Apple Earnings Call – Jan 27 2021

Notes from earnings call/transcripts:

  • 40% GM with 20% rev growth!
  • Rev up 21% YOY to $111B (Annual Rev: $300B)
  • EPS up 35% YOY
  • Operating Cash Flow: $38.8B
  • Gross Margin: 40% (39.8%, up 0.16 pts, products GM: 35.1%)
  • R&D Spend Last Qtr (Sep 30, 2020) grew at 21% YOY
    • Was 11% in June Qtr
    • This continues to be predictive…
  • USA sales: 36% of rev (64% international)
  • Installed Base: 1.65B devices
  • Services: $16B revenue (65% GM)
  • iPhone: 17% YOY Growth (installed base 1B)
    • #thought iPhone 12 looks visibly different ∴ China sales up
      • Also China, Korea => 5G well established; all new phone sales need 5G, which could have driven upgrades. USA, EU well behind, could have upgrade growth in the coming quarters.
      • Confirmatory Kremlinology; “I think you’ve seen that our performance has been particularly strong in China” – Luca
    • Vol growth is underestimate because of late launch; this is insane growth.
    • Both switchers and upgraders grew!
    • Mix skewed to higher ASP models (Pro, Pro Max). Oddly the iPhone 12 despite being fantastic value seems be under-represented
    • Tim Cook sees “opportunity” in India? HUH? 1% penetration, so where is this opportunity? 5G from Airtel + Jio (too small?), why was this bought up/mentioned?
  • iPad: 41%
    • #thought WFH favours iPads? It’s great for Zoom calls, great for kids schools. Was it something else? “And as COVID-19 kept us apart, we saw the highest volume of FaceTime calls ever this Christmas.” from Earnings Call Transcript
  • Mac: 21% ✔
    • M1 getting started, next qtr they will fix the touchbar, magsafe and the then it’s gonna be perfect 👌
  • Wearables+Home: 30% (WFH?)
  • Search Advertising: aka blackmail biz: going strong dude, thx for asking! (per Tim Cook)
  • Cash: $200B (approx)
  • Projections: Next Qtr:
    • Wearables+Home will be weaker;
    • AirPods Pro / Max will do great (supply constrained)

Enterprise / Server Cloud Storage (not “Personal” cloud storage)

  • google / gcloud
    • 1 Tb  => $10/mo ($120/pa)
    • Nearline (USA): 1000 * 0.01 => $10/mo (Using prices for nearline storage, South Carolina data center)
    • Nearline (Mumbai): 1000 * $0.016 = $16/mo ($200/pa)
    • Nearline has some charges if stored for less than 30d (min term). So could be a bit more than $10 (perhaps the same as S3’s intelligent tiering)
  • amazon / s3
    • 1 Tb => $12.5/mo  (between $12.5 and $20 because intelligent tiering will take some time to kick in).
    • Using prices for S3 Intelligent Tiering, USA data center: 1000 * 0.0125 => $12.5
  • Digital Ocean / volumes: (Block storage built on Ceph)
    • 1 Tb => $100/mo (approx 10x S3 prices, yiiikes.)
  • Digital Ocean / spaces: $0.02 gb/mo (S3 Compatible File Storage)
    • 1 Tb => $20/mo (about the same as S3 without intelligent tiering)

Max value

Store HOT on Digital Ocean spaces (save on bandwidth)

Move older items to gcloud nearline or lower tier

10 Tb Transfer (assumed) => 10000 * 0.02 = $200 => This can be substantially more than storage. Never put anything internet facing on S3

#[[Hosting / Servers / Cloud Guide]]

“Free” SQL Databases

  • Heroku Postgres
    • Good & simple
  • IBM DB2: No credit card required, re-activate by email every 90 days
    • 200 MB of data storage
    • 15 simultaneous connections
    • Shared multitenant system
  • “Always free” Oracle Cloud instance (ptooie, slow as molasses) + apt install postgres
  • Supabase: Postgres, realtime, kinda like Firebase but with SQL and a real postgres instance. Free while in beta
  • Recommendations:

Timeseries Databases



tl;dr use Timescale (open source extensions to postgres) – All the power, expressivity and ease of SQL w/horizontal scalability via partitioning. Like your own, Amazon RedShift. Faster and obvs. much cheaper than RedShit.

Other options:

  • InfluxDb (and cloud) – simplicity of ingest
  • ElasticSearch – needs a custom browse component (Kibana too complex)
  • Clickhouse, Vertica, Pilosa and others – “exotic” options, not really worth the effort, esp. given how good TimescaleDb is.

How to ingest:

  • v0: statsD -> influx (fast, cheap, quick, scalable)
  • v2 rsyslog (on each server) => central rsyslog => beanstalkd / kafka => (fan out) postgres (timescaledb) + mongo + influx + es

June 2020 🔥🔥 New JS Bundlers/Builders

A new generation of JS bundlers that use modern browser’s native ESM support promise to be much faster than the Webpack/Rollup style bundlers; They seem to be getting a lot of traction / tweets of late (search twitter)

HMR for Svelte mentioned in the Readme, which makes it a winner for me!

npx create-snowpack-app --template @snowpack/app-template-svelte new-folder

Snowpack is a faster build tool for modern web apps. Snowpack leverages ESM imports in your application to remove unnecessary bundling work during development. The end result is a build tool that starts up instantly and wastes no time rebuilding on every change. See changes reflected in the browser instantly.”

Other contenders:



  • Native-ESM powered web dev build tool. It’s fast. “
  • By vuejs
  • HMR for React, Preact, Vue. Svelte not mentioned…

Kinda related:

Sucrase ( is like babel-lite; smaller scope, assumes modern browsers, upto 20x faster than babel and typescript. Instead of ts-node index.ts, try running sucrase-node index.ts.

Deno takes some inspiration from Go and pulls deps directly from GitHub without npm (or a package manager). I have yet to wrap my head around it … but conceptually I like the idea that a deno script is a “single” file rather than a pile of files. OTOH, PHP’s phar never gained as much traction … I mean when was the last time you downloaded a “cli script” that was actually a phar? Also deno is uses typescript natively.

Quarantine one liners that will crack you up!

  1. My body has absorbed so much soap and disinfectant lately that when I pee, it cleans the toilet.
  2. Half of us are going to come out of this quarantine as amazing cooks. The other half will come out with a drinking problem.
  3. I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.
  4. Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.
  5. This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog….. we laughed a lot.
  6. Quarantine Day 4-Went to this restaurant called THE KITCHEN. You have to gather all the ingredients and make your own meal. I have no clue how this place is still in business.
  7. I’m so excited — it’s time to take out the garbage. What should I wear?

— from a random WhatsApp forward

CoronaVirus Updates (Good News Only)

There is a lot of negativity all around re: coronavirus. It’s depressing. So, in the next posts, I am going to highlight positive developments.

With nearly every smart person on the planet working to find a cure – it’s only a matter of time before we have one. Looks like there are 2 possible treatments (meds) already:

* Remdesivir

* Chloroquine – generic, cheap and easily available – (if you’ve every had malaria, like me, you’ve probably had some version of chloroquine. I remember it tasting bitter’ish but otherwise had no side-effects on me)

(Low) code API integrations


What does a distributed / internet operating system look like?

A platform that lets you natively read/write from modern apps? Make apps?

In some sense this is what IFTTT was going for – though consumer focussed, it is IMHO, a very example of a ‘no-code‘ development platform . It’s what Apple’s ‘Shortcuts’ aka Workflow is. It’s what Alexa skills are. I’m not sure Airtable fits, but Airtable got the marketing right.

And now we’re seeing the green shoots of a new generation; and These are more developer focussed and provide the “plumbing”, but still need devs to actually make stuff. I’m a lot more excited (perhaps that’s cuz I’m a dev, and these platforms are targeted right at me). I think there’s going to be an explosion of new apps + services, because it’s just so, so easy and quick to knock out an app that uses say Twitter and Amazon S3 … is this how the promise of “serverless” will finally be delivered?


(Virtual) Server Pricing

My goto services:

#FREE => Heroku (but only one “VM” is free, then $7/mo for a 512Mb “Dyno”)

Super Cheap => OVH
don’t have an affiliate program AFAIK, cuz they’re so low cost 😦

Blend => Digital Ocean
Use my aff. link to sign up, you get $100, I get $10, everyone’s happy 🙂
Here =>

Digital Ocean
Special sauce: Incredible UI/UX, super fun to use. I’ve stopped thinking about it anymore, when I need a VM, I just go to DO.

Downsides: Many (probably most?) of the IPs are blacklisted for email. Most aren’t great exits for VPN services either for the same reason.

CLI tool (doctl) has pretty shit UX; could have been so much better. But still it’s there and works in a pinch
$5/GB of RAM
Linode$5/GB of RAM
Special sauce: The lowest cost option, but it’s Canada and Europe only. No SE Asia, no USA.
$1.68/GB of RAM
Yep it’s 66% cheaper than everyone else.
Special sauce: awesome plans with $2.50 for a node with IPv6 only, 512Mb RAM.
Amazon LightSail
Special Sauce: oh well, it’s the IBM of servers, so I might as well document it here: They have this clone of Digital Ocean, called LightSail, that s3cks, obvs. It’s the same price as Linode/DO/Vultr. Available in a few more locations than most of the above (incl. Mumbai; Digital Ocean has Bangalore).

When to use: All the rest of your infra is on Amazon Cloud and you’re pathethic.
$5/GB of RAM
Heroku #FREE (owned by Salesforce, not indie and chill like they pretend)
Incredibly good tooling; 1x 512Mb Dyno is free (1000 Hours/mo if you verify with a credit card). Gets very expensive very fast though — because you are subsidising the development of developer tools and the “free” tier.
$14-$50/Gb of RAM
Prices as of June 5, 2019.

I may update this page someday, but then again I may not 🙂 Bookmark if you’re adventurous (ctrl + d, or cmd + d)

My ‘goto’ SpeedTest Services Provided by Netflix, this runs on the same server and infra that Netflix runs on. So it’s a good check of Netflix speed and whether your ISP throttles connections to Netflix. Also few ISPs are optimizing (faking) results to as yet (because it’s not trivial to do so without also making all of Netflix faster)… OVH is by far the cheapest and probably the best hosting / colo / dedicated server provider in the world. How fast you can get to OVH servers is a good proxy for general internet speeds. (France, Canada, Singapore, Sydney). Mostly you just need to check speeds to the USA/Europe/Singapore/Australia.

speedtest-cli: Much easier to use than the advertisement laden, anti-user site. Easier to script too 😀

brew install speedtest-cli ripgrep #mac
sudo apt install speedtest-cli #ubuntu

#List all servers
speedtest-cli --list

#Test with 3 random servers
for server in `speedtest-cli --list | rg -i 'India\b' | cut -d')' -f1 | sort -Ru | head -n3`; do speedtest-cli --server $server; done