Particle Debris (wk ending 4/15) Dark Shadows and Deep Analysis

Dark ShadowsWhen companies are small(ish), they struggle to gain acceptance for their products. However, when a company reaches a certain size, it believes that it can sell any product whatsoever successfully — and it starts to lust for the territory of companies that weren’t competitors before. That seems to be happening with Google in spades, and it may be happening with Apple according to analyst Brian White from Ticonderoga Securities. That process almost never turns out well as the company defocuses, makes mistakes, loses cred and ends up retreating to “our core values.”

Those kinds of forays also typically include exponential legal problems as the company finds out that competitors know how to fight back and the U.S. Government likes to keep a watchful eye. Here’s another one of those amazing, comprehensive articles that will leave you far better informed than you were before: “Is Google Cruising Towards a Legal Meltdown?

Companies that grow too large also find themselves compelled to do stupid things no smaller, saner company would ever do. Here’s a piece of Adobe debris that proves the point and will have you smiling. WARNING R-rated.

Microsoft may not be very creative, and they’re scrambling to develop Windows 8 so that it’ll have a tablet-worthy OS, but the one thing they’re learning how to do lately is get under Google’s skin. At CNET news, there’s a story about Microsoft starting a kerfuffle with Google about security certifications it made to the U.S. Government and calling “Google’s integrity into question.” Cat fight! (Here’s an update with some background.)

My monitoring of the popularity of the iPad in medicine coincided with an e-mail this week from a reader with this reference to a compilation of EMR software. (Electronic Medical Records) The updated blog has a list of web-based EMRs and Mac-specific EMRs — of which there are only about eight compared to 300+ for PCs. I am familiar with one: MacPractice, having interviewed the co-founder/developer, Pat Clyne. Here’s a thought. Perhaps the iPad will end up being the ultimate EMR client that the Mac never was or could be. And in that vein…

How many iPads will Apple sell in 2011? Or just the last quarter? Getting the second right number seems like too much of a challenge for some analysts. Looking at the global view, Apple has a goal of 40 million for 2011. You know they’ll met it. John Paczkowski at All Things Digital checked in with analyst Brian White’s Asian contacts and came up with 45 million.

Let’s take the conservative view and say 40 million. Thats 3.33 million a month. January was probably a normal month, and in February, numbers were probably down for the iPad 1 in anticipation of the iPad 2. Let’s say 3.33 + 2.5 million respectively. Then the iPad 2 was launched on March 11 with immediate shortages, but Apple was also selling the iPad 1 at a $100 discount. Many customers probably felt that was a good enough discount to blow off their camera prospects with the iPad 2. So I call it a wash, and estimate 3.3 million total iPads sold in March as well. That’s a total of 9.1 million iPads in Apple’s FY Q2 (Jan -> Mar). Societe General’s Andy Perkins says 9.8 in the (challenge) link above. So. All you investors who are falling for Moskowitz’s 5.4 M number (in the link above) are on hallucinogens. Next week, when Apple announces its iPad numbers, mark my words, the number will be between 9 and 10 million iPads. Come back here next Friday and smack me electronically if I’m very far off. Then we’ll know if I’m qualified to be a Wall Street analyst.

I’ve always admired Arik Hesseldahl for his contacts and insights and analysis. So last week, we heard from Gartner and IDC about declining sales of PCs (for the third quarter in a row), but there wasn’t a whole lot high quality analysis done. Check out this wonderful article by Arik “Apple: Sorry About That Whole Shrinking PC Market Thing; Well, Not Really.

In a similar vein, last week, Horace Dediu sent out this tweet: “Market measurement companies are not doing their clients any favors by diverting their attention away from disruptive change.” And what does he mean by disruptive change? Make that +272 percent growth in the Mac + iPad sales.

No favors indeed.

This week has been full of RIM PlayBook reviews, and I’m sure you saw all that jazz, so I won’t repeat them. But on the debris side, there are people who are quietly confident that HP, observing the mistakes of RIM and Moto, are putting together a good tablet. Note that HP hired away Apple’s Richard Kerris to be the chief of the HP developer program. Here’s CNET’s take on WebOS 3.0 and here’s one from Om Malik that suggests HP is doing its homework. (Regrettably, the video has since been taken down.)

Finally, for those of you with a technical interest in CPUs, EE|Times published the most detailed information to date about the Apple A5 chip in the iPad 2 and how it compares to the A4, a puny CPU by comparison. That suggests that we may not yet have seen the full capabilities the iPad 2 has to offer, and when Mr. Jobs said that the iPad 2 is “all new” now we know what he meant.