One of the axioms of hardware business is that prices fall over time. The consumer price index for personal computers and peripheral equipment from 1998 to 2014 is shown below:
The price index suggests that prices for computers should be 54% of 2007 levels. Charles Arthur illustrated this on a global basis using a separate set of data.
The data shows that the weighted average selling price (ASP) of a PC has fallen from $614.60 in the first quarter of 2010 to just $544.30 in the third quarter of 2013, the most recent date for which data is available.
We will be conducting our 8th Airshow event in London next Wednesday, 26 February 2014.
The purpose of Airshow is to:
- Understand how data can be used to persuade through an appeal to logic as well as through empathy.
- Understand the basics of “data cinematicism” including the techniques analogous to cinematography and direction.
- Understand story development techniques including how to facilitate the audience’s entry into the story.
- Learn how to build a cinematic presentation.
The method we devised borrows heavily from the techniques of cinematography and screenwriting to impart meaning to the audience beyond the literal words spoken or images shown on screen. These techniques are demonstrated with “feature presentations” and then deconstructed in interactive lectures. Throughout we also weave Aristotelian rhetorical tips and present from the Asymco repertoire of stories.
Few seats remain. Discounted registrations are available for readers of this blog, and students.
Prior to Apple’s earnings report I read at least one article suggesting that the most important indicator to watch was Apple’s margin. I suppose this was due to a recent decline in margins from a peak gross margin of 47.4% in Q1 2012 to 36.7%.
As the graph below shows, margins began to recover by Q3 2013 and are nearly on par with year-ago levels.
The guidance for the present quarter is a gross margin between 37% and 38%. This would imply a flat q/q GM line (blue line above.)
This is not quite catastrophic.
To better understand margins, it helps to compare them with other companies. When Apple reached that peak of near 50% gross margin I noted that such a level was higher than Microsoft’s and Google’s. The irony being that Apple was nominally an (implied) low-margin hardware company while Microsoft was an (implied) high-margin software company and Google was an (implied) high-margin internet services company.
Here is the picture with the last two years added:
Horace Dediu and Guy English discuss the future of TV, how we consume media, and the fate of console-style devices. From Apple to Nintendo and beyond, is there one box to rule them all, or can there be?
Interview segment: Cinematographer Barry Braverman talks about working with director Wes Anderson (uncut version to be posted as Screen Time #54)
via 1: Bicycle for the Mind.
Horace and Moisés discuss the excitement surrounding Microsoft’s hire of new CEO/poet Satya Nadella, Apple’s recent numbers announcement, and yet more on Google (and their sale of Motorola to Lenovo).
via 5by5 | The Critical Path #111: Man of Arts and Letters and Science.
The increase in net sales of iTunes, Software and Services in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013 was due to growth in net sales from the iTunes Store, AppleCare and licensing. The iTunes Store generated a total of $2.4 billion in net sales during the first quarter of 2014 versus $2.1 billion during the first quarter of 2013. Growth in the iTunes Store, which includes the App Store, the Mac App Store and the iBooks Store, was driven by increases in revenue from App sales reflecting continued growth in the installed base of iOS devices and the expansion in the number of third-party iOS Apps available. Net sales of digital content, including music, movies, TV shows and books, from the iTunes Store was relatively flat in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013.
Apple Inc. Form 10-Q.
During the last quarter Apple changed the pricing for iWork and OS X to zero.
I estimate the net effect to have been a reduction in revenues from those software titles of about $350 million for the quarter. Nevertheless, increases in services and app revenues means that the iTunes total reported revenues increased to a new record.
The total with estimated contributions by media and service components is shown below right.
Note that revenues do not reflect total billings. As Apple reports only the 30% of App transaction values, the full iTunes/Software/Services transaction values are shown in the above graph on the left.
Horace Dediu is an analyst with a focus on the mobile phone industry and especially Apple. Blogging at asymco.com, he often posts surprising facts that confront the conventional “wisdom” of other analysts, who are often predicting doom-and-gloom for Apple.
We asked Horace to share his thoughts on technology, change, and how to anticipate the next big thing.
via Renaissance Session: Opportunities.
Apple revenues grew at the rate of about 6% in Q4, while earnings grew at 5%. These were improvements over Q3 and Q2 but the rate of top line growth is has not been this low since 2009. The bottom line is also slower than it’s been for the entire “epoch” or era of the iPhone.
The components of sales growth are shown in the following table:
The company delivered performance inline with its own guidance so there should not have been surprises in the top and bottom lines. However, the disappointment might be in the low growth for iPhone (at 6%) and iPad (at 7%). The Mac and iTunes grew at moderate rates (16% and 19% respectively) while the iPod continued its decline with -55% growth and Accessories remained fairly flat.
As the graph below shows, the iPhone and iPad are the bulk of the business so their performance is a large part of what is observed.
Horace builds on his discussion of Google from the previous episode in light of the Nest acquisition news. We also look at the relatively unreported news regarding China lifting its 13-year ban on game consoles and the variables it introduces to a “big niche” industry.
via 5by5 | The Critical Path #109: Google Ventures.