Apple Is a Design Company, Amazon Unveils Echo Look, Thursday Q&A

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Apple Is a Design Company
  • Amazon Unveils Echo Look
  • Thursday Q&A

We begin today's email by continuing the discussion kicked off in my article, "Apple Isn't a Tech Company." In particular, we go over my motivation for writing the piece, as well as how I define design. We also discuss why I think it is more appropriate for Apple to be labeled a design company instead of just a product company. The discussion then turns to Amazon unveiling the Echo Look. We go over the strategy behind the product, as well as my thoughts on data and privacy implications. We end the email with the latest installment of member Q&A, and I answer the following questions from Above Avalon members: 

  • Do you see a reason for Apple to continue grouping Apple Watch sales in the "Other Products" line item?
  • Can Apple disrupt the energy business?  

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple 2Q17 Earnings Preview (3Q17 Guidance, Capital Management Changes), Apple Slashes App Store Affiliate Commissions

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Apple 2Q17 Earnings Preview (Part 5 - 3Q17 Guidance, Capital Management Changes)
  • Apple Slashes App Store Affiliate Commissions

We kick off today's email with the final two sections of my Apple 2Q17 earnings preview. (The first four sections are available here and here.) We go over my thoughts on Apple's 3Q17 guidance and upcoming changes to Apple's dividend and share buyback programs. The email then turns to Apple slashing App Store affiliate commissions. After going over the affiliate link business, we discuss the three schools of thoughts as to why Apple slashed affiliate commissions with no warning. The discussion concludes with my thoughts on the most likely reason Apple made the change. 

These stories and the full earnings preview are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple 2Q17 Earnings Preview (iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, Services)

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Apple 2Q17 Earnings Preview (Part 3 - iPad)
  • Apple 2Q17 Earnings Preview (Part 4 - Apple Watch, Mac, Services)

We kick off today's email with the next two sections of my Apple 2Q17 earnings preview. (The first two sections are available here.) We go over my iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and Services estimates for 2Q17. The discussion begins by discussing my thoughts on iPad sales heading into next week's earnings report. We look at all of the moving parts that will impact sales. The email then turns to Apple Watch and the methodology used to arrive at my 2Q17 sales estimate. The discussion concludes with a look at the Mac and Services line items. 

The full earnings preview is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple 2Q17 Earnings Preview (Setting the Scene, iPhone Estimate), The iPhone's Stronghold

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Apple 2Q17 Earnings Preview (Part 1 - Setting the Scene)
  • Apple 2Q17 Earnings Preview (Part 2 - iPhone)
  • The iPhone's Stronghold

We begin today's email with the first two parts of my Apple 2Q17 earnings preview. We discuss my thoughts on the overall environment heading into next week's earnings report. The email then turns to my iPhone unit sales estimates for 2Q17. We go over the methodology and data behind my estimate. The email concludes with a discussion of where the iPhone is selling surprisingly well and a few reasons for the strength. 

The full earnings preview is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Samsung Is Being Graded on a Curve, Being Different in Tech Is Overrated, Thursday Q&A 

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Samsung Is Being Graded on a Curve
  • Being Different in Tech Is Overrated
  • Thursday Q&A

We begin today's email with my thoughts on how Samsung is being graded on a curve. We use the Samsung Galaxy S8 as an example to reveal what is a growing problem within the tech community. The discussion then turns to the difference between being different versus better in technology. Apple's "Think Different" motto has ended up being grossly misinterpreted. We end the email with the latest installment of member Q&A, and I answer the following questions from Above Avalon members: 

  • What are some business models for Apple in cars?
  • How much would an Apple Car cost?
  • Where does the Apple/Qualcomm battle go from here?

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Facebook F8 2017 Falls Flat, Netflix 1Q17 Earnings, Netflix Nears 100M Members 

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Facebook F8 2017 Falls Flat
  • Netflix 1Q17 Earnings
  • Netflix Nears 100M Members

We begin today's email with my thoughts on Mark Zuckerberg's keynote at Facebook's F8 developer conference. We go over his pitch for where Facebook is headed and why the whole thing felt off to me. The email then shifts to Netflix 1Q17 earnings. We go over the takeaways from management's earnings call. The discussion then turns to implications arising from Netflix reaching 100M members. We go over my thoughts as to what it means for Apple's fledgling original video plans and the broader topic of competition in the video streaming space. 

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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iPhone Sales Trends in February, iPhone Trends in China, Losing Apple Content Creators

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • iPhone Sales Trends in February
  • iPhone Trends in China
  • Losing Apple Content Creators

We kick off today's email with a closer look at iPhone sales trends in February. The discussion is focused on three regions: U.S., China, and Europe. The email then shifts to my thoughts on why iPhone sales shares has deteriorated so much in China. The discussion concludes by addressing the topic of Apple trying to satisfy a rapidly changing user base. Does it matter if people creating content for Apple's platforms are using Apple machines to do the creating?

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple Granted Autonomous Vehicle Permit in CA, Assessing Apple's Automobile Ambition, Apple Researching Diabetes Treatment

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Apple Granted Autonomous Vehicle Permit in CA
  • Assessing Apple's Automobile Ambition
  • Apple Researching Diabetes Treatment

We kick off today's email with my thoughts on Apple being granted a permit to test autonomous driving technology on public roads in California. After going over some of the details, we discuss why this development wasn't a surprise and what it means for Apple's product secrecy going forward. The discussion then turns to Apple's overall automobile ambition. We go over the three schools of thoughts regarding Apple's transportation ambitions and why I continue to stand apart from consensus when it comes to Apple's long-term goal in transportation. The email concludes with my thoughts on CNBC's report regarding Apple researching a breakthrough when it comes to blood sugar monitoring and diabetes treatment.

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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The Mac Is Becoming a Vulnerability for Apple, Apple Sales Mix by Screen Size, Thursday Q&A

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • The Mac Is Becoming a Vulnerability for Apple
  • Apple Sales Mix by Screen Size
  • Thursday Q&A

We begin today's email by continuing the discussion kicked off in my article, "The Mac Is Turning into Apple's Achilles' Heel." In particular, we look at how red flags have been appearing in the Mac business for years. The discussion then turns to one of the exhibits from the article. We go over the math and calculations used to derive Apple product sales in 2016 according to screen size. I share my unit sales estimates for every iPhone, iPad, and Mac screen size. We end the email with the latest installment of member Q&A, and I answer the following questions from Above Avalon members: 

  • If Apple wants to define iPad as the computing device of the future that can be a reliable competitor to laptops, how is it that there is no decent programming environment on it?
  • If Apple is betting on people buying multiple Apple Watch bands, how likely is it that Apple will change the Apple Watch design so it does not work with older bands? 

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Deep Dive into 1Q17 Mac and PC Sales, Huawei Not Buying Apple Watch Phenomenon, Fitbit Smartwatch Details Leak

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Deep Dive into 1Q17 Mac and PC Sales
  • Huawei Not Buying Apple Watch Phenomenon
  • Fitbit Smartwatch Details Leak

We kick off today's email with my thoughts on IDC's and Gartner's 1Q17 PC shipment data. After putting the numbers in context, we take a closer look at their Mac sales estimates. There are some clues regarding how the new MacBook Pro is selling and broader implications for the Mac business. The discussion then turns to surprising comments from Huawei's CEO regarding smartwatches and wearables. The email concludes with a closer look at leaked details for Fitbit's new smartwatch. We go over my thoughts on the topic, including the major implications resulting from the product launching in the fall instead of spring. 

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple Continues GPU Talent Hiring Spree, Apple's Path Forward Without Imagination, Touch Bar Getting Bad Rap

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Apple Continues GPU Talent Hiring Spree
  • Apple's Path Forward Without Imagination
  • Touch Bar Getting Bad Rap

We kick off today's email with my thoughts on Apple looking to hire additional GPU talent in London. The topic adds a new chapter to the Apple/Imagination Technologies story regarding Apple's GPU ambitions. The discussion then turns to how Apple may be able to come up with its own GPU without using Imagination's intellectual property. This would certainly change the current debate in the marketplace over Apple's long-term relationship with Imagination. The email concludes with my thoughts on Touch Bar criticism. This Mac feature continues to get a bad rap from some Mac users. Touch Bar backlash is now being positioned by some as a reason for Apple to change its Mac strategy. We take a closer look at the claim and why Apple introduced Touch Bar. 

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple's Improving Wall Street Narrative, Tesla Passes Ford and GM on Wall Street, The iPad's Deteriorating Narrative

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Apple's Improving Wall Street Narrative
  • Tesla Passes Ford and GM on Wall Street
  • The iPad's Deteriorating Narrative

We kick off today's email with my thoughts on AAPL shares continuing to outperform the overall market. With 2Q17 earnings right around the corner, discussion around AAPL's stock price and valuation is picking up. The email then turns to news of Tesla becoming the largest automaker in the U.S. according to market cap. Tesla provides a great example of how a powerful narrative can drive stock valuation. We go over what I think is Tesla's current narrative on Wall Street and the key difference between Tesla's and Apple's narratives. The discussion concludes with a closer look at J.D. Power's tablet satisfaction study. Microsoft Surface beat iPad for the first time. We go over the study and implications for both Microsoft and Apple.  

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Smartwatch Obsession Hits Switzerland, Apple Wants to Sell Premium Cable Bundle, Thursday Q&A

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Smartwatch Obsession Hits Switzerland
  • Apple Wants to Sell Premium Cable Bundle
  • Thursday Q&A

We begin today's email with my thoughts and observations on David Pierce's (Wired) report from Baselworld, the watch industry's CES. Smartwatches and connected watches were everywhere. We go over why I think Apple Watch momentum is building. We also go over why legacy watchmakers continue to be in such trouble. The email then turns to the report of Apple looking to do something with bundling premium cable channels. I share my thoughts regarding video content and why premium scripted TV content shouldn't be Apple's only focus. We end the email with the latest installment of member Q&A, and I answer the following questions from Above Avalon members: 

  • Do you really think Apple will sell a pair of AR glasses? What are the odds such a product is a head fake?
  • Why did Apple wait so long before becoming aggressive selling iPad?
  • Why doesn't Apple include mouse support in iOS?
  • Could you see Apple selling Apple Watch cases separate from bands at some point?
  • Is there any publicly available information regarding what percent of Product Red Apple products is donated to The Global Fund? 

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple Convenes Emergency Mac Meeting, Apple's Revised Mac Strategy, Playing Defense with Mac Pro

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Apple Convenes Emergency Mac Meeting
  • Apple's Revised Mac Strategy
  • Playing Defense with Mac Pro

We kick off today's email with my thoughts on Apple convening five outside journalists for an on-the-record 90-minute briefing to talk about the Mac. We go over Apple's goals for the meeting, as well as the upcoming Mac products in the pipeline. The discussion then turns Apple's revised Mac strategy. There does look to be some rather significant changes. We go over what I think the original strategy was and how a new Mac Pro alters that strategy. I also share my theory on how Apple gave a new Mac Pro the green light. The email concludes with my view that Apple is playing defense with the Mac Pro. The company is afraid of losing one key attribute needed for its mobile strategy. 

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Christopher Stringer Leaving Apple, Apple Industrial Design Group Changes, Apple Goes Public with GPU Ambition

Today's Above Avalon email includes the following stories: 

  • Christopher Stringer Leaving Apple
  • Apple Industrial Design Group Changes
  • Apple Goes Public with GPU Ambition

We kick off today's email with my thoughts on Christopher Stringer, a long-time Apple industrial designer, leaving Apple. This is a big loss for the company. The discussion then turns to implications resulting from Apple losing two key members of its industrial design group within 12 months of each other. The email concludes with a closer look at Apple notifying Imagination Technologies, supplier of intellectual property and technology for Apple GPUs, that it has been developing its own graphics design for controlling its products. We go over some of the implications found with Apple's growing GPU ambition and things to look for going forward. 

These stories are available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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