worthwhile.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Testing, testing ... 1-2-3, testing, testing ... 1-2-3.

Same here... test.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I realized that when I wrote it, but to me, there's something different about the two circumstances that I can't put my finger on, so I didn't want to make a mess of it. On the surface, it does look hypocritical of me to say that about TV and not the iPhone, I think there's a good reason for it that I can't articulate.

One distinction is that, prior to the iPhone, many people complained about the UI/operation of their cell phones while far fewer people complain about the these issues with their TVs (except for remote controls). Other than improving the remote, it is much harder to see what Apple could bring to the table in TV design over other manufacturers.
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

One distinction is that, prior to the iPhone, many people complained about the UI/operation of their cell phones while far fewer people complain about the these issues with their TVs (except for remote controls). Other than improving the remote, it is much harder to see what Apple could bring to the table in TV design over other manufacturers.

Network capability

Samung and Toshiba (probably others) have begun to add Ethernet ports to some TV lines. However neither has quite the same stake in media that Apple has. While the thought of Apple making a TV is far fetched I "do" remember people on these very boards saying Apple would be crazy to go up against Motorola and Nokia in the phone space.

People will pay more money for great integration. What about a HDTV with Ethernet and Wireless capability with Bluetooth/IR multitouch remote. Imagine Apple shipping HDTV with Apple TV built right in. What other manufacturer stands to gain residual profit from selling a TV? Each TV sold is not a loss leader but yet another node for playing back digital content supplied by Apple.

Imagine a TV with built in iPod/iPhone docks. Imagine editing audio or video on your Mac/PC and instantly watching the results streamed to your HDTV?

Nay. TVs are still the same idiot boxes they've always been with just more fanciful connectors and svelte lines. They still haven't entered the "smart" phase...but they need to.
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post #30 of 38
1. enterprise
the iphone is aimed at consumers. but there has clearly also been great demand from business users, who want something less 'suity' than their blackberry. given that apple can address this -potentially huge - demand without altering the experience for consumers, why would it not? the intel transition was the same - the motivation was to produce the best consumer macs, but it allows them to sells to businesses (and, perhaps more significantly, windows-dependent home users). if your can produce a consumer offering without the negatives for business users, why would you not?

(and, with an eye to the future - if 50%+ of all users are used to the os x experience, the 'people know windows' story from it depts becomes weaker. don't be surprised if, a few years down the line, apple starts offering a business-targeted mac mini-ish box. apple experience (and training/security savings), windows prices. tie it in with better iphone integration, and why not?)

2. $1k mac
from time to time, apple offers a cheap mac, for a year or so. and the cheapskates grow market share by word of mouth. apple users are *far* happier with their computer than windows users (and we're here - how many people are on a WindowsInsider site right now?). we evangelise. because os x is just nice, especially when you're forced, as almost everyone is, to compare it daily with windows. so - the $1k iMac, the $399 mini. if you choose to go back, the clones (ok, that doesn't really work. but it sort of does. but hey, while we're on in, the psystar - apple gains, especially when it's slightly crappy and breaks with software update).

3. 'eating its children'
yes, of course it is. of course some iphone sales would otherwise have been ipod sales. but (almost) everyone (who might get one) has an ipod. apple has to provide a reason to upgrade (preferably with the fear that another hdd will give out on you). given that for the central years of exponential ipod growth, the most popular models were 15-30Gb, i expect the iphone will see huge growth at 32Gb (and, for europe, 3g). essentially, people (me included) are waiting for it to be Good Enough.

right, that'll do. fire away...
post #31 of 38
One of the questions that should have been asked:

"How is Apple leveraging their success with iTunes and the Mac/iPod/iPhone ecosystem to engage with consumers in to form a tighter social network?"

Right now this is a weakness of Apple IMO. If they are relatively weak at deploying social interaction apps for consumers then it stands that they are probably equally ineffective at developing business appls with the requisite interaction/collaboration features.

I look at how cruddy Myspace is and I think "Apple could obliterate Myspace within 36 months". I look at iChat AV and I think about how much more of a tool it could be. I look at .mac and see it floundering from a community standpoint. For all of Apple's savvy and excellent business acumen in some areas they seem naive like a child when it comes to glueing disparate Apple elements into some cohesive social network.
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post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Stevenson View Post

That's a no brainer.

Really! You make it sound so obvious. When and where did you see that info? (I am not referring to the Fortune article on ATT lowering iPhone price that everyone was hyperventilating on, or to what seemed like a confused report from Korea about a smaller form factor 3G iPhone posted yesterday on AI).

Cite, please?
post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Here's another unanswered question:

Will Apple make TV's before 2010?

YES

I think this is a very relevant and perceptive question.

We're very used to TV programmes being broadcast over terrestrial or satellite systems, but what we're now witnessing is the internet becoming a proper broadcast medium. Forget traditional TV channels, any person anywhere with a video camera now has the technology at their disposal to become an independent TV broadcaster. This is radical.

It means a person in Tibet or Iraq upload a video to You-Tube or some other website that totally undermines any state-controlled coverage/ news blackouts. So this isn't just a TV revolution, but a communication revolution.

The knock-on effect is that TVs and computers are converging. Apple TV is the first product to really recognize this trend. Step 1 is to facilitate the viewing of downloaded TV programmes and other internet content to your TV screen. Step 2 is to sell the TV itself. Perhaps this is what Apple's new line of cinema screen displays will be?

While Apple is bound to launch some amazing new hardware, what will most drive the growth of internet TV content will be software. The challenge is to stream interesting on-demand programming, e.g. news feeds updated every hour; popular weekly TV shows, e.g, House, and other high quality content via hi-definition images resolution. Content plus image quality will shape the competitive landscape.

While much of this new content is already available, it doesn't yet hold a candle to hi-definition programmes offered by the established broadcast companies. However, the ability to download hi-definition content via Apple TV not only provides seamlessly easy access to it but also the image quality of it is great. Thus, what Apple does in terms of designing revenue and software models for its TV-based products will be as important, if not more so than the hardware.

Exciting stuff.
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

I think this is a very relevant and perceptive question.

We're very used to TV programmes being broadcast over terrestrial or satellite systems, but what we're now witnessing is the internet becoming a proper broadcast medium. Forget traditional TV channels, any person anywhere with a video camera now has the technology at their disposal to become an independent TV broadcaster. This is radical.

It means a person in Tibet or Iraq upload a video to You-Tube or some other website that totally undermines any state-controlled coverage/ news blackouts. So this isn't just a TV revolution, but a communication revolution.

Not so in China, home of the word's most effective firewall and content blocking. Even so, with a little education their system can be circumvented.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Why? I'm not sure it really makes sense.

Do you say that in part because you want one?

For the most part, I think Apple is better off staying out of the TV market, it's way too competitive and even some of the high end companies are refactoring how they operate to adjust to the market. I think Apple is better off producing devices that comply with the appropriate standards, and leave the TV to other companies.

I disagree, and I wouldn't mind one yeah. I hate to bring it up, but people said the phone market was too competitive. No company has a monopoly on good displays. Besides, if they wanted they could simply work with Sony to make the best OLED TV ever, with the only part from Sony being the display (although they are doing R&D on large display technologies) like the way they get the displays in their existing computers from external companies.

An Apple Tele running their TV version of OS X, with RSS, and widgets and WiFi and a big hard drive all in a mouthwateringly, sleek case makes me tremble with excitement for a TV like I never have before. They could charge a premium and million+ people would pay it for the best TV on the planet. And they could then come out with their their iTunes TV show subscription model to get all your shows, podcasts, live news and sports coming through the internet, for the most pleasantly, seamless iPTV experience out there.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Not so in China, home of the word's most effective firewall and content blocking. Even so, with a little education their system can be circumvented.

True, and funny. Careful not to say funny and true.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

...

An Apple Tele running their TV version of OS X, with RSS, and widgets and WiFi and a big hard drive all in a mouthwateringly, sleek case makes me tremble with excitement for a TV like I never have before. They could charge a premium and million+ people would pay it for the best TV on the planet. And they could then come out with their their iTunes TV show subscription model to get all your shows, podcasts, live news and sports coming through the internet, for the most pleasantly, seamless iPTV experience out there.


"That...Detective Ireland. Is the right question"

TV is still the same braindead device. I know that Steve has been quoted as saying something to the effect of "you turn on your computer to engage your mind ..you turn on your TV to turn off your mind"

There's a happy median somewhere there. With IPTV we may no not be encumbered with the typical limitations of Broadcast TV. Perhaps there's a richer experience available and it just takes a visionary to see and act upon it.
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post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Really! You make it sound so obvious. When and where did you see that info? (I am not referring to the Fortune article on ATT lowering iPhone price that everyone was hyperventilating on, or to what seemed like a confused report from Korea about a smaller form factor 3G iPhone posted yesterday on AI).

Cite, please?

I thought it was Tiwain instead of Korea, but there are rumors of a nano iPhone every other month. The "source" for my observation was my own common sense. I think that Apple could release three form factor iPhones in June if it wanted to (not sure of the price points needed to keep its margins): iPhone (slightly thinner and lighter due to tapered edges like the MBA), a nano iPhone, and a GPS iPhone (slightly thicker than the iPhone and probably with 32 and maybe even 64 Gbytes to justify a higher price than the iPhone). But I'm going with just a 3G iPhone introduction in June so as not to "confuse" the market. Maybe the GPS iPhone for Christmas. The nano iPhone will depress iPhone ASPs, so I think it's a marketing/investor call, and that's why I said that if the 10million goal is in doubt we'll see the nano in 2008 rather than wait until 2009. Hope this helps.
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