Who Violated Apple’s Firewall System to Destroy iTunes?? WHO DID IT?

by,

Suzanne Coleman

While Apple (AAPL) stock has been trading down since the Apple Live Event on Monday, the 12 month expected price of the stock continues to creep up, seemingly unnoticed.  Over the last week or so it has increased several dollars and is now noted to be $137.80.  Current trading price of the stock is $123.76.

Per other news media outlets today (take your choice, pick one), many of Apple’s (AAPL) online services were not functioning this morning for several hours, and some outages reportedly continue at mid-day (Reuters).  There are several possible reasons for this, let’s take a look.

The most likely reason is that somebody really, REALLY wants to get their hands on Apple Watch’s undisclosed secrets and has penetrated the company’s security systems in search of their “gold,” leaving utter code destruction and dysfunction in their wake.

On the other hand, it’s possible that it could be someone from Anonymous who read yesterday’s article about how Apple has failed to respond to thousands of customers’ concerns for several MONTHS over a software issue that is driving people crazy and has decided that they need to “take the company down a peg.”  See the article here:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2015/03/10/apple-ios-8-2-problems/

Equally probable, it could be Iran who desperately wants to start up their own App store so that they can raise their “cool points.”  Taking what seemed to be the easy route, they busted into Apple’s systems to get a copy of the code that Apple uses to run their store.   They probably figured that since our government thought it was ok to just illegally access their computer systems, heck why not do the same thing they did?

Maybe it’s Martians (are there any still up there, or have they all relocated to the suburbs, wearing smart outfits?) having a bit of Wednesday fun.  You know how BORING the suburbs can be.

Maybe there were so many people trying to download the new Apple Watch App that they overloaded the system, you know, fried it.

Maybe Apple finally realized that the search software in iTunes is the worst I have ever seen, likely causing them to lose millions in potential sales.  So this morning, before they had their coffee, they decided to revamp the whole project, again, but forgot to tell all of us that they were going to do it today.  Oh, well.

Maybe Tim was just so tired after Monday’s event that he threw his hands up in the air and wanted to “just take a break from it all.”

Whatever the reason, I think shares should be back up at at least 129 asap.  I agree with other analysts that $160 is a very likely 12 month price target.

🙂

 

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*NOTE:  I own shares of Apple stock, but I still try to keep my sense of humor.  Oh, and in case you could’t tell, most of the above is an attempt to make you laugh, or at least think.

 

Apple Live Event Notes and the Full Introduction of the Apple Watch

by,

Suzanne Coleman

What new information was discussed and does it matter?  (Old info will not be reviewed again.)  Technical note, their audio is in and out so it’s a bit hard to stay focused, plus the speakers go very slowly.  Maybe this is normal business speak.

1.  They are dropping the price of Apple TV from $99 to $69, presumably in response to Amazon Fire’s lowering of their price to $19.  Which one would you buy?  What is the difference??  They didn’t go into details on this product.

2.  Medical uses for iWatch.  I am confused.  They are talking about using it for research.  Ok, nice idea, but that will not likely impact individual sales of the item in my opinion.  This could be a revenue generator for the company as they sell your medical information.  They promise to protect your individual identity as is the norm.  Do these research deals reduce the cost to the consumers who participate (you can choose)?  I doubt it.  A bit of a grey area in my opinion.  With all of the data breaches we have already seen in medical databases, having it on your watch is a questionable idea.  This is called “Research Kit.”  There is a clear interest in the Apple team in medicine.

3.  HBO deal, not news, but they discussed the initially exclusive business relationship between HBO’s new streaming video service and Apple.  It’s nice, Apple is branching out into cable tv deals.  This could mean they are considering becoming a more integrated service provider to end-users.  Maybe they will buy out AT&T with all of that extra cash?  😉  who knows (they didn’t say that, that is just me).

4.  My favorite new thing, you can use your Apple Pay device to pay at hundreds of thousands of vending machines, including Coca-Cola.  Now that is useful!  They note that Apple Pay is very widely accepted.  I say that it is probably going to be a huge revenue generator in the future, though as an investor I wish they would discuss this as I have found no information on how or when they intend to do this.

5.  CarPlay = what is it?  Whatever it is, it’s being adopted by many manufacturers.  Ok looked it up, it just connects your iPhone to a car, if equipped, so that you can use it via the car’s controls.  Sounds useful.  No mention of the “iAuto” (yes, I just made that up, sounds better than what other people have been calling the “iCar”).

6.  Apple is expanding inside of China by opening more retail locations.  They currently have only 21 stores.  I would have thought they would have had 100s by now.

7.  The Mac.  Tim is discussing its growth, but instead of noting how it is relatively still very far behind most of the competitors, he says it’s growing greatly.  Well, since it was so far behind, any growth will be “great.”  I say, let’s drop that price so that it’s competitive and see how sales shoot for the moon.  That is how I would drive sales and increased profits.

Apparently they have “reinvented the notebook” and are showing a video of what looks like the exact same thing they’ve had for years…  I guess (now showing the actual product) it is smaller and lighter, and in gold.  That is pretty.

It weighs “only” 2 lbs.  And it’s thinner (24%).  They’re “introducing” more stable keys for the keyboard (reminds me of the days before cheap tech).

It has retina display, good stuff.

Best thing ever, no fan so no noise.  They’ve also done some interesting things with the track pad and batteries.  It’s environmentally friendly, good.

New USB-C.  Never heard of it.  Hoping this doesn’t mean all new cords… again.  Only one port, that’s it, as far as I saw.

Prices range from $1299-1599.  Shipping begins April 10th.

Other models also have some upgrades.

8.  And, not surprisingly, last, the Apple Watch.  It’s accurate (well, is that special?).

Seems pretty cool.

OOoo it has some features that will be BAD for high school kids lol.  (Well good for them, bad for the teachers trying to get them to stay focused on their work.)  You can directly communicate with other Apple Watch wearers though visuals, touch sensations, or message/phone calls.  The drawing app is cool…

Other features:  full access to e-mail.  Appointment reminders, customizable watch face.  Notifications.  Answer and make calls.  News alerts.  And more.

Apple Watch can hold your flight boarding info so that you don’t need boarding tickets.  It can let you check into your hotel without going up to the desk and get you into the room without a key (I am assuming only newer technology will work with this).  You can monitor your home remotely as well as use the Watch to open doors that are electronically-controlled like your garage door.

Apps are loaded onto the Watch via the iPhone.  The Apple Watch App helps control and set-up the Watch and is available for download now.

Battery life, 18 hrs on average.  Charging is simple, through what appears to be a magnetized disc that connects to the back of the watch while you are not wearing it.  I read elsewhere that it charges fully in 2 hours.

The manufacture of the watch is discussed.  Apparently, like the ONE RING, the steel watch is too forged in a special fire 🙂

Pricing:

Apple Watch “Edition,” the gold version from $10,000.

Apple Watch “Sport” which has the aluminum case runs $350-400 based on size.

Apple Watch (no special name) which is the steel case runs $550-1100.

Pre-order April 10th and try on every style in stores with personal assistance.  For sale April 24th in many countries including the US and China.

 

My Summary:

I can easily see Apple Watch being great for salespeople, young people, parents, and tech lovers.

From a business perspective, I think Apple’s use of product placement is smart and effective.  This has made the brand seem like a part of everyday life in so many aspects.  They have already begun doing this with the Apple Watch when it had a cameo on the wrist of Sue Sylvester on “Glee” in this past week’s episode.

 

Browse my other articles on Apple and the Apple watch Watch.

Fun with Apple Watch, Before you can Touch it, You can Play with it

by,

Suzanne Coleman

Hi all, I know some of you are eagerly anticipating the release of the new Apple Watch, coming soon to a store near you.  In the spirit of the moment, I wanted to share this fun website I found just the other day.

If you go to http://mixyourwatch.com you will see what I assume are all of the known designs of the watch’s components at this time.  You can mix and match the different components to make your “very own” watch.

For example, you pick a watch case and then choose which type of band you want to try it on with.  So you can pick a dark grey steel watch case, then one of many different materials and colors for the band.

Your choices:

For the case you have 3 choices of metal:  steel, aluminum, or gold (I’m sure this will be the cheapest one 😉 ).  The steel case comes in 2 different color tones, both of which are quite attractive.  One is like a grey chrome, very shiny.  The other one is a darker grey and seems less reflective, which may simply be due to the deep, rich color tone.  The aluminum cases appear to be brushed aluminum, which means that they have a flat, non-reflective appearance.  The silver-colored aluminum one is as you would expect a flat-surfaced aluminum to appear.  The dark grey aluminum one on the other hand has a deep mysterious quality to it.  The gold case comes in both a yellow and a rose-colored gold.  Both versions are shiny and polished gold.  I personally like that rose-colored gold one, but I don’t think it will come in my current price range 🙂

Now on to step two, selecting the band.  The fun part here is that you can try on any watch case with any of the 21 shown band styles and colors.  There are 3 different types of bands, fluoroelastomer (did they make this word up?), leather (yes, I’ve heard of that one), and steel (that one too).

The fluoroelastomer (my spell check is also wondering if this is real word) band is made of some type of manufactured material, like a plastic or rubber, and comes in 5 colors from basic to florescent (hmm…).  Your choices of color are sky blue, black, white, salmon, and florescent yellow-green.  I wonder if that stems from the current neon style trend?  Anyway, I’m sure there will be additional after-market band options as well from a variety of manufacturers, just like with iPhone cases etc.

The leather bands come in 8 color choices and two textures, but they don’t overlap.  In the flat leather you have beige, medium brown, medium grey, coral, and black.  The other three leather bands are a ribbed and textured leather.  They come in three different colors, off-white/tan, dark tan, and greyish blue.

There are also 3 metal bands.  One is a silver mesh and the other two are jointed bands that come in silver and grey tones.

 

Some looks I personally find pretty appealing are the following combos:

– dark grey aluminum watch case with black fluoroelastomer (FE) band

– lighter grey steel case with black FE band

– darker grey steel case with black FE band

– darker grey steel case with white FE band

– yellow gold case with white FE band

– either aluminum case with medium grey leather band

– all cases with the black leather band

– dark aluminum with the off-white/tan leather band

– dark aluminum case with the ribbed blue leather band

– all of the cases look pretty nice with the mesh metal band

– dark aluminum case with the jointed grey metal band

– light steel and dark aluminum cases with the silver jointed metal band

 

And second tier choices for me would be:

– light aluminum case with either the white or yellow-green FE band

– darker steel case with yellow-green FE band

– yellow gold case with black FE band

– dark aluminum case with beige leather band

– rose gold case with beige leather band

– both steel cases with the medium grey leather band

– rose gold case with medium grey leather band

– yellow gold case with coral leather band

– either steel case with the off-white/tan leather band

– dark aluminum case with the ribbed brown leather band

– yellow gold case with the ribbed blue leather band

– both steel, light aluminum, and rose gold cases with the grey jointed metal band

– dark steel, light aluminum, and rose gold cases with the silver jointed metal band

 

Overall I think I like the mesh metal band and the white bands the best.  For the cases I seem to be drawn to that dark aluminum one, which is great, because I might actually be able to afford it.

What do you guys think?  Are you liking the idea of a computer on your wrist?  Do you like the fashion-look of this product?  Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

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Apple Stock, Looking Good

by,

Suzanne Coleman

 

I think this is a good time to buy Apple stock.  It’s down quite a bit now off it’s intra-week historical highs.  It reported record increased profits last quarter of over 40% vs. last year’s holiday quarter.  The current quarter might show stronger than expected sales as well due to the popularity of the newest iPhone versions around the world.  This is particularly true in China, and they just celebrated their new year’s holiday where a part of that celebration is that nice gifts are exchanged.  Because of this some analysts have said that they think iPhone sales may show a significant boost this current quarter.

The negative news in the last few days about patent lawsuits being brought against the company is not likely to have a significant impact on the value of the company.  The judgement just laid down in Texas in favor of Smartflash (the company that brought the suit) is being challenged by Apple, and the next legal battle will take place in another court, in another area.  The original suit was tried in same area of Texas whereSmartflash is based.  It has been reported by others that this same retrial method has been used in the past in similar suits brought by Smartflash against other technology giants, and those suits ended up with verdicts that were much more favorable for the sued company after the appeal.  And while $500 million or so sounds like a lot of money, it is less than one percent of Apple’s annual revenue of about $199 billion, or about 8% of their annual profit of about $70 billion.

The new suit brought by Ericsson is a negotiating tactic (per the press).  Each of Apple and Ericsson have brought a suit against the other for the same reasons in this situation, contract term renegotiations.  In other words, they want better terms for themselves and they are playing a game of chicken suit.  Lawsuits are essentially a part of big business, at least they have been as long as I have been following business (almost 20 years).  In most cases, these suits do not result in any detrimental outcomes to either party.

The Apple Watch is looking more and more like it will be a hit, though no one can truly predict that.  Competing businesses who also make techy watches (like Pebble) have already had millions of orders for theirs.  Those watches are not as highly functioning as Apple’s and one might say that they are not as “cool” or “trendy.”  Plus, big bankers like Morgan Stanley are predicting big sales in the Apple Watch this year.  So that is another plus for the stock.

There are some people writing about how the NASDAQ’s lifetime high is “bad” and “dangerous.”  What did they think, that it would never grow?  I just don’t get it…  To me it seems more like people who are trying to manipulate the market to get the outcomes they want so that they can get a point to buy in at a lower price than the current one, and then sell it later when it rebounds.  You see this a lot with people who write about the market, putting out “news” headlines that are overly strongly worded to give the reader a negative or positive sense of urgency, but in reality, in most cases, it isn’t even news at all.  People still react to it though, to some degree.  Maybe if everyone learned not to, there would be more stability in the market.

So to present the other side of the argument.  Could Apple plummet?  Yes, it has happened before.  Could the market plummet?  Yes, especially if everyone starts panic selling based on unreasonable fears.  So, let’s not do that, ok? 😉

Apple is very well-valued with a low PE, especially for a company showing continued good growth.  See my other article on PE and “reasonability” here:

https://sliceiconic.com/2015/01/27/reasonability/

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that the stock market is both predictable, and unpredictable.  Unfortunately, that’s the way it goes.  As some have told me, it is like gambling, and I’ve come to realize these days that they are right.

 

NOTE:  I own shares of Apple stock.

 

 

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Hmm.. this sounds INTERESTING (Apple Watch)

by,

Suzanne Coleman

 

Just a quick note, I came across this article this afternoon on what the Apple Watch might be able to do, and thought it sounded PRETTY COOL.  So, if you’re interested, check it out.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/tim-cook-explains-one-very-202438588.html

I’m thinking more and more that this thing could be BIG!

 

 

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NOTE:  I own shares of Apple stock.

Apple Watch, in Pictures

I wanted to update my thoughts on the upcoming new product the Apple Watch.  Today I was able to take a look at some images of the Watch in its different versions, and I found some of them to be attractive.  Of course, my favorite was the “Edition” Watch, which is going to be insanely (well, for me) expensive… it is estimated (i.e. rumored) that it will cost around $10,000.

You can see pics of the Watches online at the MacRumors site here:

http://www.macrumors.com/roundup/apple-watch/

Looking at the pic of the watch on a man’s arm, I still find it too be too big and clunky for my taste, but maybe the colorful versions will be more attractive.  The site says that Apple is likely going to allow owners to interchange watch bands so that they can have multiple looks for one device.  I like that idea!  MacRumors has gathered quite a bit of good information on the product, take a look for yourselves.

What do you think?  Are you ready to stand in line to be one of the first to own and wear the all-new Apple Watch?

Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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NOTE:  I own shares of Apple (AAPL) stock.

 

Apple Watch, will it bomb or will it be THE BOMB?

by,

Suzanne Coleman

 

I want to talk about the Apple Watch for a minute.  What do you all think?  Will it be the success that some are saying?  I am wondering because I haven’t heard anyone talking about it at all.  As an owner of the stock, I hope it does well, but I personally don’t see the appeal.  I mean, the idea of it was cool, but the execution?  I’m not so sure.

The fact that you will need to have your iPhone in your pocket, or bag, in order for the watch to do anything, kind of negates the whole concept of an easier way to access your programs, doesn’t it?  I mean, how hard is it really to pull out the phone and use it vs. having this clunky, not very attractive giant square on your wrist?  I don’t really see it being a big fashion accessory either.  Maybe after the ad-bomb I’m sure they’re planning for the sales push people will be all over how “cool” it looks, but I’m not convinced that that would work either.

I guess I can see it making life a bit easier for some who are using certain functions a lot.  It will keep your hands relatively free, so if  you were on the go and needed to call someone or check your stocks or something, it might be an advantage.  Maybe I’ll need to try one out to see if it’s really all that or not…

Now that I think about it, if they had one all in red, with the band and the screen red, with a ring of silver trim around the screen, where the screen stays red until you touch it…  That I might buy.  IF it made my life easier, and not more complicated.

What do you think guys?

 

 

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