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Wall Street Analyst Neff Shows Once Again That He Knows Nothing About Apple

Wall Street Analyst Neff Shows Once Again That He Knows Nothing About Apple

by , 4:40 PM EST, March 6th, 2001

This is an editorial, so I am not going to pull any punches. Andrew Neff is a freakin' idiot. Mr. Neff, somehow employed by Bear Stearns as an analyst, has been prattling on about consolidation and mergers in the computer industry for months. He's at it again today, and Reuters fell for the bait Mr. Neff laid out. From the Reuters article:

"Keep in mind that the PC industry has gone from all of them making money in December, to today -- Gateway's losing money, Apple's losing money, H-P's losing money," said Bear Stearns analyst Andrew Neff. "You don't think their boards (of directors) are getting a little antsy?"

No, Mr. Neff, I don't think that Apple's board is getting antsy. Also, Apple did not make money in December, but their guidance, which has not been changed, says they will make money this quarter. That is, give or take a bit, exactly the opposite of Mr. Neff's statement, but that's just nit-picking, isn't it?

Mr. Neff is also the analyst who said that along with the mergers, Apple clearly needed to move to the X86 platform, away from the PowerPC. What bothers me about this is not the idea of Apple moving to Intel. I am among those that believe that Apple has some version of Mac OS X working on Intel (nothing complete by any stretch), just in case they ever need to make such a move. Rather, what has me bothered is the fact that a supposed computing industry analyst could be so clueless about the way computers work that he can avoid mentioning the fact that Apple would likely lose most of their developers who are not going to want to convert their old products to a new processor. This is more than a recompiling we are talking about, it would be a re-coding that would be far more resource intensive than merely carbonizing their apps for Mac OS X. In other words, it's not something that is lightly done, and there is little doubt that some fringe developers would rather abandon the platform and learn Windows development if they are going to have learn something new anyway.

Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt that there will be some consolidation among PC makers. Maybe even Apple will be bought by Sony/Disney/Gateway/Dell/Power Computing. Consolidation is a natural part of the business cycle in every industry, especially ones that are considered to be mature, or approaching maturity. That certainly describes the computer industry. With profits decreasing, and sales *growth* slowing down, some box makers will certainly go by the way side.

However, Mr. Neff has been touting his opinions at every opportunity (nothing inherently wrong with that), and a certain air of wish-fulfilment seems to be at play. By whining about it long enough, surely someone will merge and thereby prove Mr. Neff right, right?

Read the full Reuters article for quotes from more analysts. It's an interesting read, if you can ignore Mr. Neff.

I have been torn on whether or not to give this "analyst" any press, and though part of me says I shouldn't, his blathering just get me too mad. What do you think?

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