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« Apple iPhone is Here. Watch out Palm & Blackberry | Main | Last Impressions from Macworld »

January 10, 2007

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O Unsal

For those of your readers who would like to make money in public markets with some orthogonal plays (vs. buying Apple stock, or shorting Motorola, Nokia, etc), here is some free lunch:

-buy T (most MAC fanatics probably don't know that Cingular is owned by the venerable AT&T) which benefited historically from exclusives (Razor, etc) and short Verizon if you do not wish to take any market exposure. (Shorting Sprint looks good on paper but my hunch is they are an acquisition target at this low price).
-buy BRCM (rumor has it that Broadcom chip runs the phone, could be Philips)
-buy the folks (don't know who yet) who are supplying the charger/cradle as the 5-hour talk time is probably not true but this is not a phone to forget in your pocket either necessitating 3 chargers (home/work/car)
-buy NVDA (NVidia) as it is providing the video chipset, and short AMD (proud owner of ATI and it is getting beaten up anyway) for good measure, and perhaps even make a long term bet that INTC (Intel) will replace BRCM.

Buy whatever company that will be providing iPhone with stuff - the more obscure the company, the better (think Taiwanese stocks). If Microsoft SmartPhones made by HTC could make that company grow 10x in 5 years to a sizeable $5Bn in 2006 (and here I was thinking that my Cingular 8525 is the coolest thing ever), I simply cannot fathom the potential here. Apple truly changed the game and it is simply breathtaking.

The beauty of these orthogonal plays is that Apple is a visceral stock. If, for whatever reason, Steve cannot get the phones done by June (I'd give it 20% chance), or the options scandal continues, or the battery life is really terrible, or the price point limits the penetration for an extended period, or business folks stick with their Berries finding iPhone too cute, or Edge is too 2006, or AAPL misses earnings between now and then due to slowing XYZ sales, then owning Apple might not be the smartest thing.

(The usual disclaimers about this being not intended as an offer or solicitation, yada yada, apply so don't sue me or Baris if you lose your free lunch)

baris

This blog was sorely missing your contribution and passion about any subject you wish to write about. But not any more. Welcome back.

metin

I too was in the hall where the keynote was held, and it was definitely electrifying. However, today I wonder if the 6-month wait for the (FCC approvals process) will undermine some of the excitement built so far. It was also interesting (and not so funny) how John Mayer at the end of his performance named Steve Jobs and Apple the 'anti-terrorism' company.

What I like about the iPhone is its 'multi-touch' capability which will be the norm of the future rather than a simple touchscreen. I also liked the selective 'visual voice mail' feature. Finally, the slim design and the overall looks are slick considering I had to stare at it behind a glass cube like it is some sort of a museum piece. They should have had more units for people to touch, feel, and play around.

metin

The name change of the company should not go unnoticed either considering there were no Mac announcements.

Jing

Great points, Baris! -- I love art and design in all forms. From a company standpoint, I particularly love the work of IDEO.

Turker

Great points in the post. No wonder it is innovative and very appealing user interface. However, I think the important question of usability will be answered when many people will start using it. Will it require significant behavior change from the users? Will the users be willing to adapt to the changes? It will definitely change how a phone is perceived with its huge multi-touch screen and all but I mainly wonder if it will change the mobile industry as ipod changed the music industry. On that front, I think the Cingular partnership may be a disadvantage.

Jay Parkhill

Good points, but the bandwidth piece is still missing, IMO. Edge is not 3G. It's darn slow. HSDPA is Cingular's version of 3G, but from what I understand it is barely available anywhere. Maybe Apple is saving that for an upgrade cycle whenever the high-speed service becomes available and doesn't cost an arm & a leg.

Attila Csordas

Yeah, the power of desing is enorous, but there is an upper limit of what design can do in the lack of proper technology (battery life). Because of the poor text input capacity I can not imaigne to post regularly from my future iPhone. Can you, Baris?

baris

Jing,
You are very right about IDEO. They are better known for product design than designing experiences or even using design in strategy.

Jay,
3G is way better than EDGE. When it is available in the US, I am sure Apple will have a version with it.

Attila,
You hit the nail on the head. I was at Macworld on Friday and grilled them as to how they got 5 hours of talk time. All I could get was that they are experts in power savings from their laptop and iPod experiences. Only when we play with the product will we know. As for touchpad text input, that's also a wait and see. There is not tactile feedback but there is visual and audible feedback. Maybe it will be good enough.

Thanks for all the good comments everybody.

Annerose

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