Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
On Monday it became public news that Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post for $250 million in cash. While Jeff is the founder, CEO, and chairman of Amazon, this deal was done privately, between Bezos and the Graham family (which owned the news organization). The $250 million purchase was not a significant spend for Bezos, who has a current net worth of $25 billion. Bezos not only purchased The Washington Post, but he is also taking it private so he has no shareholders looking over his shoulders.
The Washington Post maybe an iconic newspaper, but it is not a money maker. Newspapers all across the country are losing money as more people switch to the internet to get their news and The Post is no exception. Why does the founder of an Internet powerhouse buy a newspaper?
Apple's stock price continues edging higher, up 1.1% to $467.67 USD in early trading, on news the White House ordered a "disapproval" of the U.S. International Trade Commission's ban of sales of iPhone 4 and iPad 2 (and original iPads) in the United States. In simple terms, the Apple products can remain on sale in the U.S., leaving Samsung's victory snatched by the mouth of defeat.
Samsung had sued Apple, claiming the tech giant had infringed on some of their patents, specifically, patents held under the Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) standards. Unfortunately for Samsung, no court was putting the stamp of approval on their claims, as Samsung was unfairly pricing these patents for Apple, while licensing them under reasonable terms to competitors. But something took an unexpected (and wrong) turn with the U.S. ITC, as the commission ruled against Apple and banned several legacy iOS products from entering the U.S. due to patent infringements.
A little over a month ago, I posed the question as to whether it was a good time to invest in Apple's stock. In the first installment, Is Now The Time To Invest In Apple? Apple's stock price was $429, from a bottom of $393 only weeks earlier. Perhaps the question has already shifted. Perhaps the question should be whether it is too late to invest in AAPL?
Since June 27, AAPL has risen 14%, and has added tens of billions to its market cap, and has skyrocketed past ExxonMobil (XOM) to reclaim the the throne as the world's largest company.
Apple’s iBooks and Amazon’s Kindle are the two top ebook stores today and many comparisons are made between the two. The last iBooks vs Kindle comparison article looked at Device Availability. This time, Syncing will be put under the microscope. Both stores offer software for syncing bookmarks and notes between devices, but which one is better?
The Kindle app allows users to highlight, bookmark, and add notes in ebooks. Apple’s iBooks have the same features. At first glance they both seem pretty competitive with each other. In real world use, the difference is very clear. iBooks syncing is easy to use and as Apple’s tag line says, “It just works”. Bookmarks, notes, and highlighted sections are quickly synced between devices. Kindle is a different story. While notes, highlights, and bookmarks to do sync occasionally, it is not very reliable. Many of my annotations never are synced at all. This is not only true for a Kindle device with WIFI on for weeks, but it is also true for the Kindle app on the Mac and iOS.
The top two ebooks reader stores on the market today are iBooks by Apple and Kindle by Amazon. Many comparisons can be made between the two. One of those comparisons is device availability. Which store has the most devices on which ebooks can be read from?
Apple’s ibooks was launched in March 2010. In the past three years, Apple has grown the selection of ibooks available in the iBooks store, but it is still not available on all of Apple’s products. Apple will be releasing iBooks for the Mac this fall when OS X Mavericks comes. Yet, as of now, iBooks is only available on the iOS. This has been a huge shortcoming and why many people don’t buy ebooks from iBooks.
A lot of buzz is being bantered around regarding Google's latest homegrown device called Chromecast. In the wake of Google's failed Google TV effort, Chromecast does not offer a keyboard nor is it being heavily marketed by Kevin Bacon. Chromecast is also not the over priced Nexus Q part II. So what is this $35 USD Chromecast device?
Chromecast is a wifi dongle for HDTV's, allowing users to stream from Chrome equipped devices. In other words, Chromecast is Google's version of Apple's AirPlay technology – and that's it.
Apple released their 2013 fiscal third quarter earnings this past Tuesday, and within Apple's report a surprisingly strong number emerged – iTunes revenue grew to $4 billion USD.
The iTunes figure was stronger than analysts had expected, and year over year sales growth climbed a solid 25%. At the same time Apple's China sales drew in a disappointing $4.9 billion.
Apple, Inc. has only released one product update this year and that was a Macbook Air at WWDC. It has been a dark year for those who watch for new Apple products, as nothing much has emerged. But fear not, as this drought will come to a close this fall when Apple releases and onslaught of product updates.
At WWDC we learned they plan to update both of the their operating systems (iOS and OS X). The Cupertino computing giant also plans to ship their long awaited update to the Mac Pro later this year (assume November/December). As for the rest of the Apple's offerings, there are plenty of recent rumors coming out about then they will be released. Here is a list of products and their rumored released dates:
AppleTV or iTV, whatever it may be called in its forthcoming rebirth, may become Google's biggest nightmare. According to the Jessica Lessin, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, Apple is zeroing in on their broadcast plans, which offers a zero advertising option for viewers.
Google currently profits from Apple's iOS through gaming and web-based advertisements. But with a controlled end-to-end experience from Apple in TV, no such advertising advantages will exist for the search engine giant.
Last week Microsoft and Steve Ballmer had a rollercoaster of a ride. First there was Steve Ballmer’s email to the troops encouraging them about how Microsoft was reorganizing around a single strategy. If you read it, and you had your corporate Bingo card handy you could've won any number of ways by the end of paragraph three. If that was the carrot, then came the stick — or as I like to call it, reality. Microsoft released their quarterly report that was anything but rosy. No wonder the raw-raw email. It was to soften the blow of what Ballmer knew was coming next.