All Articles by Chris Umiastowski

How can Apple excite investors beyond Q2 FY14's boring quarterly report?

Today after the market closes AAPL will report Q2 fiscal 2014 results. Expectations are for a boring (read: very profitable, but no growth) quarter. Analysts forecast $43.5 billion in revenue and $10.18 in earnings per share (EPS), which is pretty much a repeat of last year's numbers. Unless Apple surprises us with something, the focus isn't going to be on the results, or even the guidance for next quarter. Apple investors want to know what's coming next. We all want to know — what will Apple do to become a growth company again?

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Why all the fuss about the potential end of iPhone subsidies?

With AT&T reporting its financial results this week the media is buzzing about comments they (and others) have made to the effect that smartphone subsidies may eventually come to an end. The theory being floated is that future mobile phone buyers will be aware of exactly how much how much their smartphone costs. This new financial awareness will somehow prompt fewer people to pony up for an expensive iPhone.

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Why would Apple raise iPhone prices when all the money is in the mainstream?

This morning an analyst posted something speculative about the possibility of a price increase on the iPhone 6 when it is released later this year. The analyst in question has horrible history when it comes to making Apple predictions, so we're going to ignore the source. What we aren't going to ignore is the idea. Could Apple use the iPhone 6 as leverage to raise iPhone prices?

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Fire TV, Apple TV, and what it all means for the gaming market

Earlier this week Amazon launched their much awaited streaming media box for the big screen, Fire TV. Android Central has done a Fire TV review and iMore has already put the Fire TV vs. Apple TV head to head, and it's been compared to Roku as well. Most people seem to agree there isn’t anything too special about what Amazon has done … at least not yet.

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Does Apple owe it to shareholders to rush out a new product category?

We’re almost a quarter way through 2014, and it seems some Apple shareholders have ants in their pants. They’re impatient and want to see what Tim Cook’s team is going to do in a new product category, be it an iWatch, Apple television, or something else entirely. I guess it isn’t enough for Apple to be so utterly dominant in mobile computing, an industry trend that will keep chugging along for the next decade?

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Cleanup on aisle 5: Why Apple is making an 8GB iPhone 5c and re-launching the iPad 4

Apple’s decision to introduce a new model of the iPhone 5c with 8GB of storage has some of us scratching our heads. So does their decision to reintroduce the previously killed off iPad 4. What’s going on? Has Apple gone insane? I don’t think so. It may not qualify as a genius business move or anything exceptionally special, but I think it makes sense.

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What does CarPlay mean to Apple’s Business?

Now that iOS in the Car has been renamed CarPlay and will be shown off at the Geneva Motor Show, I thought it would be fun to start a discussion on what this all means to Apple, its competitors, and car drivers going forward.

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Facebook’s WhatsApp acquisition a bold move for the global instant messaging gold medal

The news of Facebook acquiring WhatsApp for an enormous pile of money is front and center in the mobile communication industry today, and for good reason. Having watched WhatsApp grow from nothing into a cross platform winner over the last 5 years and doing a darn good job of executing on a growth plan, I'm impressed with what they've done. And while I was shocked to see the deal's valuation, I've taken some time to think about it rationally, and it might not be that insane.

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Why would Apple business development executives meet with Tesla Motors?

A few days ago rumors of Apple/Tesla meetings resurfaced, and conclusions were once again leapt to about a possible acquisition. It’s unfortunate that most people writing about the topic seems to have nothing but mergers and acquisitions (M&A) on the brain. I think there is absolutely no chance that happening and what's more — I think there are far more interesting possibilities to consider here.

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Why Apple 'computers' outselling Microsoft may not be fair, but is incredibly important

Earlier this week analyst Benedict Evans published a chart showing how “computers” running Apple software are starting to sell at greater volume than "computers" running Microsoft software. Of course he’s counting all Macs and iOS devices as computers, just as he’s counting all Microsoft Windows PCs and Windows Mobile phones as computers. But the numbers don’t lie. In the last quarter Apple's traditional + mobile business is responsible for shipping just as many units as Microsoft. And obviously Apple is growing much faster. The blog post accompanying the chart was a mere 3 sentences. The most important sentence was:

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Why Wall Street should pay attention to Apple's growing iTunes revenue

Over at Asymco blog, Horace Dediu wrote a wonderful post that examines the size and growth of Apple’s iTunes business. This business includes the sale of music, video, iOS apps, Mac apps, and various services.

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Why Apple is buying back stock faster than promised

Tim Cook revealed today in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that Apple had purchased $14 billion of its own stock in the last two weeks. This brings the total buyback to over $40 billion. You might recall that back in April of 2013 Apple announced its plan to return $100 billion to shareholders by the end of 2015 including a $60 billion stock buyback. So here we are in early 2014, only 10 months later, and Apple has completed two thirds of its buyback. This is not the sign of a company lacking confidence in its future. Why?

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Q1 2014: Should Wall Street be hating Apple right now?

Last night Apple released its financial results for the holiday period, which is their Q1 of fiscal 2014. If you’re into this sort of news you already know the Street reacted very strongly to the numbers … and not in a good way. The stock tanked after hours, and as I write this morning the stock is down a whopping 7.5% on a day when the overall market (and practically every tech stock) is trading higher. Wall Street hates Apple right now. But is it justified? Were the results really that bad?

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Forget market share, here's a glimpse at Apple's poolside share!

Last week my wife and I left the kids in the fine care of my in-laws and headed to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Practically every year we escape winter for a week, firmly plant ourselves into pool chairs at an all inclusive resort ,and soak up the sun. And when we do, I can't help but have my head turned... by the kind of devices people are using poolside. Hey, I'm a tech geek!

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Forget the rumored iPad Pro, what 2014 needs is a better Apple TV

Rumors of a 13-inch iPad Pro were once again making the rounds this week, amped up by talk of a 4K Retina display. I have absolutely no idea whether or not it will ever become a real product, but I’ll happily go on record saying I don’t think 4k resolution makes a lot of sense for a tablet. It’s possible someone might put one out, and it’s definitely possible that there is a market for one, but I don’t think it’s possible for such a product to financially matter to a company like Apple in 2014. Personally, I think Apple could get more bang for the buck if they opened a game store for the Apple TV.

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Apple making gains in China even before China Mobile deal

Tim Cook has predicted that, eventually, China would become Apple's largest market. So far so good. According to a study by Counterpoint, which is referenced in this post by Marketwatch, Apple’s share of the smartphone market in China rose to 12% in October. This is up from only 3% in September, which is an incredible increase.

Based on the pace of growth of iPhone sales in China Counterpoint said:

This might allow Apple to even reach the No. 1 smartphone player in December or January in China.

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Forget $700. I think Apple is going past $1000. Just don’t ask me when.

Apple’s stock price has been on a tear since July. We’ve watched it climb from less than $400 to $564 as of this morning. I’m seeing plenty of articles discussing the likelihood of Apple returning to its previous highs of about $700 but it’s lot like any of this is being driven by major news. From where I sit Apple financial news hasn’t been anything terribly exciting lately. We’ve seen a couple of quarterly reports and some pretty normal announcements about how many new iPhone models sold on launch weekend. We’ve seen the new iPad Air rollout and we’re seeing analysts speculate about how many will be sold this Christmas season.

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Tim Cook's iPad Christmas starts early

Tim Cook made a memorable comment on the last Apple quarterly conference call. He said it would be an iPad Christmas. With exactly 3 weeks before the jolly holiday, iPad interest seems to be solid, and I suspect Tim Cook will be proven correct. This morning mobile analytics firm Localytics shared some interesting data. They tracked usage of a variety of tablets and smartphones from Black Friday to Cyber Monday and compared the data against the prior week. And guess what?

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Why Carl Icahn is stalking AAPL stock

Last week CNBC ran a story about billionaire investor Carl Icahn having a “good conversation” with Tim Cook. Icahn says they both agree that Apple stock is undervalued, and that Apple is still studying Icahn’s proposal for a $150 billion stock buyback. Icahn has made it pretty clear to Cook that he isn’t going away. So, why is that exactly?

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iPhone 5: How bigger screens could lead to best in class profit margins for Apple

iPhone 6 is already the topic of rumors and speculation. Over the weekend Bloomberg reported on the possibility of Apple moving to larger display sizes next year. Rene Ritchie has been writing about just that here on iMore for a while now as well. Now, some of us may remember Apple bashing large screens in the past. Part of that was technology. Competitors were using OLED and PenTile subpixels to get to larger sizes, and Apple argued color saturation on those displays wasn’t good enough. Tim Cook has always been clear on the idea that they don’t want to sacrifice on quality to deliver size, whether this quality sacrifice come from color reproduction, power consumption, durability, or something else. Another part of that was one-handed ease of use, which Apple in the past equated to hardware narrowness, but which everything from BlackBerry 10 to iOS 7's gesture navigation have shown can also be handled by software. If there is one thing that’s certain (other than death and taxes), it's that technology keeps improving. Whatever compromises Apple felt users would face with a larger iPhone screen will eventually be bypassed. And when that happens, it is only logical to assume larger iPhones will follow.

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