The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

analysts can use 2013 as a LENS for 2014

December30

it’s that time of year once again – that hustling, bustling, busy time when almost everybody is thinking about holidays and merriment and family and giving while simultaneously looking forward to what’s coming next.

ponder, if you dare, AAPLAMZNTWTRFBHPQBBYGOOGSBUX.

do you see the relevance; a correlation?

so… here, I’m taking the opportunity to reflect back on the past year, and ponder ten (10) of the coolest things that Apple (of course because they lead the way in some much context) that Apple fans had to be thankful for over the last twelve months.

  • Free OSX Mavericks
  • Auto-Updates
  • Touch ID
  • 128GB
  • iTunes Radio
  • Gone Home
  • Jony Ive’s New Role (Senior Vice President of Design 0 a preamble to him becoming the next CEO)
  • iPad Mini with Retina Display
  • The new Mac Pro
  • HBO Go on Apple TV

NOTE: Apple’s stock always takes a dip after it unveils new products, because – as far as I can tell – investors and analysts value only brand-new industry-changing products and nothing else. but, every time they bemoan “just another” iPhone or iPad update, Apple goes on to post record sales, so I think these knee-jerk market reactions say more about the dubious qualifications for analysts than they do about the validity of Apple’s decisions.

most big news about Apple was about the company’s tax-avoidance techniques and analysts claiming that Apple failed to deliver any new products of note. (thankfully, it still isn’t making phablets, though they’ve been hugely successful for other manufacturers – providing profits are not important).

something to consider…

as Apple approached $700 in the spring and summer of 2012, two things happened:

  • some investors were getting too emotional, irresponsibly egged on by Wall Street analysts such as Brian White, who had a cutesy $1,111 price target, and Gene Munster, who couldn’t stop talking out of his rear with empty Apple TV predictions.
  • bulls discounted the impact of losing Steve Jobs and replacing him with no confidence man Tim Cook. Cook had to prove, one way or another, that he could produce something along the lines of iPod, iPhone or iPad. could he win over Wall Street like Jeff Bezos has at Amazon.com?
  • perhaps most importantly they gave Jonny Ives absolute control over design. this harkens back to the way Steve Jobs wanted and intended the company to innovate.

analysts never appear to learn.

every time Apple announces that its about to unveil something, the supposed experts practically demand that the company introduce another world-changing device like the iPhone or iPad. when that don’t happen they make a claim that the sky is falling (and make sure the stock does), bemoan the loss of Steve Jobs, and seem to enjoy saying “I told ya so” as Apple’s stock plummets. then when Apple launches the product (for example, the iPhone 5C and 5S) , it breaks sales records, sends Apple’s stock back up, and analysts somehow are shocked – even though it ALWAYS happens.

while it’s easy to understand how a stock like AMZN can outperform AAPL, there’s no explaining how posers, free lunchers and companies with very real question marks do it. I’m not saying these names on the chart on the next page will all crash in 2014 (though a couple likely will). but I am saying AAPL will perform alongside them or better if they somehow manage to replicate their 2013 magic (carpet rides).

so… there needs to be, or should be, some kind of requirement for being able to call yourself an analyst.

the outlook wasn’t much better for Intel, not because the company hasn’tcontinued to innovate, but because people don’t need as many of its microprocessors, and the ones they do need are less profitable than ever.

BlackBerry, which investors once thought might be broken into smaller businesses with some latent value, proved to be a near-total loss.

Google killed its much-vaunted 20% time – the policy of allowing engineers to spend a portion of their working time on their own projects – while insisting it hadn’t, leading to a furious (and public) debate among its employees about whether or not the company is still friendly to bottom-up innovation.

and, while Hewlett-Packard has put the disastrous acquisitions and rapid-fire leadership changes of recent years behind it, the best that can be said so far is that it’s gracefully managing its own decline.

while I’m at all of this, I must remind you all that Google and HP “hooked-up” (in any sense of the phrase) and hoisted the the HP Chromebook at you. the idea, or concept, anyway, has merit. however, it literally burned-up in your hands (U.S. recalls Chromebook 11 chargers; Google, HP pulled laptops from shelves last month). somehow I have this odd feeling that is Google’s legacy. that siad, I do hope they end-up pulling-it-off. that sort of collaboration and  innovation is good for all of us.

PREDICTION:

the world gets hip to this line of thinking in 2014. And not merely on a hunch or because it felt like time. Apple will trigger euphoria that, this time, will follow through. Because confidence lost will have been reestablished. so, we are back to me saying Apple hist $1000.

MOVING ON

it starts in January on the Q4 earnings call. I’m not sure if we’ll get any sort of pre-announcement from Apple, but there’s no question in my mind that while Amazon owned the holiday shopping season from an e-commerce standpoint, Apple will have owned it from a consumer electronics perspective.

we still don’t have any better idea of what Tim Cook’s “next big thing” will be than we did when he took over for Steve Jobs. but, we have iPad Air. A game-changing device superior to every other tablet or similar device on the market. don’t understate the importance of this release. if you’re only as good as your last game, Cook and Apple are pretty strong right now.

my eleven year old daughter asked me for an iPad Mini last night. I asked her “why?”. “It’s what we all want next” was her simple response.

if any analyst worth their salt has a kid in the same demographic he would role their college fund into Apple today. Our kids don’t just play HALO (actually mine don’t), they drive the Apple “Halo effect”.

for some reason, iPad Air has flown under the radar of my most observers, cast off a slightly lighter version of its predecessor. not so. it’s the real deal. It’s a game changer. it’s Tim Cook proving that he can take something meaningful from conception to implementation and beyond.

in 2014, he wins widespread confidence and ups the ante as AAPL takes it rightful spot at the head of the pack in tech and on Wall Street.

comparatively… Microsoft lost nearly a billion dollars on the Surface RT tablet, which was to be the device that pole-vaulted the company over Apple’s iPad and the dying PC industry. insiders revealed Microsoft’s ruinous internal culture, fostered under a leader who probably never should have been CEO, leading those same insiders to conclude that the only solution is a breakup of the companyMicrosoft bought Nokia‘s devices business, which would have been an astonishing turn of events a few years ago, but now felt like a lurch into an unsure future in which Microsoft remains an also-ran in mobile devices.

oh… and, the more successful Apple is, the more desperate Microsoft comes across. with people literally still in line at Apple stores for a shot at new iPhones, Microsoft clogged the airwaves with it’s classless apple-bashing ads. you know… the ones that mock Siri and skew the facts (like Google) to make it seem like only an idiot would choose an iPad over their windows 8 tablet? I actually like the look of Metro, but I wouldn’t consider buying from someone who is essentially calling me stupid.

all that said… it will likely pale by comparison in the wake of the scandals you will read about in the next couple of years about Bitcoins and Crowdfunding. the value of bitcoin increased at least 10-fold in 2013, thanks to heavy investment – by the media, which helped talk it up. both initiatives undermine a genuine value system and represent everything that is wrong with an economic ecosystem that is focused on instant gratification and not intrinsic value.

and, of course the media is behind all of this. the media is Satan’s answer to hope and fairness. how ironic, in the face of our very Constitution, that the media falls-back on like the vast and insidious army of hypocrites they actually are.

lifting up[!] 2014.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

the Apple of my eye

April2

I’ll add some context in a few days but the “new”-ish Apple iPhone is going to surprise a few people, whether it shows its face in the next quarter, or not. well, perhaps a lot of people.

all the talk about innovation really needs to bring us to a point where we ask,”what more can you do with a hand-held device with a five inch window to the planet?”.

dig deep. think about that. do it!

the answer is what you can do with the phone based on the type of materials used to house the software. so… think voice, voice recognition, bio-morphic, and DATA.

also, remember these words… “a picture can say a thousand words”.

meanwhile… last Friday night I posted the following update on Linkedin:

Brian Patrick Cork: “Fascinating that this story appears on a day the markets are closed.”

NASDAQ: Fresh data from IDC research shows Apple (AAPL) may be succeeding far more than the stock price currently reflects. The iPhone inventor gained share on Samsung in the global market for connected devices, capturing…”

I love competition. it drives innovation. and, that is good for us all.

you are going to start to see a trend towards Samsung bashing as analysts and media pin-heads start to tout Apple at a low point and drive it towards $1000. that’s just how it works.

many analysts have flawed thinking regarding Apple with the tendency to equate users of Samsung’s devices, which utilize Google’s awkward Android platform, with users of Apple’s iPhones. once they figure out this skews both rational thinking and reliable financial modeling they will begin to turn on Samsung and Google. oddly, many of these same analysts appear to struggle with separating Google and Samsung altogether.

case-in-point

bear [sic] in mind that there are over fifteen Android-powered Samsung mobile device products across multiple market segments that compete against (for the moment) a single Apple device. yet, Apple is inexorably chipping (yes, I said that) away at Samsung. all the other manufacturers remain bit-players.

From a business standpoint, Apple’s users are far more valuable since they are willing to pay more for their phones and use them far more vigorously. the numbers are clear… iPhone users buy more apps and spend more time with them. I think this might be just one more reason why Apple is able to produce seventy percent (70%) of the profit in the mobile device market despite selling fewer devices than Samsung.

I suppose it comes down to how you define “market-share”. me? by portion of profits.

here is a tantalizing tidbit that will outrage Google-Nation and Apple-haters… while Apple’s share price was been declining, it was also becoming the most profitable company in the country. history books may lie depending on the author. however, in Q4 2012 alone Apple brought in thirteen billion dollars ($13 billion) in net income. by comparison, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which was the fourth most profitable company last year, did not even generate half that amount.

Look Into My Eyes And See Your Future

look… literally… there is going to be an iPhone mini. there is a market for it. and, it won’t cannibalize Apple’s iPhone market. it will augment it. we saw proof of this expectation with the MacBook line, the Mac Mini, and the iPads. there is also going to be a cloudPhone. …what… (I hinted at this last month on Linkedin). that said, based on what I’m seeing, I can’t say Apple will actually produce the cloudPhone hand-set, so much as influence it. I’m thinking that might turn-out to be something of a trend. I THINK HTC will be involved.

all of this is me pulling a lot of disparate data together from far-ranging sources. that said, many of you are putting your kids through college based on my thinking around Apple.

My Android Adventure Update

meanwhile, last Friday I made good on my promise to keep being open-minded about Android. I let the Samsung representative put a Galaxy SIV in my hands. I admit I liked the feel and responsiveness. it’s “snappy” much like my NEXUS 7, which I like more than my iPad. however, it took me all of fifteen minutes to put it back in the box after trying to text with it. obviously there is more to the hand-set than texting. and Android Nation is going to be pleased with the upgrades. but, (HUGE but) that was a key reminder for me why I still prefer the iPhone.

Apple’s [now] flagship product remains in possession of the most intuitive operating system available. it was the first to change the market, and remains the front-runner to beat. you simply have to be open-minded and willing to read the numbers accurately, not in a skewed marketing fashion, as Samsung would have you do.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

brian cork is a Smarty pants

April25

Apple is not only rocking your world…

…it’s shaking China like Rottweiler with a rubber ducky.

okay… so that image makes little sense. but, it’s dramatic, and fun.

and, I TOLD you, all of you, collectively, this was going to happen. so, that gives it “foretold” status.

I’m talking about this,

Apple Profit Rises on Higher iPhone and iPad Sales

here’s another link (right, → HERE) just in case you can’t sort out that offered above.

I do, in fact, discuss Apple a lot on this Blog. but, that’s because I’m passionate about the company, it’s products, the people (that make and use those brilliant products) around the company, the way it changes our lives, comprehensively, the manner in which it kicks Google’s (silly Android, anyway) and Microsoft’s asses, and the way we can all build wealth because all of that is good. … as in, using your super powers for good, good.

to wit, I gave you a heads-up around that article above when I posted, Apple’s Siri will definitely speak Chinese.

meanwhile, there was some serious profit-taking in the last week that dropped the stock almost one hundred points leading up to Apple reporting it’s numbers at the bell yesterday. just so we are clear, that was financial services insiders taking profits and shorting the stock to create room to buy it back-up  again.

Jon Coriel emailed me Monday saying, “I wish I has listened to you five years ago when you told me to buy Apple. I could have retired by now”.

can you imagine what those people that listened to me back in 2000 are doing, today (remember that 2000 figure as you continue to read this post)?

…what ever. but, Jon is correct.

so… here’s another chest-thumping prediction… I’m still saying that I believe Apple is a $1000 stock – unless it splits before that. but, if it does split, it will still go to the equivalent of $1000, which means it will be a $2000 stock by today’s standard.

don’t take my word for it. just ask over a BILLION (1.324 billion as of Monday) Chinese that understand just how profoundly Apple products are changing the world. how many more people are there in China than we have here in just the United States? is it double? more? well… its actually about three times our own population, just so you know. is it possible Apple could hit the same percentages in China it has in North America?

for it’s best perspective, just go back and pick-up Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century (and, → here, for a different look) and you just might have that perfect epiphany. Do it!

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

 

Apple’s Siri will definitely speak Chinese

October24

Tim Cook, Apple’s new(ish) CEO, has advised us that China continues to be the fastest-growing market for the company.

I eluded to this, and more in one of my earlier posts: Apples are good for you Androids not so much.

In the latest quarter, sales were up nearly four times from last year and made up one-sixth of Apple’s overall sales.

peace be to my Brothers 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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