Last September, during an Apple special event, Tim Cook finally showed off what engineers at Apple had secretly been working on for years — Apple Watch. It was simply amazing. The watch’s hardware was impressive as was an entirely new OS that took touch and tech to a new level. In the aftermath, many eagerly anticipated saving enough money to be the first on their block to own and wear one. Then the worst product launch in Apple’s recent history occurred.
Unfortunately, all the launch excitement for Apple Watch was sucked out the room when all of Apple's inventory had been purchased online in less than an hour. It would be another six-eight weeks before one could walk out of an Apple retail store with an Apple Watch.
Financial reports and comments on them are one thing, but getting those little morsels of coded information from Tim Cook or Luca Maestri are quite another. Today at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Apple will be holding their Q3 2015 financial conference call with a host of financial analysts and investment researchers. Apple's financial statement, released at roughly 1:10 p.m. Pacific, should be fairly pedestrian. Financial analysts are anticipating 50-55 million iPhones sold, earnings at the higher end of Apple’s revenue guidance of $48 billion, all while keeping a keen eye for any Apple Watch sales information. But beyond the expected is where questions from the likes of Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster or UBS’s Steve Milunovich come forth precious nuggets of Apple’s future.
There are three major areas of commentary I'm looking for during the Q3 call. The first is HomeKit. It was a no-show at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The likely reason for the omission was due to the second area of interest, Apple TV. Both topics go hand-in-hand, as it is highly rumored that the next generation Apple TV will be, amongst other things, Apple’s home automation hub, requiring HomeKit specific tools. Cook will be asked about Apple TV. The question is, will he deliver any hints as to what may be coming, or how current Apple TV sales have been since the $30 price drop earlier in the year (now only $69)?
Apple TV is coming! Apple TV is coming! We've heard the battle cry from analysts to rumor soothsayers en masse for many years, and yet only minor revisions have come to Apple's diminutive hockey puck-like set-top box. This fall looks to be far different for a variety of reasons, but filter out the noise and there are three areas Apple TV will require in order for it to become the must-have living room entertainment device.
Many cord cutter's dream is an a la carte network service. Yet with Disney and Comcast/NBC owning bundles of channels, each making money off multiple cable TV subscription sales, cutting off their $15 a month bundled channel fees, only to sell EPSN for $4.99 a month makes little sense. Apple has run into this bundled juggernaut for years, gaining zero ground. It appears the only way for Apple, or any other cord cutting solution, to win channels is via mini-bundles, similar to that of Dish Network's Sling TV service. If Apple can deliver roughly 20 of the highest rated channels, and sell it for $30 a month or less, Apple would not only gain millions of cord cutting subscribers, but move millions of additional cable/dish customers to their streamlined package.
“Cord Cutter’s” are those who have stopped paying $100-260+ USD to cable and satellite companies for hundreds of network channels. It has been two years since I took the plunge and saved myself then $90/month. Mark, the other guy here at Two Guys and a Podcast, was a radical in this cause, never subscribing to cable or satellite services — ever. Both of us are avid sports fans. Both of us news junkies. Yet somehow we are able to get the sports we want and the news we need without these services. How? It’s called the internet.
The wait is almost over. In a few short hours Tim & Company will take stage and tell us how well Apple is doing and what great things they have been working on behind closed doors. While the theme of this year’s developer conference is “The epicenter of change” this is one of the least anticipated developers conferences in recent history. We are still reeling from a stumble out of the gate on two very exciting new products — Apple Watch and MacBook — so we don’t foresee any new hardware showing being announced. As for OS X and iOS, expect more bug fixes and stability rather than earth shattering changes or gotta have features.
With all of that said, here are the five things you should NOT expect Apple to announce on Monday morning:
We at T-GAAP have been guilty like many others on the internet (with Gene Munster leading the charge), hoping and proclaiming that soon Apple will update its Apple TV into something big, something market changing. But in a few weeks all our hopes and dreams may finally come true at WWDC 2015. Apple TV may finally graduate from hobby to product to game-changing product status and become another market Apple takes by storm.
That said there are three key elements Apple TV must have to move from just being a product on Apple Store shelves to a game-changer.
Apple’s top brass is busy putting their finishing touches on the company’s 2015 worldwide developers conference (WWDC) keynote presentation, but beyond the known items that will be discussed are those unknown announcements, shrouded in secrecy until they are unveiled on stage. Ten years ago, during 2005’s WWDC, Apple CEO Steve Jobs shocked the world by announcing a switch to Intel. Last year the company revealed Health Kit, bringing health monitoring and medical research to the mobile age. What will Tim Cook and company have in store this year?
Apple has been rumored to be making the TV network rounds once again, in order to build an affordable and disruptive streaming service. Sounds great, but there is one mammoth hitch. If pricing is not aggressive enough it will not be well received.
Consumers dislike their communications companies as much as they disliked their mobile phones before iPhone. Comcast, Time Warner and DirecTV bundle packages are overpriced and deliver far too many programming options people do not care about. If Apple can bring to market a set of desired network options at affordable rates, Apple TV and its service would force cable entities to offer more choices, or lose subscribers.
Spring is upon us, and that means one thing — WWDC 2015 is just around the corner. Kicking off the conference will be Tim Cook’s keynote event, which is one of the most highly anticipated in many years. Many rumors and speculators have been clogging the internet as to what the keynote will reveal.
We have complied a list of such possibilities with percentages of each item coming true or not:
Apple TV has been with us now for several years. An estimated 30 million Apple TV devices have been sold and also several software updates have occurred. But Apple TV still views the world through an old paradigm of networks or channels. The problem with this presentation is that people do not watch television today like they in the 1970’s. Back then content was limited. Today content is more than abundant — and continues to grow.