Apple took a couple hard knocks in court this week, Gene Munster is still on his Apple television dream quest, Europe likes Apple’s SIM card design, Apple just can’t stop making money, and analysts talk about next week’s WWDC conference. Pull up a chair and listen to what Mac OS Ken’s Ken Ray has to say about this week’s Apple news.
Apple: Court Room Punching Bag
The judge in this month’s case between Apple and Motorola has laid out some ground rules, and they are definitely not slanted in Apple’s favor. GigaOm’s The Apple Blog has Judge Richard Posner saying Steve Jobs’ hate speech against Android is in, and praise and adoration of Steve Jobs are out.
Apple had asked that Motorola’s lawyers be barred from using portions of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs in the case. Portions like the one where Jobs said, “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” and the one where he said, “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
Posner issued no explanation with his ruling. He just said such topics were in.
As for the reality distortion field, Posner will, apparently, do his best to make sure it doesn’t work in his court. In a separate ruling, Posner said, “I forbid Apple to insinuate to the jury that this case is a popularity contest and jurors should be predisposed to render a verdict for Apple if they like Apple products or the Apple company or admire Steve Jobs, or if they dislike Motorola or Google.”
The trial is set to start next Monday, June 11th, and you can bet none of the Apple world will be paying attention since that’s also the day of the WWDC keynote.
We’ll catch up with it on Tuesday.
Uncle Gene’s Magical Apple TV
If the Apple Television were Tinkerbell, Piper-Jaffray analyst Gene Munster would be clapping loud enough for all of us.
BusinessInsider has Uncle Gene issuing a note last week saying it’s not a question of “if” Apple will release a television, but “when” it’ll do so. And, since he told CNBC viewers last week to hold off on buying a new television until Apple comes out with theirs, he must think that that “when” will be “soon.”
It’s interesting, though, what he doesn’t believe. According to his note, he does not believe Apple needs to revolutionize content delivery right away for Apple’s television to succeed.
Yes, he acknowledges, people want something different from content. The ability to unbundle channels, for example. But “the powers that be” won’t let that be right now. So fine. Apple can wait and we’ll all have to.
Quoting his note,
The bottom line is that we believe in five years Apple will have a significant hand in changing how people consume content on their TV. We know the end point, unbundled channels and DVR in the cloud. However this will take time (3-5 years), and while we believe Apple will innovate on its existing TV content offering at the launch of Apple Television, we caution that the initial offering may more closely resemble the current Apple TV content offering (Netflix, iTunes, and eventually Hulu).
So what’s gonna make this thing sing? Mr. Munster says it’ll be the interface, the addition of apps, and that Jony Ive-vibe.
Munster expects the television “to include Siri and compatibility with third party devices as well as potential integration with content guides, offering consumers improved control which should lead to greater value from their monthly cable subscription.”
Also, he thinks people may have to pay cable companies $5 to $10 a month to use an Apple television, similar to what people pay today to rent cable boxes.
Applications, says Mr. Munster. “We expect Apple to ultimately enable the App Store so consumers can play games, listen to music, etc. on their Apple Television set,” he said. “We believe gaming will be of particular interest given the large base of iOS game developers. We believe games could be controlled by voice, iPhone/iPad and eventually motion capture built into the display.”
And finally, it’ll be pretty! Or cool looking! Quoting his note one more time, “We believe the Apple television will include many existing Apple styling cues including aluminum casing and reduction of wires. We expect the design of the TV to make it the stand-out center piece of the consumer’s living room. We expect the TV to be LCD given the high cost of OLED panels.”
And speaking of cost, Munster thinks it’ll sell for between $1,500 and $2,000.
I have to say he is consistent.
Apple’s micro-SIM Win
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute has apparently gone with Apple’s micro-SIM standard.
You may remember the story from a couple of months ago that had Apple submitting a design for the next SIM-card standard, and Nokia, RIM and Motorola Mobility trying to back back them off it. The three hardware makers had — originally — expressed concern that Apple would own too much of the intellectual property tied to the new SIM standard, so Apple said it would license patents it held related to the design royalty-free.
Now, The Mac Observer says the ETSI says a new standard has been adopted, and while they don’t say it is Apple’s specifically, the Institute does say that the new standard is designed in such a way that it can be backwards compatible, which Apple’s was and competing designs were not.
While that sounds like that should be the end of the issue, it may not be. According to TMO,
While Apple said it will offer royalty-free licensing for its related patents, Nokia threatened to refuse licensing for its related patents if Apple’s design won.
That could gum up the works for the new design, though the piece says it’s unclear whether Nokia will follow through on its threat.
Apple’s Embiggening Bank Roll
One of the most accurate, unpaid analysts watching Apple has a simply stunning prediction for 16-months from now.
Fortune has Andy Zaky of Bullish Cross publishing his projections for for Apple’s pile, though pile doesn’t even begin to cover its expected size.
By the end of the next fiscal year, the last week of September/first week of October 2013, Zaky expects Apple to be sitting on $250 billion in cash and marketable securities, up from the $110 billion on which it was sitting at the end of last quarter.
According to the piece, Apple’s cash alone would be worth more than the market caps of Intel, HP and Dell combined.
I think that’s when Tim Cook’ll throw his toga party.
Captain Obvious goes to WWDC
I would like to be paid gobs of money for stating the obvious. Just start handing me wads of cash for saying things like, “Today was a hot one,” “Politics is a dirty business,” and — at WWDC — “We are expecting some significant new information to be released regarding new products and further developments around the Apple Ecosystem — the ‘glue’ that sustains its momentum in our view.”
Those were my imitations of a television weatherman, a political pundit, and Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes.
The Mac Observer has Reitzes saying all of that about Apple’s upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, though I feel fairly certain that my dog Duncan is also expecting new stuff and Apple ecosystem talk at WWDC.
Don’t give him money for stating the obvious, though. He will just spend it on chew toys.
“We believe it is important to see how excited developers are to make products on the Apple platforms,” said Duncan… I’m sorry… Said Reitzes, adding, “In the past, this excitement has served as a leading indicator for acceleration in sales of various products, especially iPads and iPhones.”
He heard about the record sell-out time for WWDC 2012, yes? Are the 5,000 lucky enough to get in really likely to say, “Eh… I’m not that into it?”
New MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros have him most excited in terms of hardware possibilities. And as far as software, oddly enough, he’s stoked to hear about Mountain Lion and iOS 6.
Barclays Capital has an “Overweight” rating on Apple shares and a 12-month price target of $750.
By the way if you want to pay me gobs of money for stating the obvious: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll talk.
Apple: iPizza Maker
And finally this week, if you are a pizza-maker and you like Apple, maybe you wanna make pizza for Apple.
Macworld UK says the all things iMaker is looking for a pie-maker for its campus in Sacramento.
I did not know it had a campus in Sacramento.
This is not a job for people who occasionally make a pizza, which I occasionally do. According to the piece, “Apple is hiring pizza chefs with at least 2-4 years of experience making Neapolitan style pizza.”
Who don’t mind living in Sacramento.
The candidate needs to excel at “making pizza dough from scratch,” needs to be “able to portion and toss the dough,” and needs to be able to hand stretch the dough without using a rolling pin.
Yeah cuz you’re not cooking for Microsoft, jerk.
You know what’d be funny? If this was John Browett’s new idea for Apple Retail.
Better pizza, better ingredients… the Apple Store.
They should also do cake.