Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category

Video: New Gear from Apple and Verizon Wireless?

May 3, 2009

I normally would not send out a link to about a story published earlier this week. But since the scoop, New Gear from Apple and Verizon Wireless, continues to draw interest (it popped up again on the most read stories list of BusinessWeek this weekend), I am posting a link to the video commentary I taped for the story.

Click here to see my video commentary on the talks between Verizon Wireless and Apple over potentially distributing to new Apple Devices.

SEC Opens Inquiry Into Apple and Steve Jobs

January 21, 2009

This morning, Bloomberg reported that the Securities & Exchange Commission is reviewing disclosures about Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs’s health problems to ensure investors weren’t misled.

Later today, the Wall Street Journal followed up with a story reporting that the SEC “has opened an inquiry into Apple Inc.’s disclosures about Chief Executive Steve Jobs’s health.”

I am not surprised that the SEC has opened an inquiry, if it has. Last week, I wrote a story questioning the actions of the Apple board with respect to this issue, based on interview with corporate governance experts. Many experts said that Jobs and the Apple board, of which Jobs is a member, have not been forthcoming enough about the health of Jobs and the company’s succession plan.

I reiterated these thoughts on an interview with Fox News in which I criticized the actions of the Apple board. I thought it seemed a bit dodgy that Apple and Jobs could have changed their view of his health problems so drastically within one week. In my blog, I questioned the first letter that Jobs wrote. “The letter should have been much more measured in its presentation and tone, indicating that the cause of Jobs’s health problems was not totally clear,” I wrote.

Then again, it’s entirely possible that the board did nothing wrong, as Stanford law professor Joe Grundfest noted. If board members believed Jobs was going to be fine, they may not have seen a big need to be more forthcoming about his health or future, he notes. “One of the hallmarks of a complex medical condition is a diagnosis can change over time,” Grundfest says. “If the board has told the truth, then they’ve handled it best as they could.”

These are the issues the SEC will be looking into. What did the board know before the first letter was written? And what did they learn after it was written?

Admittedly, this is a very difficult situation for Apple. And I hope the company is cleared of any wrongdoing. But this is an inquiry that needs to happen in order to protect the shareholders of Apple and any other company that may find itself in a similar situation.

Steve Jobs on the Recession: “We’ll be fine.”

October 22, 2008

Great companies are producing solid earnings so far. Yesterday, Apple was the latest company to turn out solid resultsin the Panic of 2008. Still, Apple’s forecasts for revenue and earnings going forward were lower than analysts expected. So Apple may be fine but they are not immune from the slowdown.

My colleague Arik Hesseldahl covered the announcement.

“Steve Jobs may not be sure how much the economic slump will hurt Apple, but he’s clear on this: It won’t be as bad as pessimists predict. And for the first time in eight years, he got on an analyst conference call to discuss quarterly results to make sure the point wasn’t lost on anyone.

“We may get buffeted by the waves a bit, but we’ll be fine,” Jobs said on the call, following the release of Apple’s fiscal fourth-quarter results.

Evidence of the buffeting may already be showing up. Apple (AAPL) reported $7.9 billion in sales, below the average estimate of analysts, which had come in at $8.05 billion. As for the fiscal first quarter, which includes the all-important holiday selling season, Apple forecast sales of $9 billion to $10 billion, more than $500 million less than analysts were expecting. Per-share earnings will come in at $1.06 to $1.35, at least 30¢ below the consensus estimate. CFO Peter Oppenheimer said the company was being “prudent” in light of the uncertain economy.”

The other stunning news. Apple sold more cell phones than RIMM, which Jobs gleefully pointed out on the call. Having released its second iPhone product, the iPhone 3G in July, Apple sold 6.9 million iPhones, besting the 6.1 million BlackBerrys that RIM sold during the quarter ended Aug. 30.

Read the rest of the story here.

Blackberry vs. Apple: The Battle Heats Up

September 11, 2008

Big news in the smartphone wars today. My colleague Arik Hesseldahl broke the news that the makers of the BlackBerry are stepping up efforts to court consumers, further moving onto Apple’s iPhone turf.

On Sept. 11, Research In Motion is unveiling features that make it easier for users to connect to social network MySpace. The Canadian smartphone manufacturer also plans to announce tools that let subscribers control their TiVo video recorders and view programming that’s been saved via Sling Media’s (DISH) Slingbox.

As I’ve said before, I think this battle benefits both Apple and RIMM. Why? Because the increased innovation stemming from the war is generating a lot of excitement and demand for smartphones, growing the overall market more than it would have without the competition.

The other newsflash: Google announced on its Mobile blog that it has released Google Mobile App for BlackBerry, replacing Google Updater for BlackBerry. Google Mobile for Blackberry gives cell phone owners a comprehensive phone app that bundles many key Google features into one streamlined application.

The Google blog says the app will allow consumers to do the following:

* Fast Google search – enter queries without waiting for a browser to load
* Search history – easily access and amend your previous queries
* Google Suggest – complete queries with less typing
* Easy access to Google products for your phone – click once to download and install our applications for BlackBerry, and get immediate access to our web-based services
* Google Apps support – get direct links to your Google Apps Calendar and Documents/Spreadsheets (select Menu, Options, Use Google Apps Domain: yes, and then enter your domain name)
* Update alerts – learn about new versions of downloadable Google mobile applications and upgrade with just one click

Why is Apple Stock Getting Clobbered?

February 9, 2008

In this week’s Digital Dish, BusinessWeek reporters dig into the steep slide in Apple’s shares, troubles with social networks and more analysis of the Microsoft-Yahoo! deal.

Last year, Apple was among the world’s best-performing companies and stocks, more than doubling in value. This year, it’s stock has entered a tailspin. After hitting close to $200 on December 28, Apple shares have plummeted nearly 40% to $121, before bouncing back to $125 yesterday. What’s going on?

Among the reasons for Apple’s slide that we highlight: A thin product pipeline with no blockbuster products for 2008, a softening economy and possibly weakening sales of the iPhone. Check out this week’s show to see the full discussion.

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