Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Apr 2013 22:35 UTC
Apple "Apple just posted its hotly-anticipated Q2 2013 earnings, and the company posted a profit of $9.5b on revenues of $43.6b, compared to $11.6b in profit on $39.2b in revenue this quarter last year and $13.1b in profit on $54.5b in revenue last quarter. That's right in line with the company's guidance from last quarter. Most importantly, iPhone sales are fairly flat year-over-year. Apple sold 37.04 million in Q2 2013 versus last year's 35.1 million, a modest growth of seven percent. iPad sales for the quarter were 19.5 million, up a massive 65 percent from last year's 11.8 million, but the average selling price (ASP) dropped fairly steeply year-over-year, likely due to the introduction of the cheaper iPad mini."
Thread beginning with comment 559599
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
What's going on here?
by WorknMan on Tue 23rd Apr 2013 23:27 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I don't see the kind of excitement for Apple products (esp iOS) as I used to. Even the Apple fanboys in the tech press are kind of going 'WTF'? But I think I have an idea of what's going on here. The problem for Apple is that they don't have Jesus Jobs around anymore. That guy was a master snake oil salesman. He could put out a product with half the functionality of the competition, but make it idiot-proof to the point that a 90yo could use it, and then somehow convince the iTards that it was a premium product and a status symbol. Even before the iPhone was capable of running 3rd party apps, that guy had people lined up around the block. That takes talent to pull off.

I don't think Tim Cook has that sort of charisma, so you see the reality distortion field starting to wear off.

Edited 2013-04-23 23:29 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: What's going on here?
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 24th Apr 2013 00:30 in reply to "What's going on here?"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

That, plus it seems that Apple's... ability to "innovate" has long been flat. Now they're just sitting on their popular iBrands and using their rounded-rectangle patents to bully other companies around with the legal system instead of actually getting off their asses and thinking of something new for a change.

No doubt their weakening iReality Distortion Field has been weakening as you pointed out since The Almighty Steve croaked... his successor is just unable to sustain it. But they have really fallen from actually trying new things to just bringing out boring, new models of the same old shit.

Edited 2013-04-24 00:34 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: What's going on here?
by moondevil on Wed 24th Apr 2013 08:26 in reply to "RE: What's going on here?"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

They are slowly going back to the Apple without Jobs that I remember of, with the benefit that now they have loads of cash and can survive longer.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: What's going on here?
by Tony Swash on Wed 24th Apr 2013 10:21 in reply to "RE: What's going on here?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

The issue of whether Apple's rate of innovation has slowed and if so how important that is for the future health of the company is an interesting one. I have posted before, and I will again if anyone is interested, a simple chronological list of Apple key breakthrough product releases with dates and it clearly shows that the speed of innovation at Apple appears erroneously fast in the rear view mirror and that the gap since the introduction of the iPad in 2010 is not anomalous.

But let's consider the worst case scenario and that Apple has nothing up it's sleeve except the continuous iterative improvement of it's broad product and service lines. How bad is that scenario? Certainly looking back at the PC era one can see that by around the late 1980s pretty much every major innovation, except for the internet, that shaped the PC era was already in place and that other than internet related innovations nothing very new appeared in the PC arena other than simple continuous iterative improvements. That still didn't stop the industry, and those that were successfully in it, such as Intel and Microsoft, from growing hugely in the two decades after 1990.

It's certainly possible that the key features of the mobile device revolution, flat, powerful and networked devices in various sizes that you touch with your fingers, is now in place and all that one will see from now on for many years is continuous iterative improvements (lighter, faster, better batteries, UI tweaks, more bundled services etc). If that is the case then Apple seems, on past performance, to be able play that game as good as anyone.

There is lots of speculation and teasing about the next step to wearable devices but nobody has anything that looks like a breakthrough innovation in that field yet, so all that there is right now is just speculation and we have seen that before (web TV, gaming consoles as gateway devices in the living room, blah, blah). When a paradigm shift happens, such as the PC, the Internet and the arrival of powerful mobile devices, innovation and change happens very quickly and during such periods of paradigm shift it's easy to come to believe that the rate of innovation of the transitionary period will continue into the stable growth and consolidation phase but once the shift is over it becomes clear that the pace of innovation has slowed to a much more sedate pace, until the next big shift comes along. Big paradigm shift don't happen that often, the PC happened in the early 1980s, the internet happened in the mid to late 1990s and the mobile revolution started in 2007. I would love for the next big shift to happen sooner rather than later but it might not.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: What's going on here?
by galvanash on Wed 24th Apr 2013 00:32 in reply to "What's going on here?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I don't see the kind of excitement for Apple products (esp iOS) as I used to. Even the Apple fanboys in the tech press are kind of going 'WTF'? But I think I have an idea of what's going on here. The problem for Apple is that they don't have Jesus Jobs around anymore.


Ill probably be modded down but what the heck...

In my opinion, the "character" of Apple as a company is being slowly transformed from the Jobs-era. This is being done by Tim Cook, and it is completely intentional.

Jobs ran the company like it was a zero-sum game - to win everyone else had to lose. He didn't want to compete with anyone, he wanted to own a market lock, stock, and barrel. Success was going through the slow, meticulous, and risky process of perfecting a new "game changing" product in secret so that it could be sprung upon the world, instantly marginalizing any competing products to the point they had to spend years scrambling to catch up. Once the lead was establish you protect it (i.e. patents, legal actions, etc.) as long as you can and milk it for all that it is worth, until finally it has run its course and you rinse and repeat for the next huge influx of cash.

Jobs finally hit pay-dirt with the iPod using this strategy. Then it was iPhone. Then it was iPad. Apple made gobs and gobs of money and everyone is happy...

Well not really. The thing is if you keep doing this you pigeon-hole your company. You become dependent on the next big thing to motivate investors - it doesn't matter how much money you made already, investors are more concerned with whats coming, and since you do it is secret they don't know what is coming until is comes. Sure, they know something is coming, but they don't know if it will make money until it is released. In short Apple demonstrates it has an almost supernatural ability to gamble successfully, but it is still gambling.

Apple has not been bitten by this as of yet (at least in their current incarnation), because they haven't dropped a real dud on the market yet...

Tim Cook, imo, doesn't want to run a company that way. It certainly worked for Jobs, but it is a dangerous game... He wants Apple to calmly and intelligently manage the life cycle of their products. He wants to build on what they have, and he wants Apple to develop a bit of zen and slow the f*ck down a bit. More importantly, I think he would like Apple to finally become a grown up company, i.e. something investors think of as stable long term investment.

So yeah, excitement is down a bit. I don't see that as a problem though - I think it is completely intentional. I think Apple will still "innovate", but the pace will slow down and more focus will be put on capitalizing on their existing products - less hype and more straight up business sensibilities.

I think the recent stock repurchase announcement is very much inline with the new "grown up" Apple. Jobs would have never threw 60 billion in cash back at investors unless the stock was completely tanking... But it isn't tanking by a long shot - unless your a short term investor. This kind of buyback program is aimed to weed out those kind of investors (i.e. buy their stock back) so that Apple can resell it later (at a profit) to investors who will stick it out and believe in the company over the long haul - all Cook has to do is convince them Apple is a strong ship that won't rock too much.

That is something Jobs could never do.

Reply Parent Score: 11

apple stock purchases
by shotsman on Wed 24th Apr 2013 06:53 in reply to "RE: What's going on here?"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

I agree with you. If Apple has declared that they were going to issue 'new' shares then I'd be worried about the future of the company.

most major corporations do buy back lots of shares. IBM has been doing it for years. It keeps the share price high but can provide a better ROI than just dividends.
The difference between a Growth stock and an Income stock perhaps?

disclaimer: I bought $50K of Apple at $32 and cashed out at $190 years later. I also lost a load on Compaq/HP over the same period.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: What's going on here?
by HappyGod on Wed 24th Apr 2013 07:48 in reply to "RE: What's going on here?"
HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

You're absolutely right. I really do believe that's the game plan for Apple by Tim.

Unfortunately that excitement is like crack for some people. They've had a fair bit of it, and they want more.

If Apple stops providing it, they'll look elsewhere. And they are looking elsewhere. Just look at the latest product launch for the S4. It was right over the top, in the kind of way that Steve Jobs was like to do in the past. It wasn't quite as slick as Apple, but you could clearly see what they were trying to do.

But, most importantly; grown-up, boring companies make grown-up, boring products. It's the irresponsible, risk-taking companies that make the stuff you actually want to buy.

Just ask Microsoft.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: What's going on here?
by unclefester on Fri 26th Apr 2013 06:23 in reply to "RE: What's going on here?"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The word on Wall Street is that an active search is on to find a replacement for Tim Cook.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: What's going on here?
by majipoor on Wed 24th Apr 2013 08:38 in reply to "What's going on here?"
majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

You are a brilliant example of an Apple hater: congratulation.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: What's going on here?
by kovacm on Thu 25th Apr 2013 21:47 in reply to "What's going on here?"
kovacm Member since:
2010-12-16

I don't see the kind of excitement for Apple products (esp iOS) as I used to. Even the Apple fanboys in the tech press are kind of going 'WTF'? But I think I have an idea of what's going on here. The problem for Apple is that they don't have Jesus Jobs around anymore. That guy was a master snake oil salesman. He could put out a product with half the functionality of the competition, but make it idiot-proof to the point that a 90yo could use it, and then somehow convince the iTards that it was a premium product and a status symbol. Even before the iPhone was capable of running 3rd party apps, that guy had people lined up around the block. That takes talent to pull off.

I don't think Tim Cook has that sort of charisma, so you see the reality distortion field starting to wear off.

Only on this kind of blog you can see "4+" points for such a comment...

Reply Parent Score: 1