Apple pays dearly for staunch privacy stance

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook appears to be in trouble over his repeatedly stated opinion on technology and personal privacy.

Cook has been consistent in his stance on releasing private information of his customers from the San Bernardino shooters in 2015.

On Sunday Cook appeared on “60 Minutes” and his recent presentation backing the right to privacy at an European Union conference. No other US tech CEOs appeared live at this conference.

During his EU presentation, Cook said this: “Today [the private information] trade has exploded into a data industrial complex. Our own information, from the everyday to the deeply personal, is being weaponized against us with military efficiency,” Cook said at a conference in Brussels on data privacy last week.

Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and SnapChat among others declined to appear live.

So come Monday two iPhone component suppliers cut sales projections for the upcoming quarter. While neither company named Apple as the reason for the revenue shortfall, Wall Street took Rice to the woodshed taking 5% or roughly $50 billion out of investors pockets.

Apple has said recently it will not breakout individual product sales numbers anymore in it quarterly earnings reports in keeping with other manufacturers.

Now iPhone sales may be slowing as market saturation and the costs for replacement units continue to rise, but the timing of these two events — “60 Minutes” and stock collapse — appear to be a shot across the bow of Apple to tone down the privacy rhetoric.

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Most Americans should not fear the word tariffs

The tariff tiff between US and China is just that. Nothing even nearing a war.

If you believe that trade between the two countries will be hampered, constrained or restricted it will not it is merely hand wringing by liberal media.

No country would spite their citizens by cutting trade off with the US. We buy more from every country than any other country no matter the product or raw material category.

No the Trump administration is attempting to right a decades-long wrong when it comes to pricing and access to markets for US manufactures. Past administrations have short-shifted Americans for the idea of globalism vs nationalism.

Large US multinational corporations made huge profits working off of a globalist model where products were made in low-cost environments with taxes being held overseas.

The Trump White House wants to curtail this model in order for Americans to benefit from these jobs. The new Apple/Foxconn agreement is a possible template for his trade philosophy.

So the trade war headlines and rhetoric is coming from the left, which wants to continue the move to a globalist model at the loss of American workers. Tariffs are used to level the playing field to make the US stronger.

Why have we not heard of tariffs for over 20 years? Because previous administrations were giving the candy store away to China, EU and the like.

The White House wants to see the pendulum swing back to benefit Americans.

Apple Capital Management releases investment letter, ehh earnings

Apple — still the favorite of the private investment — has now become a hedge fund itself. Return on Investment is not merely a line on its balance sheet, it’s a business line for the company’s products.

Apple is no longer the company of Steve Jobs that just makes great products that the world did not know it wanted prior to its introduction. No, Tim Cook’s vision is a cross between Apple Capital Management and IBM. Continue reading

Investors are extracting themselves from FAANGs

Silicon Valley could do nothing wrong for the last decade.

New technology, products, apps and personalities took shares to all-time highs. The FAANG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) forced the Nasdaq to blow past its Internet Bubble highs. (BTW, not a fan of Alphabet rebranding).

Continue reading

Tim Cook’s “New Coke” quarterly results will poison Apple

I remember writing here back in May of last year about how Apple had lost its way when reports came out that it would offer a $1,000 iPhone.

Apple may have lost touch with the retail market. Sure Apple may be able to sell a $1,000 phone set to the rich and famous, but there are no large-scale buyers out there for a $1,000 unsubsidized model.

That was back in May, before Tim Cook announced that there would be two iPhone models being offered to customers for the holidays.

I wrote at the time: What is wrong with Apple? How do you cannibalize your leading sales product by offering two models? You are not a car company.

I believe Cook’s  decision to have two models go head-to-head in the company’s most important sales quarter will go into college marketing programs as the biggest blunder since New Coke.

Well we find out after the close of markets Thursday just how bad that decision was as Apple reports quarterly earnings. Remembering of course that most of Apple’s shares are held by hedge funds and other large institutional investors, so the churn out of the stock will be muted.

The company has been the largest market cap company in the US for two years, but it could relinquish that title Thursday back to Alphabet (Google), which also reports after the close.

Going into today’s trading the market caps of the two tech firms are separated by less than $35 billion, $851.7 billion for Apple and $817.1 billion for Alphabet.