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Apple of Our Eye

Posted on Wednesday, Jan 2nd 2008

2007 was a big year for Apple. With the launch of the iPhone, it has galvanized the convergence device movement and changed the landscape of the mobile industry, as well as my blog.
Shares hit $200 for the first time, recently, although it is now back down to around $195. Conceivably, the stock price will spend a lot more time in the above $200 zone this year, especially after the holiday quarter results are out.

apple 08

Let’s do a quick recap of our coverage of Apple’s iPhone, now that some of the predictions are starting to look real. In the iPhone and the Future series which was written prior to its launch, I have looked at the iPhone’s positioning as a laptop replacement device.

I also analyzed iPhone’s impact on its competitors (RIM, Nokia, Motorola, Palm, Microsoft), with the general conclusion that all of them would benefit from the overall market momentum that Apple has created. Of these, RIM has had the greatest year.

Following the launch of iPhone, I covered Samsung (its major vendor and competitor) and other iPhone component vendors as part of the iPhone Component series. I have also analyzed the impact of the iPhone on the US carriers: ATT (iPhone’s exclusive carrier), Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

But the iPhone is not the only thing that looks exciting about Apple today. In the fourth quarter that ended in October 2007, Apple sold 2,164,000 Macs, up 34% y-o-y; 10,200,000 iPods, up 17% y-o-y; and 1,119,000 iPhones. 2007 revenue was $24 billion and net income was $3.5 billion. And according to Fortune, it has $15 billion cash. You can read my post and the discussion on what it can do with it, where I even made the crazy suggestion of acquiring Dell, culture clash and all included.

Why?

Because.

2007 also saw Apple releasing the latest version of its OS X operating system, called Leopard. Released in October, Leopard will help increase the momentum of Mac sales in 2008. With Microsoft’s new Vista OS not doing too well, Apple loyalists would love to see it trouncing Microsoft and dominating the PC OS market. And for this, I believe, very strongly, that Apple needs to conquer the enterprise desktop / laptop markets, not only remain focused on the consumer. And, in doing business with enterprises, Apple sucks!

The world is eagerly awaiting Steve Jobs’ show-and-tell at Macworld in mid-January. What will he unveil? May be a better AppleTV?

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Sramana:

Do you think part of Apple’s growth in US stems from the anti-establishment/incumbent mentality in vogue these days?

Gaurav Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 8:15 PM PT

No. I think it stems from a very clear vision that Steve Jobs has about how he wants the future to be, and the fact that he has a platform from which to shape this future.

I don’t think Apple is anti-establishment for the sake of being so. They are anti-establishment because the vision is internally driven from some very deep place within Steve’s being.

It’s as if he intuits it from within his soul.

And that is bound to be an authentic vision.

Sramana Mitra Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 9:02 PM PT

[…] in the Technology Stocks series, we covered Apple, RIM, PALM, Microsoft, and News […]

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