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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:40 am 
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Toast and Bananas wrote:
Is this really suprising considering that Apple are legally the inventors of the lock despite locks being used thousand of years before their existance.


Not really lol. Know what you mean. But are people waking up to this? I think Apple's tremendous PR machine has opened a lot of eyes with regards to patents and how they can be abused and things look to be changing.

The slide to unlock patent has been invalidated in the UK since July when HTC beat Apple in London. There were four patents on the table - including slide to unlock - and the UK judge ruled that the patent was invalid here. It's just not been invalidated by the US patent office.

From the Beeb:

Quote:
Lawyers fighting other lawsuits against Apple are likely to pay close attention to the decision regarding its slide-to-unlock patent.

The judge said that HTC's "arc unlock" feature - which also involves a predefined gesture along a path shown on-screen - would have infringed Apple's technology had it not been for a device released in 2004.

The Neonode N1 showed a padlock on its screen with the words "right sweep to unlock" when it was in its protected mode. A later version replaced the text with an arrow.

The judge said it would have been an "obvious" improvement for the developers to have offered users visual feedback in the form of a "slider" in the way that Apple later used.

He added that the concept of a "slider" was not new since it had already appeared in Microsoft's CE system.

As a result Apple's claim to the innovation was rejected.


Whether those arguments stand under US law I have no idea, the law is often similar but the interpretation can by wildly biased in favour of US companies different.

It's almost as if Apple are doing the patent system a favour here imo, it's just taking a while... to backfire! As their stupid claims get taken down one at a time, they're demolishing the trust that companies had to self regulate this kinda patent stuff and they'll end up forcing a more comprehensive study before any future patents are granted with a complete overhaul of the entire system to stop companies effectively cheating to try and knobble their competitors by using sales and import bans etc. instead of making better, more attractive products.

Personally I think there should be a punishment for any company who attempt these totally spurious legal challenges, it's no different to diving in footy. There should be some test or checks done by proper independent experts to make sure it's not a waste of time for a start. Massive fines should help us get back to only hearing sensible legal arguments.

Then the companies get back to making products and selling them instead... a novel idea for them I know. :rolleyes:

It's interesting too that Apple and HTC just signed a 10-year cross licensing agreement giving each access to the other's patents, which is something Jobs said he'd never allow... he said he'd never trade Apple's patents and preferred all out war against Android instead. How things change since he's not around.

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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:44 am 
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conscience wrote:
It's interesting too that Apple and HTC just signed a 10-year cross licensing agreement giving each access to the other's patents, which is something Jobs said he'd never allow... he said he'd never trade Apple's patents and preferred all out war against Android instead. How things change since he's not around.


Jobs seemed to be capable of doing so, Apple now are a bit of a shambles, and with their backs up against the wall after a series of lost patent suits they're probably thinking that they might have to be a bit sensible.

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:02 am 
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Jobs also said there'd never be an iPad mini and that's around now too


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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:24 am 
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Like them or not, I don't think anybody can deny the people in charge of Apple are anything short of genius'.

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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:28 am 
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Serbinator wrote:
Like them or not, I don't think anybody can deny the people in charge of Apple are anything short of genius'.


Steve Jobs was a genius, the current leadership of Apple is looking less and less capable of continuing his legacy.

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:07 pm 
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I highly doubt it was just him in charge of everything. There will be marketing guys who have been just as influential in the rise of the Apple brand. The way they limit supply to create qeues and make it the 'must have' item every year, the way they've created a fanatical following...all in the face of competition with products deemed by those in the know as superior than theirs.

It's nothing short of genius, whoever's responsible.

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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:15 am 
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Serbinator wrote:
I highly doubt it was just him in charge of everything. There will be marketing guys who have been just as influential in the rise of the Apple brand. The way they limit supply to create qeues and make it the 'must have' item every year, the way they've created a fanatical following...all in the face of competition with products deemed by those in the know as superior than theirs.

It's nothing short of genius, whoever's responsible.


Steve Jobs really was the difference between Apple the super-profitable company and any old bankrupt, unremarkable tech company imo, and the turnaround he performed at Apple was nothing short of remarkable taking them from near bankruptcy to being the most valuable company in the US. And yes, I believe he made nearly all the decisions that got them there imo, often wanting to know every little detail about things that others might have considered minor or unimportant and really did have that big of an influence. Everybody did what Steve said.

Genius is probably right, and as much as I disliked the man personally, he really was amazing at what he did.

But things have visibly changed recently. Apple have already stopped following Jobs' advice, his strategy has been totally changed, his warnings ignored, product lines expanded when the first thing Jobs did to get them back on track was to drastically cut nearly all the products they made to focus on just a select few. Etc.

And with the new deal with HTC and Apple they've just reversed Jobs legal strategy as well. It's all change and it's all different and it remains to be seen how well they'll do now that Jobs' isn't there to make the decisions and his famous Reality Distortion Field is no longer convincing people that Apple stuff is the coolest stuff... something I think they'll badly miss because as you rightly point out, Apple don't make the best spec'ed stuff that their premium image suggests - Jobs just said it was better and people believed him. Literally. Like some sorta Jedi mind trick.... what a salesman.

They've also had various patents invalidated in the UK and US as part of some of their legal defeats, sales are actually down, and they've just been kicked out of the top five sellers in China by a budget newcomer and their UK homepage carries an apology to Samsung which states they Samsung didn't copy Apple - so things already ain't as peachy as they were! Even their product strategy has changed for the worse... EG they've also been questioned over their new 'me too' iPad Mini, last to market, then underpowered and overpriced compared to the competition, etc. so the reason for buying one is unclear compared to their other iStuff that was either first to market or had some kinda of USP etc.

Even their competitors are turning the screw... Samsung just raised the price of the A6 application processors in the iDevices by 20% and there's nothing Apple can do but to pay more because unlike Flash storage and RAM production which they've switched elsewhere, no other company is in a position to manufacture as many of these things as Apple need - only Samsung can. :snigger: These things only used to cost $13, but now they cost $15.60... only $2.60 per chip more. But that's a lot of cash, approx. 172 million devices annually is $447.2 million or just under $1/2 billion a quarter so Samsung will soon earn their (unfair, imho) $1Bn fine back. You really shouldn't sue your major suppliers lol. A permanent fall out would be interesting... Samsung would lose revenue from making the processors, but Apple wouldn't be able to ship any iDevices. Ouch. So they're stuck with it.

I believe we'll see a very different Apple from now on, but I suppose we'll have to wait and see. I can't wait personally, I think it's going to be very interesting. :D :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:44 am 
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The suit against Samsung never made sense to me, it had disaster written all over it from day one, and with the increased prices Apple are now getting from Samsung their profits are going to take a big hit. You should only take action against your suppliers if you have an alternative (or they screwed up beyond repair),

Apple also have to contend with the Clarkson factor... if your dad has an iPhone / iPad / iPod / iWhatever then do you really want one? I mean... come on... it's not cool to copy your parents!!

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:32 am 
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Spawny wrote:
Apple also have to contend with the Clarkson factor... if your dad has an iPhone / iPad / iPod / iWhatever then do you really want one? I mean... come on... it's not cool to copy your parents!!

Doesn't seem to have affected their sales so far.

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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:40 am 
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Serbinator wrote:
Spawny wrote:
Apple also have to contend with the Clarkson factor... if your dad has an iPhone / iPad / iPod / iWhatever then do you really want one? I mean... come on... it's not cool to copy your parents!!

Doesn't seem to have affected their sales so far.


It's starting to IMO. Their sales are weaker than they were.

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:06 pm 
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Serbinator wrote:
Spawny wrote:
Apple also have to contend with the Clarkson factor... if your dad has an iPhone / iPad / iPod / iWhatever then do you really want one? I mean... come on... it's not cool to copy your parents!!

Doesn't seem to have affected their sales so far.


But it has affected their sales, Spawny's right. And their share price is also down over 5% so far.

Initial iPhone 5 sales didn't hit projections (they did 5m sales vs the 6-8m projected), despite it being available in many more countries than the iPhone 4 was initially released in so they expected many more than 1m in extra sales that they actually got. TBH you'd have expected them to easily beat the previous iPhone 4 figures... unless demand was down. Shares fell 2% on the news rather than going up, and their shares fell again after the iPad mini's price was announced... and product/pricing announcements usually make shares go up not down! Except nobody in the analyst world thought that the 7" iPad be that successful (as presumably Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7) as Apple's suggested retail price was deemed far too high to compete. The shares fell another 3.3% on that news alone.

Don't get me wrong, don't think they'll be that bothered just yet as the profits will continue to roll in for now, but they're no longer on the rise and however small, there has been a drop.

Also, you really can't discount the Clarkson Effect! :lol: No kid who wants to be cool wants the same phone as their parents, nevermind various aunties and even their grandparents! Anecdotal evidence is beginning to emerge from techies with teenage kids etc. that their offspring are generally asking for Samsung stuff this Christmas. Apple must be so last year or something, that's the problem with fashion trends they don't last too long.

In other would Jobs have known better news, Apple's decision to fragment the iPhone market with the introduction of the new bigger screen on the lastest iPhone looks to have had an impact already. A couple of months on, still over half the apps appear with black borders visible on-screen as they've not been updated to cater for just the few new iPhones, and considering developers may lose their ratings and any good user reviews etc. if they do a new version it may have made them think twice about catering to just a few bigger screens. In any case the black borders hardly scream 'premium experience' at anyone. :rolleyes:

Like I said, there's been many changes at Apple recently. And the irony is, fragmentation was always one of Steve Jobs favourite criticisms of much-hated market leader Android. It may be the developers decision not to update so it's not directly Apple's fault, but it is their problem... and I'm not sure what they can do about it either.

Now where did I put that popcorn.... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:11 pm 
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conscience wrote:
Spawny's right.


Best post ever :D

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:23 pm 
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Spawny wrote:
conscience wrote:
Spawny's right.


Best post ever :D


It costs extra if you put it in your sig. :p

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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:25 pm 
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conscience wrote:
Spawny wrote:
conscience wrote:
Spawny's right.


Best post ever :D


It costs extra if you put it in your sig. :p


I don't need to... I know it's here :fonz:

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:22 am 
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Apple stops Caring in Italy, probably all Europe soon

Questionably supportable support questioned by EU


By Bill Ray • The Register



Apple has reportedly stopped selling its extended warranty, AppleCare, in Italian stores following prompts from Europe's Justice minister that the company wasn't respecting EU-mandated guarantees.

AppleCare will still be available though the company's web site, but won't be sold in stores - according to leaked e-mails sent to retailers. Right now that's only in Italy, but with Europe's Justice Minister writing to every member country suggesting they take a long hard look at Apple's compliance it surely won't be long before the model spreads to the rest of the region.

All electronics sold in Europe are required to come with a two-year warranty, but Apple ended up in front of the Italian court for failing to make that clear to customers while selling them its own premium guarantee in the form of AppleCare, and was eventually hit with a €900,000 fine for the practice.

Apple has already been forced to update its warranty information, pointing out that its own (one year) warranty is superior to the EU-mandated two-year variety as it includes three months' telephone support and covers defects which arise after delivery, and the company provides a comparison table which tries to sell AppleCare Protection Plus on the grounds that it offers telephone support for the duration, but it's hard to see many people taking it up.

Which may be part of the problem: extended warranties were for a long time an extended profit margin for retailers and pushed onto customers at every turn, but Apple staff aren't supposed to be so pushy and with Apple already providing the required two-year warranty there might not be enough takers to keep the service viable. Add on the legal difficulties and dropping the offering is just easier.

We've asked Apple for clarification, but have yet to receive any response as Cupertino has recently gone quiet on us again. Hopefully we've not offended them too much and will have an update soon, in the meantime iFans can still sign up for the additional cover though the Apple web site, even in Italy.

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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:25 am 
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A good decision for consumers, but not so good for Apple's profits.

Nice popcorn this. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:29 am 
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Apple forced to cut dealers in to get iPad Mini shifting, says analyst

Peak Apple: An unwelcome first for tightfisted Cupertino




Apple is sacrificing some margin on the iPad Mini in a bid to muster channel support for its late-to-the-party seven-incher - or so says an analyst.

According to data from Context, some 10,000 units were shipped through distribution across Western Europe in the first week after launch, compared to the millions of Minis and iPad 4s that Apple sold directly via its retail stores and online.


This is not unusual - Apple can make more lucre by tapping up demand in its stores than by sending stock to disties, which may slap it into a warehouse in anticipation of dealer demand.

But Salman Chaudhry, mobile guru at Context - which tracks sales-out data from distributors to accurately measure the products being sold by resellers - noted a lift in margin that Apple is dishing out to suppliers.

"A Wi-Fi only 16GB iPad Mini can be bought by a reseller for £207 [trade price] but they can sell it for £269," he told The Channel.

This equates to a 23 per cent margin on a comparatively low value product to be shared between a distributor and reseller - so no one is getting rich quick - but margins on past Apple slabs were significantly lower, said Chaudhry.

He said Apple was renowned for offering low returns on kit sales. "This is the first time Apple has been on the back foot and needs to make sure distributors stock the Mini".

There is an interesting shift in the dynamic of the market: channel bully boy Apple, which sells the vast majority of its fondleslabs directly, is now leaning on the middlemen to knock out Google and Amazon, both of which are selling their wares directly.

"Apple is having to forgo the margin ... it looks like Apple is rewarding everyone in the supply chain," added Chaudhry.

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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:54 am 
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Apple's stock price falls to lowest point in six months

While short-term challenges remain, analysts are bullish on Apple's long-term.


by Cyrus Farivar - Arstechnica.com



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On Friday Apple’s stock price closed at $527.68 per share, the lowest it’s been in six months. Since September, the company has lost about 25 percent of its value from its peak of $702 per share. So what’s gone wrong?

Analysts say that Apple has had a string of misfortunes lately, ranging from missed earnings estimates, management shakeups, missteps on mapping software, supply chain problems, and increased pressure from competitors.

"I think it’s the perfect storm for Apple," Van Baker, an analyst with Gartner Research, told Ars. "There’s a combination of a lot of things, and add to that, people are starting to think that Apple won't bring out something that’s truly innovative every few years."

Warning: contents under pressure

As we reported last month, despite the 26 percent year-over-year growth for iPads, many investors were disappointed that Apple wasn’t able to blow through Wall Street’s estimates as it has done in previous quarters.

"Going into earnings we were wondering if the slowing economy will catch up with Wall Street and it has," said Channing Smith, co-manager of the Capital Advisors Growth Fund, told Reuters last month.

That marked the second quarter in a row where Apple didn’t do nearly as well as many analysts had hoped.

"It’s not that they fell short of the guidance, but they didn’t hit what Wall Street said they would hit," Gartner's Baker, added. "That’s the first time in a long time they haven’t done that."

Other analysts have said that the management changes certainly haven’t inspired confidence among investors either. Within the last two weeks, Apple gave the boot to iOS Software head Scott Forstall and its retail head John Browett. Forstall’s departure was reportedly celebrated by many among Apple’s rank-and-file—he also clashed with Jony Ive, Apple’s legendary creative genius.

"It demonstrates volatility, you had two major people in the organization departing," Rhoda Alexander, the lead analyst for tablets at IHS iSuppli, told Ars. "You have organizational changes, [and that breeds] uncertainty with the market."

Supply chain bottlenecks?

When iOS 6 debuted in September 2012, we noted at the time that Apple’s own Maps app didn’t quite deliver—our own Jacqui Cheng lamented the removal of public transit features: "I have virtually no reason to use Maps otherwise in my daily life, which is why its sudden absence in iOS 6 is deeply disappointing."

CEO Tim Cook, of course, posted an uncharacteristic public apology in late September, going so far as to recommend other alternatives while Apple worked out the problems with its current version.

"Apple has demonstrated through the years that it is very tapped into what that experience is for the user," Alexander added.

Cook has also faced pressure from Hon Hai, the company that owns Foxconn, which assembles the iPhone and many other electronic devices—odd, considering Cook’s own professional experience in supply chain management.

A Hon Hai executive told the Wall Street Journal last month that the iPhone 5 was the "most difficult device that Foxconn has ever assembled."

"The thing that gives people some pause is the statement from Hon Hai that says: 'We can’t build as many iPhone 5s as we want to,'" Baker told Ars. "[Apple] should be able to sell a ton of iPhone 5s, but if they can’t get enough, [the company] may fall short."

Baker added that the final three months of 2012 may prove to be Apple’s best this year, as holiday shopping moves into full swing, but that these manufacturing delays could put a damper on that as well.

Apple's long game

Finally, one of Apple’s biggest problems has been increased competition against the iPad, not just from Android tablets, but from Amazon, and now Microsoft as well.

Since last year, a whole slew of new tablets have been released, and as the Pew Research Center showed in a recent study, Apple’s market share among tablets—while still large—has fallen to just above 50 percent.

"What we’re seeing from early data on the market is that the demand for the mini continues to be very strong—we’re expecting Q4 to be above 10 million units [sold]," Alexander, the IHS iSuppli analyst, added.

"If you looked at market two years ago you had a huge performance gap between also-rans and Apple. What you’ve seen in particular among Android products is that gap narrowing as you move out over time—a lot of these products are aggressively priced. It’s unrealistic to think that Apple will maintain absolute dominance that it once had, but do we anticipate Apple being the top dog? Absolutely."

Fundamentally though, the question remains: can CEO Tim Cook provide the type of consistent, innovative, groundbreaking leadership that Steve Jobs was known for? It’s only been about a year since Jobs’ passing, but certainly the pressure is mounting for Apple to maintain its creative edge.

We here at Ars have certainly tried to understand the huge shoes that Cook has to fill, as has anyone who continues to follow the company, whether from Wall Street, Main Street, or from the depths of a comments section. Baker, though, says that this is just a short-term blip for Apple.

"I’m not that concerned with Apple," he concluded. "I think Tim Cook is a very capable CEO. I have a heckuva lot of respect for Jony Ive, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue and the team that is working on these products and services. I think Apple is going to be just fine. I think they’re going through some gyrations with the stock price right now. The one big question is: are they going to be able to bring a new and truly innovative thing to market? Apple’s business model relies on that."

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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:59 am 
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Apple's profits fetish could spell its DOOM

Mobile world will soon be like PCs


By Matt Asay • The Register



Open ... and Shut The other shoe is about to drop in the mobile market. For years Apple has dominated mobile, both in terms of market share and in terms of profits. It was an enviable position, and a unique one, borne of Apple's commitment to out-innovating the industry, allowing it to consistently charge a premium for its products. But as the industry has matured, Apple has haemorrhaged market share to low-cost Android.

In turn, it is now also losing its hold on industry profits. Given Apple's fetish for profits over market share, it is consigning itself to a repeat of its battle with Microsoft, wherein it ends up as a profitable, but niche, market player.

It was supposed to be different this time. Apple had supposedly learned from its Microsoft mistakes. Hence, even as Android and other new entrants joined the smartphone and tablet markets, Apple lowered prices on older models to fend off threats. Some have praised Apple's pricing strategy, arguing: "Apple's ability to enjoy its impressive margins while offering such a wide range of pricing is evidence of great success at Apple and does not evidence deterioration of Apple as a competitor in the electronics industry."

Yes, it has worked. For a time. But Apple's hold on industry profits is starting to slip, even as its market share plummets. The writing has long been on the wall, even if some refused to see it.

For years, Apple fanbois have pooh-poohed Apple's loss of market share, crowing that it still controlled industry profits. MG Siegler, for example, gushed about all the different ways that Apple is amazingly, shockingly profitable. And it was. Is. But won't be for long. Not to the same extent, anyway.

After all, earlier in 2012, Apple controlled 77 per cent of mobile industry profits. Now that's down to 59 per cent, and this number will continue to fall, no matter what Apple does to boost profitability through chip-making or other means. Why?

Because market share matters.

Henry Blodget captures this nicely over on Business Insider:

The reason market share is important is that mobile is a "platform market." In platform markets, third-party companies build products and services on top of other companies' platforms. As they do, the underlying platforms become more valuable and have greater customer lock-in.

Building products and services for multiple platforms is expensive, so platform markets tend to standardize around a single leading platform. As they do so, the power and value of the leading platform increases, and the value of the smaller platforms collapses.

The PC software market is (or was) a platform market, and we saw how powerful that eventually made Microsoft back in the 1990s.


Not only is Apple losing market share in established markets like North America and Western Europe, but it's practically an afterthought in the world's most critical market: China. An Analysys International report, as detailed on BGR.com, shows Android with more than 90 per cent of the China market:

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That's up from 58.2 per cent in 2011, and is even more interesting when you see Apple declining in China to 4.2 per cent (from 6 per cent in 2011). In a market with more than one billion subscribers, that's market share Apple can ill-afford to lose.

None of which is good for Apple but all of which is, as I've argued, very good for the industry. Apple has dominated the mobile industry in unhealthy ways. I love the products, but I can't love how the company has hoarded profits for itself. In Microsoft's desktop heyday, its partners made a lot more money than it did. In Apple's mobile dominance, it has captured most of the industry value for itself, even despite one million apps submitted to its App Store, roughly half of which are paid apps.

Apple is a great company, consistently building products that I've been very happy to buy. But its manic desire to control its ecosystem, coupled with its insistence on sky-high margins at the expense of market share, all but ensure that it will soon be an important, but niche, mobile vendor. A few years ago, this seemed impossible, at least, to those who had no memory of the desktop market. But for those of us who lived through Apple vs Microsoft, it's very, very familiar.

What's surprising is that Apple doesn't seem to have learned from its mistakes. It's not enough to be a profitable niche company in a platform market, as Blodget argues. Even profits suffer if a company can't deliver the market share to justify developers focusing on its platform. Apple, so incredibly dominant and profitable just a few years ago, stands to lose both attributes.

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 Post subject: Re: Apple, the iPhone and various other disasters
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:29 pm 
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Apple shares take biggest one-day hammering in 4 years

Foxconn rebrander not worth $0.7 TREELLION, turns out


By Anna Leach • The Register



Apple shares took the biggest single-day hit in four years on Wednesday, falling more than 6 percent on NASDAQ to $538.79.

The tumble took Apple's market cap down to $506.84bn, well below the dizzy heights of $705.07 billion reached in September this year. Yesterday saw an eye-watering $34.8 billion wiped off the total value of the company in one day.

Investors cited fears about competition in the mobile market and the threat from both Android and Nokia/Windows as factors in the fall.

But competition has always been strong and so it's likely to be factors from within Apple itself that are shifting perceptions. The iPad Mini hasn't been the wunderhit many were expecting, with warm but not raving reviews and very muted crowds at the launch of the device. The absence of any other big hitter devices on the horizon - a new Apple TV still seems far off - reinforces the view that Apple may be losing its innovative edge in the Tim Cook era.

On the financial side, Reuters reported unconfirmed rumours that that at least one major stock-clearing house was raising margin requirements on Apple stock trades.

The actions of a rogue trader who used 1.625 million Apple shares to pull a rogue deal worth $1 billion just before Apple's quarterly results came out, can't have helped matters either.

The dodgy deal was discovered when Apple's quarterly earnings on 25th October missed expectations, shares fell and the trader's employer took a massive hit on the trade.

Apple's next earnings are due 24th January.

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