Apple staying the course: Dr. Dan-o eats some of his own “Claim Chowder”

Hola Todos!

Apple did have a big day yesterday as they did in fact, “have a lot to cover” (full event here).  You will not have to search far or wide to find to review today somewhere in the blogosphere (what the analysts are saying here).  I was happy to see an iPad Mini w/Retina screen.  Changing the iPad branding to “Air” was unexpected, but overall, we did not see a new product line debut.  Sometime in the near future (i.e., 12 to 18 months), we’re going to need to see something truly new from the executives in Cupertino.

That said, it is time for me to eat some of my own “Claim Chowder.” Claim chowder is when you eat your words (nod to John Gruber for coining the term).  Yesterday in the presentation, right after CEO Tim Cook stated that Apple sold 170 million iPads in 3 ½ years, he threw up some 2010 claim chowder from journalists such as, “It’s not going to revolutionize anything, it’s not going to replace netbooks” OR “Anyone who thinks it’s a game changer is a tool.”

Exactly at this time last year, I said, “Apple messed up the pricing” as I thought $329 was way too high.  In a later post, I tried to see it more from Apple’s perspective and gave a number of reasons, (i.e., R & D costs, supply chain constrains, a new form factor, etc) to why Apple priced the Mini where they did.  However, the Claim Chowder did not stop there.  In the same post, I later said, “Mark my words, the price of the Mini will drop by this time next year – either $279 or $299.”  I guess I thought I was going to be hungry in October 2013.

The only thing is truly said right last year was the axiom “You price what the market will bear.”  Although Apple does not break out sales of the larger iPad from the Mini, we know that the Mini sold very well in the past 12 months.  Moreover, competition is nowhere close to offering the quality – nor the free software (please don’t underestimate this folks, all that updated new iLife and iWorks software is a BIG BIG deal) making the Mini a fine package.  I’m not saying it’s the cheapest package, but Car and Driver magazine has been calling the BMW 3-Series one of their “10 Best” for 22 straight years – if you want the best, you going to have to pay for it.

Something to think about today…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

 

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

From Burberry to Apple: Angela Ahrendts is headed to Cupertino

Hola Todos!

While everyone thought Apple would have interesting things to say (and debut) on October 22nd, no one expected the announcement of Angela Ahrendts as Apple’s new Sr. VP of Retail Operations (starting sometime in Spring 2014).   Needless to say, the news caused a title wave of posts in the blogosphere, including:

Apple and China (via Daring Fireball)

Five videos: Tim Cook taps Burberry’s CEO to run Apple retail (via Apple 2.0)

Apple’s Angela Ahrendts: What the pundits are saying (via Apple 2.0)

At the intersection of fashion and technology, is retail chief Angela Ahrendts Apple’s next CEO? (via GigaOM)

Can Angela and Tim Create Apple 3.0 — Or Not? (via Steve Tappin on LinkedIN)

 

Not surprising being the Apple geek that I am, I too jumped into the fray:

Apple hires Burberry CEO to head its retail division (via the LA Times)

 

When I saw the news Tuesday morning, I put a few thoughts together:

(1) Apple really needs help in the retail dept – since Apple fired John Browett in October 2012, they have been leaderless in the retail area.  Ron Johnson made the Apple stores what they are but there has been little to no innovation on that front since Johnson left 2011.

(2) Angela Ahrendts knows technology – There is not another luxury retailer on the planet that targets their customers better through digital channels.

(3) Angela Ahrendts knows upscale – Apple is not a mid-tier player.  Apple does not want to target the mass market. Apple likes to play in the premium space – premium customers.

(4) Angela Ahrendts knows China – and this item BY FAR is the most important.  Apple needs a major push in China.  They have a paltry number of Apple retail stories in China and they have been slow to add more (and no one knows why).  Apple is on the verge of signing a deal with China’s largest telecom carrier – China Mobile – and when that happens, suddenly Apple will have access to 740 million customers to whom they have been locked out from.

In summary, this fills two MAJOR holes in Apple’s overall strategy – (1) China and (2) retail.  I’d call it a bigger grand slam than David Ortiz’s in Boston on Sunday night.  And in the culture of Lean IN, she’ll be an incredible female executive to the likes of Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer in the Valley.  Apple does not have a female executive in upper management/Sr. VP level (Angela will report directly to CEO Tim Cook) and Apple only has one female board member (Andrea Jung).

I’d say it’s a win-win-win all around.

Something to think about again in early 2014 when Angela lands in Cupertino…

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

http://www.shu.edu/academics/profiles/profile-details.cfm?customel_datapageid_148360=349125

 

 

 

 

iPhone 5c and 5s Round-up: What the analysts are saying

Hola Todos!

Yesterday was Apple Day as I was calling it and Apple loves to share the full keynote with the world.  Apple decided it was going to segment the market even more than before.  Perhaps, John Gruber of Daring Fireball put it best:

“This move is about establishing the iPhone as a two-sibling family, like how the MacBooks have both the Airs and the Pros. Think of the 5C as the Air, and the 5S as the Pro. Or iMac and Mac Pro. The iPhone is growing up as a product family.”

Most much of the press this morning will be talking about the colors of the 5c or the finger-print ID of the 5s, but I think the new camera features in the 5s (slow motion HD recording) are just incredible.  Your phone is no longer a “good substitute” for your point and shoot camera, it is better that your point and shoot camera.  I’ll be posting more reviews as I see them but here’s another.

Perhaps the most interesting thing that happened yesterday is Apple’s stock tanked – in a major way: Wall Street was not impressed.  I was talking with a number of reporters yesterday (here’s Dr. Dan-o in Forbes and here’s Dr. Dan-o in The Washington Post) and I was emailed this line back:

No sizzle in today’s announcement….no sizzle from Apple in quite some time.

Well, this statement isn’t totally inaccurate.  Regardless if the lower end model iPhone 5c is on par than any other non-Apple product on the market OR that the iPhone 5s is the most advanced phone ever created – the perception is that Apple can’t tie its shoes without Steve Jobs as Apple has not released something since his passing two years ago that can be considered a new category.

In October, we’ll see new iPads and iPods.  In November, we’ll see an updated Apple TV with a new user interface and App store specific to TV.  Wall Street will not be impressed with those either.  However, iPod was 2001, iPhone was 2007 and iPad was 2010 – that’s a lot of years in-between those innovations.  Wall Street has never been known for being patient.

What I look for are the sales numbers and the contracts with China Mobile and NTT Japan (both were iPhone hold outs) but can be corrected with an iPhone 5c.  I would be very surprised if the Apple vs. Android numbers outside of the US do not look different 6 months from now.

Just something to tuck away…

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

 

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

News of the Week: All Eyes on Apple with New iPhones and iOS7

Hola Todos!

Tuesdays will be Apple Day in the media as we get to see what Tim Cook and Team have up their sleeve.  There is little doubt that Apple will debut two new iPhones: (1) a high end model probably called the iPhone 5s and (2) a lower end model probably called iPhone 5c.  What else may we see or not see?  Here are two nice roundups (#1 and #2) but regardless of what happens in Cupertino, some members of the media will surely be disappointed because “Apple cannot innovate without Steve Jobs.”  The “Apple has an innovation problem” commentary has already started.

If it wasn’t for Microsoft – Steve Ballmer – Nokia – I’m sure Apple would have dominated the headlines last week as well.  However, I’m curious how Apple’s news on Tuesday will impact not only the Microsoft – Steve Ballmer – Nokia story lines, but also the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch (or whatever that thing is) and Android story lines.   Nice candy bar or not (even Dr. Dan-o got a quote in on Google -KitKat), I’m sure we’ll see an update on iOS7 on Tuesday and comparisons with Android will be enviable.

All cool links to check out today…

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

 

 

How High or Low will Apple’s Stock Go? 2013 Q3 Preview

Hola Todos!

Today is a rare day – it only happens four times per year.  Apple rarely talks company performance but when they do, it always interesting to see if they’ll divulge anything new or interesting.  Sometime later today after the market has closed (EST), Apple will announce their 2013 3rd quarter results.

Philip Elmer-DeWitt does a bang up job gathering and summarizing both the institutional and the independent analysts’ projections.  In short, most feel we’ll see flat revenue  and profits  or perhaps the first year-to-year revenue drop in 10 years.  If that happens, I can’t see how the stock isn’t going to take a hit.

This story can all be summarized to one word: growth.  The iPod, iPhone, iPad and iTunes have fueled Apple for the past ten years and their growth is not the same.  I still expect iPad to be strong and even iTunes could be a Fortune 500 company.  I do not believe the smartphone market has peaked but I do believe it is not growing at the same pace it was in 2011.  Recently, I started listening to Horce Dideu of the Asymco.com blog and his Critical Path podcast and he consistently emphasizes that Tim Cook and team has to have a few new products up their sleeves to fuel the next wave of Apple’s growth.

I’ll be listening – and I wonder if Apple will fare better than Google and Microsoft did in the past week.

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

 

Apple Social Responsibility in China: An Update

Hola Todos!

Tim Cook is often criticized and it is not hard to find a “Fire Tim Cook” article in the blogosphere (note: these usually come from the Wall Street financial writers).  I have been writing for some time that Tim Cook has been stepping out from the shadow of Steve Jobs (ex. 2013 WWDC Round upIs Apple Cursed?The Legacy of Steve Jobs).

Another example of how Tim Cook is being different from Mr. Jobs is Apple’s social responsibility in China. In a recent Apple 2.0 Blog post, Philip Elmer-DeWitt called it a complete 180 stating:

The bulk of the work Apple has done began in 2012, after the death of Steve Jobs. It is generally believed that Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has been traveling to China as a supply chain executive for many years, has been supportive of Apple’s cooperation with environmental groups in a way that Jobs was not. Ma said he has not met with Cook but that he has held meetings with other high-level Apple executives.”

The shadow of Steve Jobs still looms large today but as a leader, Tim Cook has been making the CEO office his own and I expect even more Tim Cook fingerprints in the coming year.

Something to check out today…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

 

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media Listening: Apple & WWDC

Hola Todos!

Last week was a big week for Apple.  At the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple debuted new Mac Airs, Mac Pro, iTunes Radio, iOS7 and OSX Mavericks.  Wondering what was the most talked about of these new announcements?  In an excellent exemplar of social media listening, Philip Elmer-DeWitt on his Apple 2.0 blog linked to an interesting analysis by Silicon Valley based social media monitoring firm called Viral Heat.

According to their report, Viral Heat detailed iOS7 was the winner with 417,336 tweets, 15,082 Facebook comments, 15 Pinterest pins, 20,800 mentions on the real-time web, and 3,097 videos (not sure if these were YouTube, Vine, or something else).

Regardless if you’re a Mac person or not, social media listening and reports like this one are more commonplace then ever.  And, this type of analysis is not limited to big events or conferences.  I know for a fact, that major CPG firms track 24/7 their top-tier brands on the social web.

Something to check out today…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Apple 2013 WWDC Round-Up: Welcome to the Post-Steve Jobs Era

Hola Todos!

I believe the blogosphere is just starting to grapple with that happened yesterday at Apple’s WWDC 2013 Keynote Address – Welcome to the post Steve Jobs Apple. We know that Apple has been highly criticized in the business press for “the lack of innovation” since the passing of Steve Jobs – especially recently over the last nine months since we have not had a major announcement from Apple (whereas Apple rarely when 3 to 6 months without announcing a major update of some sort).

Apple had a major transition in October 2012 updating the iPhone, iPad, iTouch and introducing the iPad mini in a 4-week span. By the end of that Oct, Forstall was gone and the entire management team was shaken-up and re-aligned.  Jony Ive was placed in charge of hardware and software and yesterday, we saw the first look at the post Steve Jobs Apple – further evidenced by the 90-second introduction video at the keynote and the new “signature” 60-second TV commercial.

One of Steve Jobs’ most famous quotes was “Design is not just what it looks like.  Design is how it works” and yesterday, Ive and team demonstrated that philosophy as the main driver in iOS7 and OSX Mavericks.  Apps that “nap” to conserve battery life – graphics that use less juice because they are flatter and more translucent (e.g., less 3D visual reputation) – resulting in a strikingly different look and feel for iOS7 and OSX Mavericks – so much so, that I bet there will be A LOT of people at the Genius Bar to get themselves a refresher course on their iPhones and Macs this fall.

The Keynote was long – 2 hours. What other tech company can hold an audience for 2 hours? Overall, the blogosphere has been measured and positive. The links below represents some of the most interesting links I found on yesterday’s event.

 

The full 2-hour keynote

The 90-second version

A review from various Wall Street analysts

A review from Apple super blogger John Gruber

A list of stats from yesterday’s keynote

11 Jaw dropping features of iOS7

-Apple is making Bing the default search engine for Siri!

-A video of one idiot who thinks Steve Jobs would strangle the current CEO Tim Cook for the lack of innovation

ALL something to check out today…

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

The State of the Internet: Past & Present

Hola Todos!

Last week, The Wall Street Journal held its annual All Things D conference, of which the heavyweights of the heavyweights (Tim Cook, Sheryl Sandberg, Dick Costolo, Elon Musk and many others) came to Rancho Palos Verdes, CA to sit down with Walt Mossberg, Kara Swisher and colleagues to discuss the state of the tech industry.

Although all the presentations are nuggetworthy some way, shape or form, Mary Meeker’s (VC at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and formerly of Morgan Stanley) annual State of the Internet is especially noteworthy.  It’s amazing to see 117 slides go in 23 minutes flat – I mean this presentation moves! Moreover, I feel this presentation has been shared around the blogosphere more than any other at D11.  For instance, here’s one post from Philip Elmer-Dewitt of the Apple 2.0 Blog highlighting 10 of the 117 slides that pertain specifically to Apple.

I say watch the presentation and check all 117!

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

 

Did Apple Just Show Us the iWatch?

Hola Todos!

I was listening to NPR this morning on the way to Seton Hall and I heard an interesting Apple story.  To make a long story short, Apple seems to have found its mojo again with its most recent “Every Day” advertising campaign.  First, we got the “Every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera” while the latest is “Every day, more people enjoy their music on the iPhone than any other phone.”

It’s this second ad that’s got the blogosphere all- a-Twitter. At approximately the 30 second mark, there is a close-up on a young hipster wearing a rather odd looking unknown watch.  In TV campaigns, nothing is left up to randomness so some are wondering if this is the new iWatch or just some prototype for Apple to gage the chatter?

WWDC is just two weeks away with a keynote from Mr. Cook.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

Something (the commercials) to watch today…

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University