Thoughts on Samsung’s Event and New Products 

Today's Above Avalon daily update is dedicated to discussing Samsung’s big product event in San Francisco.

The 2,300-word email includes the following sections:

  • The Event 

  • Galaxy Fold

  • Galaxy S10 Lineup 

  • Samsung Wearables 

  • Samsung's Vision 

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Disney Discusses DTC Strategy, Disney and Apple Underestimated in DTC, Apple Acquires PullString

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Disney Discusses DTC Strategy 

  • Disney and Apple Underestimated in DTC

  • Apple Acquires PullString

With Apple expected to unveil its revamped video strategy next month at Steve Jobs Theater, there is value in staying up to date with the dramatically changing video streaming landscape. Accordingly, Disney shared quite a few details about its new DTC (direct-to-consumer) strategy when reporting 4Q18 earnings. We will go over those details and how Disney and Apple are being underestimated in the DTC space. The email concludes with some Apple M&A news and my thoughts on Apple acquiring PullString.

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple Employees Rattled by Leadership Changes, Assessing the Real Change Underway at Apple, The Role Given to Beats Headphones 

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Apple Employees Rattled by Leadership Changes 

  • Assessing the Real Change Underway at Apple 

  • The Role Given to Beats Headphones 

We kick off today’s update with my thoughts on the WSJ’s article regarding recent leadership and organizational changes rattling Apple employees. I disagree with the thesis found in the article. We then take a closer look at the major changes underway at Apple and what they imply about Apple management’s focus and priorities. We conclude with an observation that I had regarding Beats headphones and their role in Apple’s product line.

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Additional Thoughts on a Paid Apple News Subscription, First Look at Apple's Self-Driving Car Fleet Data, Thursday Q&A

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Additional Thoughts on a Paid Apple News Subscription  

  • First Look at Apple's Self-Driving Car Fleet Data 

  • Thursday Q&A

We begin today’s update by going over my additional thoughts regarding Apple’s upcoming paid News subscription service. In particular, we look at the role Apple’s Texture acquisition will play. In addition, we run through some revenue scenarios to see why the big news publishers would be initially skeptical about a paid Apple News service (and what would change their minds). The email then turns to going through Apple’s first disengagement report regarding its fleet of self-driving test cars in California. Many publications used the data incorrectly to reach false conclusions about Apple’s progress in autonomous car R&D. We conclude with the latest installment of Thursday Q&A. I answer the following questions from Above Avalon members:

  • Would you publish Above Avalon on a paid Apple News service?

  • Given the subtleties of AirPods, should/would Apple take advantage of the relaxed US standards for hearing devices to move into hearing aids as another anchor point in its health arena?

  • Why doesn't Apple simply cut iPhone XR, XS and XS Max pricing by $100 to boost sales? 

  • What would be the primary user input method for a device like smart glasses?

  • Given your Grand Unified Theory of Apple Products, what role would a pair of smart glasses handle? 

  • What do you think protects Apple from extremely pricing-aggressive competitors like Xiaomi both in the short and the long term?

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The WSJ’s Confusing Article About Apple News, Making Sense of a Paid Apple News Subscription, Apple to Hold March Event

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • The WSJ’s Confusing Article About Apple News

  • Making Sense of a Paid Apple News Subscription

  • Apple to Hold March Event

We kick off today’s update with my thoughts on the WSJ’s article regarding news publishers battling Apple over a paid Apple News service. There were three major issues with the report. The email then turns to discussing how a paid Apple News subscription would work. We go over Apple’s sales pitch to publishers, the potential sticking points, Apple’s revenue share arrangements, and which publications would do well in such a paid service. We conclude the discussion with BuzzFeed reporting Apple is planning to hold a product event in March. There were a few things about the report that stood out to me.

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Viral AirPods, Amazon to Buy Eero, Estimating Apple’s Google TAC Revenue 

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Viral AirPods

  • Amazon to Buy Eero 

  • Estimating Apple’s Google TAC Revenue 

We begin today’s update with additional comments on the latest Above Avalon article, “AirPods Have Gone Viral.” In particular, we take a closer look at the commonality found with the three factors behind AirPods going viral. The discussion then turns to Amazon announcing it will acquire Eero, a mesh Wi-Fi router start-up. We go over Amazon’s rationale for the acquisition and revisit Apple’s decision to get out of the wireless router business. The email concludes with Google’s traffic acquisition cost (TAC) payments to Apple. We take a look at Alphabet’s most recent earnings and derive the amount Apple earned from Google TAC in 2018.

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Deirdre O’Brien as Apple CEO Candidate, Apple’s CEO Funnel, Apple Brings Modem R&D In-House 

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Deirdre O’Brien as Apple CEO Candidate

  • Apple’s CEO Funnel 

  • Apple Brings Modem R&D In-House 

We kick off today’s email by discussing Apple’s new retail chief Deirdre O’Brien’s prospects as an Apple CEO candidate. The discussion then takes a broader view on how Apple is cultivating future CEO candidates. The email concludes with news of Apple bringing modem R&D into its in-house technology group. We go over why Apple continues to work on its own modems and where the initiative is ultimately aimed.

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Spotify Earnings, Daniel Ek’s Audio Manifesto, Sonos Earnings 

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Spotify Earnings

  • Daniel Ek’s Audio Manifesto

  • Sonos Earnings 

We kick off today’s email by going over Spotify’s 4Q18 earnings. In particular, we discuss where Spotify is growing and how it compares to Apple Music growth. The discussion then turns to Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek’s blog post regarding an audio-first path ahead for Spotify. We also discuss the idea of Apple following Spotify into original audio storytelling (exclusive podcasts). The update concludes with a look at Sonos earnings. Things aren’t looking good for Sonos.

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Angela Ahrendts to Leave Apple

Today's Above Avalon daily update is dedicated to discussing Angela Ahrendts, Apple SVP of Retail, leaving Apple and Deirdre O’Brien being promoted to SVP of Retail and People.

The 3,200-word email includes the following sections:

  • Angela Ahrendts to Leave Apple

  • How Things Likely Unfolded 

  • The Vogue Business Interview 

  • Playing Devil’s Advocate 

  • Deirdre O’Brien

  • Ahrendts's Legacy 

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Spotify In Talks to Buy Gimlet Media, 4Q18 Microsoft Surface Sales, Updated Apple Earnings Model 

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Spotify In Talks to Buy Gimlet Media 

  • 4Q18 Microsoft Surface Sales 

  • Updated Apple Earnings Model 

We kick off today’s email with my thoughts on Spotify being in talks to buy the podcast network Gimlet Media. The discussion then turns to Microsoft earnings and we take a deep dive into Surface results. The email concludes with a look at my updated Apple earnings model following Apple’s 1Q19 results. Above Avalon members have access to my working Apple earnings model.

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Notes from Apple’s 1Q19 10-Q, Rationale Behind Apple Halting Buyback in 1Q19, Early Look at Apple’s 2Q19 Buyback Pace

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Notes from Apple’s 1Q19 10-Q

  • Rationale Behind Apple Halting Buyback in 1Q19

  • Early Look at Apple’s 2Q19 Buyback Pace

We kick off today’s email with my key takeaways from Apple's 10-Q filing for 1Q19. We cover 10 financial topics. The discussion then turns to Apple’s share buyback program. We tackle a few questions regarding the rationale behind Apple not buying back shares during the second half of November into December 2018. Was Apple in some way banned or barred from buying back shares once it knew it was going to miss its initial 1Q19 guidance? We also use a few financial clues to take a look at Apple’s share buyback activity in 2019.

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple 1Q19 Earnings Review (Details)

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the second half of my Apple 1Q19 earnings review. We discuss my full notes and focus on the granular takeaways.

The 2,900-word email covers 29 different topics.

(The first half of my earnings review focused on the major themes is available here.)

My full Apple 1Q19 earnings review is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple 1Q19 Earnings Review (Major Themes) 

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the first half of my Apple 1Q19 earnings review. We discuss the major themes from Apple's earnings report and conference call.

The 3,000-word email includes the following sections:

  • Overall Takeaway

  • 1Q19: By the Numbers 

  • Apple Disclosure Bonanza

  • What’s Going on with iPhone?

  • Ecosystem, Ecosystem, Ecosystem

  • A Halt to Share Buyback 

(The second half of my earnings review focused on my full notes and the granular takeaways is available here.)

My full Apple 1Q19 earnings review is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple Discloses Key App Store Financial Data Point, Hulu Revises Pricing, Aetna and Apple Announce Watch Partnership 

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Apple Discloses Key App Store Financial Data Point 

  • Hulu Revises Pricing

  • Aetna and Apple Announce Watch Partnership 

We kick off today’s email with a closer look at a key financial metric Apple just disclosed regarding the App Store. With this data point in hand, we can reach a number of valuable conclusions as to the App Store’s financial performance in 2018. The discussion then turns to Hulu revising subscription pricing less than two weeks after Netflix’s price increases. We conclude by going over my thoughts on Aetna and Apple announcing a new Apple Watch partnership. There are a number of interesting takeaways from the news when it comes to how Apple is thinking about its role in the health space.

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple 1Q19 Earnings Preview, New Apple FY2019 and FY2020 Estimates, 2Q19 Apple Guidance Expectations

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Apple 1Q19 Earnings Preview

  • New Apple FY2019 and FY2020 Estimates

  • 2Q19 Apple Guidance Expectations

In today’s update, we preview Apple’s 1Q19 earnings. We discuss my thoughts on the overall environment heading into tomorrow’s earnings. The discussion then turns to my revised Apple financial estimates for FY2019 and FY2020. Above Avalon members have access to my working Apple earnings model. The discussion then turns to my 2Q19 guidance expectations for Apple and my final thoughts heading into earnings.

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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