AMITIAE - Monday 28 January 2013
Cassandra - Monday Review: It will soon be Friday
By Graham K. Rogers
Opening Gambit:Apple, Financial results and the attacks from Wall Street. Who sold 800,000 shares to trigger the Apple share collapse? My own comments on Wall Street's intentions. Apple is not dead: new products rumoured coming soon. iMac production problems solved. The iPhone as a medical device. Having released the Stuxnet worm and had it delivered back the US wants more cyber-security laws after shooting itself in the foot.
Apple StuffThe fallout from the Apple financial results kept me occupied for part of the weekend and I was so annoyed by the nonsensical drop in Apple share prices that I began to wonder about the motivation behind it. For months now, whatever Apple does either brings forth a barrage of criticism or, if there is a positive story, it is buried several paragraphs down with a weak or negative headline.
It has also been clear that a lot of Wall Street analysts have been making much of any negatives they can find - supply chain, predicted figures - and so much was made of the Maps app data (note that the app was the same, it was that data was sourced differently) that one would think the entire survival of the company had hinged on that app alone.
As a side note, the Bukkhalo branch of the Bangkok Bank is still shown in the river beside Rama 3 bridge here and I was able to use this when making a vocabulary point about river banks.
The intent would be destructive and my thesis that the reason is to ripen the fruit, may well have some legs.
I wrote this in three parts:
With the number of shares, and the timing, there is litte doubt that the intent was to send the share price lower. When it is known who dumped those shares, the "why" may be clearerxs.
As one of the problems highlighted by many Apple watchers (and Apple) is that the company always meets or exceeds its guidance, but does not meet the estimates that the analysts come up with (voodoo economics, literally) so the share prices fall. And in a big way this time. Daniel Eran Dilger on AppleInsider reports that - in an attempt to head these guys off at the pass - Peter Oppenheimer announced that he was changing the way Apple gave guidance. For the future Apple was to issue a range of figures, rather than a specific number.
With the share price being pushed down, you would think that Apple were in the same state as companies like Dell or HP, but there is a different picture if you are actually following the company and don't have your nose glued to a Stock Exchange chart: new iPhones for example.
The idea of two products per year has some legs since the iPad had a refresh a couple of months back: why not the iPhone to keep it in the public eye (and break that tension as we all wait for "the announcement"?) The same photos were also shown in an item by Lily on AppleBitch who adds that "the iPhone 5S is an improved version of the iPhone 5 and that the iPhone 6 would be an entirely new device."
Another interesting rumour, and one that I can work with, is the appearance in a recent iOS 6.1 beta of code that suggests a 128 GB iPhone, Rene Ritchie reports on iMore. As we move more and more to these mobile devices (and the iPad) they will have to get larger. The 32 GB phone was the largest, now it is 64 GB. This also makes sense, Rene explains, from a component point of view.
Chowdhry has a new meme concerning the way Apple (and Samsung) profit from an allegedly shrinking market and while Samsung warns of future profit risks, this is not the case for Apple. Nonetheless, he feels that changes are afoot and Apple will move more to software because of a side comment from Peter Oppenheimer.
Chowdhry got it very wrong over innovation so beware his comments this time: he is not on the home team. He does not seem to have noticed that Apple already has a range of consumer and pro software in the same way that he missed the innovation under the surface. An analyst that myopic should be considered not safe.
In the Thai online Apple Store, the 21.5" shipping times are now down to 2 - 3 weeks, while the 27" versions remain the same at 3 - 4 weeks. Another report with similar information comes from Kevin Bosic on AppleInsider.
Apple dumped the supplier and as it has in previous discoveries of violations reports the incident in its annual Supplier Responsibility Report Mikey Campbell writes.
We wonder how long it will be before the NYTimes or another source issues an article about Apple's use of children to make its iPhones.
A doctor had hardware linked to the iPhone that allows monitoring of a patient's heart condition and he helped a passenger on the flight. As the software reported a critical condition, the pilot was asked to land and the patient survived. This is part of an increasing armoury of apps and connected devices that are becoming useful (perhaps critical) for patient support.
Half and HalfA new tactic by Samsung in the litigation with Apple that it has ongoing in Korea has me scratching my head and gives me real doubts as to the honesty of the company - as if I did not have doubts already. Eectronista reports that as it has sued Apple in Korea for infringing a patent it needs to see the iOS6 source code for verification. Apple is not going to give this on up lightly, but this is Korea where many people think that Samsung already owns the government and has too much influence in other areas as well.
Other MattersApple is not the only tech giant in the bad news columns this week as Microsoft also reported its quarterly results and included in that report is information about the Surface launch and the middling Windows 8 launch. Users should not worry as they can downgrade to Windows 7 for $125 (or put that towards an iPad). Kevin Bostic has some information on Microsoft's report and he writes that while no figures have been released, Redmond is "estimated to have sold around a million units since its launch". Wow. I think.
So why didn't the share prices of Microsoft collapse with this - part of a series of unspectacular reports.
In another malware case, the US has brought charges against three Europeans with regard to the development and release of the Gozi Trojan which "is believed to have infected more than a million computers worldwide". We are told by H-Security that it "harvested online banking information for its creators on a large scale."
Interesting that the authorities get upset most when banks and financial sites are affected.
Every few months it seems one of the Echelon nations (a group founded to monitor transmissions across the world) come up with another suggestion that we need more laws to protect us from criminals, terrorists, child molesters, but not from Rupert Murdoch's henchmen (and women).
Usually those putting these ideas forward suggest some impending Doom as in the current report from Dara Kerr who manages to get through the entire report without mentioning the Stuxnet worm that the US released into Iran, nor the attacks in the US from the same worm as it has gone out of control and is now floating about many parts of the world, including known attacks in Indonesia, India and Malaysia. And the USA.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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