another tech writer joining the noise of opinion

Month: May, 2013

Business Insider ‘Clearly’ Has All the Answers on Apple Stock

Wonderful post from Henry Blodget (awesome name!) on what clearly is going wrong with Apple. The proof? The lack of an Apple TV. You can’t make this stuff up! 

And based on all the reports about an Apple television that hit the market early last year–most of which predicted that Apple would launch its TV in the 2012 holiday season (or at least announce it and then start selling it early in 2013)–we’d bet that that major new product was intended to be Apple’s TV.

Alas, for unknown reasons–perhaps having to do with the TV industry’s refusal to meet Apple’s distribution demands–the predictions for the arrival of the TV have now been rolled forward a year, to late 2013 or early 2014.

Based on rumours that were never confirmed by Apple, Apple failed to release the product that was rumoured. See, the issue here is that Google announces things all the time. They might be failed products, but at least they’re announcing things! Apple, on the other hand, hasn’t said anything. This leads to moronic speculation on products that might never happen.

And. Thus. Disappointment. 

The one okay point the article makes is that it has been 9 months since a major new release from Apple. That is, at least somewhat, true. What the article forgets to mention is Apple’s apparent move to focus on 3Q and 4Q release dates for major new products. iPad used to be released early in the year, while the iPhone was released late in the year. Last year, Apple released a new iPhone, a new iPad (4th gen largely similar to the 3rd gen), and the iPad mini all in time for the Christmas season. This broke with its previous release schedule. 

But hey, you can look at the facts, or review the fancy chart that shows Apple has been doing nothing for 9 months. Clearly. Oh, and you would also need to ignore the amazing success of the iPad mini (the iPad line is growing 3 times faster than the iPhone!) to pretend this article is relevant. 


Wall Street Journal is Awesome

In an article titled Apple’s Cook Fails to D-light (bonus points for an awesome link-bait title!) and in reference to Tim Cook’s interview at All Things, Rolfe Winkler writes:

Tim Cook has already lost some fans on Wall Street, judging by the fall in Apple’s AAPL +0.80% stock price. Influential techies don’t seem to be very impressed with the Apple chief either.

While it is true that Apple has lost fans on Wall Street, Apple has achieved 25% gains from 2 years ago when Tim Cook took over. But Apple’s stock is far off it’s high from a year ago, thanks to stupid articles like this. 

Which techies weren’t empress? Rolfe doesn’t actually mention who wasn’t impressed. 

Mr. Cook repeatedly failed to discuss during an on-stage interview at the conference how Apple can improve mobile services like iCloud.

Right, so Tim Cook revealed no more than Steve Jobs would have at All Things D. If anything, Tim Cook was more open about the future of Apple where as Steve Jobs mostly just refused to answer questions. 

Great job Rolfie! 

The Start Button Returns!

Though not official just quite yet, more leaks reveal that a Start Button will return to Windows 8. Paul Thurrott writes:

I can now confirm that most of the rumored coming changes to the Start experience in Windows 8.1 “Blue” are correct. And I’ve got a few screenshots to help demonstrate how these changes are implemented.

Microsoft tried to capture Apple’s emotional appeal when introducing Windows 8. They also tried to capture Apple’s stubbornness, forcing users to a new way of using Windows. Without the start button, though, they created two different and segmented operating systems within one package. It didn’t work. This was obvious from the first public beta.

The thing Microsoft forgot to copy from Apple’s playbook is Apple’s preference for slow and deliberate changes. Even these small changes sometimes hit brick walls (save as being removed, as an example), but these are minor tweaks to the system by comparison to removing the start button; the very start button that made Windows 95 significantly more interesting than Mac’s OS at the time.

Lots of Cash = Bad??

Fund Managers provide valuable insight to us laymen investors. Business Insider published comments from Bill Smead of Smead Capital Management with such insight as this:

The “bulbous” cash piles held by Apple and other large tech companies makes them a poor investment

The story goes on:

Smead said his firm had conducted significant research into the tech sector over the last six months and reached “the conclusion that tech is where cash goes to die.”

6 months worth of research! 

Academic studies had found that massively over-capitalized companies performed as badly as those that are undercapitalized, Smead said.

So, on average, companies with lots of money (mentioned were Apple, Google, and Microsoft) perform no better or worse than those companies with very little money. That’s an interesting conclusion, since unless the companies were gifted tens of billions of dollars, they must have performed pretty well to have those cash reserves. 

Lots of money = Bad. Gotcha. Thanks Bill Smead! You should check out the article, though, as there was more valuable information on the dangers of owning stocks with a dependency on China. 


Real News Media Has No Time for Fact Checking

Link baiting articles by organizations like Bloomberg News and Forbes serve as an inspiration for projects like this. Today’s “real” media has an agenda, and deep dive research isn’t profitable. How many people would question Can Tumblr’s Boy Wonder Grow Up? coming from Bloomberg News? Few.

Marco Arment, who was Tumblr’s first employee and worked with David Karp, argues this article is only partially true:

Either Cohan has never stepped foot inside Tekserve, or the definition of “hipster” has broadened even further to include “all people who are not exactly like me”.

The rest of the article, as you can expect from Bloomberg these days, is about 60% true and barely addresses the sensational headline’s question at all. I thought they had a good reputation in the past — did they ever, or was it always this trashy? (Same question for Forbes.)

“Can Tumblr’s Boy Wonder Grow Up?” –