THINK BIG

  • Posted: 31 January 2011 11:44 AM

    A lot of people ask what Apple will do with their pile of cash.  That is the wrong question.  The right question is ?What unfilled opportunity is there that Apple sees that everyone else misses??.

    One possibility is better and easier access to the internet.  Is there a way that Apple can bypass the providers?  Suppose Apple could make wifi available to most of the country at, say, $10 or $20 per month.  What would happen?  Is it feasible?  Do they have enough cash for that?  Is there some kind of breakthrough technology that could be used?

    Are there any other such opportunities?  THINK BIG.

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    The measure of the worth of a product is how much people are willing to pay for it, not how many people will buy it if the price is low enough.

         
  • Posted: 31 January 2011 12:36 PM #1

    Which country are you talking about?  If it is the US, why would they bother - it’s a market that has approximately 300m potential customers.  Europe, depending on how you define it, has roughly 857m potential customers, why not address that market also?  China has a popn of 1.3bn (albeit not with the same disposable income level as those in the developed world), why not address that market as well?

    Over half of Apple’s sales come from outside the US, and they are also the fastest growing markets.  I just don’t see a multi-national company ever providing a product or service to such a limited target market if they don’t have to…

    We need to think even bigger!

         
  • Posted: 31 January 2011 12:40 PM #2

    JonathanU - 31 January 2011 04:36 PM

    Which country are you talking about?  If it is the US, why would they bother - it’s a market that has approximately 300m potential customers.  Europe, depending on how you define it, has roughly 857m potential customers, why not address that market also?  China has a popn of 1.3bn (albeit not with the same disposable income level as those in the developed world), why not address that market as well?

    Over half of Apple’s sales come from outside the US, and they are also the fastest growing markets.  I just don’t see a multi-national company ever providing a product or service to such a limited target market if they don’t have to…

    We need to think even bigger!

    Amen to that, but you have to start somewhere…unless you know a better way?

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    The measure of the worth of a product is how much people are willing to pay for it, not how many people will buy it if the price is low enough.

         
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    Posted: 31 January 2011 02:59 PM #3

    westech - 31 January 2011 03:44 PM

    A lot of people ask what Apple will do with their pile of cash.  That is the wrong question.  The right question is ?What unfilled opportunity is there that Apple sees that everyone else misses??.

    One possibility is better and easier access to the internet.  Is there a way that Apple can bypass the providers?  Suppose Apple could make wifi available to most of the country at, say, $10 or $20 per month.  What would happen?  Is it feasible?  Do they have enough cash for that?  Is there some kind of breakthrough technology that could be used?

    Are there any other such opportunities?  THINK BIG.

    One start-up I’m keeping an eye on is LightSquared

    RESTON, Va. ? October 7, 2010 ? LightSquared?, the nation?s first wholesale-only integrated wireless broadband and satellite network, today announced that Qualcomm Incorporated is integrating L-Band LTE technology in its mainstream chipset roadmap. Qualcomm has also developed an advanced satellite air interface technology called EGAL (Enhanced Geostationary Air Link), which enables the satellite mode of operation in mobile devices. Qualcomm is adding L-Band LTE/and EGAL to standard Qualcomm products, including its MDM9600? chipset ? the world?s first LTE multi-mode solution.

    With Apple most likely using the Qualcomm chipsets for the CDMA iPhone, they will be looking at the MDM 9200/MDM9600 for the LTE transition since they support fallback to the 3G network.

         
  • Posted: 31 January 2011 03:21 PM #4

    pats - 31 January 2011 06:59 PM
    westech - 31 January 2011 03:44 PM

    A lot of people ask what Apple will do with their pile of cash.  That is the wrong question.  The right question is ?What unfilled opportunity is there that Apple sees that everyone else misses??.

    One possibility is better and easier access to the internet.  Is there a way that Apple can bypass the providers?  Suppose Apple could make wifi available to most of the country at, say, $10 or $20 per month.  What would happen?  Is it feasible?  Do they have enough cash for that?  Is there some kind of breakthrough technology that could be used?

    Are there any other such opportunities?  THINK BIG.

    One start-up I’m keeping an eye on is LightSquared

    RESTON, Va. ? October 7, 2010 ? LightSquared?, the nation?s first wholesale-only integrated wireless broadband and satellite network, today announced that Qualcomm
    Incorporated is integrating L-Band LTE technology in its mainstream chipset roadmap. Qualcomm has also developed an advanced satellite air interface technology called EGAL (Enhanced Geostationary Air Link), which enables the satellite mode of operation in mobile devices. Qualcomm is adding L-Band LTE/and EGAL to standard Qualcomm products, including its MDM9600? chipset ? the world?s first LTE multi-mode solution.

    With Apple most likely using the Qualcomm chipsets for the CDMA iPhone, they will be looking at the MDM 9200/MDM9600 for the LTE transition since they support fallback to the 3G network.

    Fascinating.  I am not sure how this works.  Could Apple ‘bounce’ an Internet ‘pipe’ off the satellite and distribute it to mobile (and other) devices?  Could this be the reason for the N.C. Server?

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    The measure of the worth of a product is how much people are willing to pay for it, not how many people will buy it if the price is low enough.

         
  • Posted: 31 January 2011 03:53 PM #5

    westech - 31 January 2011 03:44 PM

    A lot of people ask what Apple will do with their pile of cash.  That is the wrong question.  The right question is ?What unfilled opportunity is there that Apple sees that everyone else misses??.

    One possibility is better and easier access to the internet.  Is there a way that Apple can bypass the providers?  Suppose Apple could make wifi available to most of the country at, say, $10 or $20 per month.  What would happen?  Is it feasible?  Do they have enough cash for that?  Is there some kind of breakthrough technology that could be used?

    Are there any other such opportunities?  THINK BIG.

    YoU aren’t thinking big enough. Apple, with over $70 Billion in cash is the most liquid of any US bank (can’t speak for the rest of the world). What if Apple became the bank behind it’s NFC enabled devices?  Instead of earning ~1% per year on that cash, it undercuts the industry and earns 1.5% per transaction, and 9% on unpaid balances. Merchants love it, and consumers love it.

    AND PEOPLE BUY MORE APPLE PROducts.

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    You can’t do more, make more, be more, than the next guy, if you think like the next guy. Think different.

         
  • Posted: 31 January 2011 04:40 PM #6

    westech - 31 January 2011 03:44 PM

    A lot of people ask what Apple will do with their pile of cash.  That is the wrong question.  The right question is ?What unfilled opportunity is there that Apple sees that everyone else misses??.

    One possibility is better and easier access to the internet.  Is there a way that Apple can bypass the providers?  Suppose Apple could make wifi available to most of the country at, say, $10 or $20 per month.  What would happen?  Is it feasible?  Do they have enough cash for that?  Is there some kind of breakthrough technology that could be used?

    Asked and answered long ago.  WiMax is capable of speeds faster than LTE, has a range of up to 30 miles, needs no wires, and is already in operation in some cities.  Apple has the cash to buy Sprint, which is one of the major players in the WiMax development consortium.  What’s holding WiMax back right now is capital.  Clearwire just sold a whole lot more stock recently to raise capital for more rollout.  Once WiMax gets rolling it will replace all hard connections to consumers.  Bye-bye cable and phone companies.  Hello Apple.

         
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    Posted: 31 January 2011 05:32 PM #7

    Gregg Thurman - 31 January 2011 07:53 PM
    westech - 31 January 2011 03:44 PM

    A lot of people ask what Apple will do with their pile of cash.  That is the wrong question.  The right question is ?What unfilled opportunity is there that Apple sees that everyone else misses??.

    One possibility is better and easier access to the internet.  Is there a way that Apple can bypass the providers?  Suppose Apple could make wifi available to most of the country at, say, $10 or $20 per month.  What would happen?  Is it feasible?  Do they have enough cash for that?  Is there some kind of breakthrough technology that could be used?

    Are there any other such opportunities?  THINK BIG.

    YoU aren’t thinking big enough. Apple, with over $70 Billion in cash is the most liquid of any US bank (can’t speak for the rest of the world). What if Apple became the bank behind it’s NFC enabled devices?  Instead of earning ~1% per year on that cash, it undercuts the industry and earns 1.5% per transaction, and 9% on unpaid balances. Merchants love it, and consumers love it.

    AND PEOPLE BUY MORE APPLE PROducts.

    i agree with the bank of apple prospect.

    If we are talking global data service, the only easy way to do that would be to buy/building a satelite network, but that wouldn’t really work for mobile devices withour significant advances in battery and/or mobile satelie receiver technology.

    [ Edited: 31 January 2011 05:34 PM by Burgess ]

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    - Long Apple
    - Pro: Apple HDTV, iPhone Air, Stock split, Consumer robotics

         
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    Posted: 31 January 2011 05:44 PM #8

    Think about what you’re saying:  Apple, the most visionary and successful consumer electronics company headed by a Zen-like CEO, becoming a bank!?  Doubtful.

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  • Posted: 31 January 2011 05:59 PM #9

    incorrigible - 31 January 2011 09:44 PM

    Think about what you’re saying:  Apple, the most visionary and successful consumer electronics company headed by a Zen-like CEO, becoming a bank!?  Doubtful.

    And why not?

    There were computers before the Mac.
    There were digital music players before the iPod.
    There were online music stores before iTunes.
    There were cell phones before the iphone.
    There were tablets before the iPad.

    Apple didn’t invent any of these things, Aplle made them better, much better

    Why not re-invent the credit card industry?

    NFC, Apple mobile devices, and $70+ Billion cash

    PEOPLE WILL BUY MORE APPLE PRODUCTS

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    You can’t do more, make more, be more, than the next guy, if you think like the next guy. Think different.

         
  • Posted: 31 January 2011 06:58 PM #10

    Gregg Thurman - 31 January 2011 09:59 PM
    incorrigible - 31 January 2011 09:44 PM

    Think about what you’re saying:  Apple, the most visionary and successful consumer electronics company headed by a Zen-like CEO, becoming a bank!?  Doubtful.

    And why not?

    There were computers before the Mac.
    There were digital music players before the iPod.
    There were online music stores before iTunes.
    There were cell phones before the iphone.
    There were tablets before the iPad.

    Apple didn’t invent any of these things, Aplle made them better, much better

    Why not re-invent the credit card industry?

    NFC, Apple mobile devices, and $70+ Billion cash

    PEOPLE WILL BUY MORE APPLE PRODUCTS

    I don’t believe it’s in Apple’s DNA.

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    The measure of the worth of a product is how much people are willing to pay for it, not how many people will buy it if the price is low enough.

         
  • Posted: 31 January 2011 08:13 PM #11

    westech - 31 January 2011 10:58 PM
    Gregg Thurman - 31 January 2011 09:59 PM
    incorrigible - 31 January 2011 09:44 PM

    Think about what you’re saying:  Apple, the most visionary and successful consumer electronics company headed by a Zen-like CEO, becoming a bank!?  Doubtful.

    And why not?

    There were computers before the Mac.
    There were digital music players before the iPod.
    There were online music stores before iTunes.
    There were cell phones before the iphone.
    There were tablets before the iPad.

    Apple didn’t invent any of these things, Aplle made them better, much better

    Why not re-invent the credit card industry?

    NFC, Apple mobile devices, and $70+ Billion cash

    PEOPLE WILL BUY MORE APPLE PRODUCTS

    I don’t believe it’s in Apple’s DNA.

    I believe appl’s DNA is very eclectic.  At one time I was considering starting my own business, a close friend of mine who is a VER successful businessman gave me sound advice when he told me “it’s not necessary to think of something that no one else is doing, choose what you know you can do better than anyone else”
    That advice, I believe it is what is in apples DNA.

         
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    Posted: 31 January 2011 09:12 PM #12

    bilter2000 - 01 February 2011 12:13 AM
    westech - 31 January 2011 10:58 PM
    Gregg Thurman - 31 January 2011 09:59 PM
    incorrigible - 31 January 2011 09:44 PM

    Think about what you’re saying:  Apple, the most visionary and successful consumer electronics company headed by a Zen-like CEO, becoming a bank!?  Doubtful.

    And why not?

    There were computers before the Mac.
    There were digital music players before the iPod.
    There were online music stores before iTunes.
    There were cell phones before the iphone.
    There were tablets before the iPad.

    Apple didn’t invent any of these things, Aplle made them better, much better

    Why not re-invent the credit card industry?

    NFC, Apple mobile devices, and $70+ Billion cash

    PEOPLE WILL BUY MORE APPLE PRODUCTS

    I don’t believe it’s in Apple’s DNA.

    I believe appl’s DNA is very eclectic.  At one time I was considering starting my own business, a close friend of mine who is a VER successful businessman gave me sound advice when he told me “it’s not necessary to think of something that no one else is doing, choose what you know you can do better than anyone else”
    That advice, I believe it is what is in apples DNA.

    Well put. Banks are pretty much scum to their customers at the moment - I can see apple entering in the payment field and reshaping the industry.

    Having said that - I had a horrible experience with apple last year in relation to paynents. I bought a new Mac, and at the same time was randomly charged for mobile me service when I did not request it. It charged me in a foreign currency. When I contacted apple, they acknowledged the error and refudned me the money.

    The problem was that their had been fluctuation in the currency exchange rate and so about 10% of the original credit card charge was not refunded. Apple refused to rectify this loss of money even thought they recognised it was there error originally.

    Apple would have to sort out little issues like this first before they launch a mobile payment service.

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    Full Disclosure:

    - Long Apple
    - Pro: Apple HDTV, iPhone Air, Stock split, Consumer robotics

         
  • Posted: 01 February 2011 12:29 PM #13

    bilter2000 - 01 February 2011 12:13 AM
    westech - 31 January 2011 10:58 PM

    I don’t believe it’s in Apple’s DNA.

    I believe apple’s DNA is very eclectic.  At one time I was considering starting my own business, a close friend of mine who is a VERY successful businessman gave me sound advice when he told me “it’s not necessary to think of something that no one else is doing, choose what you know you can do better than anyone else”
    That advice, I believe it is what is in apple’s DNA.

    Well done.  I think its in Apple’s DNA to create compelling reasons to buy, own, use Apple products.

    iPod generated the iTunes Music Store
    iPhone generated the App Store
    iPad generated the iPad App Store
    Macs generated the Mac App Store

    NFC generates the Apple Credit Card/Company.

    Think of the Credit Card fees that Apple would avoid, if they put that cash to work as an internal bank.  That alone would earn more than current interest rates on their cash horde.

    Typical merchant fees on a credit card transaction:
    25? transaction fee per transaction PLUS 2.5% to 3.5% fee assessed the total amount of the transaction.

    Apple earns 30% on a 99? song purchase The above “typical” merchant fee structure would eat up all of Apple’s 30%, and more.  Doing away with the 25? transaction fee would be HUGE (I’d wager Apple has a special rate with the credit card companies), considering the order volume that Apple generates, every day, online, not to mention in its Stores.

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    You can’t do more, make more, be more, than the next guy, if you think like the next guy. Think different.

         
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    Posted: 01 February 2011 12:39 PM #14

    I can’t believe Apple pays anywhere near the typical merchant rates for CC payments.

         
  • Posted: 01 February 2011 12:47 PM #15

    Zeke - 31 January 2011 08:40 PM
    westech - 31 January 2011 03:44 PM

    A lot of people ask what Apple will do with their pile of cash.  That is the wrong question.  The right question is ?What unfilled opportunity is there that Apple sees that everyone else misses??.

    One possibility is better and easier access to the internet.  Is there a way that Apple can bypass the providers?  Suppose Apple could make wifi available to most of the country at, say, $10 or $20 per month.  What would happen?  Is it feasible?  Do they have enough cash for that?  Is there some kind of breakthrough technology that could be used?

    Asked and answered long ago.  WiMax is capable of speeds faster than LTE, has a range of up to 30 miles, needs no wires, and is already in operation in some cities.  Apple has the cash to buy Sprint, which is one of the major players in the WiMax development consortium.  What’s holding WiMax back right now is capital.  Clearwire just sold a whole lot more stock recently to raise capital for more rollout.  Once WiMax gets rolling it will replace all hard connections to consumers.  Bye-bye cable and phone companies.  Hello Apple.

    Zeke, I saw a lot of financial talk at the end of 2010 saying Clearwire was going to run out of money by mid 2011. I’m not sure they will be around much longer. Clearwire is in my area but it’s no faster than mid-range DSL. I also live in an area with lots of hills, making any kind of radio signal, except one bounced off satellites, a real pain. I’ll keep my Comcast broadband connection with local Airport Extreme.