Above Avalon Episode 93: Underpricing Luxury

As Apple pushes deeper into luxury brand territory, the company is making its products more accessible through lower pricing. Apple is underpricing AirPods and Apple Watch. In episode 93, we discuss Apple's evolving pricing strategy. We begin by looking at AirPods and Apple Watch pricing and why I think the products are underpriced. The discussion then turns to three possible theories on Apple's wearables pricing strategy. After analyzing each theory, we take a closer look at how Apple is using pricing to grow its user base. The episode concludes with a number of things to look for when it comes to future Apple products and how Apple is using lower pricing to redefine luxury. To receive additional Apple analysis throughout the week, become an Above Avalon member by visiting AboveAvalon.com/membership.    

Show Notes:

The Curious State of Apple Product Pricing (weekly article)

Above Avalon Episode 92: Wearables as a Platform (podcast)

The Curious State of Apple Profit Margins (daily email for members)

Daily Emails for Above Avalon Members

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Emails

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 92: Wearables as a Platform

In episode 92, we discuss the changing wearables market. There has been a sea change involving the top wearables companies. Apple has become the new wearables leader according to unit sales. After discussing the driving force behind Apple's move to the lead, we take a closer look at why it's time to begin thinking about wearables as platforms containing a number of products. The episode concludes with a look at how competition is changing in the wearables space. To become an Above Avalon member and access more Apple analysis, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.    

Show Notes:

The New Leader in Wearables (weekly article)

Above Avalon Episode 84: The Elephant in the Smartwatch Room (podcast)

Above Avalon Episode 85: AirPods and the Battle for Our Ears (podcast)

Deriving 1Q17 Apple Watch sales (daily member email)

Daily Emails for Above Avalon Members

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Emails

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 91: Netflix Chatter

Calls for Apple to buy Netflix are getting louder. In episode 91, we break apart the argument for why Apple should buy Netflix. By observing how Apple thinks about music streaming, we are in a better position to judge the approach Apple will likely take to video streaming. We also go over Apple's M&A philosophy to determine how Apple treats holes in its content strategy. The episode concludes with a big picture view as to why Apple doesn't need to own Netflix in order to accomplish its video content goals. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.    

Show Notes:

Above Avalon Episode 79: Apple's Trojan Horse into Hollywood (Podcast)

Apple Doesn't Need to Buy Netflix (Weekly Article)

Apple Considered Buying Imagine Entertainment (Daily Email)

Daily Emails for Above Avalon Members

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Emails

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 90: Buying Back 50% of Apple

Apple management is buying back shares like there's no tomorrow. In episode 90, we discuss how a path has appeared where Apple management can realistically buy back 50% of AAPL's outstanding shares within three years. After first going over some basics concerning share buyback, we address a few myths that have been circulating about share repurchases. We then go over the steps Apple management would need to follow to repurchase 50% of its shares. The episode concludes with a big picture view of Wall Street's reaction to Apple and its buyback program. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

Apple on Track to Buy 50% of Itself in Three Years

Above Avalon Episode 41: Apple's Record Stock Buyback (Podcast)

Apple's Stock Buyback Program Primer (Daily Update)

Daily Updates for Above Avalon Members 

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 89: The iPad Asterisk

In episode 89, we take a deep dive into one of the major themes found in Apple's 1Q17 earnings report. Apple's reported iPad sales number was quite weak, leading some to make assumptions about the product's fundamentals. We go over the results, including all of the moving pieces behind the scenes. The discussion also includes a broader reflection on the iPad's seventh anniversary and its place within Apple's changing product line. The episode concludes with a look at whether or not 1Q17 results changed my overall view that the iPad business has already turned the corner and is continuing to stabilize. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

Above Avalon Episode 72: Let's Talk iPad

Steve Jobs Introduces Original Video 

iPad Introduction Video 

Apple 1Q17 Earnings Review: Major Themes 

Apple 1Q17 Earnings Review: Details

Daily Updates for Above Avalon Members 

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 88: Grading Tim Cook

Tim Cook is a different type of CEO leading a different kind of company. In episode 88, we tackle the difficult task of grading Tim Cook's performance as Apple CEO. The discussion includes a broader look at Apple's leadership structure and evidence that Cook relies on an inner circle to lead Apple's operations and corporate strategy. The episode concludes with a closer look at seven key criteria used to judge Apple's performance, including a report card for Cook's inner circle. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

Grading Tim Cook (Weekly Article)

Shape of Things to Come - The New Yorker (Jony Ive profile)

Daily Updates for Above Avalon Members 

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 87: Change Is in the Air

Episode 87 is focused on how the competitive landscape in tech is changing. As Apple celebrates the tenth anniversary of the iPhone unveiling, the battle for our attention is broadening into a massive land grab for the most valuable real estate in our lives. After going over the winners in the current tech landscape, we look at some of the key factors that are redrawing the competitive lines. We then spend time focused on the three main areas of competition: the body, automobile, and home. The episode concludes with a discussion of this new landscape from the perspective of Apple. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

The Battle Lines in Tech are Being Redrawn

Daily Updates for Above Avalon Members 

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 86: Apple Questions for 2017

January is a great time to embrace the unknown found with a new calendar year. One way of doing this is to come up with a list of questions for the new year. In episode 86, we discuss my list of Apple questions for 2017. Topics include iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods, Mac, iPad, Apple TV, iOS 11, Apple Music, Services, Project Titan, Wall Street, Apple Industrial Design, and a few wildcards. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

Apple Questions for 2017 (Weekly Article) 

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 83: Milking the iPhone

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 85: AirPods and the Battle for Our Ears

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 79: Apple's Trojan Horse into Hollywood

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 74: Jony Ive Is Making People Uneasy

Thoughts and Observations on Apple's 2016 (daily update for members)

Daily Updates for Above Avalon Members 

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 85: AirPods and the Battle for Our Ears

In episode 85, we go over how AirPods kick off Apple's battle for our ears. After discussing Apple's motivation behind AirPods, we go over my initial impressions from using AirPods for the past week. We then follow a few additional points, including my thoughts on AirPods sales estimates and how AirPods represent a window into a wearables world. The episode concludes with a look at how AirPods are Apple's flagship weapon in its quest for our ears. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

AirPods Kick off Apple's Battle for Our Ears (Weekly Article)

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 76: AirPods

Daily Updates for Above Avalon Members 

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 84: The Elephant in the Smartwatch Room

Episode 84 is focused on analyzing the smartwatch industry. Apple is consolidating power within the smartwatch industry at an alarming rate. We begin with a refresher as to the motivation and rationale for smartwatches in a smartphone world. The discussion then turns to smartwatch industry sales data with a closer look at the winners and losers. Next, we go over the four factors that best explain why Apple Watch is the best-selling smartwatch. The episode concludes with my thoughts and observations on new developments that will impact where the smartwatch market is headed. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

The Elephant in the Smartwatch Room (Weekly Article)

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 78: Apple Is Going After Fitbit

New FY2017 and FY2018 Apple Watch Estimates (Daily Update)

Apple Expects Record Apple Watch Sales (Daily Update)

Daily Updates for Above Avalon Members 

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 83: Milking the iPhone

Apple is betting now is the time to double down on the iPhone to build one of the world's most formidable tech ecosystems. Episode 83 begins with a discussion of Apple's iPhone strategy. The company has learned from mistakes made with the Mac in the early 1990s. We then discuss Apple's quest for new users and why Tim Cook shouldn't be judged as a product visionary or salesperson. The episode then discusses the cracks forming at Apple's edges and why it feels like something is off with Apple. Additional topics include the major risk Apple is facing by doubling down on the iPhone and the company's need to attack itself in order to remain relevant. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

Milking the iPhone - Above Avalon Weekly Article

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 57: The iPhone 5s Successor

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 54: Tim Cook's Legacy

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 67: Apple's Post-iPhone Era

Daily Updates for Above Avalon Members 

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 82: Above Avalon 101

In this special edition episode, the focus is on Above Avalon. I recently celebrated the second-year anniversary of launching Above Avalon. Topics include the motivation behind starting Above Avalon, business models, and my philosophy on Apple analysis. The episode then covers my top five Apple observations since launching Above Avalon in 2014. We conclude with a brief discussion on the changing media landscape, including the Apple rumor/news cottage industry. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

Above Avalon Turns Two

Above Avalon Is Officially Sustainable

Daily Updates for Above Avalon Members 

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 81: Skating to the Apple Car Puck

Episode 81 is focused on Apple's changing Project Titan strategy. We begin by discussing Apple's initial car strategy and early momentum. The episode then discusses the various problems that began to appear with Project Titan at the end of 2015. We introduce the infamous "skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been" quote and how it can be applied to electric cars. The episode concludes with a look at all of the change taking place within the car industry and how Project Titan has been impacted. Apple miscalculated the car puck and is in the process of resetting its goals to reflect the changing environment. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

Skating to the Apple Car Puck - Above Avalon Weekly Article

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 63: Speed Dating Didi

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 62: Apple Is Going to Pivot

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 60: The Car's "iPhone" Moment

iPhone Introduction - 2007 (Video)

Daily Updates for Above Avalon Members 

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 80: Let's Talk the New MacBook Pro

I am back from Cupertino and Apple's Mac keynote. Episode 80 is focused on the new MacBook Pro. We begin the episode with a few observations I had after attending the presentation. The conversation then turns to defining the Mac within Apple's product line. The Grand Unified Theory of Apple Products is revisited to assess how the Mac has been doing in relation to the iPad and iPhone. After going over three possible paths forward for the Mac, we spend time discussing which option Apple chose and why the new MacBook Pro is such a big bet for Apple. After discussing Microsoft Surface Studio, the episode concludes with a look at The Apple Innovation Feedback Loop that ties everything together. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 44: The Grand Unified Theory of Apple Products

Apple Is Placing a Big Bet with the New MacBook Pro (Above Avalon Weekly Article)

Daily Updates for Above Avalon Members 

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 79: Apple's Trojan Horse into Hollywood

Episode 79 is focused on Apple's video content strategy. Signs point to Apple building its own Hollywood arm dedicated to original content. After going over Apple's long history of trying to rethink TV and video content, we discuss why video content is so important to Apple. We then discuss Apple's current video strategy, which includes a twist involving Apple Music and a dedicated Apple Studios division within Apple. The discussion then turns to the question of whether or not Apple should acquire Netflix to kick its video strategy into high gear. We conclude with a big picture view of how Apple looks at original video content within its boarder product lineup. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

Apple's Trojan Horse into Hollywood (Above Avalon Weekly Article)

The Apple Services Myth

Daily Updates for Above Avalon Members 

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 78: Apple Is Going After Fitbit

There is only one genuine battle for the wrist, and it is between Fitbit and Apple Watch. Episode 78 is all about Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple putting Apple Watch on a fitness detour. We begin by going over the impressions I get from using Apple Watch Series 2 for the past few weeks. The discussion turns to the strategy behind the new Apple Watches. We then take a deep dive into the Apple Watch's competitive landscape and why Fitbit is being underestimated. The episode concludes with a closer at why Fitbit is succeeding and Apple's goal in going after Fitbit. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

Apple Is Going After Fitbit (Above Avalon Weekly Article)

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 73: The Art of Simplicity 

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 77: Let's Talk iPhone 7

Episode 77 is all about iPhone 7. Since the iPhone 7 should not be discussed in isolation, we begin the episode by going over some of the major themes impacting the iPhone business over the past year. The discussion turns to the impressions I get from using a Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus for the past two weeks. We then take a deep dive into the dual-camera system found with the Plus model and go over why I think the feature is such a big deal. The episode concludes with some big picture ideas as to how we will look back at the iPhone 7 in a few years. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

iPhone 7 (Above Avalon Weekly Article)

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 55: Let's Talk 4-Inch iPhones

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 57: The iPhone 5s Successor

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 67: Apple's Post-iPhone Era

Estimating Opening Weekend iPhone 7 Sales (Above Avalon member daily update)

Early Estimates for iPhone Sales Growth (Above Avalon member daily update)

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 76: AirPods

I am back from San Francisco. In episode 76, we discuss the most intriguing new product to be unveiled at Apple's keynote. AirPods are not just a pair of bluetooth headphones or an iPhone accessory. Instead, AirPods represent Apple's second wearables platform. After going over my experience using AirPods, we dive into the strategy behind the product. We discuss how Apple will likely expand AirPods into a platform as they did with Apple Watch. The discussion then turns to my view on the upcoming Apple Experience era and where AirPods fit into Apple's future product portfolio. To become an Above Avalon member, visit AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

AirPods (Above Avalon Weekly Article)

WWDC Clues Hint at Apple's Post-iPhone Era

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 67: Apple's Post-iPhone Era

AirPods Are the Anti-Apple Watch (Above Avalon member daily update)

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 75: The Apple Services Myth

The narrative surrounding Apple Services has taken on a life of its own. In episode 75, we dispel the myth that Apple is becoming a services company. After discussing how this myth began, we take a closer look at the actual story involving Apple services. The episode then covers Apple's long-standing goals for services and why Apple will end up doubling down on hardware in order to grow its services business. Additional topics include the logic behind Apple getting involved with music and video, "Apple as a service," and Project Titan's potential involvement with services down the road. To become an Above Avalon member, visit: AboveAvalon.com/membership.      

Show Notes:

The Apple Services Myth (Above Avalon Weekly Article)

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 51: Apple's Broken Narrative

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast

Above Avalon Episode 74: Jony Ive Is Making People Uneasy

Episode 74 is dedicated to discussing how Jony's power and control within Apple is increasingly making people uncomfortable with the company's direction. Apple has doubled down on its design-led philosophy. We go over the history of why Steve Jobs gave power to Apple's industrial designers and why this is now leading to Apple receiving a growing amount of criticism from some of its most loyal users. We then take a closer look at Apple's product line to see how some of the most widely-held points of criticism ultimately lead back to Jony. More information on Above Avalon memberships can be found at AboveAvalon.com/membership.

Show Notes:

Jony Ive Is Making People Uneasy (Above Avalon Weekly Article)

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 6: Jony Ive

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 45: People Love Accessories

Above Avalon Podcast Episode 54: Tim Cook's Legacy

More Information on Above Avalon Membership

Subscribe to the Above Avalon Podcast:

iTunes

Overcast

RSS (for your favorite podcast player)

Twitter:

Neil Cybart

Weekly Articles

Daily Updates

Podcast