Apple breaks its silence

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ribonucleic
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Apple breaks its silence

Post by ribonucleic »

Let’s say you’re Apple. You’re faced with the following problem. Three years ago you launched a radical new lineup of Mac Pros. For multiple reasons, you haven’t shipped an update to those machines since. At some point you came to the conclusion that the 2013 Mac Pro concept was fundamentally flawed. ...

And so you decided to completely redesign the Mac Pro. But that new design isn’t going to ship this year. You’re committed to your pro users, but a sizable chunk of them are growing ever more restless. They suspect — in some cases strongly — that you don’t care about them anymore. They see the stalled Mac Pro lineup as a sign that Apple no longer cares about them, and they worry deeply that the Mac Pro isn’t merely waiting for a major update but instead is waiting to be decommissioned.

What do you do?

There are really only two options at this point. The first would be to suck it up and wait until the next-generation Mac Pros are ready to be announced, and suffer in silence while more and more people point to the current Mac Pro’s stagnation as proof that Apple is abandoning the Mac Pro market.

The second would be to bite the bullet and tell the world what your plans are, even though it’s your decades-long tradition — a fundamental part of the company’s culture — to let actual shipping products, not promises of future products, tell your story.

Apple chose the latter.
[emphasis added]

http://daringfireball.net/2017/04/the_mac_pro_lives

Probably everyone reading this owns a piece of Apple one way or the other. If nothing else, as the world's largest company, everything it does is news.

The key point here is not that there will be a new Mac Pro - which, even if it doubled the company's financial expectations for it, would still be no more than a rounding error on its annual balance sheet. The point is: Apple never does this.

This is like Monsanto donating all its patents to the public domain. This is like News Corp naming Noam Chomsky to its Board of Directors. It's that out of character.

Now maybe the glass is half-full and Apple is taking these pains because it cares about even this very small segment of its customer base. Or maybe the glass is half-empty and Apple is belatedly recognizing that it can't afford to further alienate the power-user creative professionals who established its brand cachet in the first place.

But there's a glass with some water in it sitting on the table. And I doubt there will be more surprising financial news published this week.
cheesepep
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by cheesepep »

Apple has acknowledged thermal issues in the MP. Very simple solution is to make it bigger. The current trash can model is very small. By making it three inches wider and 6 inches taller, very different and more powerful GPUs can be used, all while keeping thermal issues at bay. It is a desktop computer after all. So simple, but Apple has (at least until now) fail to do it.
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knpstr
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by knpstr »

I think you're overreacting.

:beer
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Dottie57
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by Dottie57 »

cheesepep wrote:Apple has acknowledged thermal issues in the MP. Very simple solution is to make it bigger. The current trash can model is very small. By making it three inches wider and 6 inches taller, very different and more powerful GPUs can be used, all while keeping thermal issues at bay. It is a desktop computer after all. So simple, but Apple has (at least until now) fail to do it.

The article shows Apple admiting it made a mistake with the last MP. The next one should be more flexible and upgradeable.which I think is what high end users want. Sounds good, but not soon.
Last edited by Dottie57 on Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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telemark
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by telemark »

They might even acknowledge the existence of customers who are more interested in getting some work done than in having a beautiful work of art to put on their--but hey, who am I kidding? The Chomsky thing will happen first.
Dottie57
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by Dottie57 »

telemark wrote:They might even acknowledge the existence of customers who are more interested in getting some work done than in having a beautiful work of art to put on their--but hey, who am I kidding? The Chomsky thing will happen first.
Do you make this type of remark to car enthusiasts?
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telemark
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by telemark »

Dottie57 wrote: Do you make this type of remark to car enthusiasts?
Not that I recollect, but none of the car enthusiasts I know happen to need to run Apple software on high end computers. Not sure
I see the connection here.
stimulacra
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by stimulacra »

I think the halo effect of Apple's Mac desktop line has EVERYTHING to do with their little kimono lift with Mac bloggers and tech influencers.

True, the Mac Pro might represent a less than 10% of all Macs sold, which themselves are only a small fraction of all Apple devices sold, but I think they're still an important keystone of Apple's product lines and have benefitted greatly from the accumulated goodwill of die-hard mac users over these past several decades.

Their desktop product lineup was languishing. They released a redesigned Mac Pro over 3 years ago and haven't touched it since. Historically Macs have been updated annually.

Long time Mac users were feeling the lack of love in terms of hardware and software updates and there's been a steady exodus of power users migrating to other platforms and solutions. Although not an immediate threat to Apple's bottom line, this represents a critical threat to Apple's exalted brand cachet and they should have acted sooner to prevent it from getting to this point.

I'm confident that they'll get back into the groove with the next iteration of the Mac Pro, iMac, and further down the line the Mac Mini. As the target audience for these products, it's been a rough couple of years (I'm waiting patiently for a viable and up-to-date desktop solution from Apple) and I've lost some amount of patience and sympathy for Apple (Computers)…
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knpstr
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by knpstr »

stimulacra wrote:True, the Mac Pro might represent a less than 10% of all Macs sold, which themselves are only a small fraction of all Apple devices sold, but I think they're still an important...
Yeah, the ENTIRE "Mac" line of products (all desktops/laptops) only accounts for ~10% of Apple's overall revenue.

:beer
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius
Rhadamanthus
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by Rhadamanthus »

knpstr wrote:
stimulacra wrote:True, the Mac Pro might represent a less than 10% of all Macs sold, which themselves are only a small fraction of all Apple devices sold, but I think they're still an important...
Yeah, the ENTIRE "Mac" line of products (all desktops/laptops) only accounts for ~10% of Apple's overall revenue.

:beer
Only? Their revenue for 2016 was 215.6 BILLION, so 10% is 21.5 BILLION.
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triceratop
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by triceratop »

This is like Monsanto donating all its patents to the public domain. This is like News Corp naming Noam Chomsky to its Board of Directors. It's that out of character.
But Noam Chomsky is technically qualified :wink: He even wrote a book on the subject ! :twisted:

To be actionable, I think it is dangerous to read too much into these kinds of things.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."
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knpstr
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by knpstr »

Calygos wrote:
knpstr wrote:
stimulacra wrote:True, the Mac Pro might represent a less than 10% of all Macs sold, which themselves are only a small fraction of all Apple devices sold, but I think they're still an important...
Yeah, the ENTIRE "Mac" line of products (all desktops/laptops) only accounts for ~10% of Apple's overall revenue.

:beer
Only? Their revenue for 2016 was 215.6 BILLION, so 10% is 21.5 BILLION.
Yes, only.
10% is quite a small portion (though not insignificant) of their business.
and if Mac pro is 10% of 10% (don't know where that number came from) well then... it is almost insignificant to them.

:beer
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius
stimulacra
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by stimulacra »

Yeah I read that if Apple spun off its Mac division (aka Lenovo) it would be a Fortune 100 company in its own right.

A big part of this is Apple's organizational structure, it's very functional in nature versus the typical conglomerate (divisional) structure for a company it's size. It allows it to pour all of its expertise behind blockbuster hits (iMac, iPod, iPhone) but lets otherwise viable and competitive product lines languish in the dark (Mac, Mac Mini, Apple TV, Apple Airport, Apple Displays).

A divisional approach would allow each business segment to function more autonomously but at the cost of product line sprawl and internal competition between business segments (Think Apple pre-Jobs return).

“Functional Apple struggles to walk and chew gum at the same time”
http://bit.ly/2gPGvet

This issue has been brewing for some time within the mac community.
knpstr wrote:
Calygos wrote:
knpstr wrote:
stimulacra wrote:True, the Mac Pro might represent a less than 10% of all Macs sold, which themselves are only a small fraction of all Apple devices sold, but I think they're still an important...
Yeah, the ENTIRE "Mac" line of products (all desktops/laptops) only accounts for ~10% of Apple's overall revenue.

:beer
Only? Their revenue for 2016 was 215.6 BILLION, so 10% is 21.5 BILLION.
Yes, only.
10% is quite a small portion (though not insignificant) of their business.
and if Mac pro is 10% of 10% (don't know where that number came from) well then... it is almost insignificant to them.

:beer
finite_difference
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by finite_difference »

Even if it's only 1% of its market, I think Apple should make a workstation class desktop, even if it's more or less breaking even. They should charge more for it but take less of a profit. I think having a workstation class offering is good for their ecosystem.

I don't think the redesigned Mac Pro was bad, but I wish Apple had better GPU driver support. And they didn't refresh the Mac Pro enough (needs a hardware refresh at least every 1.5 years.)

I guess with laptops getting faster and faster they could get away with dropping the workstation class desktop and just having MacBooks/iMac but I think that'd be a shame.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
PFInterest
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by PFInterest »

How is this actionable?
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ribonucleic
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by ribonucleic »

PFInterest wrote:How is this actionable?
For index investing, it isn't.

But as a recent thread confirmed, a few here do experiment with individual stocks. For them, this could be a Buy or Sell signal - depending on how one interprets it.

FWIW, I don't know if creative professionals, who have already been waiting for three years, can afford to wait who knows how much longer for Apple to ship something that helps them pay the bills.
Dottie57
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by Dottie57 »

I think this tends to be a "buy" signal. I just sold my apple stock in order to de-risk from last vestige of individual stocks. Apple did do well for me, however.
stimulacra
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by stimulacra »

knpstr wrote: Yes, only.
10% is quite a small portion (though not insignificant) of their business.
and if Mac pro is 10% of 10% (don't know where that number came from) well then... it is almost insignificant to them.

:beer
From the Daring Fireball website: “Even among pro users, notebooks are by far the most popular Macs. In second place are iMacs. The Mac Pro is third. Apple declined to describe the Mac Pro’s share of all Mac sales any more specifically than “a single-digit percent”, but my gut feeling is that the single digit is a lot closer to 1 than it is to 9.”
DVMResident
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by DVMResident »

Dottie57 wrote:
telemark wrote:They might even acknowledge the existence of customers who are more interested in getting some work done than in having a beautiful work of art to put on their--but hey, who am I kidding? The Chomsky thing will happen first.
Do you make this type of remark to car enthusiasts?
Yup, sure do. Besides, everyone knows the best car is a lifted Smart car on monster truck wheels: go anywhere; park anywhere. Living the dream.
meaghansketch
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by meaghansketch »

I am a creative professional.

My current workstation (in my office) is a 2009 mac pro. Between 2012 and 2015 I was working on a slightly newer Mac Pro (not sure what year, but I remember that it had been purchased shortly before I started working there.) FWIW I am part of the group getting more and more unsatisfied with Apple's unwillingness to serve their professional customers (not to mention my collection of adapters for standards that Apple supported for about 2 minutes and then abandoned).

My home computer (which I also do pro work on) is a Windows machine I built myself. I spent $750 when an equivalent mac would have probably cost $3500.
jrbdmb
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by jrbdmb »

Dottie57 wrote:
telemark wrote:They might even acknowledge the existence of customers who are more interested in getting some work done than in having a beautiful work of art to put on their--but hey, who am I kidding? The Chomsky thing will happen first.
Do you make this type of remark to car enthusiasts?
Most car enthusiasts admire a beautiful car - but not if the beautiful design comes at the expense of performance. Likewise a sleek stylish Mac Pro is a great thing, until the design causes overheating issues or inhibits potential upgrades.
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telemark
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by telemark »

PFInterest wrote:How is this actionable?
If you are a professional earning a living with Apple software, particularly in something like video editing where performance matters, and you are considering making the transition to software that runs on cheaper hardware, this is a factor in the decision. I don't know how many Bogleheads fit that description. For the rest of us, Apple stock has always been a very bumpy ride, and it's the largest single stock, currently around 2.78%, in the total stock index. We have many long threads on whether TSM is really diversified and I see no point in starting another, but Apple is probably the single best argument against using market weights alone.

But it's not *that* amazing for Apple to admit to making mistakes. Remember the hockey puck mouse?
ValueInvestor99
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by ValueInvestor99 »

I have a 2011 desktop, and my laptop is a little newer. I had to get an iPhone
last year to communicate with my SUV.

I sold all my Apple stock because their buy backs were not improving AAPL stock performance.
CurlyDave
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by CurlyDave »

ValueInvestor99 wrote:...I sold all my Apple stock because their buy backs were not improving AAPL stock performance.
I have a fair chunk of AAPL with a cost basis of $4.50. Gain is 3100 %. What kind of stock performance would be "good enough"?
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Geneyus
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Re: Apple breaks its silence

Post by Geneyus »

ribonucleic wrote: Probably everyone reading this owns a piece of Apple one way or the other. If nothing else, as the world's largest company, everything it does is news.
I'm proud to say, I've never owned an Apple product. I like Android phones because they are more customizable and user-friendly with multiple buttons. I like the programs on PC's better. I have access to Apple computers at work, and I'm one of two people who have a PC on their desk. I dare say that a lot of the "new" things Apple announces on their products (curved screen anyone?) have already been introduced on competitor products. Apple didn't even invent Siri.
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