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Buyers wait outside an Apple Store in New York to get their iPhone 5s before everyone else. The new smartphone notched 2 million in pre-orders in its first 24 hours.
I got a very robust response to my pre-iPhone 5 launch post, "3 reasons why the Apple iPhone 5 will fail," in which I detailed some reasons why the miraculous new device wouldn't be a triumph. I prefaced it all by stressing that I was taking a contrarian position, but I got called out big time for my contrarianism, both in the comments and, more recently, by the Macalope over at Macworld.
Here's a taste:
The Macalope understands that during this bad economy times must be hard at our nation’s public radio stations, with donations falling due to a deficit in our strategic tote-bag reserves.
But that doesn’t really excuse Southern California Public Radio from publishing Matthew DeBord’s “3 reasons why the Apple iPhone 5 will fail” (tip o’ the antlers to Warren Bowman).
Just three? The Macalope thinks maybe you’re not applying yourself, Matthew. The horny one himself can easily make up 15 or 20.
Still, most observers settled on the conventional wisdom that the iPhone 5 was a total snooze-fest that, because of a collection of really boring reasons involving contract lengths, Apple fanboi-ism, marketing, and reality distortion, will sell very well. “Fail” is really putting a stake in the ground. A dumb, dumb stake.
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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos introduces Kindle Fire last September. What new forms will the device take? We'll probably find out tomorrow in L.A.
All Amazon has done is invite the media to an event at a hanger at the Santa Monica airport tomorrow morning. But chances are pretty good that we're going to be seeing some tablets. This won't be like the similarly mysterious Microsoft event in June at which we were introduced to the technology giant's first-ever ready-for-market tablet, Surface. Amazon already has Kindles and Kindle Fires. So what are we likely to see?
Q: Will we get a bigger Kindle Fire?
A: Nope. CNET already reported that a Kindle Fire Big isn't in Amazon's immediate future. Rather, the company will be updating the current Kindle Fire with a new model and introducing a second model. Both will be 7-inch tablets.
Q: Does it really make sense for Amazon to treat this as a media event?
A: Apple has an iPad Mini and the new iPhone 5 coming soon. The iPad Mini will hit in October and the iPhone arrives this month. Microsoft just planted its stake with Surface and then there are all the Android tablets that aren't Kindle Fires (which is built on Android but customized for Amazon). Amazon needs to stay in the game here.
An Apple store in Shanghai, China. The company made plenty of money in its fiscal third quarter but still disappointed Wall Street.
Is it a lull? That's the easiest way to read Apple's not-unexpected fiscal third-quarter earnings miss, which was announced after markets closed today. For the record, profits were actually up year-over-year — by over a billion dollars — but Wall Street wanted more for one of the most expensive stocks on the entire stock market. Analysts were looking for $10.37 per share, but they got more than a buck less: $9.32 per share.
AAPL was duly pummeled in after-hours trading, dropping by more than 5 percent.
Blame for this just appalling performance (kidding, obviously) goes to some bumpy issues with various products, but really falls squarely in the impending launch of the iPhone 5. Apple is selling more iPads — 17 million in its fiscal Q3 — but the iPhone still accounts for the lion's share of Apple's profits. Consumers eagerly await the iPhone 5, which is technically the sixth generation of the smartphone. The consensus view is that this anticipation, this delayed gratification, is cutting into iPhone 4S sales, which while nothing to sneeze at didn't enable Apple to achieve enough growth to clear that $10.37/share hurdle.
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Coming soon to an Apple Store near you: iTV?
Will they or won't they? That's been the burning debate in tech/Appleology circles over whether Cupertino will roll out a high-end, thoroughly Apple-ized high-def TV. I've been pondering this question pretty regularly, given that I think Apple is at the tail end of an innovation cycle that started with the iPod (reinvented music), then moved on to the iPhone (an iPod with a phone, re-invented mobile), and then brought out the iPad (a big iPod, poised to decimate the low-cost PC market). What's next?
A TV set — versus the current AppleTV box — seems obvious. The reinvention factor will be the delivery of TV content. And therein lies the challenge: Apple has put, in sequence, the music industry, the wireless industry, and the publishing industry at its feet. Will Hollywood and the cable companies agree to play by Apple's terms?
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Customers test new the IPad at an Apple store. Apple beat quarterly earnings expectations today by a very decent margin.
If you've been hiding in your bomb shelter, you probably missed Apple's precipitous stock-price drop last week and this, bottoming at $560 per share today and giving up, like, $100 billion in market cap. But then the magic of shattered earnings expectations hit and hit HARD. The company made $11.6 billion in its second fiscal quarter and earned $12.30 per share. That killed the expectation of $10.06 per share, according to Business Insider.
More importantly, the "weakness" in iPhone sales didn't materialize — Apple sold 35.1 million, nearly five million more than expected. This was one of the possible negatives driving Apple share price down, as analysts speculated on what remains the core of Apple's business.
There is a hint of bad news amid all this boffo good news, which has pushed Apple right back up to $600 per share in after-hours trading (a whopping 7.35-percent increase). The theoretically revolutionary iPad sold "only" 11.8 million units, below the 13 million that were anticipated.