Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Apple continues to impress

Two tidbits of news today have likely helped reverse the recent decline in AAPL:

The Android platform is growing increasingly fragmented and subject to virus and spyware attack. Apple's "closed" platform for iPhones and iPads is proving to be superior, despite being widely criticized. Amazon's Fire tablet, launched today, uses an extensively revised and customized version of Android. Those who want to develop new apps for Android devices now must contend with dozens of products, each of which work just a bit differently, and now, with the Fire, have a variety of screen sizes. Already it can be said that the Android platform does not provide customers with a consistent user experience, and at the rate Android malware is proliferating and new Android-based products are launching, this could become a nightmare for both users and developers pretty quickly. Meanwhile, the best that can be said of the best Android-based phones and tablets is that they are almost as good as Apple products. Competition is good, but I don't see how any product out there can overtake Apple's commanding lead, ease of use, quality control, and seamless integration among a variety of devices.

Apple's iTunes Match was launched yesterday and is receiving rave reviews. I'm not a consumer of music, but my son-in-law is, and he reports that last night it took him only an hour and a half to install the latest version of iTunes on his computer, pay $25 to activate iTunes Match, and then let iTunes scan his 6,000 song music library. He now has his entire music collection—including many thousands of tracks that he had scanned from CDs over the years—in Apple's iCloud, available to listen to on his iPad, iPhone, and iMac. Very impressive, and he didn't have to upload any music to do this. iTunes Match even allows you to receive free a higher-quality version of a song you may have scanned long ago at a low bit-rate. It will be tough for others to beat this offering.

Full disclosure: I am long AAPL at the time of this writing.


Public Library said...

Interesting considering I just read this today:

"Google’s Android operating system accounted for 52.5 percent of all smartphones sold in the third quarter of 2011, according to market research firm Gartner, more than doubling its market share from the same period in 2010."


Cabodog said...

Scott, when I bought my first Android device 18 months ago, the only thing missing was a music solution.

A few months ago, Google introduced Google Music, a great cloud music solution for the Android. It continuously scans iTunes and uploads changes to the cloud, with the music available on any device with Google Music running.

Apple's actually a bit behind Google on this solution in my opinion.

That said, I'm long AAPL also. Still an incredible company with a very loyal and dedicated client base.

John said...

I am impressed with AAPL's choice of Bob Iger for Chairman. His turnaround of Disney is IMO an awesome accomplishment.

John said...

Whoops. Iger was named to the board...not chairman. Still, Arthur Levinson from Genentech should be a solid choice for Chairman.

Benjamin Cole said...

When you get old...

You remember when IBM was solid gold. Then Microsoft. Now Apple. Wasn't Yahoo hot at one time? What about GM?

But private companies are not protected government agencies, like HUD, USDA or the Pentagon.

Apple survives in a competitive world, is slated to rubbed out by a better company at any time. They have a lease on life, that's all. "Creative destructionism" is at the heart of free enterprise.

Along with the writings of Redleaf/Vigilante, this reality makes me think that public companies can be a tricky place to invest. I used to say "buy and hold" but now I say "the trend is your friend."

Where will Apple be in 5, 10 or 20 years?

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