Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Oct 2009 21:43 UTC
Apple It's getting a little bit predictable, but Apple has reported yet another stellar set of quarterly financial results. The company has sold more Macs and iPhones than the same quarter last year, but sales of the iPod were down compared to the same quarter last year. Profits and gross-margins were also up.
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Comment by Tony Swash
by Tony Swash on Mon 19th Oct 2009 22:01 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

Unbelievably impressive performance on all fronts. The fact that Mac sales are up so much (during a recession etc) just shows that all the carping about over priced Apple kit is completely misjudged. People seem to really, really want Apple kit and are willing to pay for it.

I am hopeful, in fact I strongly expect, Apple to move ahead briskly on the innovation front in the coming year when we can expect to see the emergence of products using new chip technology arising from Apple's purchase of PA Semi (the chip design company) last year. Apple doesn't buy many companies and when they do its usually for very strategic reasons. Its competitors are still trying to catch up with the iPhone but Apple is already moving beyond that. As Steve Jobs said - "Apple tries to skate to where the puck is going to be not where it is".

I am just glad I put so much of my retirement fund into Apple shares quite some time ago.

Edited 2009-10-19 22:02 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Tony Swash
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 19th Oct 2009 22:20 in reply to "Comment by Tony Swash"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I am just glad I put so much of my retirement fund into Apple shares quite some time ago.


In a single company? That doesn't seem very wise - especially not with your retirement fund. I mean, all it takes is another Amelio and Apple's back at square one.

Be proactive with that stock. Like every other company, it's going to burn one of these years.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by Tony Swash on Mon 19th Oct 2009 23:08 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

In a single company?


No - I have a spread - But I have a chunk in Apple and am already retired on one pension and just waiting to cash in another.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by bousozoku on Mon 19th Oct 2009 23:55 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23


In a single company? That doesn't seem very wise - especially not with your retirement fund. I mean, all it takes is another Amelio and Apple's back at square one.

Be proactive with that stock. Like every other company, it's going to burn one of these years.


Sculley, Spindler et al. were the problem, not Amelio. Amelio was trying to put things back to where they should have been, as he had done at National Semiconductor.

Noticing the market captilisation of Apple, it's interesting that it's once again worth more than IBM and Apple have no million dollar products to sell.

By the way, iPod touch isn't written iPod Touch. I'm sure you're aware of the significance of character case. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Tony Swash
by haus on Mon 19th Oct 2009 23:37 in reply to "Comment by Tony Swash"
haus Member since:
2009-08-18

"The fact that Mac sales are up so much (during a recession etc) just shows that all the carping about over priced Apple kit is completely misjudged. People seem to really, really want Apple kit and are willing to pay for it."

Worth mentioning is that this is not a case of people wanting Apple gear so much that Apple can inflate their prices beyond what the rest of the industry is charging. I know that's the mantra amongst the editorial staff and most readers of this site but that is misleading as it negates the fact that a PC with the same gear comprised of equal hardware and equal Windows OS is typically the same price. The fact that Apple ads some great software is just icing on the cake and tips the scales in Apple's favor if you have to purchase equivalent apps on Windows to match things up.

The price disparity comes about because Apple doesn't allow you the same flexibility to purchase the exact gear with less or different components and therefore pay less. That's why when people show PCs costing less, its always with a PC that is equipped with less or equipped differently.

Apple gear, is quality gear, styled very well at highly competitive industry standard prices. They give you a bunch of extra software but they give you few options to choose from.

Apple's "fat" margins come about by forcing you to buy from a limited high-end selection. It's not that Apple's margins are any higher than the rest of the industry. PC manufacturers would get the same margins if they didn't allow their customers the options to buy lower end gear which coincidentally has lower margins. Apple simply doesn't sell low end, low margins gear.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by Darkmage on Tue 20th Oct 2009 01:05 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
Darkmage Member since:
2006-10-20

I'm sorry but this is rubbish when I can buy a seagate 1.5tb hdd for $159 (LESS for Western Digital (rock bottom for Hitachi) both are SATA 2.0 7200 RPM drives) in Australia, and Apple want to charge $200 to "upgrade" from 640GB to 1TB. Not even offering a 1.5TB option. Apple gouge their customers on price. Hell their store lists $600 as the price to get a second hard disk into a powermac tower! $600!!! I could buy 4 1.5TB hdds for that much! Even if apple are selling the longer life media drives (remember these are desktop drives not server scsi units.) they are still a ripoff and I can get 3 of them for $600.

Edited 2009-10-20 01:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by alcibiades on Tue 20th Oct 2009 06:34 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

Worth mentioning is that this is not a case of people wanting Apple gear so much that Apple can inflate their prices beyond what the rest of the industry is charging. I know that's the mantra amongst the editorial staff and most readers of this site but that is misleading as it negates the fact that a PC with the same gear comprised of equal hardware and equal Windows OS is typically the same price.

Not the point. The point is, you take the typical Windows PC or a range of them, then find what the Mac equivalent would sell for, and its more expensive, partly, but only partly, because of the limited range.

Mac people always say, it would have cost me the same or more to buy this machine from Dell or as a white box. But you would never have bought this machine as a white box or a Dell, you'd have bought something closer to what you actually need.

The trick is, to do cult marketing, and use that to sell people something different from and usually more expensive than they really need for the job, in order to raise margins.

It is truly amazing how people reason that Macs are not more expensive than PCs by taking the Mac configuration as the starting point. Cupertino marketing must be proud.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Tony Swash
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 20th Oct 2009 00:08 in reply to "Comment by Tony Swash"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

The fact that Mac sales are up so much (during a recession etc) just shows that all the carping about over priced Apple kit is completely misjudged. People seem to really, really want Apple kit and are willing to pay for it.


Not necessarily true. The goal of a company is to maximize profits. Just because the profits are high with prices also being high, it doesn't necessarily mean that they've hit the correct spot on their supply & demand graph to maximize profit. It is unknown if they could increase their profits by decreasing price ( and thus bumping up their sales volumes ). Given the inherent difficulty in getting a profit in this economy to begin with, they probably are happy with the massive profits and won't try too much experimentation with price to try and increase those profits to the "obscenely massive" level.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by haus on Tue 20th Oct 2009 00:45 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
haus Member since:
2009-08-18

"It is unknown if they could increase their profits by decreasing price"

If they're already highly competitive on price with the biggest major players who's only real selling point IS price, I don't see how they can afford to lower their prices much more.


"they probably are happy with the massive profits and won't try too much experimentation with price to try and increase those profits to the "obscenely massive" level."

I just don't see where there is room to lower prices when they're already so extremely price competitive right now.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by Tony Swash
by strcpy on Tue 20th Oct 2009 08:02 in reply to "Comment by Tony Swash"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

Unbelievably impressive performance on all fronts. The fact that Mac sales are up so much (during a recession etc) just shows that all the carping about over priced Apple kit is completely misjudged. People seem to really, really want Apple kit and are willing to pay for it.


Obligatory flame: and at the same time the completely free alternative fails the gain traction. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Tony Swash
by cutterjohn on Tue 20th Oct 2009 15:09 in reply to "Comment by Tony Swash"
cutterjohn Member since:
2006-01-28

Their "kit" IS VASTLY overpriced which is why I stopped drinking the koolaid several years ago.

I did this because Apple had made it impossible to strip down their "kit" to the barest essentials which could then be replaced by reasonably priced off-the-shelf components rather than Apple's 4-5 times markup on the same equipment. (Actually it's probably more like 8-10 time markup given that there's no retail markup, plus ther volume pricing discounts from the OEMs OTOH my off-the-shelf stuff was better anyways as it was, generally, retail and tended to come with 3-5y standard warranties v. Apple's, at the time IIRC, 1y warranty. OEM/non-retail stuff tends to come with 90d-1y warranties, 90d being more common.)

Their notebooks are looking especially bad to me for their pricing given their anemic discrete GPUs v. everyone else at lower price levels with significantly better discrete GPUs + (typically) "better" CPUs. RAM installations and screens tend to be about equal, and casing/build quality does vary but the better generic "PC" vendors are close enough to Apple that it just simply doesn't matter for what Apple is lacking, and that's alot right now.

OSX just simply isn't worth it to me to overpay for Apple "kit", as much as I like OSX. I'd rather take the $$$ saved and spend it on some additional peripherals that I likely would've had to put off or drop altogether had I purchased an Apple product.

About the only time any longer for a "deal" on Apple products is when they do product refreshes, but they are so slow at that and there have been so many recent chipset/CPU changes that it's not really been a deal since they switched to generic x86 hw, along with all the overpriced peripherals that you're stuck with for desktops. I still like the Apple desktop cases though, or at least since the powermac G4s with the nice hinged design which was uncommon in generic cases at the time.

Basically about the only time Apple is a good deal is if you are clueless and also intend to purchase the extended Apple Care warranty(2y extra IIRC), however you are still stuck upgrading OSX every year or so and in the Apple world older versions of OSX tended to be left behind very quickly. There's also the problem of, if you are a gamer, games for Macs still come out well AFTER the Windows release and tend to carry the burden of a premium price(been there done that while I was chugging the koolaid like no tomorrow...)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by Tony Swash on Tue 20th Oct 2009 15:46 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

The commentators here who moan about Apple's prices or the lack of opportunity to tinker with Apple hardware specifications or write off Apple's success as being the result of a "cult" are just missing the point. These most recent financial results from Apple show that tens of millions of people look at what Apple is offering, look at the price and say "YES PLEASE!"

Of course Apple could sell more units if it dropped its price but Jobs and the company decided long ago that chasing the wintel crowd downmarket was a poor strategy and looking at the results who is to argue with them. Apple drops its prices when it can produce what it considers to be quality kit with the mark up it has broadly set for the company. It won't produce cheap crap simply to chase market share and has a premium reputation amongst consumers as a result.

If the decisions of millions of consumers to part with their hard won cash in order to buy what Apple is offering is dismissed as a cult then all I can say is that every other tech company would love to be able to start their own cult but so far none appear to have managed to do so. Shrugging off Apple's success with a sneer or a laugh (like Balmers did with the iPhone) just makes it even easier for Apple to stay ahead of its competitors.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by zlynx on Wed 21st Oct 2009 01:29 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

For a "power user" Apple may not be cost effective. However, the user experience is miles beyond the Windows laptop experience. Miles.

I am definitely a power user. Yet, I love my Mac Powerbook. I did convince work to buy it so it isn't my own money.

Everything just works in a way a Sony Vaio doesn't.

And if you've ever observed or been asked to help a regular person who knows nothing about computers, you can see the "PC Experience" is a nightmare. They don't have any idea what is safe to click on in a web browser. They don't know what applications to install to read a PDF file (I know a woman who paid for the full Adobe PDF authoring suite so she could read PDFs because of some lousy popup window). They have no idea what to do when all the great "software" installed on the computer turns out to be 30-day demos. They never install critical software updates because they have no idea those are any different from the web browser popups they've been told to not click on or the ad-ware popups that come pre-installed on the system.

An Apple is so much easier.

Reply Parent Score: 1