“Last week the FCC finally approved the iPhone and it should be on the market by June. I am putting a sell on Apple, the company that created the iPhone,” Laura Goldman writes for McClatchy-Tribune News Service.
MacDailyNews Note: According to the note below the article, “Laura Goldman worked on Wall Street for more than 20 years for such firms as Merrill Lynch and UBS Warburg. She now runs her own investment advisory, LSG Capital, from Tel Aviv, Israel.”
Goldman writes, “One of the oldest axioms on Wall Street is ‘Buy on rumor, sell on news.’ Steve Jobs’ Svengali-like performances and the take-your-breath-away beauty of the iPhone has deflected the hard questions until now. I would rather sell before the questions are asked or, even worse, answered.”
Goldman writes, “Steve Jobs at MacWorld this January dramatically announced, ‘From this day forward we’re going to be known as Apple Inc. We’ve dropped the ‘Computer’ from our name.’ With those two sentences, Jobs has effectively pronounced the desktop computer dead.”
MacDailyNews Take: Oh, he did, did he? Goldman offers nothing else to support her claim that by changing the company name to Apple Inc., Steve Jobs “effectively pronounced the desktop computer dead.” One would naturally wonder why Jobs continues to regularly add “Get a Mac” commercials that feature iMac product shots and why he continues running the large ad campaign in print, on TV, Radio and online if he thinks desktop computers are dead.
Goldman continues, “Now that the future of Apple is the iPhone, Apple’s valuation might start to trade in line with other mobile handset makers like Nokia, Motorola and Sony-Ericsson.”
MacDailyNews Take: That statement is based on the unproven assumption that Apple “has effectively pronounced the desktop computer dead.” Somebody should tell Goldman to look at Mac unit sales growth (3X the industry average) — and iPod+iTunes Store sales — before she issues “sell” recommendations based on severely flawed thinking.
Goldman continues, “How will Apple cope with the markdown in price that will eventually be required and the pressure to margins? I do not know if they will be able to do what they have done with the iPod. In that case, they added more features while keeping the price constant. In effect, later buyers get more iPod for the dollar. And as for the price, at $499 and $599, I wonder how many teens and young adults, who are the most avid buyers of the iPod, can afford the iPhone. When the Mac was introduced in 1984 to critical acclaim, the price was a steep $2495. When buyers experienced sticker shock, huge sales did not materialize.”
MacDailyNews Take: Goldman gets so much wrong, it’s amazing. The only part she gets right is where she admits she does not know. Apple’s iPhone target market goes beyond the “teens and young adults” market, so getting worried if they can afford the iPhone overlooks all those that can. And, who’s to say teens and young adults can’t or won’t buy an iPhone anyway? Goldman tries it; we won’t. Apple’s Mac has been successful and profitable for decades; “huge sales” depends on your definition of “huge.” Apple sells over 6 million Macs per year at current rates – that’s an average of over 685 Macs per hour – we consider that pretty huge sales. Furthermore, Goldman seems to have lifted her “idea” directly from The New York Times’ John Markoff who wrote on January 12, 2007, “Despite its high price of $2,495, the Macintosh initially sold briskly. But Mr. Jobs’s early predictions of huge sales failed to materialize.” Do you have any original points, however incorrect they may be, Laura?
Goldman continues, “What does the iPhone offer that other cell phones do not already offer, or will offer soon? The answer is not very much. The first-generation iPhone does not support 3G. The touch type keypad is beautiful to look at but hard to use for lengthy emails.”
MacDailyNews Take: More pure speculation. Who’d base stock decisions on such nonsense? Anyone who thinks that iPhone offers “not very much” over other cell phones has no business writing an article about anything to do with technology, much less purporting to give investment advice on tech companies. The first-gen iPhone is for the U.S. 3G support will come when it is needed. “Several Apple insiders said the phone could be upgraded to 3G with software if Apple later decides to enable that feature,” John Markoff reported in the same article referenced above for The New York Times on January 12, 2007. Someone who has actually tried the iPhone, Andy Ihnatko, for the Chicago Sun-Times, wrote, “I think the iPhone’s virtual keyboard is a huge improvement over the mechanical thumbpads found on the Treo and any other smart phones of its size.” Sorry, Laura, but we’ll have to go with real hands-on experience over random speculation tinged with what seems to be more than a hint of a biased agenda, thanks.
Goldman continues, “Since third-party software programs cannot run on the iPhone, it is impossible for professionals to read documents in the ubiquitous Microsoft Word format.”
MacDailyNews Take: iPhone runs OS X. Mac OS X can view Word documents in any number of ways – without Word itself. TextEdit for one example. Oh, by the way, on January 12, 2007 — you know you RTFA, Laura — Apple CEO Steve Jobs told the New York Times’ John Markoff regarding iPhone, “These are devices that need to work, and you can’t do that if you load any software on them. That doesn’t mean there’s not going to be software to buy that you can load on them coming from us. It doesn’t mean we have to write it all, but it means it has to be more of a controlled environment.” Let’s wait for iPhone to be released before we pronounce it “impossible” to read Word documents and put a “sell” on Apple, okay? Sheesh.
Goldman continues, “Apple’s stated goal of selling 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008 seems ambitious.”
MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s stated goal of selling 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008 seems conservative. We illustrate conjecture with conjecture, but at least ours is right.
Goldman continues, “The Teflon coating around Steve Jobs has kept the stock options scandal at bay. But the coating may be peeling. Apple stockholders need to know that there is a remote possibility of an Apple without Jobs. Initially, the market would react very badly to that news. While applauding Apple’s innovation with one hand, it is time to take profits with the other.”
Full article Think Before You Click™ here.
MacDailyNews Take: Goldman’s load of you-know-what wouldn’t be complete without mention of Steve Jobs’ risk in the so-called “stock options scandal.” Bravo, Laura, for capping your piece with the equivalent of flushing a toilet . We pity those taking investment “advice” from the likes of Laura Goldman.