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Costco_AppleIn 2010, Apple and Costco parted ways. At the same time  Apple’s divorce with Costco was being completed, dealings with Walmart and Sam’s Club were heating up. Coincidence? We didn’t think so then, and now we don’t believe that's the case now. But rumor is, Apple and Costco are putting aside their differences in order to team up once again.

An email that's been circulating the past week is claimed to be from the Wireless Advocates CEO (Wireless Advocates owns the wireless kiosk contract at Costco), which states:

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Will Jony Ive Be MIA During WWDC Keynote?

by: Mark Reschke | May 28, 2014

Sir_jony_iveSir Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Hardware and Software, has been an absolute fixture with the company. He has been with the company for 22 years, and is typically seen and heard via interviews for Apple, or acting as a major presence within Apple’s promotional video campaigns for newly introduced products. Jony’s fingerprints on Apple are indelible and everywhere. But will Sir Ive grace the keynote stage this year at Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC)?

Jony doesn't like the big stage, rather, he shies away from it. At last years WWDC, Ive introduced iOS 7 via a promotional video, but never took to the stage. Ive makes himself known, but it has been years since he has showed up live, on stage, at an actual Apple keynote event. He seems most comfortable living within the deep, dark tunnels of Apple’s creative nerve center cooking up something good. Evidently really good if the rumors resemble anything close to accurate during next week's WWDC keynote event.

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Apple "Beats" Samsung's LeBron

by: Mark Reschke | May 09, 2014

Lebronsung

A new war of cool and hip exploded onto the scene yesterday, with the rumor that Apple is set to acquire Beats Audio, and with it, take on Samsung's latest approach to cool, via their use of celebrities.

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2q14_aapl_financial_results

Apple’s earnings for the second quarter of their fiscal 2014 shocked Wall Street. In fact, it did more than just surprise, it blew the lids off investors’ expectations, causing Apple’s stock to skyrocket straight north. After hours trading revealed an increase of over $43 a share. Evidently, the move of Apple’s stock has staying power as it is still hovering around $565 per share. Looking back at the earnings call reveals the big items that sent the AAPL skyrocketing, but it also gives a glimpse into the future of where Apple is heading. 

Apple's Financial Call Highlights:

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Apple-tv

Yesterday Apple revealed some numbers they don’t often break out. One of those secret statistics was about Apple TV — Apple has sold over 20 million of the devices. Moreover, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, called it a billion dollar market — no longer a hobby indeed.

Most intriguing is where this puts Apple in the carrier lineup. DirectTV claims about 30 million subscribers in the U.S and Latin America, while Dish Network has roughly 14 million subscriptions. When all is said and done with Time Warner, Comcast will boast of having 30 million subscribers. Apple revealing 20 million Apple TV's sold puts them right into the mix as one of the big boy content providers — a real player in the space — not to be ignored. Apple’s distinct advantage is there is their ala carte system of choosing programming. With Apple TV a large portion of the programming is pay as you go, for only the content you want. There is no blanket charge of $50-100/month for all the content you want (for a gluttony of bad content most never even watch).

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Macworld_iworld

Macworld/iWorld 2014 came and went this past month. No one noticed. No one remembered. Perhaps sadly, no one cared.

Official attendance figures for the 2014 show have yet to be released, but estimates are for flat or a continued decline in attendance. IDG World Expo estimated that 25,000 attendees visited the three day all-things-Apple event in 2013. However, that pails in comparison to 2007 when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone where show attendance was 45,572. Since Apple’s departure in 2009, Macworld/iWorld has seen a massive decline in attendance with companies constantly shrinking their booth size, and major players, such as Microsoft, no longer attending. Macworld/iWorld may not be long for this world.

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Apple_steve_jobs

Apple’s stock price currently hovers in the low $520’s, a far cry from the days of AAPL closing just over $700. Where Apple’s stock price may be headed is up for huge debate, and if you want to believe AAPL is moving to $800, then believe this. If you want to believe Apple is in a free-fall, go here. There seems to be an abundance of Kool-Aid for everyone of any persuasion. Underneath all of the pop culture of stock predictions lies a fundamental question: Did investors ever believe in Apple, or was it only Steve Jobs that they saw someone worth investing in?

Steve Jobs led Apple out of its dark past to make Apple the largest financially solvent tech company in the world. Investors were quick to take note and eagerly followed along. AAPL rose from $10 a share in 2004 to over $350 per share by the time of Jobs death in March, 2011, rising to over $420 a share (which included two stock splits). Apple’s stock price continued to march happily north, peaking at $702.10 on September 19, 2012, nearly a year after Tim Cook had begun to act as full-time Apple CEO. Nothing had seemed to change between Jobs or Cook, just more product market share and financial success. But it wasn’t long after Apple’s dramatic rise to just over $700 that Wall Street began to sour on Apple.

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WWDC14: Tim Cook’s Deadline

by: E. Werner Reschke | Apr 10, 2014

Tim Cook with Steve JobsThis year will mark Apple's third World Wide Developers Conference where Tim Cook holds the title of CEO. Apple has been under his leadership a bit longer than that, but we have yet to see anything “wow” appear during Cook’s tenure. Sure, there have been updated versions of iPhones, iPads and Macs as well as OS X and iOS — but those were all expected and were updates have been to existing product categories. What we have yet to see is Apple enter a new market with Tim in control of Apple.

If Apple is going to remain true to its nature, then we need to see Apple expand into a new product category, and soon. If Apple’s new strategy is instead to play it safe and not enter into new markets, then Apple’s magic has died, along side its founder. Apple’s brand has historically been about bringing to market “magical” products that no one thought would ever exist in their lifetime.

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Special Event in January?

by: Mark Reschke | Jan 08, 2014

Yreba-buena-center-iphone5-3Will Apple hold a special event within the next few weeks? When Apple produced a special event is something Apple once made an absolute science. In the past, CES would come and go, and then Apple would swoop in the following week with their own special event, sucking the media attention completely away from the varied vaporware revealed in Las Vegas.

Over the past three years, Apple has shifted to holding more events in March, June or the fall timeframe, largely ignoring CES — as if irrelevant to the industry, and certainly to Apple. Apple may be on target with ignoring CES, as it is often nothing more than a lot of hype and spec. sheets, with little for anyone to tangibly buy into for the new year.

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Comparing Cook and Ballmer

by: E. Werner Reschke | Nov 22, 2013

Cook_ballmerWidely consider a joke, the question of, “Who has been a more successful Apple employee: Tim Cook or Steve Ballmer?” Funny as it sounds, it rings true in some circles, and the comparison and contrast between the two men is worth thinking about.

Both Cook and Ballmer became the successors to high tech empires that were at the top of their game. While Bill Gates did not pass away, he did step aside from the day to day operations and stayed on the board or directors (he also is the company’s largest stock holder). This left Steve Ballmer in charge of a company at its peak — a company that could do no wrong. At the time of Steve Ballmer's ascension to becoming Microsoft CEO, the company had done nothing more than amass a track record of success and mammoth growth.

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