Google Phone Revealed: G1 versus the iPhone?

g1The rumors circulated, the news was deemed imminent, and now it’s official.  This morning, Google, together with T-Mobile and HTC, officially revealed the hyped “Dream” phone, the first mobile phone to be built around Google’s Open Handset Alliance Android operating system.

Bloggers, press and even Google’s founding team of Sergey and Larry were on hand for the Manhattan launch event.

Rebranded from the Dream to the G1, an obvious nod to Google, the phone will be available on October 22nd at T- Mobile stores in twenty one cities.  It will sell for $179 (with a two year contract), plus a $25 or $35 a month data plan subscription.

From the start, the phone will provide Google with gateway access to consumer’s mobile experience. Click to Read More

Apples Fall Colors: New iPod Nano and upgraded Touch Revealed

new ipodsAs unpredictable as Apple can be, the marketing machine in Cupertino is also prone to keeping to a schedule. Since planting a flag claiming Tuesday’s as their own, every one since has been “iTunes Tuesday,”  Apple’s branded day for releasing new music.   Since 2005, Apple has also kept to a schedule with product upgrades.  On either the first Wednesday (2005 and 2007), or the second Tuesday (2006 and this year) in September, new iPod Nano’s are released.

Today, at the much hyped, and wildly anticipated Apple press event in San Francisco – Apple delivered on time.    As foreshadowed by early posters, and largely as predicted by the Apple -watching media:  Steve Jobs took the stage to reveal slate of evolutionary changes to the iPod lineup.

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Applevine: Save the date, Start the Speculation

applevineApple has as devoted, outspoken, and vigilant a fan base as any tech company.  People love the products that come out of Cupertino, and maybe just as much, they love to talk about them.  It’s: What they include, what’s inside, what’s missing and what’ll come next. It’s how they look, how they function and how they match up to competition.   Apple’s marketing staff, and ring leader Steve Jobs, are not only aware of the phenomenon, they cultivate it.  In each of the past two years, Apple’s tempted audiences at their July earnings calls with news of mysterious products shifts. They’ve then scheduled a September reveal.

Since this year’s announcement (“several more wonderful new products to launch in the coming months” was part of the official word), the Applevine has been alive with rumor, gossip and speculation.  Crystal ball toting fans have forecast new Macbooks, tea leave readers have seen signs for new iPods. There’s been talk of iTunes subscription services, even a second iPhone.

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Follow that iPhone

iphone russiaFollow that phone…  is the iPhone heading to Russia? Deal or no deal?

Reuters UK has reported it may be there in October.    An unnamed source cited in an article from the news bureau says an agreement  has been reached between Apple and Mobile TeleSystems (MTS),  Russia’s largest mobile network operator.

No details have emerged and neither side has issued a statement confirming the report.

At this point, with only an an anonymous source, it remains very possible the story could turn out to be incorrect. Three mobile providers, MTS, Vimpelcom and MegaFon have all been vying for iPhone rights in Russia. As was the case with Japanese carrier rights before the phone’s launch, reports and rumor around the web and blogosphere (including the Reuters report) have, at different times, put Apple in discussions with all three.

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Applevine: Mac Sales Ahead of Projections? Subscription iTunes?

mac chartApple’s broken sales records in many of their recent quarters including the last but when forecasts were given for the current quarter, Apple was particularly conservative.  Citing a “product transition” widely believed to involve Macbook notebooks, the company forecast only a Q4 earnings result of $1 per share on sales of $7.8b.  Analysts were looking for $1.24 a share on sales of $8.3b.  Midway through the quarter, some analysts are now starting to set out projections that turn Apple’s conservatism upside down.

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Modeling Apple iTunes and App Store EPS Potential

app store mathYesterday’s “Applevine” post on Metue summarized some of the current Apple reports and rumors circling the news world.  One of the elements included was a recap, and light review, of newly reported data on how the new iPhone supporting “App Store” is doing.   The numbers were impressive and there is clearly great potential but the take here was cautionary; a bias toward pragmatism with predictions.  One month seems too slight a sample to use for accurately forecasting revenue growth or impact on EPS.  A few raised flags of dissent. 

One comment speculatively said the store could be a 80 to 85 percent gross margin business.  Another said that the store could add as much as ten or twenty cents to quarterly earnings per share.  Those numbers weren’t supported.  They were just “pie in the sky claims,” but still they are out there and they beg a question: what’s the App Store potentially worth – not qualitatively, not from a behavioral analysis, not from a zealous Apple fan, nor from a detractor – simply by the numbers.  If we set aside the opinion that one month of data is too little to be meaningful and use it anyway, if we break out the Graham & Dodd, fire up the spreadsheets, how much of a contribution could the App Store make to Apple’s bottom line if the current levels are annualized?  It’s got a great revenue story but how much for earnings?

How much might the App Store contribute to earnings per share if the store’s revenue grows to $500m, or passes $1 Billion? 

What might it mean to Apple shareholders on a standalone basis that disregards the store’s greater contribution as a driver of iPhone (and iPod Touch) sales?

There’s no easy answers, but in this post we’re going to try and set out a framework for looking at it – a way of adding numbers to wild speculation. 

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Applevine News: Consolidated Appstore, iPhone and Macbook Rumors

iphone salesIn politics, or even for the reign of a new CEO, one hundred and eighty days are the usual benchmark for the first measurements of achievement.  In the consumer electronics world, with the instant gratification generation of the Internet driving things, the pace is far quicker.  It’s been only a month since Apple unveiled the iPhone 3G to the world but measurements are flowing.  And like a blockbuster movie touting weekend box office tallies to sustain momentum, Apple too is shrewdly using the press to maintain and build buzz for the phone.

Today, Apple announced that more than 60 million applications have been downloaded at the new “Appstore.”  Click to Read More

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