* Posts by andymcp

10 posts • joined 20 Jul 2011

Apple iPhone sales down by double digits, Mac sales knifed by Intel CPU 'constraints'


Frankly, I'm going to downvote myself

I have a current top-tier iPhone, and I bloody love it.

The notch doesn't bother me at all, I only use wireless headphones anyway and since I stream almost all my music and photos go to some cloudy place, storage just doesn't count.

It's not a must-have urge to buy all things shiny either - the Apple Watch it's paired to is the original, so old it didn't even get to be called Series 1. I have to use all manner of mobiles with work, and while there's a certain nostalgia in having a play with a 6S, or a Plus, when I pick up one of my old or recent Androids they just feel a bit stuck together in comparison. It bugs the crap out of me. I *should* mock Apple and their stupid design restrictions and crappy walled garden approach, but I don't. I'll happily tinker on Android, but when it's about my personal use and just getting on with stuff, I find I naturally grab the fruity one.

I'm off to get a job in marketing or recruitment and contemplate life from the comfortable safety zone of the nearest Starbucks (with thoughts shared on Insta, natch). I've obviously ended up in the wrong industry.

I do feel a bit of a schmuck when I see they made $11.5bn in *a quarter* out of numpties like me though.

Qualcomm wins Apple patent case, loses Apple patent case, wins Apple patent case, loses Apple patent case...


Mind bending numbers

Qualcomm is valued around $70bn. Apple has $285bn in cash, and generates another $59bn profit a year (last time round). They could just swallow Q if they really wanted.

If Apple lose the big one, they transfer $1bn to Q. But every 3.5 years they'd keep doing the same ($1.40-ish per unit, with 216m phones a year). Or to put it another way, if they swallowed Qualcomm, they'd save $300m-ish a year on patent license costs (and that's just the one that's been priced - I'm assuming there would be more), plus bank a couple of billion a year (Q's profits) and presumably be able to go license-happy on patents to other mobile manufacturers. Or just consume the know-how into their own chip design ambitions. Whatever, they'd not lose out massively.

On the flip side, Qualcomm could see a 15% lift in profits if they win, whether they sell chips or not to Cupertino. And that's before the cash payout for old infringements. But for context, that rolling revenue would be less than 10% of their R&D expenditure today. It sounds like big numbers all round, and they definitely have a measurable impact on Q where they're a rounding error for A.

Don't like patent wars, but kinda rooting for the wee fella here.

iPhone XR, for when £1,000 is just too much for a smartmobe


Car manufacturers been doing this for years

This reminds me of premium car brands. Every few years they cycle through a period of static pricing or hefty discounts to hook in a new round of customers. Margins suffer but sales volume and brand exposure gain. Then at Model Year X they introduce some shiny and drive the pricing back up - accepting they will lose some buyers but knowing they will profit more heavily off those that remain, and reinforcing the 'premium' part of their brand.

Range Rover did it last year across their range (initially the Velar, then migrating some of the bling to other models and abandoning what had become routine discounts alongside increasing base RRP). The year before Volvo did the same when they moved their entire -60 series to their new platform, overnight discounts of up to 25% disappeared and RRP increased.

Apple have waded a few (still immensely profitable) years seeding their user base through 'cheap' MacBook Airs, iPhone SEs and legacy iPads, that then populate their Apple Music, TV, iCloud, whatever. Now they push out the discount versions, increase the base price and even more heavily monetise the wallet-leaking-system they've created. The hardware cycle may slow, but each unit is more profitable, and each year between upgrades still delivers revenues through the ancillary services. It's that last bit that car manufacturers could never quite crack.

Go Pester someone else: TSB ditches CEO over bank's IT meltdown


On the plus side....

At least this was around a planned 'upgrade' so people had notice of when doom may darken their banking ability.

Some just fall over without any scheduled intervention. Enter stage left First Direct, who today currently seem unable to deal with online banking either through the app or website. Balances, sure. Move money around? Er.....no.

Second-hand connected car data drama could be a GDPR minefield


Having been through the process of unlinking a car during a private sale (not JLR), even if the app has an ‘end ownership’ option, it also likely comes with an in-car registration that’s entirely separate. Hence you still get phone calls when the new owner sets the alarm off. Or reinstall the app after getting an alarm notification call to find it’s been happily collecting data attributed to you for months. Or have a few buttons that offer you the chance to remote unlock, remote start, remotely activate the alarm, send destinations....

And revised ‘features’ get added at such a rate, or in-car systems updated so often, that nobody in the dealer, UK manufacturer customer service or outsourced service provider know how to identify the fault, far less fix it (because obviously you don’t have the car any more to check the manual).

Still, if anyone here has a silver ****, registration **14 ***, and forgets their keys just give me a shout and I’ll let you in and start it up for ya. No charge.

Think Xmas bashes in your biz are scary? Try partying with the Channel


The reverse of being an arse in front of the boss...

So, dying days of a dot-com I worked for a few years ago. Xmas party booked and in true dot-com style the CEO had invited all staff, plus partners, plus overnight in central London despite the fact the company barely had enough to cover payroll. Along comes one of the largest (= most foolish) investors to meet the troops. Mrs McP goes to chat to him about why he has blowing his £ms on the company and leaving such a terrible CEO to burn his cash - as you do. CEO tries to interrupt. Investor tells him to back off, he's having a charming conversation with a lady.

On this rolls, CEO getting more upset by the talk about HIM, until he just can't take it any more. Reaches over, grabs Mrs McP by the arm and decides to rant in her face about how she can't just come along and talk about the CEO, don't you know who I am, yada yada. So I get the joy of dragging him outside, slapping some sobriety into him, then sending him on his way home while I go back and (along with the rest of the very amused staff) raid the bar relentlessly since his card is running the tab. The investor and his lovely wife joined in too.

Cue Monday, and having racked up every expense we can think of on the room bill (also on CEO's card), we wonder what the opening gambit of conversation will be. Around 11am I get a call from one of the design guys, saying that the CEO has been frantically calling the rest of the staff all weekend to find out how pissed off I am and whether there'll be consequences. Obviously I didn't really want to be working there any more anyway, but damn that was the easiest exit package I ever negotiated.....

They company went under 8 months later.

Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro gets laptop-level price


Re: Battery life will make it or break it

Battery life - alleged to be 4-5 hours, according to a tweet from the Surface team. Which pretty much kills the thing dead in the water, for me....


Smart meters: Nothing can possibly go wrong, says gov


UK govt, rigorous risk assessment

Ergo, we're all doomed....

Scottish gov moans over broadband cash handout


Having been a resident in one of those remote areas....

When you pitch up and move in, you recognise that there's a trade-off. You don't get a neurosurgery unit on your doorstep, you don't get standard rate delivery charges, you don't get integrated transport systems, you don't get much of the infrastructure that urban areas take for granted. But you do get lovely living conditions and a nice place to call home, cheaper than many urban spots and a nice place to raise kids. That's the deal and you take it or leave it. I've no time for those who suddenly expect something that wasn't part of the deal to begin with - like folk that move to an island then expect a causeway to make life simpler - which part of 'island' did you fail to understand at the outset?

Sure, most would probably like fast broadband but until some politico said there was a plan to put it everywhere then it was probably part of the downsides of rural life for most. So let the scots politicians moan at the westminster politicians all they like, but it was only really an issue when some misguided fool promised broadband everywhere in the first place.

Apple kills MacBook, soups up MacBook Air


£700-ish student laptop?

That would be the education pricing then. Without getting access to the better-discounted uni store, the entry level new Air is £798 for a school student. Last time I checked, there was about another 5% on Uni agreements (and they get 3-year warranty instead of the standard one). So I guess it will work out somewhere around £750 for the new 'cheap' mac laptop.

Having said that, why would anyone spend £750 on a laptop like that with no income and debts piling up all around them? Cue 'when I were a lad...' examples of notepads, pencils and sharpeners, living in cardboard boxes, etc etc... Oh, and the entry level specs kinda suck...


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