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  • Apple quietly bought $17B more after record high $24B Q2 stock repurchase [u]

    Apple is investing in AAPL?    No, it is not investing in itself.   It is doing two things:
    1). Giving away its profits to stock holders
    2)  Propping up its own stock pice

    I read a few days ago (I forget where) that in the last couple years Apple's Earnings Per Share have increased 25% -- on the SAME PROFIT.   That's all due to buybacks reducing the number of shares outstanding.

    But, Apple is not alone in its Financial Engineering.   It seems most large U.S. companies are doing it.

    So, while "we" complain about China competing unfairly against U.S. corporations, those same U.S. corporations are refusing to invest in themselves.
    Perhaps China is not the problem?
    Do you think Apple is not investing in itself? Why?

    The thing is, Apple can’t effectively spend 5x as much on R&D or plants and retail to get 5x the result. It can’t simply hire 5x as many people to get tasks done. So the options are, hold the money in tbills or distribute to shareholders—the owners of the company.

    Quite obviously, reducing shares outstanding is going to affect the earnings per share at the “same earnings.” It’s not a trick, it’s very basic math. 

    Reducing shares by buying them back and retiring them is the opposite of printing new shares. When companies issue new shares, they are diluting the value of the shares held by their investors. This is the opposite. Why the confusion?

    The complaints about China isn’t that companies are investing in their future, but that they are stealing IP, copying the design without the same concern for safety and quality, and maintaining poor working conditions that brutalize labor and expose workers to very bad conditions. That’s why apple has been forcing its suppliers to reach a much higher level of standards for worker rights, environmental protection, safety and product quality. 

    China is a huge problem. Look at what they are doing to their own air and water. 
  • Editorial: Steve Jobs shared secrets of Apple's iPad but nobody listened

    lmac said:
    One of DED's favorite forms of storytelling is rewriting history to make Apple and Jobs seem to have thought of everything, but let's remember that we don't write articles about flops. You never see DED defending the genius of Ping, the iTunes social network, or the Apple HiFi. Still, there are lots of things in this article that qualify as spin, or that are just plain false. 1) When the iPad came out, people were stunned that it was just a scaled up phone that couldn't make phone calls, and not a more capable device. They were correct about its early limitations. 2) The product name almost sunk the launch, with people comparing it to feminine hygiene products. 3) The predicted dominance of the eBook and magazine industry never came to pass. 4) Jobs totally missed the importance of the App Store and 3rd party apps, which came later, and really had much to do with the success of the device. 5) Job's insistence that a stylus and keyboard were unnecessary have since been reversed, so which is it? Is Apple on the wrong track today, or did Jobs get it wrong in the beginning? 6) The iPad push into the K12 classroom as a textbook replacement is over. Schools are replacing aging iPads with Chromebooks that cost less, are more rugged, easier to manage, and simply do more. 7) The one big thing Apple got right was to make the iPad the best tablet money can buy, and to keep making incremental improvements. Staying above the low-end competition is what Apple always does, but it paid off because the low end Android and Amazon tablets are clunky, sluggish, and non-intuitive in comparison.
    First off, the comments are here for you to discuss the article and offer feedback, not to throw out as much slanderous, fact-free character assassination you can just to divert attention from the subject. Stop doing this. 

    Second, I have written about a series of unsuccessful concepts or product flops Apple has made, including Ping and iPod HiFi. There's even mention of Ping in this very article, making it a bizarre example for you to use in slandering what I write as "just plain false."

    1) This subject is also mentioned in the article. You clearly didn't even bother to read it. The idea that "people" who thought iPad was just a scaled up phone "were correct about its early limitations" is probably the stupidest takeaway one could make about the iPad launch. 

    2) The fact that a few neanderthal trolls giggled to themselves about iPad sounding like "pad," as if the only meaning of pad were a feminine product, is incredibly stupid, at least in part because one the most popular and reputable notebook brands was IBM's ThinkPad, which nobody associated with a hygienic pad between 1992-2010. Nobody cared about what a few misogynistic idiots said, and it clearly had zero impact on iPad sales. So again, totally false claim on your part that "t
    he product name almost sunk the launch." Quite embarrassing that you'd try. to claim that given that we know how well it sold. 

    3) True it didn't become the digital magazine Jobs imagined, but that was largely because magazines were already to dead to revive in any form. Nobody else had any better outcome in trying to build a market for digital content, and Apple's current News+ remains the best option there is. Not sure what point you have here. 

    4) Totally false. This is even discussed in the article. 

    5) Apple has always sold third party stylus tools for iOS screens, and Jobs comments about a stylus being "wrong" when he introduced iPhone in 2007 related to it being required to navigate the UI of a device, as it was for Newton and Palm Pilot and some smartphones. Jobs was obviously correct then as the market demonstrated, and Apple is performing well today by selling Pencil as a drawing device and not forcing users to have it just to make use of iPads, as the market is again demonstrating. 

    6) Sounds like all you know about Chromebooks is from Mark Gurman, who flat out lied in his reporting. I wrote about it, you should check it out.

    7) This is meaningless to say, because CNET and the Verge were claiming that various waves of other tablets were the "
    the best tablet money can buy" across the last decade, and everyone was making incremental advancements. Windows tablets, Honeycomb, Nexus 9, and various other Android models have tried to compete in the high end with iPad like pricing, and they still failed.

  • Google is downplaying Android to focus its future on Chrome OS

    mrchao said:
    Funny to suggest that Android is on its way out, since 3/4 of the products shown are running variants of Android.

    Cromecast: Android (CastOS)
    Home Hub: Android (CastOS)
    Pixel: Android (Pie)
    Slate: ChromeOS (with Android Play libraries)

    The only other products running Chrome OS or variants are, Pixelbook and WiFi.

    There is no "CastOS." Cast is a Google protocol. And according to Google itself, Cromecast runs "a simplified version of Chrome OS," not Android.

    As the article points out, Chrome OS and Android were developed independently. Not even sure what your point is, just arguing about stuff you don't get for no reason. 
  • Editorial: Why the Apple A13 Bionic blows past Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus

    wizard69 said:

    By the way I must point out that this article is screwed as far as accuracy goes.   Metal and Vulkan are ver similar and derived from the same basic infrastructure.   As such Vulkan is as good or even better than Metal in the role it fills.   That is just one problem with this DED article that needs to be pointed out, too many take these articles book, line and sinker.   
    Specifically what is your issue? The article does not say Vulkan fails to fill a role. It says Metal 2 is increasingly focusing on compute tasks, while Vulcan is aimed at graphics. That’s not incorrect. 

    You also make two completely unsubstantiated claims that are simply wrong. 

    “Metal and Vulkan are ver similar and derived from the same basic infrastructure.”

    They are not. Vulkan is a donated version of Mantle, which was written for video games. 

    Apple wrote Metal from scratch to fill a wishlist of features and optimization missing in OpenGL and OpenCL. 

    ”As such Vulkan is as good or even better than Metal in the role it fills.”

    No it’s not.

    It‘s nuts to preach about accuracy and then just make up bold yet silly assertions As if you are a machine that just magically emits facts. 
  • What the Apple Silicon M1 means for the future of Apple's Macs

    JWSC said:
    It will be interesting to see what kind of bill of material reduction Apple is seeing with so many circuit card components being replaced by one single chip.
    It sure would be interesting to see this, but nobody outside of the very internal core of Apple has any real numbers. The BOM that will inevitably get "estimated" will be total conjecture. Previous iPhone BOMs threw out figures like "$15 - ARM chip" that were total hogwash. 

    While Apple is certainly saving money over using multiple chips, or paying Intel and AMD a premium for their IP, I'm not sure that Apple is immediately saving huge sums building a some slice of their own processors in this first batch. 

    Apple has supported custom SoC development for iPads by selling massive volumes of them, while sharing a lot of the expense with even higher volumes of iPhones--inclding sharing most of the work to write/optimize iOS. For the M1, Apple had to do a LOT of very custom work unique to the Mac and macOS, which it will only initially ship across its entry notebooks and mini, perhaps half (?) of its total Mac shipments. Even if they might sell at a higher margin, the company sells a lot fewer Macs than iOS devices. That suggests it will take longer to amortize the initial costs of developing M1 and all the work in Big Sur and elsewhere. 

    However, that also means that as it expands to deliver an "M1X" for higher end MBPs and iMac, it will have done much of the foundational work already. Each new M generation should add to the cost savings and perhaps erase more of the expensive third party components in its Mac lineup (higher end Intel CPUs and AMD's discreet GPUs). 

    So while M silicon should help drive down Apple's costs over time, I don't think it is making vastly higher margins on these first models. And it can certainly afford that, of course. It's also useful to point to that very few other companies could assume the risk of taking on such a massive project with the hope of it paying off, and at the risk of Intel   or AMD pulling ahead and erasing the value of that work. Just assembling the silicon talent to start on M1 effectively took 12 years of making +$1Trillion on iOS shipments.  

    That's why these reports that announced that "Microsoft also has a custom ARM chip!" were so grossly misleading. 
  • How Apple Silicon Macs can supercharge computing in the 2020s

    There are two really big announcements that Apple will have to make in the next year that will shape the future of both Apple and the entire computer industry:
    1. A desktop scale CPU. Thus far all of the CPUs Apple has made have been targeted at mobile devices. They are limited by the power they use and the heat they generate. A desktop scale CPU can draw 100 watts or more (280 for a Threadripper). How will these CPUs compare with ones from Intel and AMD given that Apple's current mobile processors compete well with Intel's laptop processors?
    2. A discrete GPU. Apple's current GPUs are built into the processor. They are great for playing games on mobile devices but they are at least ten times slower than current discrete GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA. For ray tracing they are about a hundred times slower than the hardware based ray tracing in the current crop of GPUs. Will Apple integrate AMD GPUs into the Apple Silicon iMac or will they announce their own discrete GPU?
    Apple has already detailed why putting CPU and GPU cores on the same SoC using a shared memory architecture is an advantage, not a problem. 

    The fact that historical "integrated GPUs" from CPU vendors like Intel have been lessor performers is not intrinsic to the GPU not sitting on its own chip. 

    Any time you have separate chips linked by an interconnect you're going to have more of a bottleneck between them vs putting both on the same wafer with direct access to the same shared data.
  • How Apple Silicon Macs can supercharge computing in the 2020s

    cloudguy said:
    Good grief. The Intel Core i3 chips that Apple puts in the entry level MacBook Air costs less to buy from Intel than it will cost TSMC to make the A14 chip. And the chip cost is only a fraction of the cost of the device. For example, the Qualcomm charged Google only $50 for the Snapdragon 765G that is in the $700 Pixel 5. I know that there are rumors that Apple will sell the ARM laptops starting at $799, but only because they want to sell more of them. The tradeoff is that Apple will have lower margins in return for that increased market share. That will make ARM-based Macs the equivalent of the iPhone SE 2020, for example. 
    This is completely false. Every word is dripping with ignorance.
  • M1 Mac mini teardown reveals smaller logic board, non-upgradeable RAM

    entropys said:
    The RAM is separate to the SOC? Interesting.
    Apple is attaching the RAM to the SoC's package for performance. The RAM isn't part of the SoC itself. On phones this sort of package sometimes stacks the RAM on top of the SoC, but the M1 evidently puts the RAM on the side to better manage heat (and allow for things to get hotter without cooking the RAM). 

  • Nikkei, WSJ split on their Apple horror narratives

    bohler said:
    the most idiotic thing in recent years was Apple buying back its stock and building up a wall of debt $100bn high...insane
    Apple has bought up shares since 2012 mostly at prices well below $150. Despite dramatically falling from its Feb peak, Apple's shares are still above $240, higher than any point before October 2019. So no, the buybacks remain one of the best investments Apple could have possibly made for its investors. The debt Apple used leveraged that value of its capital until repatriation taxes were lowered, which is also rather brilliant in hindsight. Even with all the problems in the world, Apple will have trouble spending its current $100B; it would not have benefitted from $200+ billion in the bank, because if things go that far south, inflation willl begin making all of the dollars of the world far less valuable. Apple was wise to do something with its cash hoard, while also leaving itself enough to comfortably survive the early 2020s no matter what happens.
  • Apple unveils new iPhone SE priced at just $399

    I would have gone with modern external bezelless design in an SE sized phone with previous gen processors. 

    Frankly I don't see a much advantage to the end user from an A13 vs an A12 or even A11.   But to get rid of the bezels and put a big screen in a small form factor would have pronounced user benefits.

    But, I am sure Apple thought of that idea, tested it and rejected it. 
    I am equally sure that many people will be buying this phone.
    ...   And Kudos for giving it 64gb instead of 32Gb!

    The phone will be fully functional and do a good job.
    Modern A chips cost very little more to produce, and deliver far higher power efficiency. A primary goal of new mobile chips is power reduction, not huge advances in cpu speed. Using an older generation is more like using old RAM, and unlike using a less expensive Intel CPU--which are priced largely by performance. Intel cuts the nuts off its cheaper CPUs to create artificial price tiers. Apple doesn't have to do that because it's not selling A chips. It's only using them internally. Helps explain why Apple is ordering new A14s in bulk at 5ns. It plans to use them beyond iPhone 12, same as it used A4 across multiple devices to save costs. It will also be easier to support the 2020 SE for longer in iOS if it has a more modern chip. And developers can assume the presence of modern logic like an NSP.