The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

Apple Chunks

October3

I suspect you are weary of me pounding the table over the Banking and Wall Street fiasco.

So, consider this…

I have been hinting that I think the market could dip below 7400 – about where it was seven years ago.

What a great opportunity.  

How many of you have day-dreamed about being able to go back in time to make key acquisitions for your investment portfolios that could be both life and game changers?

Perhaps about now is where fantasy and reality have the potential to converge.

With the economy heading into certain trouble, consumers around the world are paring discretionary spending. The marketplace for new products that might change the world may have hit a saturation point, and consumers are more concerned about lowering the balances on their credit cards than on maxing them out on new stuff.  And, if the Troubled Asset Relief Program fails to clear the House (today?), all bets are off.

So…  Let’s consider history (always a terrific perspective to gage and plan for the future)…

Apple’s (AAPL) in a very different place than it was seven years ago. On the eve of the iPod introduction, Apple had just emerged from debacle of the Mac G4 Cube and for most of 2001 had been reporting financial results that were unimpressive by today’s standards. Less than a week before the introduction of the iPod, Apple reported a $25 million net loss on sales of $5.4 billion for the fiscal year. Sales for the quarter that ended September 2001 quarter were less than $1.5 billion.  The stock was around $15 a share, and I told Pete Canalichio to buy.

Today:  Analysts expect that Apple will finish its September quarter this year with $8 billion in sales, and end the fiscal year with $32 billion in revenues.  It’s stock is hovering around $102 and obviously well off its December 2007 hight of $202.

WHAT I THINK APPLE SHOULD DO

This is only my opinion (but, I ALWAYS have a bunch of those), Apple and its customers would be well-served if the company concentrates on making everything better, faster, and cheaper. While the Mac is in the minds of many already a better personal computing platform than Microsoft’s Windows, it’s time to press the offensive. There is no reason that better Macs and better Mac operating system software can’t push Apple’s market share in the U.S. north of 10%, from 8.5% in the second quarter.

Continued software upgrades will add new and improved features and functionality to the Mac and iPhone, increasing the appeal to new customers and keeping existing users happier longer. It’s also time to get things working right that haven’t. Case in point: MobileMe, which illustrated that Apple overreached by trying to launch too many products at once.

And for all its relevance in North America, I think the iPhone gives Apple an important opportunity in international markets. As I’ve argued before (BusinessWeek.com, 9/20/07), the iPhone establishes a beachhead Apple can use to introduce itself and its other products, especially the Mac, in markets where it hasn’t participated strongly. Markets like China and Russia come to mind.

I’m not suggesting that Apple should slow down and take a breath on the innovation front. Not at all. The company now operates within substantially wider borders than it did when it unveiled the first iPod in 2001. Rather than widening those borders even further, there lies within them plenty of room for important, even if not world-changing innovations—not to mention scope for expanding Apple’s business.

Peace be to my Bothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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