The Flaw in the Apple Services Narrative, A Different Way to Look at Content Streaming, Jeff Bezos' Annual Shareholder Letter

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

  • The Flaw in the Apple Services Narrative 

  • A Different Way to Look at Content Streaming  

  • Jeff Bezos' Annual Shareholder Letter

We begin today’s update by going over the glaring flaw found in the narrative that Apple is becoming a services company. The email then goes over some paid subscriber data that helps provide a different way to look at content streaming. We conclude with my thoughts on Jeff Bezos’ latest shareholder letter and the idea of Amazon embracing failure. There is a fundamental difference in how Amazon and Apple approach failure.

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


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Disney Unveils Disney+, Thoughts on Apple TV+ Pricing Options, Apple Spending $500M on Apple Arcade

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

  • Disney Unveils Disney+

  • Thoughts on Apple TV+ Pricing Options

  • Apple Spending $500M on Apple Arcade

We kick off today’s update with my thoughts on Disney’s investor day and Disney+. The discussion then turns to what Disney+ pricing may mean for Apple TV+ pricing. The email concludes with news that Apple is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on Apple Arcade. We go over why the news is so remarkable and the difference between Apple funding original video for Apple TV+ and iOS games for Apple Arcade.

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


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Curation as a Business Model, YouTube TV Price Increase, Thursday Q&A

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

  • Curation as a Business Model

  • YouTube TV Price Increase

  • Thursday Q&A

We begin today’s update in video streaming land and my thoughts on why proper and intelligent curation is not an attractive business model for most companies playing in the content game. This is why Apple’s Curation for Casual strategy for content distribution is so intriguing. The discussion then turns to YouTube TV’s price increase and why nearly every slimmed down cable bundle is pushing through higher prices. The price increases are not sitting well with users. We conclude with the latest installment of Thursday Q&A. I answer the following questions from Above Avalon members:

  • What is the rationale behind Apple removing games from Apple Arcade versus keeping a back catalog like streaming video and music services?

  • What are your thoughts on Apple keeping 50% of Apple News+ revenue?

  • In light of the recent iPad mini update, how do you perceive this new model? Does Apple have high aspirations for the model?

  • What is the difference between FY2Q19 and CY2Q19?

  • If you were allowed to ask a question on Apple's FY2Q19 earnings call, what would you ask?

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


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Sizing Up Apple's Opportunity in Health, John Giannandrea Poaching Google?, Netflix Ends AirPlay Support

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

  • Sizing Up Apple's Opportunity in Health

  • John Giannandrea Poaching Google?

  • Netflix Ends AirPlay Support

We begin today’s update with my thoughts on Morgan Stanley’s 48-page report on Apple and healthcare. There was one glaring issue found in the report when it came to Apple and monetizing health that didn’t sit right with me. The discussion then turns to Apple’s recent high-profile addition to its AI team. We look at whether or not Apple’s John Giannandrea, SVP of Machine Learning and AI Strategy, is poaching Google. The email concludes with Netflix ending AirPlay support and why the news is a disappointing one with the long-term Apple / Netflix relationship in mind.

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


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Apple's "Curation for Casual" Strategy, Content Distribution as a Core Technology, Apple's Cross-Platform Strategy for Content

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

  • Apple's "Curation for Casual" Strategy 

  • Content Distribution as a Core Technology

  • Apple's Cross-Platform Strategy for Content

We begin today’s update with additional comments on the latest Above Avalon article, “Why Apple Is Getting Into Original Content” In particular, we look at something that I'm calling Apple's "Curation for Casual" strategy for content. The discussion then turns to how Apple can turn content distribution into a competitive advantage. We conclude by revisiting Apple’s cross-platform strategy for content and why some content distribution services are exclusive to Apple devices while others are available on third-party devices.

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


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Amazon Wireless Headphones, Powerbeats Pro, Tesla 1Q19 Vehicle Deliveries 

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

  • Amazon Wireless Headphones

  • Powerbeats Pro

  • Tesla 1Q19 Vehicle Deliveries 

We begin today’s email in wireless headphone land. The discussion kicks off with news of Amazon wanting to compete in the wireless headphone market with a product that resembles AirPods. We go over why so many companies have no choice but to enter the wireless headphone market and the big problem that Amazon faces. The discussion then turns to Apple’s Powerbeats Pro, the company’s first truly wireless pair of Beats headphones. There are a few interesting observations found with Apple selling both AirPods and Powerbeats Pro. The email concludes with my thoughts on Tesla’s 1Q19 vehicle deliveries and what the numbers tell us about the broader electric car market.

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


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More Apple News+ Tidbits, The Incredible Shrinking Apple?, Apple's Fashion Presence

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

  • More Apple News+ Tidbits

  • The Incredible Shrinking Apple?

  • Apple's Fashion Presence

We begin today’s email with additional details behind Apple News+ including my thoughts on early News+ subscriber numbers. The discussion then turns to the New York Times opinion piece arguing that Apple is not placing big enough bets and is increasingly prioritizing monetizing existing users versus expanding the user base. There are a number of critical issues and errors found in the article. The email concludes with another look at Apple’s approach to fashion. The NYT’s fashion director and chief fashion critic, Vanessa Friedman, thinks Apple Watch plays a limited role in fashion while other Apple products have surprisingly come to play a bigger fashion role. We go over the glaring problem found in Friedman’s stance.

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


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Publishers Wary of Apple News+, Jony Ive on AirPods, Apple Continues to Poach Tesla

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

  • Publishers Wary of Apple News+ 

  • Jony Ive on AirPods

  • Apple Continues to Poach Tesla

We begin today’s email with Apple News+ and my thoughts on how the service may impact the publishing industry. The discussion then turns to new comments from Jony Ive regarding why AirPods became a cultural phenomenon after initially being panned by the press. We conclude with a closer look at the newest high-profile Project Titan hire. Apple continues to poach hardware engineering talent from Tesla. We go over what the development means for Apple’s Project Titan.

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


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Apple Cancels AirPower, My AirPower Theory, Mac Butterfly Keyboard Woes Continue 

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

  • Apple Cancels AirPower

  • My AirPower Theory 

  • Mac Butterfly Keyboard Woes Continue 

We begin today’s email with AirPower. The discussion includes my theory connecting all of the dots regarding AirPower and what the project’s cancellation tells us about Apple’s leadership structure. The email then shifts to the ongoing issues found with MacBook butterfly keyboards. We go over why Apple continues to move forward with the keyboard design and how the entire butterfly keyboard saga is an offshoot of the thesis found in my article, “The Mac Is Turning into Apple’s Achilles’ Heel.”

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


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Financial Implications of Apple’s New Services

Today's Above Avalon daily update is dedicated to discussing some of the business and financial implications associated with the new services Apple announced this week.

The email includes my thoughts and initial estimates regarding the number of paying subscribers, revenue, and profit that Apple’s newest services can achieve over the next three years.

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


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Apple's Services Event Review (Full Notes)

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the second half of my Apple event review. We go over my full notes from this week’s event at Steve Jobs Theater. We cover 31 different topics.

The first half of my event review (major themes) is available here.

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


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Apple’s Services Event Review (Major Themes)

Today’s Above Avalon daily update contains the first half of my Apple event review. We go over some of the major themes from yesterday’s event at Steve Jobs Theater.

The email includes the following sections:

  • Overview / The Event 

  • The Apple Services Narrative 

  • Apple’s Services Sales Pitch

  • Apple Doesn’t Need to Own Netflix

  • Unanswered Questions

  • The Lack of Pricing Info

  • The Sleeper Hit

The second half of the review (details and full notes) is available here.

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


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Thoughts Heading into Apple’s Show Time Event

Today's Above Avalon daily update is dedicated to going over my thoughts and expectations ahead of Apple's big product event in Cupertino on Monday.

The 2,700-word email includes the following sections:

  • High Expectations

  • The Big Picture

  • Apple Video

  • Apple News

  • Other / Wildcards

  • Summary

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

(Above Avalon members will receive my Apple event review next week.)


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Apple’s Busy Week of Hardware Updates, Apple Announces New AirPods, Apple Resets India Strategy

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

  • Apple’s Busy Week of Hardware Updates

  • Apple Announces New AirPods

  • Apple Resets India Strategy

We begin today’s email by discussing Apple’s different strategy for unveiling various hardware updates this week. The discussion then turns to my thoughts on the new AirPods with wireless charging case. The email concludes by going over changes Apple is making to its strategy in India. Apple appears to be doing the opposite of what most industry analysts and pundits have been suggesting.

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


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Apple’s New Privacy Ad, Electric Car Adoption Trends, VW Raises Bet on Electric Cars

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

  • Apple’s New Privacy Ad

  • Electric Car Adoption Trends

  • VW Raises Bet on Electric Cars

We kick off the email by going over Apple’s first video ad regarding privacy. The discussion includes a few tactics Apple is utilizing to build its privacy image. We then turn to transportation and discuss electric car adoption trends in the U.S. and around the world. After going over the numbers, we take a closer look at Volkswagen raising its electric car projections for the coming decade. The email concludes with my big picture view on electric cars and why adoption trends may not be the best way to think about the potential found with electric powertrains.

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


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