Tuesday, October 4, 2011
AAPL is down almost 4% as I write this, so it would seem that some folks were disappointed with Apple's unveiling today. No iPhone 5? I don't see that as a problem, since the 4S model they announced can do just about anything that was envisioned for a 5 model, except for the lack of LTE hi-speed data support (i.e., 4G data speeds). I wasn't expecting 4G anyway, since a) the coverage is still in the early stages of being built out, and b) the technology to put 4G in a handheld devices has not advanced enough to avoid draining the battery in a matter of hours. In any event, Apple has tweaked their antenna technology in a way that will allow much faster data transmission using 3G. Not having 4G is not going to make much of a difference to the great majority of people.
The only real disappointment was that the screen size was not bigger, as many had rumored. But it's still the best screen on the market. You will have to settle for a far more powerful processor.
I had been thinking of replacing our compact Canon camera, since it suffered from a fall when we were in Argentina earlier this year. But now, with the camera in the 4S, there will be no need for a hand-held. If I want to take professional shots, I'll use my Canon DSLR. For everything else, I'll have my 4S always handy in my pocket.
I'm excited about iCloud, since that is going to make it effortlessly easy to share and access my documents, photos, apps, and books between my 6 Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, and 2 iMacs). No more cables needed to download photos, update my iPhone, or display the HD movies I take on the iPhone on our 48" screen. I won't have to update my wife's iPhone anymore, since it will update itself automatically.
The Siri voice recognition and personal assistant feature is almost certainly going to revolutionize how people use and interact with computers. The concept alone makes it a killer app. If you don't like using Apple's on-screen keyboard to tap out texts and emails (I agree that sometimes get very tiring), just tell your phone "Send a message to my wife telling her I'll be 15 minutes late for our dinner tonight."
Apple currently has only a 5% share of the multi-billion-size global cell phone market. This is likely to grow by leaps and bounds. Pretty soon all those billions of phones will be smartphones, and Apple is likely to stay in front of the smartphone pack. The iPhone is going to go viral, and Apple has plenty of upside.
AAPL looks pretty attractive right now, selling for only 14 times current earnings, and 13 times expected earnings. And that's not counting Apple's huge stash of cash, which is approximately $75-80 per share. Take that out and the stock is just plain cheap.
Full disclosure: I am long AAPL at the time of this writing.
Posted by Scott Grannis at 12:30 PM