6 Important Things We Learned About Apple This Week

| Particle Debris

"This is why we do what we do." -- Steve Jobs

Often, it's good to be reminded of things that get lost in the Internet storms and just plain bad journalism. This week, we were reminded by some calm, cool heads about things we have forgotten to appreciate about Apple. Let's recap.

The first thing we learned about Apple this week is that products are flying off the shelves. When people walk into an Apple retail store or go online, they find products that they love. Apple sold over 37 million iPhones and just under 20 million iPads in 90 days. Just ask any other company about their sales, and chances are they might blame the poor sales of their shoddy products on their sales force. You don't need to tell an Apple customer twice about how good those products are. They have it figured out.

From the earnings call, we learned that Apple is taking a long term view of product development and launch for the good of the company, even as customers gobble up their products now. Only the investors, seeking to line their pockets, are annoyed that Apple hasn't provided them with a steady stream of hype in order to fuel their profits.

We were reminded that Apple is a pretty smart company and knows how to analyze the market. Even as iPad sales are cannibalizing Macs and PCs, the Macs, in turn, are cannibalizing the PCs because customers have come to appreciate Apple's mobile products. And Windows 8 is a yawner. Halos abound.

We were reminded that Tim Cook is a man who was able to stand up to Steve Jobs, win his praise and approval and not be subject to the withering sarcasm that Mr. Jobs would drop onto lesser, foolish mortals. And yet we saw heaps of scorn from financial publications suggesting that Mr. Cook is an idiot. They used drive-by shootings of character assassination: he's not a product guy. Yet the man has lived and breathed Apple DNA and survived the scrutiny of Steve Jobs from 1998 to 2011.

We learned that Apple will sacrifice the acquisition of market share at any cost in order to preserve customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, and that the company is "all about customer experience and enriching lives." We also learned from cooler heads that short-term market share means nothing if the customer isn't loyal. The Yankee Group believes that loyalty to Apple will pay off in the future. The one time when observers should be looking to the future, they stop in their tracks and dis that important idea.

Finally, perhaps most importantly, we (re) learned that Apple has a thoughtful vision and knows why it builds products for us. While Samsung makes fun of Apple customers, Apple reminds us, with a tug at our hearts, why it does what it does. Tech specs alone do not make for a full life.

But then you knew that.  Some others forgot.

Image Credit: Apple's new iPhone 5 TV ad

Tech News Debris for the Week of April 22

Not only are developers looking at wearable computing, they're also looking a new 3D gestures. Tim Bajarin takes a look at "The Next Evolution in User Interfaces."

Speaking of wearable computing, here's a great video about that. "The Future of Wearable Technology" will inspire you, make you eager for the future. Personally, I have always had a fantasy about an embedded sensor in my bloodstream and a link to my visual field that could monitor my blood and advise about what to eat (or not eat). It's coming. Google Glass will get us there. But I digress. Watch the video.

Image Credit: PBS

The Neflix CEO is going to say things that serve the interests of his company. But just like Steve Jobs or Tim Cook, the things that CEOs tell us provide glimpse into their understanding of customers and a vision into the future they are conceiving. For all of us who use Apple TV, Roku, and cable/satellite, Mr. Hastings, thanks to AllThingsD's Peter Kafka, provides some interesting thoughts on the future of TV. "How Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Sees the Future: Netflix Wins, Apps Win and So Do HBO, ESPN and the Cable Guys."

And now, Amazon is jumping to that game with their own hardware. In case you missed it, "Here Comes Amazon's Kindle TV Set-Top Box." Just how customers will respond to Yet Another Set Top Box compared to their beloved iPad (with apps) is To Be Determined.

Leave it to John Kirk of Tech.pinions, one of my A-list writers, to prick the balloon of pomposity in the anti-Apple world. Of course, research like this takes time. I'm really glad Mr. Kirk takes that time. "Apple in Perspective."

I mentioned above that Windows 8 has been a yawner. Mark Hachman at ReadWrite has some good ideas about how to fix that. The reason Microsoft probably won't change is that corporate agenda and group-think almost always trump an intelligent and graceful attention to the customer. Anyway, try this one for size. "5 Ways Microsoft Could Fix The PC (and Windows 8)."

Finally, the failure of apps for Android tablets is giving Apple a lot of breathing room. It helps to explain the low Internet traffic for these devices and also provides Apple with an opportunity to entice iPad owners over to the iPhone. Here's some analysis based on a Chitika report. The bottom line: Samsung is giving Apple plenty of competition in the smartphone market but has failed miserably in the tablet market. The sobering analysis is here, "Samsung Struggles to Compete with Apple's iPad."

So What Did We Learn on the Show Tonight, Craig? (meow). Apple is thriving.


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro's observations and opinions about a standout event of the week combined with a summary of articles that didn't make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.


Woman with questions via Shutterstock.

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Mr Martellaro

One of the things that struck me in the last week with all the “Doom & Gloom” about Apple’s profits slipping for the first time in years, is the fact that it is years since Apple’s profits slipped at all. And in the mean time, no other “Tech” company that I know of has done as well for as long.

Apple survived the GFC in far far better shape that most, and that should carry some weight…

And like you said. If Steve hadn’t thought Tim was the one to replace him, Steve wouldn’t have tapped him for the job.

Paul Goodwin

After a full quarter of doom and gloom from the ill informed, we learned that Apple isn’t slipping at all. They just set records for revenue and profit

January 23, 2013

- Apple® today announced financial results for its 13-week fiscal 2013 first quarter ended December 29, 2012. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $54.5 billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion, or $13.81 per diluted share.

- Average weekly revenue was $4.2 billion in the quarter compared to $3.3 billion in the year-ago quarter.

- The Company sold a record 47.8 million iPhones in the quarter, compared to 37 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold a record 22.9 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 15.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

- We’re thrilled with record revenue of over $54 billion and sales of over 75 million iOS devices in a single quarter,”

- We’re pleased to have generated over $23 billion in cash flow from operations during the quarter,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “We established new all-time quarterly records for iPhone and iPad sales, significantly broadened our ecosystem, and generated Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever.”

So much for the doomsayer dips.


JM, thanks for this, particularly the reference to John Kirk’s piece on Apple’s products, practices & profits. As a result, I’m now mulling over additional purchases of AAPL stock.


As an Mac user, as opposed to a stock speculator, I’ve found the wringing of hands about Apple’s stock prices to be highly amusing. Having lived through the mid-to-late 90s when Apple’s stock was under $30 and there was a real danger that the company would go under, I’m just glad that it’s solid and producing products that people buy.

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