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iPad: funky name cool stuff?

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There are already a lot of talks about iPad now that Steve Jobs showed off his latest toy. The name is funky because “pad” has a lot of meaning, and there are people already making fun of that, such as this video at Youtube.

But seriously, boy, this is cutting edge stuff in terms of technology. Apple has a video on its own web site, which explains the functionality and features very well. It’s more like a builder’s explainations of why the house is beautiful. Obviously, this new toy launch won’t be complete without the blessing of the chief creator: Steve Jobs.

(Source: cnet video from Youtube)

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A tragedy related to iPhone

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(CNET) Chinese authorities probe iPhone worker’s death

(PCWorld) iPhone Suicide Case Spotlights Tech’s Dark Side

Apparently many foreign media can not understand why a guy will jump off the building just because the iPhone he was in charge went missing? Well, it appears to me there are two factors:

1) It’s very very hard to get a good job for new graduates in China these days. Thus they join Foxconn, the “sweater shop” if you will. Not much rights once you join that shop. I suggest my western friends go there once and get some real world experience on sweater shop before express their views.

2) He was tortured. Again remember Foxconn is a “sweater shop” happens making iPhone.

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iPhone is two years old

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Not exactly, but close enough (here is a post I wrote on June 29, 2007 when iPhone started). Today the new iPhone 3G S is on sale at AT&T store, as I understood. This time iPhone did not generate as much buzz, but I heard my favorite tech writer Walt Mossberg was also standing in line (he already has a free iPhone from Apple for review, maybe he is buying another one for his wife/girl friend). Here is his tweets:

“Just gave up on iPhone line. Have to get to work. Should have ordered online. But scored a free bottle of water.”

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Steve Jobs, Apple, Bill Gates, Microsoft

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Couple days ago the Apple stock got a hit not just becaues of the soft earning guidance, the more important reason is the company declined to answer the health question of its co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs in the earning call.

You tube videos
Great Artists Steal – Triumph of the Nerds – Revised (very short)
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Apple launches store in Beijing, earning

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Apple launched its first China store in Beijing last Saturday, with 2000 fans waiting outside, including some celebrity names such as Lu Yu (Phoenix TV), Cui Jian (China rock star) etc. You can see the scenes of Apple launch at Sina (Chinese), or preview pictures at David Feng. The Sina picture reminds me of the iPhone launch here in the US, a mob scene 🙂

The cult culture
Over the years Apple has this cult like culture among its fans. Looking at site such as MacRumors you will get an idea. While I think Apple products are generally very good, I don’t like their prices. It seems they are going to lower their prices, as they are expanding their market. This is a delicate problem for Apple because people usually got wooed to Apple because of its unique design, cool brand, and thus get the “being cool” status from friends. Now if Apple is everywhere, like iPod did, it loses that status. But Apple is going to pursue this route anyway, under the pressure from Wall Street. This can be shown in its earning forecast for next quarter.

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iPhone effect: II

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This Friday will be another big day for the Apple fans, the 3G iPhone will be unveiled globally. The past weekend I stopped by the local Apple store, I have not been to there for 6 months so my impression maybe more genuine. Besides the iPod touch (iPhone was absent), I found some of the sales associates are incredibly young, they look like high school kids. This reminds me many high school kids carrying MacBooks at the county library. So in a word, Apple was doing peer to peer marketing here?

What’s the use for iPhone?
I saw this question posted in Trader1688. Don’t laugh, this is a legimate question. My initial thought is the usual stuff such as MP3/video playback, web browsing, GPS,…as desribed in its offical web page.

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iPhone, Blackberry

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Missing iPhones are found in China
According to InStat, a market research company, there are about 400,000 unlocked iPhone in China. Most of them are purchased in the US, unlocked and shipped to China later. An interesting side point is Chinese (smart phone) users are mostly for entertainment, while the US users focus on business functionality (email, etc., one reason Blackberry was so successful). Chinese translation from Xinhua:


RIM lawsuit

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Apple earning

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Not so good. iPod growth slowed (finanlly). iPhone can not make up the hole left by iPod. As I read from MarketWatch, while Mac is exploding, but it has one problem: with economy slowing, people won’t blow extra 1000 bucks for Mac (why not just buy a Dell).

I think Steve should do everything to bring iPhone to China Mobile, but he is so stubborn about his 20% to 30% cut…

Interestingly, I thought about it buying Apple puts last Tuesday (see my post China ADR crashed, scroll to short ideas). No, I have not actually done that because I decided not to bet on earnings. I view that as more risker than shorting a stock when the trend is clear (EDU).

MacBook Air

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Smart buyback, iPhone China delayed

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Week in progress 11/25 to 12/01/07

1) Panera to buy back up to USD 75 millions (worth) of shares from a broker (see the news here). The is in contrast to Crocs panic buy back announced on Nov. 1, amid the sharp fall of its stock price after it announced Q3 result. Last I looked at its 10Q at SEC: “On November 7, 2007, the Company repurchased approximately 524,000 shares for a total of approximately $25.0 million”. That is $47.70 per share (currently CROX traded just under $40). Good shoes maker, not so good stock traders?

2) iPhone delayed in China. The main problem is Apple and China Mobile can not agree on the how big a pie each will get, according to NanFangdaily (Chinese). American expatriate entrepreneur (in Beijing) Billsdue predicted the outcome before hand.

3) J. Crew reported a good quarter. Here is a link to its conference call (webcast). I found its CEO Millard Drexler had good insights about fashion and fashion business.

4) China Ping An Insurance (sh601318) paid 1.3 b Euro for 4% stake in Fortis, a Belgo-Dutch financial group.