April 2010
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Month April 2010

HP's Palm play

This deal is not about keeping a smartphone brand alive but about keeping HP alive.
The days of standalone phone companies or standalone computer companies are coming to an end.

Elevation Partners Squeezes Tiny Profit From Palm Investment – Deal Journal –WSJ.

iPhone OS download rate 10X Blackberry

Today, Research in Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie said his BlackBerry App World has 20 million registered users and nearly 1 million daily app downloads.

via Apple Doing 10-20X As Many App Downloads A Day As BlackBerry.

As previously stated, The App download rate increased to a record 10,753,000 per day during the last 90 days.  That makes the download rate for the iPhone platform 10x that of the Blackberry Platform.  The iPhone platform is nearing 100 million installed base.  Blackberry is citing 20 million registered users.  I think everyone is pretty clear on where this is going.

Enemy Lurks in Briefings on Afghan War – PowerPoint

Like an insurgency, PowerPoint has crept into the daily lives of military commanders and reached the level of near obsession. The amount of time expended on PowerPoint… has made it a running joke in the Pentagon and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

via Enemy Lurks in Briefings on Afghan War – PowerPoint – NYTimes.com.

Reminds me of PowerPoint Palace.  “It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control.”

But what’s the alternative?  Writing complete sentences?  Does anyone compose those anymore?  Does anyone read anymore?

Nexus One coming to Vodafone not Verizon

“We wont be selling a Nexus One with Verizon and this is a reflection of the amazing innovation happening across the open Android ecosystem,” Google said in an emailed statement.

via UPDATE 1-Google smartphone coming to stores, no Verizon| Reuters.

Come again?

The breakdown of the deal signals Verizon may view Google as a competitor rather than a partner when it comes to Nexus One sales, which are probably at less than half a million since the phone’s January debut, said BGC Partners’s Colin Gillis. ‘It’s really a flop for Google,’ said the New York-based analyst.”

See also: Bloomberg.

Android Market passes 50k apps

Android has already crossed the 50,000 app mark, new stats from AndroLib show. Just a week after Google officially confirmed the 38,000 app mark, a raw estimate now says the mobile app store has added 10,000 more apps within at least a few weeks.

via Android Market passes 50,000 apps | Electronista.

The AppShopper iTunes app store spider shows the following totals today:

  • Total Apps Approved: 222431
  • Total Available Apps: 191465
  • Total Available iPhone Apps: 188005
  • Total Available iPad Apps: 4902

Tim Cook on iPad vs. Netbooks: "It is sort of 100 to zero"

In terms of the iPad competing for customers who are considering a netbook, you know I am the wrong person to ask that. To me it is a no-brainer. iPad/Netbook, it is sort of 100 to zero. I can’t think of a single thing the netbook does well. iPad does so many things very, very well. I am already personally addicted to mine and couldn’t live without it.

via Apple Inc. F2Q10 (Qtr end 03/27/10) Earnings Call Transcript — Seeking Alpha.

Tim Cook on Apple TV: 34% growth but tiny addressable market

The units were up for the quarter 34% year-over-year but the absolute number of units are still small and we still classify the product as a hobby for the company. I would just repeat what I have probably said before. If you look at the other markets that Apple is in, the Macintosh competes in a market of 300 million or so units a year. The iPhone competes in a market if you look at all phones of maybe 1.2 billion a year. The iPod competes in a market that has 100 million plus or minus units per year.

So these are enormous sized markets and clearly the market that AppleTV is in is not in our view nearly that large as yet. That is the reason we classify it as a hobby so that no one gets the wrong impression that we have a vision that it is anywhere close to the size of the other businesses. However, a number of us love the product, use the product and we continue to think there is something is something interesting there and we continue to invest in it.

via Apple Inc. F2Q10 (Qtr end 03/27/10) Earnings Call Transcript — Seeking Alpha.

Tim Cook on iPhone Distribution: eight new carriers, three remain exclusive, total of 151

You can look at the number of carriers we added which was eight as I had mentioned, and out of the 151 carriers at the country level it is a good number but not a significant number. Obviously the existing carriers performed very well in addition to the adds.

… There are three main countries where iPhones have a contractual exclusive relationship. That is the United States, Germany and Spain. There are a few smaller countries where we have an exclusive or co-exclusive but those three are the ones that are the major markets. Over the past year we have moved a number of markets from exclusive to non-exclusive. In each case as we have done that we have seen our unit growth accelerate and our market share improve. But that doesn’t mean we view that formula works in every single case. I would just sort of reiterate what I did last time that this is how we are learning so far. That is the result we have seen so far. We think very carefully about each of these at the country level to conclude what is in our best interest.

via Apple Inc. F2Q10 (Qtr end 03/27/10) Earnings Call Transcript — Seeking Alpha.

Tim Cook on iPhone in China: 900% growth

China has been interesting. If you look at greater China which we define as mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the iPhone units were up year-over-year over 9 times. We added another 800 points of distribution in China. The revenue, we have never released this number before but I will do this in this particular case, through the first half of the fiscal year that we just completed for the six month period our revenue from greater China was almost $1.3 billion and this is up over 200% year-over-year. So we are well pleased with how the company is positioned to take advantage of the growth in greater China.

via Apple Inc. F2Q10 (Qtr end 03/27/10) Earnings Call Transcript — Seeking Alpha.

Peter Oppenheimer, CFO added:

We are very excited about China not only for retail but for Apple. Tim talked about the success we have had in greater China to date with revenue being up about two time’s year-over-year. With regard to retail stores we will open two stores in Shanghai this summer and with targets of having about 25 stores open in China by the end of calendar 2011.

As a point of reference, the Mac business growth in Asia is also pretty impressive: Mac units in APAC grew 67% vs. 20% in the Americas, 18% in Japan and 37% in Europe.

Apple Business Review: Cash Growth

Apple’s cash continues to grow.  This quarter it reached $41.7 billion, a sequential increase of $1.9 billion.  This time last year, the cash was about $29 billion with a y/y increase of nearly $13 billion.  This is equivalent to $45.19 per share.

Many financial sites  report this figure incorrectly (e.g Yahoo finance with $24.8 billion) and are often cited by journalists.  This error is because Apple holds much of its cash in “Long-term marketable securities” and some choose to report only “short-term” holdings as cash.  Apple’s “Long-term” securities are the same as their “short-term” securities, namely US Treasury bonds.  The distinction is in the maturation date, not their liquidity.  Apple makes a clear statement of their cash position every quarter and highlights the composition of their holdings.

Note that more than one third of cash is currently in Long-term securities and exclusion of that item would indicate a decrease in Apple’s cash.

Note also that cash grows in a seasonal pattern. Q1 is typically the lowest growth, and Q4 the fastest.

The graph below shows Apple’s cash by security.