Apple getting hammered today (3-Sep-14)


Possible reasons:

iCloud Lead: A lot of celebs had nude selfies stolen from iCloud. (NSFW) example. (Apple PR). This story was catching fire for at least a couple of days before today though. For instance, Business Insider, dated Monday 1-Sep-14, 4.55am.

People could be jittery too; Apple has risen quite bit (~45%) this year. Perhaps people just want to get out before Sep 9?

Or it could be IFA
Basically every other device maker, showing off their latest & greatest

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4 ‘egde’ looks interesting….
  • Gear S (the newest smart watch) also looks interesting…
  • Sony has a smart wearable too


Wonder if we’ll see a reversal tomorrow? Any other theories?

Be Specific


A blonde is terribly overweight, so her doctor puts her on a diet. “I want you to eat regularly for 2 days, then skip a day, and repeat this procedure for 2 weeks. The next time I see you, you’ll have lost at least 5 pounds.”

When the blonde returned, she shocked the doctor by losing nearly 20 pounds.

“Why, that’s amazing!” the doctor said, “Did you follow my instructions?”

The blonde nodded, “I’ll tell you though, I thought I was going to drop dead that 3rd day.”

“From hunger, you mean?”, asked the doctor.”

“No, from all that skipping.”




A man got 2 wishes from GOD. He asked for the Best wine and Best Woman.

Next moment, he had the Best Wine and Mother Teresa next to him.


Funny One Liners…

  • Facebook: Roses are red, violets are blue, friend requests are awesome, but who the fuck are you??
  • Don’t feel bad. A lot of people have no talent.
  • Regular naps prevent old age, especially if you take them while driving.
  • I believe we should all pay our tax with a smile. I tried – but they  wanted cash.
  • You can’t buy love, but you pay heavily for it.
  • Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.
  • Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
  • Having one child makes you a parent; having two makes you are a referee.
  • Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right and the other is the husband!
  • A child’s greatest period of growth is the month after you’ve purchased new school uniforms.
  • Don’t marry the person you want to live with, marry the one you cannot live without, but whatever you do, you’ll regret it later.
  •   Marriage is give and take. You’d better give it to her or she’ll take it anyway.
  • My wife and I always compromise. I admit I’m wrong and she agrees  with me.
  • Those who can’t laugh at themselves leave the job to others.
  • Ladies first. Pretty ladies sooner.
  • A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.
  • You’re getting old when you enjoy remembering things more than doing them.
  • It doesn’t matter how often a married man changes his job, he still ends up with the same boss.
  • Real friends are the ones who survive transitions between address books.
  • Saving is the best thing. Especially when your parents have done it  for you.
  • Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something
  • They call our language the mother tongue because the father seldom gets to speak!
  • There is only one perfect child in the world and every mother has it.

Funny programming quotes


“If Java had true garbage collection, most programs would delete themselves upon execution.”
-Robert Sewell



“C++ : Where friends have access to your private members.”
- Gavin Russell Baker


“If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.” – Edsger W. Dijkstra

New MacBoook Air – uses cheaper/slower flash (SSD), Is CPU next?

Based on some benchmarks, it looks like the updated mid-2014 MacBook Air’s use slower flash. And they’re about $100 cheaper. Interesting because, Apple in the past, has always been about premium quality at a premium price. This is a substantial change (lower quality / price). Still above broader market averages, but it just feels ‘different’

Copying 6GB of files and folders took 28 seconds on last year’s 11-inch MacBook Air, but took nearly twice as long (54 seconds) on this year’s 11-inch model. With solid-state storage, lower capacity drives are often slower performers, and last year’s 11-inch had the higher capacity 256GB of flash. However, the new 11-inch model was also slower than last year’s 13-inch model with 128GB of flash storage.

Is this tantamount to an admission from Apple that they have a pricing problem in the MacBook range?

SSD replaced, is the CPU next?

If Apple perceives a pricing problem, this gives more credence to my idea that Apple could switch out of $INTC chips from the Air.

It’s clearly no secret that MacBook sales are not growing as fast as expected; sales seem to be stalling. … (4.13M units sold versus 4.07M units in 2Q last year)

Perhaps this is just confirmation bias and I’m reading more than I should Smile

Does an $intc short make sense?

Job postings suggest Amazon is planning to make its own ARM-based servers.

Google eyes Power chips

Software Engineer, ARM Server ($FB)

Looks like everyone is evaluating ARM servers; makes sense to me. Small, cheap servers that can saturate a 100Mbps network connection…

I think $INTC is under attack on all fronts:

Servers: ARM could make serious inroads (classic Clayton Christensen, the innovation looks like a toy, flies under the price umbrella till it’s too late for the incumbent, who cannot (or will not) self-cannibalize based on something that looks like a toy …)

Mobile: $QCOM, $AAPL, SMSN:LI rule here…

Desktop/Notebook: As I posit in my last article, $AAPL may make a move here (or not). But the fundamental thesis is the same. Desktops will move to from the Core variants to the Atom variants. They’re nearly good enough now. $MSFT providing Windows free for low-end boxen? It’ll only add to the fire.

If the move from Core/Xeon series is towards Atom – it will margin compression. If it’s towards ARM, it will mean substantial loss of market share. And $INTC is now setup to be a player at scale. Not sure if they can compete like a scrappy little startup anymore. I wonder if that’s left in the DNA?

As a long term $INTC fan – nearly every compute device I’ve bought had Intel Inside, this marks the end of an era to me….

When will the transition be visible in stock prices? Is much of this already priced in?

With $INTC trading near the top of it’s 52W range ($27.24) I think the risk (for a short) is quite low. Say about $4  = 15% ($31), which is where many analysts are calling it. The gain could easily be $7 = 26% ($20). I think it’s time to nibble a bit…


Short interest seems to be under 1% of the float, why is it so low?

PE ratio is just 14; multiple expansion is easily possible if $INTC shows signs of life in the mobile space. $INTC has been talking about a better radio, which seems to be a key weakness for them….

There could be a revival in the desktop space (unlikely IMHO).

The main risk I see is that the move could take longer than I can hold … will a move take more than a year?


I just love the Xeon Phi (in abstract terms). Can’t see the whole point of Tesla/GPU compute if you can do cheap enough, dense enough full-featured cores. A whole bunch of ‘em. But then there’s the fun projects like Parallella. The software effort required for to write apps for GPU compute languages has never made sense to me.


NUC is a joke.

Atom in the Datacenter means severe margin compression. ‘Course an Atom doesn’t measure up to the raw compute of the Core / Xeon E series … but then the price differential is substantial.

What’s the $INTC bull case?

1) Success in mobile – scaling down the Ivy-Bridge architecture to be competitive in the 2W TDP space.

I think $INTC is competitive already – but it’s not leading to design wins because:

1.1) Low-end is extremely price-conscious; INTC realistically has not much   chance of competing in this space. Sure they can ‘bribe’ companies (contra-revenue as they’re calling it) to use INTC, but I think this is akin to buying eyeballs….pointless in the medium term.

1.2) High-end, there’s no market outside of AAPL, SMSN and neither is going to use INTC at the moment. Perhaps Nokia (err… Microsoft Mobile Oy) may give it a shot? Lenovo? maybe, but really I can’t see a third player (at any scale) for at least the next few years.

Can INTC use the leverage it has – in terms of desktop/server to bully Apple? Don’t think so — Apple is perhaps one the largest single customers for INTC, they need Apple more than Apple need INTC.

2) Datacenter growth continues un-abated, with Intel continuing to rule the roost, picking up another couple of percent in terms of market-share by destroying what little remains of AMD?

I certainly think Datacenter will continue to grow pretty fast. The cloud is more important than ever. Indeed INTC bet that growth in mobile would require equivalent growth in datacenter and the margins in datacenter were much fatter….(find quote from outgoing INTC CEO here…). Is the relationship linear?

Apple, intc

I just had an idea. There’s some rumours that $AAPL is about to introduce a 12″ fanless, retina MacBook Air. Could this be the first non-$INTC MacBook? A MacBook Air that uses an Apple designed and fabbed, ARM ISA chip? 

“Kou says that Apple is working on an ultra slim 12-inch MacBook Air with some updated specifications. The new Air is said to be thinner than the current model, have no fan, and to feature a track pad with no buttons. A higher resolution display is also tipped, presumably of Retina quality.”

From <>

Why would Apple want to use a non-Intel chip?

The single biggest item in an MacBook Air’s Bill of Materials (BOM) is the CPU. Replacing the CPU will allow Apple to compete in the $500-700 laptop space while retaining margins.

Also there is now not that much to differentiate between a MacBook Air (13″) and a MacBook Pro (13″) in terms of weight and size. What is a logical evolution of the MacBook Air line? Especially if we assume that the Pro will slim down further, reaching or exceeding Air size?

The MacBook Air is defined by small, light, portable compute… it makes sense to drop the fan, slim down even more etc. This to me suggests a move to either an Intel Atom or an Apple designed & fabbed, ARM ISA chip, perhaps an ‘X8′ desktop chip instead of the A8 mobile.

Moving to an Atom would allow Apple to go fanless, reduce size, maintain battery life (even with a shrink in battery capacity, size and weight) while retaining compatibility with the x86/x64 binaries & drivers. But this can be replicated by others. Acer/Sony/Google or even a newly invigorated MSFT could make an Atom based laptop. They’ve kind of done this already – in the form of netbooks – though I think the timing wasn’t quite right – simply because the Atom’s of last year simply did not have the oomph to make it. Apple owns the OS and the hardware (apart from the CPU). Why not continue backward integration and take over the CPU too?

I’ve always been wondering why Apple, with it’s huge cash pile, doesn’t simply buy out INTC (or AMD) and the only answer I’ve been able to come up with is that Apple’s making its own fab. If you believe the semi-accurate news published by – then there’s reason to believe that Apple’s busy making its own fabs.

Napkin Math

MacBook Air current generation (mid-2013) retail price: $999 ($1099 for 13″ model with same CPU).

Intel Core i5-4250U, Tray: $315,

Apple A7, Tray: $20 (estimated)

Intel Atom E3827, Tray: $41

The Core i5 has a 15W TDP; 1.3 Ghz clock (turbo to 2.6Ghz); 2 cores, 4 threads. Sunspider 250ms.

The Apple A7 has a 2W TDP; 1.3Ghz clock; 2 cores, 2 threads. Sunspider 397 ms.

It’s not looking all that different! Esp. when you take into account that the A8 will be twice as fast (think Tegra K1) – i.e – a Sunspider score of 200ms maybe?

Any evidence at all?

Apple’s been calling the A7 a ‘desktop’ class chip. If the A8 is twice as fast, in a similar power envelope…. 


Assuming I’m not waaay off the mark: Will Apple upscale iOS or downscale OSX? Will it make:

  • A netbook : with downscaled OS X (+Atom)
  • A chromebook : with a whole new OS, i.e. not iOS and not OSX
  • Something entirely different: an upscaled iOS (with better keyboard integration?)

I think it’s a Chromebook – that’s the model that seems to be gaining traction (evidence: MSFTs anti-chromebook ads). Netbooks are dead, everyone knows that.

An `AirBook’ implies a new OS. Which lends a little more credibility to the idea of a new CPU …

Yet Another Use for the bitcoin ledger…

From a recent email ( comes this very interesting idea:

“Imagine a stock market where every trade has to be conducted on a public ledger for all to see. The SEC wouldn’t even have to lift a finger to find out who is doing insider trading. Because when one person commits insider trading it hurts other investors, the investment community would write algorithms to catch each other conducting illegal trading activity. Then they would report the public address codes of traders involved in highly suspicious activity to the authorities. From there the regulators would have some way to investigate and identify the perpetrator if the evidence was sufficient . Everyone would still be pseudonymous until the SEC is handed a complaint, then it could act as the enforcer that it’s supposed to be and crack down on the illegal activity discovered by other traders.

Crime and law enforcement have always been and will always be in a technological arms race. Utilizing the transparency of the blockchain protocol and shifting the burden of detection away from the SEC and into the hands of the crowd could be a much better way to do it. Other traders obviously have a much stronger incentive than the SEC to be vigilant and proactive in eradicating insider trading because they’re the ones who stand to lose money when it goes undetected.”

Shiny apples

[Edit: 17-Apr-2012, scuttlebutt is the iPhone 6 will cost $100 more than the iPhone 5s (retail) and that Apple is asking telcos to absorb some of this increase, to which there is some push-back. See bottom of post for more analysis.]

Idle speculation, whilst on the treadmill ….

Where could $AAPL be planning to use its Sapphire? (too much smoke for there not to be a fire; Apple’s planning something to do with Sapphire, but what?)

1) iPhone screen – ok, so every other dude and his dog, thinks this is the plan.

Criticisms: It’s too expensive – about 10x the cost of Gorilla Glass ($GLW) they say

It’s too heavy, denser than Gorilla Glass….

It’s harder, but not more shatter proof. It’ll scratch less but may not be more durable.

It’s less transparent.

So assuming all of the above is true to some degree:

It’s heavier, less transparent, at greater risk of shattering and costs 10x more –> but is much more scratch-resistant. There’s some scepticism…but is it a case of hater’s gonna hate?

2) iPhone Back – no one’s saying this (at least no one I’ve heard as yet …)

iPhone backs (the metal bits) are what seems to get scratched the most; a very thin sheet of Sapphire coating the back would make it super-awesome. Shatter-resistance would come from being bonded to the metal underneath?

3) Trackpads – Sapphire is insanely smooth; much much smoother than glass. Fingers glide so much more freely.

Not as big as screens. Less to worry about in terms of weight and transparency. Perhaps it’s trackpads on MacBooks?

4) Some new device altogether – perhaps some kind of remote….?

Go on, tell me what you think ….leave a comment….


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