AAPL Q3 2012 Conference Call Thread

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    Posted: 24 July 2012 10:05 PM #46

    “Groupthink” isn’t a great excuse for one’s own failings.

    We all blew it (those who had estimates or who bet on earnings or whatever).  That works decently well.

    Why did we mess up?  In part, because bona fide sea changes happened unbeknownst to everyone.  Like actual revs being within 3% of guidance.  When was the last time that happened?

    Whatever value the groupthink excuse has had doesn’t apply now.  Everyone’s on their own.  The rules of the game have drastically changed.  Time to “man up” (not sure if the female equivalent is an appropriate turn of phrase) and move on.

    If you think AFB is swaying you too much, steer clear or balance with something else or some place with alternate views.  If you feel too much like a lemming, watch out for cliffs.

    If you want to stick around, disagreements are always welcome if you’ve got a good case.  I’ll have some bearish-looking numbers coming soon myself.

    [ Edited: 24 July 2012 10:17 PM by Mav ]

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    Posted: 24 July 2012 10:29 PM #47

    Mercel - 25 July 2012 12:22 AM

    Apple is fine.  Our expectations are the issue here.

    Apple products and its sales are good.  But why this sandbagging or non-sandbagging.  Does or does not Peter Oppenheimer know the numbers.

         
  • Posted: 24 July 2012 10:36 PM #48

    Mav - 25 July 2012 01:05 AM

    “Groupthink” isn’t a great excuse for one’s own failings.

    We all blew it (those who had estimates or who bet on earnings or whatever).  That works decently well.

    Why did we mess up?  In part, because bona fide sea changes happened unbeknownst to everyone.  Like actual revs being within 3% of guidance.  When was the last time that happened?

    Whatever value the groupthink excuse has had doesn’t apply now.  Everyone’s on their own.  The rules of the game have drastically changed.  Time to “man up” (not sure if the female equivalent is an appropriate turn of phrase) and move on.

    If you think AFB is swaying you too much, steer clear or balance with something else or some place with alternate views.  If you feel too much like a lemming, watch out for cliffs.

    If you want to stick around, disagreements are always welcome if you’ve got a good case.  I’ll have some bearish-looking numbers coming soon myself.

    I don’t think “groupthink” refers to AFB…I think it was more about looking at the indies and getting excited about their numbers - so much so that it wasn’t questioned.  For the most part people on AFB are positive about AAPL but they are also very critical and analytical.  People question - analyze - question again.  Thing is - just about everyone got this wrong for one reason or another—and maybe there was enthusiasm on the AFB threads but there were those who questioned it as well.  In the end, we CHOOSE to read and listen to people whose opinion we WANT to believe. Isn’t that what really actually happened?

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    Posted: 24 July 2012 10:44 PM #49

    It depends.

    My estimates aren’t influenced by anyone effective Red October 2011.

    If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.  I put it out there to share, and just as I don’t get influenced by others, I make clear that I’m not to influence anyone either.

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  • Posted: 24 July 2012 10:55 PM #50

    Mav - 25 July 2012 01:44 AM

    It depends.

    My estimates aren’t influenced by anyone effective Red October 2011.

    If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.  I put it out there to share, and just as I don’t get influenced by others, I make clear that I’m not to influence anyone either.

    Everyone is different…forgive me for I must be weak…but I will live. 
    And by the way - you can listen to no one or you can listen to everyone but the most important thing is that in the end, we only have ourselves to blame for our decisions - that’s key.

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  • Posted: 24 July 2012 10:56 PM #51

    Tetrachloride - 25 July 2012 01:29 AM

    Does or does not Peter Oppenheimer know the numbers.

    He only knows some of the numbers. Right now he knows sales through 24-Jul and knows his estimates for the remainder of the quarter. Using those estimates he will crank up production as necessary. But if he is wrong, he will be left with a bunch of inventory on the high side, or missed sales on the low side (like MacBook Pro w/retina* right now).

    But the biggest issue is that the world changes rapidly nowadays and sales can quickly surge or slow. I bet that after each EuroScare(TM), sales there (and here also to some extent) go down by a few percent or more messing up all of their estimates. And after each EuroHope(TM) or QE3Hope(TM), sales go up by a few percent.

    * By the way, I just got one a few days ago and it is AWESOME!

         
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    Posted: 24 July 2012 11:10 PM #52

    They mentioned the delayed iPad in china launch a couple of times on the call, I think this could be a clue that they are selling very well.

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    Posted: 24 July 2012 11:13 PM #53

    iPad is up 84% YOY with only a little help from China via the gateways (Hong Kong) and gray market.  And no Siri.  And a weak Europe.

    iPad business is still booming.

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  • Posted: 25 July 2012 12:10 AM #54

    Phoebear611 - 25 July 2012 01:36 AM

    In the end, we CHOOSE to read and listen to people whose opinion we WANT to believe. Isn’t that what really actually happened?

    Your point about personal responsibility is apt, but one tweak: I chose to read everyone, and choose whom to believe based on their track records—I was very careful to watch out for that emotional trap of hearing what I wanted to believe (and thus ignored the really high predictions). We just hit unusual circumstances this quarter, and as a consequence very smart people with a very good track record were way the !@#$% off—including, I think, PO & TC.

         
  • Posted: 25 July 2012 12:16 AM #55

    Tetrachloride - 25 July 2012 01:29 AM

    Apple products and its sales are good.  But why this sandbagging or non-sandbagging.  Does or does not Peter Oppenheimer know the numbers.

    Does not.

    I keep hearing how Apple guides 20% low and so forth, and frankly I looked at history and accepted that without really thinking about it. Well, today was a bit of a wakeup call, and I now think that was always bullshit—sort of an urban legend.

    Doesn’t it make much more sense that: 1) they (PO/TC) take into account all the risks that they see upcoming for the next quarter, then set their guidance at a number they’re sure they can meet even if things go against them on multiple fronts, and 2) because they’re very good at managing they usually beat that pessimistic scenario by a wide margin, and 3) once in a while external forces (and possibly internal mistakes) overwhelm their ability to manage and result in the pessimistic guidance being close the real numbers?

    Or, from a higher view, we have all somewhat exaggerated the extent of Tim Cook’s powers… He is a brilliant operational guy, but there are simply limits to what can be accomplished.

         
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    Posted: 25 July 2012 12:19 AM #56

    They weren’t happy, but I think this was more of a “lower end of expectations” deal than a “Red Alert!” deal.

    I can pretty easily identify one lost megatrend worth a billion or so dollars to Apple - Siri.  There is little doubt in my mind no Siri for iPhone (and iPad) to a lesser degree hurt demand in China and other big markets without Siri.  On the other hand, it’ll also help when iPad and the new iPhone gain “Siri 1.0 (non-beta)” within 3 or so months.

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    Posted: 25 July 2012 12:21 AM #57

    Did Oppenheimer know the numbers?

    Kind of.

    Guidance was exceeded as it always is.  But it was very close to the line.  However, this is a new era - one without Steve Jobs.  For now I’m assuming Oppenheimer will be much more inclined to tell it like it is, with less room for error.

    The Golden Rule of Oppenheimer Guidance is still intact.  Management is reasonably sure the company can meet the guidance it sets.  Apple still did that this quarter.

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    Posted: 25 July 2012 12:32 AM #58

    Mav - 25 July 2012 03:19 AM

    There is little doubt in my mind no Siri for iPhone (and iPad) to a lesser degree hurt demand in China and other big markets without Siri.  On the other hand, it’ll also help when iPad and the new iPhone gain “Siri 1.0 (non-beta)” within 3 or so months.

    On that topic, it’s also a little troubling that one of the fastest growing south american countries, Brazil, with 200M people and a huge middle class, is not being addressed by Siri yet.  Especially if iPhones and iPads start being manufactured there.  The other big holdout is India (either English or Hindi), with 1.2B people as of last count, but that is probably a tougher nut to crack, with all the different english accents, plus Hindi and 20+ major regional languages.

    On the other hand, getting full Chinese support (Cantonese and Mandarin) was extremely overdue.  Hopefully it will be good enough to not be a “toy” anymore.  I’m expecting big things from the new iPhone + iOS 6.0 when it’s finally released in China.

         
  • Posted: 25 July 2012 12:35 AM #59

    mjuarez - 25 July 2012 03:32 AM

    On that topic, it’s also a little troubling that one of the fastest growing south american countries, Brazil, with 200M people and a huge middle class, is not being addressed by Siri yet.

    Wasn’t Siri for Brazilian Portuguese one of the features of iOS 6 mentioned at the WWDC keynote?

         
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    Posted: 25 July 2012 12:57 AM #60

    greedyn00b - No.

    But I’m sure it’s on the radar.  Won’t require iOS 7 to add it in.

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