Some Apple TV News
" and how things are falling apart for Apple trying to get a cable TV like subscription model on the Comcast subscription mainly due to the Apple TV. That says something, doesn't it! Anyway while I love the Apple TV and individual Apps on it like HBO Go, Netflix, etc. it is a pain to navigate it through Apple TV Apple TV. So this latest Apple TV news (from Peter Kafka of ReCode) that Apple is trying something I have been using the latest Apple TV for a few months now and most recently I got rid of my Some Apple TV News Comcast subscription mainly due to the Apple TV. That says something, doesn't it!
Apple TV and Time Warner
Apple TV and Time Warner Apple TV access to channels through the Apple TV, with both parties getting close to a deal. It's long been support, recent HBO GO & ESPN Apps inclusion and a strong AirPlay feature, Apple TV is already taking more of my time than my Cable Box. order to get deals hammered out. Source: Apple.com Looks like Apple TV is slowly but steadily
Apple TV 2.0 coming in 2014
Following our reports in recent months that Apple was looking to introduce a revamped Apple TV set [via 9to5Mac] that the announcement of the new Apple TV 2.0 could be as early as April of 2014 CNET on Comcast buying Tim Warner, is apparently even more bad news for Apple TV. Bloomberg adds Apple TV Apple TV 2.0 coming in 2014 Apple TV set-top box as early as April. Of course. This is almost no news now. But Bloomberg reports the new Apple TV 2.0 could be as early as April of 2014, though the actual product will noir ship until Fall 2104. something else? Like say if Apple introduces a new Apple TV 2.0 and assuming it is a whole new
Motion sensitive Apple TV iOS game
Apple TV Mirroring games from your iPhone to your Apple TV with AirPlay is great, but it's still just what's Motion sensitive Apple TV iOS game interesting game and has a lot of potential to use a simple $99 Apple TV and an iOS device to bring
Apple Marketing taking a new turn
with the viewers and to evoke a sense of personality to the company. Apple - Designed By Apple brief but crisp message that ended with "Designed by Apple in California". The TV ad that followed - Intention Apple - TV Ad - Our Signature Apple - Making a difference. One app at a time.
iWatch
I think we’re looking at the iWatch product as being closer to Apple TV than the Apple iPad. The
Come on Apple, give the iPad some love...
or the Apple Watch or even the Apple TV. iPad was almost totally neglected. This was really to a five OS strategy. Even Apple TV has its own OS, its time for an iPad OS...
ADD - What is common between Apple and the Oil companies?
all these, it does make up a case for a good rumor round up, building up to the Apple TV 2.0. more detail that some of the existing products from other companies. Other than the mythical Apple Apple TV might be the groundwork that Apple is laying before the rumored Apple TV (2.0) announcement this year TV, the Apple iWatch is probably the most rumored Apple product recently. Now a new post from a growing bigger by the day Current Apple TV - Source: Apple.com Bill Norton, chief strategy officer for
Apple and Television
The latest things I've heard are some sort of television product — not necessarily a television screen, but something — could be coming as soon as this November, And I think there's some surprises there about what it could actually be. And I don't know for sure what it could actually be, but there's been whispers about… the interaction with it being the interesting thing. Apple TV - Source: Apple.com Interesting quote from MG Seigler during the Talk Show with Daring Fireball's John Gruber yesterday, reported by AppleInsider. Apple has been long rumored from 2011 (and even before that, 2009) when Steve Jobs' book by Walter Isaacson was released where Steve Jobs was famously quoted to have cracked the code to the TV experience. Analysts have been predicting for a while that Apple is going to release a TV set, some even predicted mythical iRing controllers (!). So analysts have been more obsessed with this rumor, some more than the others like Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who does not want to ask any other question other than Apple Television during Apple's earning calls. Apple pundits have reiterated time and again that the code Steve Jobs cracked might not be an actual 60" TV set, but an integrated experience that is simple and elegant to use like all other Apple products and services. Though Apple might have all sorts of future ideas being researched in their underground labs in Cupertino, Apple pundits have reiterated time and again that the code Steve Jobs cracked might not be an actual 60" TV set, but an integrated experience that is simple and elegant to use like all other Apple products and services. So this rumor coming from MG Seigler is definitely interesting and we can expect some 'surprise' announcement regarding Apple and TVs in November. I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use, It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it. Apple TV
iPhone 5C's pricing
Nearly everybody was expecting a less expensive iPhone. Instead we got a replacement for the iPhone 5... Wall Street isn’t happy. Investors and analysts think Apple is missing a huge opportunity to gain traction in China, India and other emerging markets where price is a major issue. In fact, the iPhone 5c will cost over $700 off contract in China. That’s a huge sum of money to the average consumer in that country. Source: Apple.com iPhone 5C was supposed to be a lower cost iPhone and not a low cost iPhone. But if we try to trace back to the first of the articles that started detailing the iPhone as a low cost phone, I am sure it would have been from one of those so called "Analysts". These market analysts can only look at information as piece of data and cannot interpret it in any meaningful manner. We have seen this multiple times, for example with our favorite Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster who is obsessed with an Apple TV (not the hockey puck, but an actual TV) for a very long time. I am not saying that Apple will never release a real TV some time in the future, but Apple releasing a full fledged connected TV solution or Apple TV 2.0 makes more sense, at least in the immediate future. But coming back on the point at hand, I think it was the Wall Street analysts who created this pent up rumor mill for a low cost iPhone so much so that everyone on the internet accepted it without challenging it much and boy did Apple surprise us. To be honest, I share this concern. But I realize that Apple knows more about how to price and market its stuff than I do. Same goes for pretty much any professional analyst or money manager out there. Very few of them know anywhere near as much about sales and marketing as Apple. So the more I think and follow the Apple stock and the Wall Street's perception of the stock, the lesser I seem to understand the whole system. I agree that I am no expert in Investment and Finance, but it just feels fake to me. The whole analyst perception about a company seems to be based on what they know from historic companies' performance. For example just because Microsoft made money by selling 'good enough' software products at cheaper prices and made money on volume than profits, Apple does not have to follow the same path to be successful. In fact Apple has repeatedly shown everyone that they don't care about market share and what matters is the profit share. After all it was Apple who showed us that you can be the most valuable company in the world without having the majority market share in any of the categories you compete in (except the iPad). I like this comment on this article the most. He (Silicon Valley entrepreneur and former Apple Chief Evangelist Guy Kawasaki) talked about defining success and failure as an entrepreneur. He asked if Porsche is a failure because it only has a tiny sliver of the car market. Are they? Of course not. They’re massively successful within the market they go after. The article also mentions what I posted yesterday on the iPhone 5C, "Just because Apple didn’t launch a much lower cost iPhone this year doesn’t mean it will never happen." - iMore. Looks like Apple is going the iPod direction with its multiple models (and an array of different colors) with the iPhone lineup. When everyone was expecting an iPod Shuffle's equivalent iPhone 5C, Apple just released an iPod Nano's equivalent iPhone 5C (does that mean an iPod Shuffle's equivalent iPhone XX is on the way?)
Apple and Secrecy
Apple will double down on secrecy on products' Tim Cook said that Apple will double down on secrecy on products in May 2012 . This was after a couple of years where almost everything that Apple was going to release was revealed by outside sources prior to Apple revealing them. Apple was losing its power to control the future product information. Apple traditionally (at least whenever Steve Jobs was there) always wanted to be extremely secretive and wanted to control any piece of information about the company that goes out. This legendary secrecy came from a belief that people like surprises, I mean like how you feel on the Christmas Eve. Remember the original iPhone launch, not much was known prior to the event and the hype was crazy. Even for a company that’s mastered the art of product-launch hoopla, Apple Inc. appears to have pulled out all the stops to propel (first gen) iPhone hysteria into the stratosphere. For whatever reason there were a lot of leaks prior to the Apple events in the recent years and there was no more a surprise factor that existed prior to any Apple event, the worst was of course the iPhone 4 bar incident. But the recent WWDC 2013 suggests a possible change in this trend. As far as I know, there was a lot of talk about iOS going flat(ter) prior to WWDC '13, but that was it on iOS, nothing more. Probably a very blurry screenshot of the home screen and surprisingly accurate icons rendition, but again only the night before. Though Mac Pro was expected (not through a leak but mostly through Apple itself) while iRadio rumors were mostly generic, with no particulars. Not that anyone other than me cares about Mac OS X, but Mavericks and none of its features trickled out in advance. Retina Macbook Airs were expected, did not happen (though some sane guys repeatedly warned against such expectations, citing battery technology limitations). Lighter Macbook Pros, Apple TV updates (either software or hardware), etc. were all predicted, but nada, nothing was announced. Over all, this WWDC (2013) felt like Apple succeeded in maintaining almost all the announcements a secret prior to the event. If this is a one off thing or a continuing trend as a result of Apple's improved efforts, is too early to tell. Over all, this WWDC (2013) felt like Apple succeeded in maintaining almost all the announcements a secret prior to the event.
Thoughts on the recent $14 billion buyback of Apple shares
Recently Tim Cook mentioned in an interview with the WSJ that Apple has bought more than $14 billion worth of its own shares after they dropped almost 8% (or around $50 per share), thanks to an over-reaction of the market to Apple's recent quarterly financial results (apparently due to lower than expected 51 million iPhones sold). Ashraf Eassa of Seeking Alpha [via MacDailyNews] weighs in on his thoughts on this buy back by Apple. Lower than expected 51 million iPhones sold by Apple in Q1 2014 was responsible for the 8% drop in its shares immediately after the financial results were announced by the company (Source - iPhoneHacks.com) His thoughts are that since Apple bought back its own shares after a huge drop in its value and new product announcements from Apple are on the way (iWatch, the new Apple TV 2.0, and what else?), the stock is only bound to rise in 2014 and not go lower (unless of course the market again over-reacts on a lack of "new" product category). Hence Apple would have bought $14 billion of its own shares at around $500 per share and say the share rises to $600 per share after the new products are announced, they would have made a $100 per share profit by buying their own shares or its a nice way for Apple to make some money from the money (around $160 billion cash pile) that is just sitting around! However, at least for now, it's probably safe to assume that Cook and his team really do believe that the next generation iPhone/iPad roll outs, coupled with whatever "new product category" the company plans to introduce, will drive meaningful top/bottom line growth. If this turns out to be the case, then the share price will rise on its own merits and the buyback will have proven to be a great use of shareholder dollars. Is this what Tim Cook meant when he said that Apple and him have extreme confidence in Apple doing well, in the WSJ interview? According to this SeekingAlpha post, if indeed this was the rationale behind Apple buying this huge amount of its own stocks and was just not to shut up some greedy investor (cough cough Carl Icahn), then (apparently) it is a brilliant move by Tim Cook and Apple. Whether or not this is a too simplistic view on such a huge financial decision ($14 billion worth shares buyback) by Apple (in such a short time)only time and AAPL in 2014 will tell!
Forbes' Horace Deidu of Asymco Interview
There was a recent short interview of Horace Deidu of Asymco on Forbes and this one was a classic. I was not just impressed by the Horace's answers, I am used to that and that is what we expect from him as a smart analyst, having been following for a long time on both his blog and his podcast. But the questions posed to him were also really smart and intelligent. The highlight of the interview was the question on what questions Horace would ask in an imaginary interview with Tim cook, for which his response was purely about creativity and the people responsible for it in Apple. Any other "analyst" would have asked him when the darn Apple "i"TV will be announced! 1. How are employees at Apple motivated and retained? My concern here is that with the vastness of opportunities in technology, how can any company retain its most important resource. I consider talent far harder to obtain than capital. We are obsessed with allocating capital (which is over-abundant and should be squandered) while we treat the sources of ideas as commodities (which they are not as they are scarce and should be hoarded). I hope management can be forthcoming about what they are doing to really touch the employee’s creativity buttons as a means to keep them. 2. How is the company structured for a creative and innovation business model? I’d like to get deeper into the functional/divisional org structure dichotomy. If you look at Apple, their functional org is striking but I suspect there is much more to it than that. Functional does not scale to where they are so how do they do it? Is the org structure actually a key to the first question? Is it actually the secret sauce? I’d love to hear him compare and contrast with Pixar, especially given what Ed Catmull wrote in Creativity, Inc.
Its time for PC vs. Mac Ads
Gone are the days of Apple's hilarious Mac vs. PC Ads, that drew a lot of attention from admirers and critics likewise. Those from Apple featured heavily on how Macs stood out from the PCs, i.e., superior security from malware, better software value in terms of inbuilt suites, better hardware, less confusing and tricking price points, better service via Apple Genius bars, lack of out the box nonsense-ware, etc (here is the complete list on Wikipedia). Of course most of these were true and there were area where the Apple Macs were behind the PC as well, at that time, like lack of software offerings, lack of diversified price points, etc. But at that time Apple was the underdog and going after the Market leader, Microsoft. The Ads were effective and though Apple Macs never outgrew or even came close to the PCs, the Ads were deemed a huge success. Mac vs. PC Ad - Virus (Source: YouTube.com) Now come 2104, looks like the tides have changed or have they? Microsoft has been going after Apple's iPad, some time in the past, comparing them with its Surface tablets. Now it is time for it go after the MacBook Air (via MacRumors). What is interesting is the theme of these Ads. They are very reminiscent of the Mac vs. PC Ads, but the difference is that Microsoft doesn't look like it has much to go on. For example all these three Ads, pitch the Surface tablet as having a touchscreen and better connectivity or more ports, thats it. I agree (and so do many) that I would like to replace my iPad and my MacBook Pro with one machine. But am I willing to sacrifice the advantages of these two separate devices, just to get one device that crams in both of them, like a Surface tablet? I don't think so, at least not yet and so does the market. The Surface tablet is being pitched as "no compromise" tablet and laptop, but unfortunately it has ended up being a fully compromised tablet and a laptop (The Verge's Surface review). The tablet seemingly is apparently to bulky and heavy to be used as a tablet, the desktop portion of it also seems to be too confusing with both the traditional Windows and Windows Mobile like touchscreen interface. On the whole, Surface is so typical of a Microsoft product (or even Google's) where the Engineers got all their ways, say yes to everything so we can fill in the spec sheet with feature after feature. This is the exact opposite of the Apple ideology of saying no to almost everything except the very very few things that are absolutely necessary. The (Google TV) remote has 78 buttons. Then, the employee said, Mr. Nelson displayed a photo of the Apple TV remote, a thin piece of metal with just three buttons. How did Apple’s designers decide on three buttons? They started out with an idea, Mr. Nelson explained, and debated until they had just what was needed — a button to play and pause a video, a button to select something to watch, and another to go to the main menu. The Google TV remote serves as a counterexample; it had so many buttons, Mr. Nelson said, because the individual engineers and designers who worked on the project all got what they wanted. But, Apple’s designers concluded, only three were needed. Another interesting thing about these Ads are the fact that though Apple's Macs are no where close to the marketshare of the PCs, looks like MacBook Airs alone are doing very well against the Surface tablets. And these Ads are a testimony to the fact that Microsoft is kind of realizing this fact that the MacBook Air like computers are going to be dominating the consumer market from now. Apple obviously realized this sooner, as they have been making the MacBook Airs much more affordable and less crippled in terms of features. It is fair to assume that Apple will be concentrating (the 12" MacBook Air?) of the MacBook Air like much more than the MacBook Pro line, in the near future, as it seems to be the favorite for majority of the people. But Macs surprised everyone by selling (in Q3 2014) a good 4.4 million units, easily beating average expectation of around 3.8 million, mostly due to the popularity of the lower cost Macbook Airs
ADD - A lot of people want to buy iPads
Today's Apple Daily Digest has some interesting wannabe iPad buyers' numbers, more rumors on the iWatch, how popular iOS 7 turned out to be and more... 72% of ChangeWave survey's respondents want to buy iPads It has already been established that the iPad Air has a much bigger demand than what the iPad 4 had [TechCrunch], yeah I don't know how that is news. iPad 4 was more an incremental upgrade to a then 6 month old iPad 3 while iPad Air is thinner (than a pencil) in iPad Mini's form factor... Duh. In a recent ChangeWave survey of around 2500 North Americans, 72% of the people were planning to a buy an iPad in the next 90 days and this number has increased by a whopping 17% from the last survey. So much so for the other tablet competitors. Apple might have given up on the market share of its iPhones to Android phones in the US and outside, but even after 3 years, no one knows how to compete against the iPad. Following the releases of its new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, Apple continues to hold a tight grip on next 90-day tablet demand. Nearly three-quarters of planned tablet buyers (72%) say they’ll purchase an iPad – a 17-pt surge since the previous survey ChangeWave's survey on planned tablet purchases in the next 90 days (Source - ChangeWaveResearch.com) Wireless charging iWatch The mythical and the recently most rumored (oops sorry most rumored after the Apple TV), Apple's iWatch has another leg to its long list of rumors, wireless charging, according to a "reliable Chinese blog" C Technology, via iDownloadBlog. It is not unusual for Apple products to be speculated years in advance and sometimes even reviewed before any official announcements are made by Apple. And the so called iWatch is no exception to this. Also, Samsung has taken it to another notch in emulating Apple this time, by copying a rumored Apple product and now we know what Samsung can do on its own without Apple's product and design expertise ("A smartwatch the Galaxy Gear is not. Frankly, I'm not sure exactly what it’s supposed to be" - TheVerge). Apple's iWatch - a concept (Source - Forbes) The Apple iWatch rumors have been going around for a while now and even if well versed Apple pundits like John Gruber cannot make exact sense of it, there can't be so much smoke without a hint of any fire and hence it is by now agreed upon that some kind of a wearable device is being researched ( and almost into development) by Apple and is much more than a watch (similar to how the iPhone was much more than a phone). And though competing products like the Pebble watch and Sony's take on the smartwatch exist, none of them so far have been able to make a compelling argument for this use case [Pebble watch review and Sony watch review]. Hence 2014 is indeed going to be an interesting year for Apple and we will have to wait and see on how Apple's smartphone take, the iWatch will turn out to be. Coming to wireless charging, I am not sure if I agree on inductive charging, that most of the companies are touting as "wireless charging" is any kind of a revolutionary technology. You need to place your device on a mat that is connected to the outlet by a cable, BY A CABLE, how is this wireless charging? If Apple is indeed working on a wireless charging iWatch, it better be really wireless, right? iOS 7 - the most popular mobile OS in US It is only 3 months old, but it is the most popular kid in the market. iOS 7 adaptation has hit more than 70% in US according to a recent data set released by Chitika [via TUAW]. Also bear in mind that not all the currently in-use iOS devices support iOS 7. Apple's iOS 7 only supports iPhones 4 and up, iPads 2 and up and only the 5th gen iPod Touch. So taking those out of the remaining 30% of the devices not running iOS 7, the iOS 7 adaptation numbers are even more impressive. Different iOS versions - Market share (Source - Chitika) Though Android defenders continuously downplay the need for an ubiquitous OS (across all devices in any platform) for a healthy developer base and customer satisfaction, compared to the 1.1% (Android's developer page) share of the Android's latest KitKat OS, iOS 7' greater than 70% share is remarkable. More to note is that Android 4.4 update is more like iOS 6 update from iOS 5, in the sense it is more incremental. Whereas Apple's iOS 7 update was a drastic overhaul of iOS. These statistics truly talk about how Apple's measures (like over the air downloads, easy updates and most importantly control over their own hardware) have (repeatedly) proved extremely successful. A $40,000 document... of course, because it was signed by Steve Jobs The partnership shall engage in the business of investments, including particularly but not being limited to real estate investments, and in such other business of a similar nature
Apple Rumors - Not exciting anymore
iPad Pro or the Apple TV (2.0) or the 12" MacBook (Air or Pro). We have heard rumors about these and
Apple TV market share
Apple TV Apple TV market share
When to buy a Mac? Certainly not now?
TVs. Yet in this case, Apple is charging $200 more for the newest MacBook Pro and keeping the same three models’ pricing drops. That’s how it’s been with iPhones, iPads, iMacs, Apple Watches and Apple
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