Tales from the Orchard: Hear Steve Jobs nail the future of mobile a decade ago

An audio recording of an interview with the former Apple CEO comes to light.

By Marrian Zhou of CNet

“The phone of the future will be differentiated by software.” A decade later, in the era of iOS and Android, that prediction by Steve Jobs has come true.

Jointly published Wednesday by The Information and The Wall Street Journal, an audio interview from 2008 reveals the Apple CEO’s thoughts on the future of mobile phones when Apple’s App Store was barely a month old.

“I think there are a lot of people, and I’m one of them, who believe that mobile’s going to get quite serious,” Jobs told reporter Nick Wingfield, then at the Journal and now at The Information. “They can be mighty useful and we’re just at the tip of that. That’s going to be huge, I think.”

The App Store turned 10 this year on July 10, and it’s evident that our lives are vastly different from 2008. Today, 500 million people from 155 countries visit the App Store every week, choosing from more than 2 million apps available for download, according to Statista.

The Apple co-founder, who passed away in October 2011, also got it right when it comes to mobile games.

“You’ve got everything from games to medical software to business analytics software to all sorts of stuff on it,” Jobs said in the 2008 interview, “but games is the single biggest category … I actually think the iPhone and the iPod touch may emerge as really viable devices in this mobile gaming market this holiday season.”

Today, the games category of apps available on the App Store tops the platform with a 25 percent market share, according to Statista. The second largest category is business apps, with a 10 percent market share.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

You can listen to the full interview at The Information or The Wall Street Journal.

Tales from the Orchard: Apple’s App Store marks 10 years of third-party innovation

The revolution Steve Jobs resisted

 

By Stephen Silver of Apple Insider

The first iPhone saw release in 2007 with a fairly barebones selection of apps, none of which were made by outside developers. That changed when Apple opened the gates to developers a year later with iPhone OS 2.0, invigorating a sector and forever changing what it meant to be an “Apple developer.

The App Store officially launched on July 10, 2008, after it was announced the previous fall; the first software development kit was released in February of 2008.

As Apple demonstrated in an “oral history” it released a few days before the anniversary, the App Store has not only grown exponentially in its ten years of existence, but it’s also been at the forefront of all sorts of innovations in technology, culture and entertainment over the course of the decade.

The App Store has helped facilitate major growth in the content streaming revolution, as well as geolocation, e-commerce and even online dating, while also forever changing what it means to be a software developer.

All that, and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was reportedly resistant to the idea at first.

The App Store-free iPhone

When the first-generation iPhone arrived in 2007, it came with apps, but all of them were made by Apple. It had Mail, Safari, iTunes, Photos, Messages, Visual Voicemail, weather, camera, the calendar, the clock, and a few others that were Apple’s own, without any non-Apple apps, or user choice for alternative versions.

According to Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs, the tech guru was opposed to allowing third-party to run natively on iPhone — and when pressured to do so by developers and others, he had a simple answer: Develop your own web apps that will work on the new platform.

“The full Safari engine is inside of iPhone,” Jobs said at WWDC in 2007. “And so, you can write amazing Web 2.0 and Ajax apps that look exactly and behave exactly like apps on the iPhone. And these apps can integrate perfectly with iPhone services. They can make a call, they can send an email, they can look up a location on Google Maps. And guess what? There’s no SDK that you need!”

Developers in attendance didn’t exactly rise to their feet with roaring applause. Instead, they gave the equivalent of a golf clap, a rare miss for a “Jobsnote.”

However, after the backlash from developers continued, it soon became clear that keeping native apps out was not tenable for long.

Others in the know disagree with Isaacson’s story and contend third-party apps were always on the iPhone roadmap; Jobs and company were simply not comfortable with releasing an SDK at launch.

In any case, web apps came first, with native software to follow. Apple announced the release of an SDK in October of 2007, with the software shipping out to developers the following February.

“Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February,” Jobs wrote in a letter that October. “We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users.”

Jobs, in adding that the SDK would also allow the creation of apps for the iPod Touch, ended the letter by promising that “we think a few months of patience now will be rewarded by many years of great third party applications running on safe and reliable iPhones.” Apple also announced that developers could set the price of their own apps — including free — with the devs keeping 70 percent of sales revenues.

The SDK was officially released on March 6, 2008. Less than a week later, Apple announced that the SDK had been downloaded more than 100,000 times in the first four days.

The Store opens

Shortly after the iPhone 3G was released, the App Store officially came online on July 10, 2008. There were 500 apps available at launch.

The store was a hit with consumers almost immediately, as it was easy to use and figure out even for less-tech-savvy customers, and it brought life-changing technologies in all sorts of realms.

By early 2009, Apple had released a memorable TV commercial that introduced the phrase “there’s an app for that” to the lexicon:

Indeed, the App Store very soon after its launch changed life for its users in all sorts of ways, providing them with apps for fitness, gaming, navigation, book-reading, e-commerce and much more. The live-streaming revolution, with Netflix leading the way, was made possible by App Store apps. And thanks to Tinder and other geolocation-based apps, dating was never the same again.

Changes would come to the Store as time went on. When the iPad and later the Apple Watch came along, apps were part of those as well. Apple introduced in-app subscriptions for the first time in 2011, and a huge redesign debuted in the summer of 2017.

There were 500 apps available at the time of launch, a number that would grow to 3,000 by that September and 15,000 by the following January. The growth was exponential in the ensuing years, as the App Store hit 1 million apps in the fall of 2013, and reportedly reached 2 million earlier this year.

Just as the iPhone has grown from a product that didn’t exist 11 years ago to something that’s a ubiquitous part of life in the 21st century, apps are now an indisputable part of most people’s everyday existence.

 

Tales from the Orchard: What would Steve Jobs think of today’s Apple?

 

Originally posted on ZDNet

Steve Jobs was never one to leave anyone in any doubt as to what was on his mind, and thanks to hundreds of hours of keynotes, speeches, and interviews, we can get an insight into what he might think about the current state of the company he founded.

 

Still no next big thing

“One more thing…” — Steve Jobs

No quote excited Apple fans than this one. Those three simple words launched a number of world-changing Apple products.

 

Lack of focus

“Focusing is about saying ‘No.'” — Steve Jobs

The iPhone started out as a simple idea — a device that reinvented the smartphone. All a buyer needed to do was decide how much storage capacity they needed — 4, 8, or 16 gigabytes — and they were an iPhone owner.

Jump forward a decade and buyers are faced with eight different iPhones in numerous storage capacities and finishes.

 

AirPods

 

“The problem with Bluetooth headphones is that it’s not just recharging your iPod, you have to recharge your headphones too. People hate it. There are quality issues — the bandwidth isn’t high enough, and even if it does get there some day, people don’t want to recharge their headphones.” — Steve Jobs

While there’s little doubt that Bluetooth is now more than capable of delivering crystal clear audio, Apple’s solution to how to charge the AirPods would have no doubt upset Jobs. Not only do AirPod owners need to pop the AirPods into a case to charge, they also have to remember to charge up the case itself!

Dongles, dongles, and more dongles

 

“I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.” — Steve Jobs

Apple is clearly on a mission to simplify its Mac lineup, and one way it wants to do that is by eliminating as many ports as possible and standardizing on a single port where possible, as it has done with the new MacBook Pro.

Problem is, while one port might work for the iPhone and iPad, when it comes to a computer it’s a real pain, and it forces many users to carry with them an array of different dongles and accessories (such as this Satechi Type-C USB 3.0 3-in-1 combo hub) in order to be able to get work done.

Dumb solutions to simple problems

 

“You’ve baked a really lovely cake, but then you’ve used dog s— for frosting.” — Steve Jobs

Apple employs some of the smartest people on the planet, and the company is capable of doing wonderful things.

But it’s also come out with some howlers. For example, the battery case for the iPhone that has a charging indicator on the inside where you can’t see it. Or a rechargeable mouse that has the charging port on the bottom. Or a rechargeable pencil that has a tiny cap that’s easily lost.

These are just the sort of design howlers that you don’t expect from Apple.

Bogged down iOS

 

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” — Steve Jobs

When the iPhone was unveiled a decade ago the operating system (then called iPhone OS, the iOS name didn’t appear until 2010) was sleek and simple. Everything was a couple of taps away and the user interface was intuitive and a snap to use.

Fast-forward a decade and things have changed dramatically. While iOS 11 retains some of the look and feel of the early iPhone OS, Apple has bolted on, shoehorned in, and otherwise added to the mobile operating system so much that the once elegant and streamlined platform has become a kludgy and awkward mess.

Notification panels and popups litter the interface, gaining access to often-needed features now require users to memorize a number of different gestures, and the Settings app is now a mess to rival the Windows Control Panel at its worst.

Siri is still so dumb

 

“Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right.” — Steve Jobs

Apple acquired the technology behind its Siri voice assistant back in 2010 and integrated the technology into the iPhone 4S in late 2011, and since then it has spread from the iPhone to the iPad and the Mac.

But over that time Siri has gone from being “Wow!” to “Meh.” Put Siri in a room with Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Now and you quickly discover just how dumb and gimmicky Siri actually is. The voice recognition is poor, and the range of things you can do, and the flexibility to ask questions in a natural way, is very basic compared to other voice assistant offerings.

Apple’s massive R&D budget

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” — Steve Jobs

Apple’s R&D budget has increased over tenfold since the iPhone was released in 2007, and yet the company hasn’t come up with anything that comes close to the success of the iPhone.

Apple Pencil

 

“Who wants a stylus. You have to get ’em and put ’em away, and you lose ’em. Yuck. Nobody wants a stylus.” — Steve Jobs

I know many would argue that the Apple Pencil is more than a stylus, but many of problems with the stylus — finding it, putting it away, and losing it — haven’t really been solved by Apple.

The iPad’s rapid decline

 

“What we want to do is we want to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes.” — Steve Jobs

The iPad was Apple’s plan to disrupt the tablet market and put a stepping-stone between the iPhone and the Mac. And it looked like it would work. But in seven years sales have gone from showing strong growth initially to hitting a peak a few years back to now a rapid decline.

It could be said that the problem with the iPad is that consumers and enterprise buyers have lost interest in tablets, and that it’s only natural that sales would tank. But in that case how has Apple managed to keep Mac sales strong in the face of horrible PC sales, or managed to return the iPhone to growth?

Evolution over revolution

 

“I have a great respect for incremental improvement, and I’ve done that sort of thing in my life, but I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes.” — Steve Jobs

Over the past few years we’ve seen a lot of incremental, evolutionary updates from Apple, ranging across hardware and software, but there’s been little in the way of revolutionary changes. Certainly nothing that compares with those big gambles that Apple took while it was under the leadership of Jobs.

Following, instead of leading

 

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” — Steve Jobs

Apple used to look forward, but now the company feels like it is increasingly looking sideways at what its competitors are up to, in particular the premier Android device maker, Samsung.

Samsung has a “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” attitude when it comes to hardware, and over the past few years we’ve seen Apple take a similar approach, especially with the iPhone. Some of these moves have been successful (for example, it’s clear that there was indeed a pent-up demand for larger and more expensive iPhones) while others have flopped (the iPhone 5C springs irresistibly to mind here).

 

Share your favorite Steve Jobs comments in the comments below!

Weekly Round Up 3/2/18

 


Well, if our government can’t be bothered….

3 ‘tangible ways’ tech companies can help solve our gun violence problem

This is easy. STOP. ASSOCIATING. WITH. THE. N.R.A.
Have Big Tech Companies Become The Bad Guys?

I applaud all efforts to try and fix the gender gap no matter how fruitless they seem.
The Leaky Tech Pipeline explains how to address diversity and inclusion

This guy clearly didn’t see this week’s X-Files…
‘You Can’t Be Afraid of the Tech’


Seriously, this sh*t is terrifying.

The X-Files Recap: When Tech Attacks

 

Any sentence that includes the words ‘China’ and ‘War’ makes me very nervous.
Apple’s Chinese iCloud is one battle in ‘a bigger tech trade war’

For years, Apple was the only religion I knew and Steve Jobs was my only deity.
A Short History of Technology Worship


This is why you need to watch your Social Media posts, people.

Anita Hill-Led Anti-Harassment Commission Looking At Technology To Identify Abusers In Entertainment Industry

Weekly Round Up 2/23/18

 

 

Yeah, but who’s gonna pay for it?
Tech Could Supplement a Physical Border Wall, But Many Questions Remain


Not if the current administration has anything to say about it

DC, not California, tops list for women working in tech


Thanks, Obama

Recruiting and Retaining Female Tech Talent Is a Challenge — Here’s How We Did It

Dude, 1984 gave me chills when I thought it was just fiction
Artists And Criminals: On The Cutting Edge Of Tech

 

Well, if no one else is gonna do it…
How Tech Companies Can Help Upskill the U.S. Workforce

 


Have you guys been talking to the Russians?

HOW TECH SUPPORTS HATE

 


He was brilliant even back then, but we already knew this.

Fascinating Jobs application: Apple co-founder listed ‘tech, design’ as skills in 1973 hunt for work

 

Unless this list contains a helmet that prevents concussions and CTE, then it’s just a wish list.

This is the tech that NFL players are excited about in 2018

 

 

What were you favorite tech stories of the week? Sound off in the comments below!

Weekly Round Up 1/19/18

 

 


I love my Nook and my iPad for reading, nothing will ever beat the smell of a new book.

How Technology Is (and Isn’t) Changing Our Reading Habits

 


White Collar Automation for the win!!

7 Technology Trends That Will Dominate 2018

 


They can’t stop the Government from deporting people who’ve been here for 30 years, but the Tech industry wants to focus on the spouses of the dreamers?

Tech Industry Urges U.S. to Keep Work Permits for H-1B Spouses.

 

Wait, what?
Microsoft tops Thomson Reuters top 100 global tech leaders list.

 

They’re gonna cure us of our iPhone addiction too…

‘Time well spent’ is shaping up to be tech’s next big debate.

 

They can’t agree on a budget and our kids are eating Tide Pods, but yeah, Washington is gonna close the digital divide.
Washington’s next big tech battle: closing the country’s digital divide.

 

 

Preach!!
Sundar Pichai Google CEO Sundar Pichai: Digital technology must empower workers, not alienate them.

 

 

A nice idea but, I draw the line at having to but my dog an iPhone.
Pet tech can entertain some 4-legged family members.

Tales from the Orchad: Apple seems to have forgotten about the whole ‘it just works’ thing.

 

By Adrian Kingsley-Hughes of ZDNet

This is the phrase that Steve Jobs trotted out year after year to describe products or services that he was unveiling. The phrase expressed what Apple was all about — selling technology that solved problems with a minimum of fuss and effort on the part of the owner.

Well, Steve is now long gone, and so it the ethos of “it just works.”

2017 was a petty bad year for Apple software quality. Just over the past few weeks we seen both macOS and iOS hit by several high profile bugs. And what’s worse is that the fixes that Apple pushed out — in a rushed manner — themselves caused problems.

• A serious — and very stupid — root bug was uncovered in macOS
• The patch that Apple pushed out for the root bug broke file sharing for some
• Updating macOS to 10.13.1 after installing the root patch rolled back the root bug patch
• iOS 11 was hit by a date bug that caused devices to crash when an app generated a notification, forcing Apple to prematurely release iOS 11.2
• iOS 11.2 contained a HomeKit bug that broke remote access for shared users

And this is just a selection of the bugs that users have had to contend with over the past few weeks. And it’s not just been limited to the past few weeks. I’ve written at length about how it feels like the quality of software coming out of Apple has deteriorated significantly in recent years.

Now don’t get me wrong, bugs happen. There’s no such thing as perfect code, and sometimes high-profile security vulnerabilities can result in patches being pushed out that are not as well tested as they could be.

I also recognize that Apple has changed almost beyond recognition since Steve was on stage at keynotes telling us how stuff “just works.” Apple’s products are far more complex, the company is selling stuff at a rate that it could have once only dreamt doing, and the security landscape is totally different, and vulnerabilities now put hundreds of millions of users at risk.

But on the other hand, Apple isn’t some budget hardware maker pushing stuff out on a shoestring and scrabbling for a razor-thin profit margin. Apple’s gross profit margin is in the region of 38 percent, a figure that other manufacturers can only dream of.

And Apple is rolling in cash.

All this makes missteps such as the ones that users have had to endure feel like Apple has taken its eye off the ball, and that it’s perhaps putting increased effort into developing and selling new products at the expense of keeping users happy.

Apple owes a lot of its current success to its dedicated fanbase, the people who would respond to Windows or Android issues with “you should buy Apple, because that stuff just works.” Shattering that illusion for those people won’t be good in the long term, which is why I think Apple needs to take a long, hard look at itself in the run up to 2018 and work out what’s been going wrong and come up with ways to prevent problems from happening in the future.

Do you think Apple has dropped the ball when it comes to the finer details of their software? Sound off in the comments below!

Tales From The Orchard: Goodbye iPod and Thanks for all the Tunes.

 

By David Pierce of Wired.com

THE IPOD DIED slowly, then all at once. After nearly 16 years on the market, more than 400 million units sold, and one Cupertino company launched into the stratosphere on its back, Apple quietly pulled the iPod Nano and Shuffle out of its virtual stores today. The iPod Touch still lives on: In fact, Apple now offers the Touch with 32 gigs of storage starting at $199. But that’s not a real iPod; it’s an iPhone-lite. Today officially marks the end of Apple’s era of standalone music players.

OK, so you’re probably looking at your smartphone and wondering why you should care that a music player, which offers one very old and outdated version of one feature on your phone, no longer exists. That’s fair! It’s been years since the iPod sold in massive numbers—Apple even stopped reporting its sales separately in earnings releases, relegating iPods to the “Other Products” category with dongles and headphones and those crazy cases for your Apple Pencil. Back in 2014, right around the iPod Classic’s discontinuation, Tim Cook said that “all of us have known for some time that iPod is a declining business.” There’s just no room left in the market for an iPod.

In a way, though, the death of the iPod feels like a critical moment for an entire generation. When I think of high school, I think of my hideous gold iPod Mini, stolen from my car in the school parking lot with a hard drive full of Zeppelin and Creedence and all the other music I thought I was cool enough to like. I think about handing my iPod to friends, and the deep fear of what they’d find. (I swear that Hoku album is my sister’s, I have no idea how it ended up there.) The way some people think about flipping through the LPs in a record store, or obsessively organizing their CDs into a hefty black Case Logic binder, some people remember their iPod: plugging it into the computer, waiting forever for iTunes to open and sync, managing metadata and curating playlists. Most of all, the feeling of a clickwheel whirring underneath your thumb as you searched for the perfect track.

The iPod hit shelves right after Napster caught fire. Pair the thrill of piracy with Apple’s gadget and an ample hard drive, and music was suddenly set free. Those iconic white headphones were instantly ubiquitous, music lovers able to soundtrack the world however they wanted. “It gives them control of the journey, the timing of the journey and the space they are moving through,” Dr. Michael Bull, a professor at the University of Sussex, told WIRED in 2004. “It’s a generalization, but the main use (of the iPod) is control.” Sure, there were other portable music gadgets, but MiniDisc and Walkman were bigger, clunkier, and more complicated. You had to plan what you wanted to listen to ahead of time. With an iPod, you had all your music, all the time.

You could argue that the iPod killed the album, making playlists and Shuffle Mode the primary methods of listening. It definitely helped kill paid-for music, because who can afford to buy all 5,000 songs to fill their iPod? Eventually, the industry caught up, trading downloads for subscriptions and albums for Discover Weekly playlists. Music became so readily available that companies had to invent new ways to find it—Alexa works much faster than a clickwheel. That’s the beautiful irony here: The music industry Apple helped create, dominated by streaming and algorithms and discovery, no longer has a place for the iPod.

If you have some nostalgia, Apple will be selling the last remaining iPods in Apple Stores, at least for a while. You can also buy a gadget like Mighty to use with Spotify, or an Apple Watch or HomePod, which Apple surely sees as the iPod’s spiritual successors. More likely, you’ll just stick with your phone, which represents the present and future of how you listen to music. But as it goes away, take a minute and remember what the iPod brought to the world. It set music free.

Do you have a favorite iPod story? Tell us in the comments below!

The New Apple is the Old Microsoft

 

 

By FundamentalSpeculation.IO on SeekingAlpha.com

Summary

  • I see signs of history repeating itself – the new behemoth in tech is becoming more and more like the old behemoth in tech.
  • The bull case for apple is the strong moat around its best selling product – the iPhone. Based on this year’s WWDC, if anything, this moat is only getting bigger.
  • The bear case is that it is a single product company. They just can’t seem to be able to expand meaningfully into other categories that can rival the iPhone.
  • Is the new Apple with its iPhone a lot like the old Microsoft with its windows/office?
  • We consult our relative value model to see what may be considered fair value for Apple in today’s market.

I am a geek at heart. I like the flexibility of customizing my tools exactly to my liking. I am biased to prefer Linux over macOS/Windows and an android based phone over an iPhone (though I own both). This leads me to not be a big fan of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL products. I am however also in the minority. I appreciate the fact that most people are looking to see how computers/tablets/smartphones can help them in what they regularly do in their lives and prefer an intuitive interface over the customization I crave for. I have experienced this firsthand. I have tried to get my mom to use various laptops, tablets and phones over the years in the end the only devices she likes to use are the iPhone and the iPad. There is definitely tremendous value in the user experience and ecosystem apple has built.

The bear case for apple on the other hand is that it is a single product company at this point and at today’s valuation as the most valuable company ever in history, any misstep here can lead to a significant correction. I watched Apple’s WWDC keynote from earlier this month and I believe this only reinforces the beliefs of both parties. I will go over what I believe this means for the future of apple. Let’s start off with the good stuff from WWDC.

WWDC: The good stuff

Apple has been working tirelessly to make incremental improvements to the iPhone/iPad, its services and the ecosystem in general. I am a fan of Apple Pay and the introduction of P2P payments through Apple Pay has a very good chance of making mobile payments more mainstream in the US. As a developer, I’m also very interested in ARKit. What a lot of people do not realize is that one of the biggest hurdles in building such AR applications is the heavy lifting you need to do to build an infrastructure to support an AR platform before you can actually design your product.

The fact that ARKit does most of the heavy lifting is a big deal. While I would never consider hiring a team of developers to help me build such an AR platform for my one app, I would be much more willing to devote some of my time to building a useful product on top of ARKit. There were also a bunch of other feature additions. While I cringed at the number of times the speakers tried to weave the phrase “machine learning” into their talks, I expect users will find value in a lot of the feature additions.

WWDC: The bad stuff

Steve jobs very famously simplified Apple’s product line when he was brought back to save the company. His “four quadrant” product grid is now legendary. Fast forward twenty years and now how many variations of apple products do we have again?

I understand apple is trying to squeeze the last few dollars from its customer base by trying to cater to some very specific needs a subset of the users may have, but some of the variations they are looking to launch are just silly. Case in point the new iMac Pro.

After what can only be considered a failed launch of the Mac Pro and a very rare admission of guilt, apple seems to be taking a second stab at the pro user. Let me be clear, if I am looking to buy a workstation as a professional user, my single biggest consideration is a modular, expandable design. I do not care one bit about aesthetics in this case! (It also took a lot of restraint for me to not use more colorful language). What I am looking to make sure is that my large investment will not go obsolete within the next few years requiring me to fork out several thousand dollars again to buy the new version of the same product. I fail to see who the target audience is for this device. It also looks like Apple realized this would be a concern and included language in their press release to assure customers that they are still working on a Mac Pro with a modular design. That being the case, it still does not excuse apple from creating useless product lines. This is the exact opposite of what Steve Jobs did to turnaround the company.

“In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest-end, high-throughput system in a modular design, as well as a new high-end pro display.”

The new Apple is like the old Microsoft

This brings me to how I believe this will play out for apple. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT famously experienced a “lost decade” where the company was tremendously profitable but the stock languished with no one believing Microsoft could build anything successful beyond windows/office. It continued to generate massive profits through this period but the multiples just contracted. It was only recently when Satya Nadella took over the reigns and refocused the company as cloud-first and mobile-first that the stock has taken off. I see a similar case with Apple. I believe the iPhone will continue to be a very successful product. Revenues from services related to this ecosystem will also continue to grow in the near-mid term. However despite the recent run up in the stock, I do not see much room for any significant multiple expansion. Let’s take a look at what our Relative Value Model has to say about Apple.

To add some color to the chart shown above, the “Cohort Fair Value” is the Fair value determined by our Relative Value Model based on comparables with similar business fundamentals (Such as Growth, Operating Leverage, Profitability etc). The “Fair Value” factors in a premium the market is currently paying for technology companies. If you agree with me that Apple will go through a phase similar to Microsoft in the 2000s, then the cohort fair value is the level to look for. Earlier this year, I would have recommended buying Apple and it reached our cohort fair value before falling back again in the recent tech sell-off. If at any point it starts to become clear that Apple can be more than just an iPhone company, I will get a lot more bullish and look for moves towards our sector adjusted “Fair Value” levels.

At the end of the day if you are bullish on the overall market at today’s levels or just want to stay invested, I consider Apple a good buy as long as it is below our cohort fair value. Start trimming your positions whenever it exceeds this level. Good luck with your investments!

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Tales from the Orchard – Mac lover’s funny video throws serious shade at Apple

 

BY DAVID PIERINI of Cult of Mac

Roberto Hoyos has a message for Apple that is made in fun but is deadly serious and is said – well, sung – on behalf of many frustrated Mac users.

The founder and CEO of Throwboy, the maker of emoji pillows and other plush toys inspired by digital culture, has made a music video that parodies Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You, but warns Apple that Mac users will soon turn to PCs if they don’t get a major update on iMacs and MacBook Pros soon.

Called Apple Forgot Me, Hoyos uploaded the video to YouTube today.

“It’s about how Apple seems to be neglecting the pro market and might be losing their way creatively since the passing of Steve Jobs,” Hoyos told Cult of Mac. “(It’s) something we produced here at Throwboy just for fun, but also to get a dialog going since the topic come up a lot in the pro community.”

In some scenes, Hoyos is wearing Throwboy’s latest product, a red “Make Apple Great Again” hat, which was inspired by a red hat seen on the campaign trail for President Donald Trump.

Again, another product made just for fun and maybe to sell a few more hats. But what Hoyos says with a laugh, others have said with much less humor. Some have already switched to a PC.

A number of tech websites this year have published first-person testimonials on why long-time Mac users are buying PCs.

Steve Jobs and his other co-founder Steve Wozniak are considered among the pioneers of the personal computing revolution, starting Apple by building the first machine by hand out of a garage. Jobs passed away in 2011 and today, about 70 percent of Apple profits come from the iPhone.

This is not a beef about the iPhone. Fans just want the same energy put into professional computers. Desktop Macs have not seen a major upgrade since 2013 and, except for a Touch Bar, the newest MacBook Pro took away ports and offered the same processor as previous models.

Fans fear Apple has lost some of its innovation mojo since Jobs passing.

Apple says it hasn’t forgotten the pros and promises updates will arrive in the coming year. Let’s hope so, especially for Hoyos’ sake. His business began from his love for Apple.

In 2007, he made throw pillows of Mac icons for a girlfriend. She blogged about it and soon he was inundated with requests for more. A business was born and now Throwboy products are sold around the world.

What do think will be Apple’s big reveal at the World Wide Developers Conference next week? Tell us in the comments below!

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