Just to follow up, Amazon has released their numbers. As expected, net income doesn’t look great — $177 million, down 58 percent year over year. But at least it’s not a loss (which Amazon had warned it might be).
That $177 million is on sales of $17.4 billion. Crazy. That’s what low margins — and selling hardware at a loss — will do to you.
Speaking of 177, that’s also the percentage that Amazon says Kindle sales increased during the holiday period when compared to the previous year — which means basically nothing since Amazon refused to release actual numbers last year. And they still refuse to this year.
Looking forward, Amazon expects profit to be anywhere from $100 million — to a $200 million loss next quarter. Ouch.
To be fair, unlike my earlier statement, Amazon did make more money in the entire quarter than Apple did in one day last quarter, but just barely: $177 million versus around $145 million.
But that’s an average. I’m sure during some of the busy shopping days, Apple actually did make more money in one day than Amazon did for the entire quarter.
Amazon’s profit for all of 2011 was $631 million. As a reminder, Apple made $13.06 billion in profit last quarter. Perhaps not a fair apples-to-apples comparison, but not exactly apples-to-oranges either.
Amazon will announce their earnings later today. As I outlined in October, the results this past quarter will highlight the difference between Apple and Amazon.
Writes Tricia Duryee:
Here’s one data point: For the holiday period, Apple’s gross margin was an impressive 44.7 percent, up from 38.5 percent a year earlier. Meanwhile, analysts are estimating that Amazon’s operating margin will fall to 1.3 percent from 3.6 percent last year.
44.7 percent versus 1.3 percent.
What does that mean? It means that even though Amazon should report record revenues, their profit will likely be depressed — probably badly depressed. Why? Well, first and foremost, most of the goods they sell have low margins. But even the goods that should have high margins — hardware — have low margins.
Or worse. Take the Kindle Fire — Amazon’s most popular product (though don’t bother asking how many they actually sold) — it’s sold at a loss.
Like Apple, Amazon has built an amazing business that has revolutionized more than one industry. But context is important. Right now, Apple probably makes more profit in a day than Amazon does in a quarter.
After all the hoopla, it sounds like these are all great updates, as Jim Dalrymple details. Enough to appease the old Final Cut Pro diehards? We’ll see.
This will help:
There is also good news from Final Cut Pro developers. Intelligent Assistance is releasing a new app today called 7toX that will allow users to import Final Cut Pro 7 projects into Final Cut Pro X. The app uses Final Cut’s XML to achieve the import. The app will be on the Mac App Store and costs $9.99.
Nelson Minar’s thoughts on the recent Google issues succinctly capture what many other Googlers (both past and present) have been expressing privately in recent weeks.
His main point:
I imagine half of my readers are smugly thinking “See, I told you Google was evil all along”. I don’t think that’s right. In particular I refuse to give in to a cynical view of Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto; that ethos was very real, a sincere and important guiding principle. And if a big company like Google can’t avoid being evil, then what world-changing enterprise can? But I think Google as an organization has moved on; they’re focussed now on market position, not making the world better. Which makes me sad.
It’s not that Google has turned from good to “evil”, it’s that they’ve faded to gray.
And that’s disappointing to everyone, but undoubtedly to many Googlers most of all.
"Golden ages" in sports are weird things. They’re usually only declared after the fact — and often well after the fact. It’s often the “too far in the forest to see the trees” syndrome mixed with a lack of historical context, so perspective is lacking until further down the line.
But that’s not the case with men’s tennis right now.
Because there are three players that are potentially the three greatest players that have ever lived, what we’re all watching now is unprecedented — and obviously the golden age of tennis.
Brian Phillips lays this out as well as I’ve seen for Grantland today. I find his comparison to The Iliad apt:
One of the great things about this era of the game, though — it goes along with the cruelty we were just talking about — is that it feels almost epic. That’s a word that gets thrown around a lot in sports, but I mean it literally here. Think about, say, The Iliad. It’s a book about combat, about wild golden armies tearing each other to shreds, but here and there in every battle there are heroes whom no one can touch. Hector and Achilles and Ajax and the other superheroes of the B.C.E. basically wade through the enemy, mowing down everything in their path. They’re not even in danger. There’s absolutely no chance that some minor Trojan is going to bring down Achilles; it’s not happening. And after hundreds of pages of this, when they finally start facing each other, you can’t freaking believe how intense the moment is, because you’ve been primed to think they’re invincible.
Isn’t that basically the state of tennis today? Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic have won every major tournament but one in the last seven years.
Also insane: the fact that Andy Murray, the fourth wheel of this three-wheel car, might himself be considered one of the best players of all time as well were he not playing against Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic.
Murray’s five-set loss to Djokovic in the semifinals last weekend was itself a match for the ages. But it looks like nothing — and will be forgotten — because of the six-hour Djokovic/Nadal final.
Todd Bishop of GeekWire asks the question, I think the answer is “yes” (though the continued investment in Xbox and elements like Kinect should ultimately be close).
To me, there are two things that are most interesting about Microsoft’s Facebook investment.
1) Nearly everyone in the tech press at the time panned the deal as a ridiculous rip-off, sign of another bubble, etc. Those same people are now strangely quiet on the topic — for good reason, they look like huge jackasses.
It just goes to show you that you should never take anything the tech press says too seriously. Way too much is based on the present and there’s not nearly enough thinking about the future. This deal was all about the future.
2) Along those lines, while the return on this investment will be good ($15 billion valuation turning into $100 billion at IPO time — and it will probably be 10x in the near future), this is still not about the money — it’s all about the strategic alliance. Microsoft gave itself an “in” to get access to Facebook’s data. And the deal stopped Google from getting a similar deal.
Microsoft still hasn’t been able to do enough with the relationship to boost Bing, but even that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that Google and Facebook are at odds (or some may say, at war). Microsoft won by not losing.
Hunter Walk and Eric Ries brought together a pretty killer group of contributors — including yours truly — for a good cause: supporting the open internet.
Uncensored is an eBook featuring a collection of blog posts on a range of topics. They’re asking you pay at least $4.99 (and suggesting a payment of $9.99), with all of the profits are being donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
You can buy it here through Leanpub. It comes in either PDF, ePub (iPad, Nook), or MOBI (Kindle) format.
The best way to describe the project is what Walk told the San Jose Mercury News: “We sort of view this of this as the tech blogger equivalent of the benefit album.”
Charles Arthur of The Guardian makes the case for why Google will have to get aggressive with their patents, lest the Motorola deal look like one of the worst purchases in recent years — maybe ever.
The really profitable bit of the business is the “Home” division, which makes set-top boxes, but has been bumping along at around $900m revenues for the past year. It actually makes money - only around $60m per quarter, but at least it’s profit, compared to the consistent losses in the mobile business, which has only made a profit in two of the past nine quarters. Even so, it would take 75 years for the Home business’s profit to make back the money Google paid for the business.
In other words, in purely financial terms, MMI is a dog.
On the face of it, the Motorola deal is such a bad one for Google that it makes absolutely no sense. But one level deeper, when you consider how badly Google was getting screwed in the patent bidding wars, it actually almost seems like they had to do this deal — and that Motorola chief Sanjay Jha knew it.
The problem Google faces is that this reality doesn’t translate easily to shareholders. They’ll see Motorola dragging down Google’s numbers and wonder what the hell they were thinking with the buy?
Even if Google spins out Motorola, it will look bad.
That’s why Arthur’s argument isn’t totally crazy here. I still doubt Google will become a patent pusher — though you could have said the same about Microsoft a couple decades ago — but I think that’s the most obvious way to show what they got out of the Motorola deal.
In his (rather ridiculous) new PandoDaily column, Farhad Manjoo pegs Android’s high-water mark as last April, and points to this post by Fred Wilson as an example of when the sky seemed to be the limit for Android. In that post, Wilson writes:
As you might expect, I got a lot of heat from Apple fanboys for that post and one of the strongest points they made was that we had not yet seen the effect of the Verizon iPhone on market share numbers.
Well now we have.
No, what we actually saw back then was a muted introduction. When Apple introduced the iPhone on the network, that model, the iPhone 4, was already several months old. More importantly, most people still believed at the time that a new iPhone was likely just two months away. This, of course, ended up being incorrect, but it still impacted would-be buyers.
How can I say that with such confidence? Look at the numbers. The April launch of the iPhone on Verizon was strong, but this past quarter — which saw a new iPhone launch on the network for the first time — was far stronger.
Back in June of last year, I wrote that the Verizon iPhone halted Android’s surge and predicted that the iPhone 5 could reverse it. All but the “iPhone 5” part proved correct. The iPhone 4S launching on Verizon alongside AT&T (and Sprint) proved to be the spark the iPhone needed to close the gap with Android.
For Verizon, the iPhone accounted for more than half of all smartphones the carrier sold.
So no, back in April, we had not seen the true effects of Verizon on iPhone sales — now we have.
Or have we?
What’s really crazy is that AT&T’s iPhone sales are still far ahead of Verizon’s — almost double, in fact. Maybe that’s because Verizon has a better selection of alternative devices. Or maybe it’s because of contract timing issues for consumers.
Remember, Verizon is the larger overall network. And again, over half of the smartphones they sold last quarter were iPhones. Who wants to bet that the Verizon iPhone numbers in 2012 will be insane?
An interesting pipedream by Farhad Manjoo: in order to make more money, Google should close down Android and start charging a licensing fee.
Of course, it will never happen. Never. Such a move would be the single biggest example of hypocrisy in the history of technology.
There’s another problem with this argument. Manjoo sets it up as solely a money-making ploy in the face of Apple — but as Amit Runchal details, it actually wouldn’t make Google that much money relative to Apple. Certainly not enough to justify destroying relationships with OEMs and consumers.
The biggest mistake here is the idea that there’s something, anything Google could do in order to turn Android into a business like the ones Apple has created. There isn’t. Writes Manjoo about Apple’s most recent earnings:
The numbers ought to ring alarm bells in Mountain View. They prove the folly of Google’s Android business model: Free and “open” (or clopen) may make money someday, but it’s hard to see how it’s ever going to make Apple-like profits.
It’s not hard to see, it’s impossible to see. There are three companies that have ever made more profit in a quarter than Apple did last quarter, and all three are oil companies. The only other companies even to come close to such numbers? All oil companies as well.
Google’s best shot to turn Android into a business with iPhone-like profits would be to create an Android-powered oil rig and get drilling.
Under a new deal between the two companies, Netflix users won’t just have to wait 56 days to rent Warner Bros. movies on DVD. They’ll have to wait 28 days to add the movies to their queues.
Creating a 28-day window between DVD release and rental period was ridiculous. When that didn’t work, doubling the window to 56 days was bullshit. But now creating a 28-day window before you can even add a movie to your Netflix queue is the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.
I’ve vastly underestimated just how fucktarded Hollywood is.
If I’m adding a movie to my Netflix queue, I’ve already decided not to buy the DVD. I’m adding it because it looks mildly interesting and I’d like to watch it sometime. If I can’t add it to Netflix, I’ll just forget about it and probably never see it.
I hope we all realize where this eventually leads: the banning of movie rentals entirely.
I first encountered 955 Dreams about a year ago when I came across a magical iPad app called The History of Jazz. When I sat down with co-founder Kiran Bellubbi to talk about the app for a TechCrunch story, it was immediately apparent that his vision extended far beyond just one beautiful app.
I kicked off my story with something he said to me: “The shallow experience for a user has to be very interesting. The deep experiences have to be profound.” In the app-crazy world we live in, it’s not uncommon to hear developers attempt to get philosophical. But with Bellubbi, I totally bought it.
And my instinct about Bellubbi and co-founder T.J. Zark proved correct. They followed up The History of Jazz with the equally brilliant On The Way To Woodstock. Both apps got Apple’s seal of approval in the form of App of the Week accolades.
“We will continue to dig deeper, and we will undoubtedly find more issues. What we will not do — and never have done — is stand still or turn a blind eye to problems in our supply chain. On this you have my word.”—
Tim Cook responding to the NYT piece about awful working conditions in Chinese factories where many Apple products are assembled.
It’s not a response to the press, it’s a response to the Apple team, which Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac was able to get ahold of.
Speaking of prison terms, Josh Topolsky scored an interview with Jon Rubinstein on his way out of the door from HP.
Rubinstein tries — and fails — to hold back his contempt for the past few HP regimes. It reads like he and fellow HP VP Todd Bradley had a grand plan (this one, perhaps?) for HP/webOS that disintegrated when then-CEO Mark Hurd was ousted. That, of course, kickstarted months of turmoil and turnover, highlighted by the disastrous Leo Apotheker reign (which didn’t even last a year).
The notion that Rubinstein’s exit was planned all along sure smells like total bullshit.
Best part of the interview:
There were things that didn’t work out the way everyone expected — can you talk about what caused the issues?
I don’t think it really matters at this point. It’s old history at this point.
You don’t want to talk about Leo?
Nah. We built an amazing OS in webOS. It’s very advanced, it’s where things are going. But we ran out of runway, and we ended up at HP and HP wasn’t in good enough shape on its own to be able to support the effort. I had four CEOs! Mark acquired us, Les Jackson took over as the interim CEO, then Leo, and now Meg.
While Rubinstein says he’s going to take some time off, he’s not retiring. Given the bad blood in recent years, I wouldn’t expect him back at Apple anytime soon. But remember, he is still an Amazon board member — and Amazon is pushing deeper into hardware…
Jon Rubinstein, the former CEO of Palm (and former Apple executive), has left HP.
With Palm hardware now dead and webOS now open-sourced, the writing has been on the wall for this to happen for a while. To hear HP tell it, this was the plan all along. As Arik Hesseldahl writes:
Rubinstein is said to have no immediate plans, and had completed a 12-24 month commitment to stay with HP after the acquisition. “Jon has fulfilled his commitment and we wish him well,” HP spokeswoman Mylene Mangalindan said.
A lot of people have asked for my take on The New York Times piece yesterday about the true cost of making Apple products in China. Let me first just say that it’s an important piece full of good reporting by Charles Duhigg and David Barboza. Parts of it are very sad — sickening, really.
But let’s be honest. The post focuses on Apple because Apple is now arguably the most successful company on the planet. If they were, say, the 8th largest computer manufacturer, they probably wouldn’t have even been mentioned. Again, that’s not to say it shouldn’t have been written — it absolutely should have — but it’s important to keep that in mind.
The real key here is that this story could have been written about any number of technology companies that have to deal with hardware manufacturing. This sad state of affairs is the way the world works in this space. Anyone who thinks otherwise is naive.
Does that excuse Apple’s behavior in some situations? Not at all. But there also isn’t enough background here to know if Apple is even the worst enabler of these poor working conditions. That’s sort of implied a few times in the piece, but never fully backed up.
My TechCrunch colleague Devin Coldewey wrote a great response to the piece. As he writes:
Something the article only fleetingly acknowledges is that Foxconn is used by most of the major electronics brands in the world. Samsung, Microsoft, Amazon, and the rest all contract with Foxconn to manufacture, assemble, or finish their products. The threatened mass suicide the other week was, in fact, at an Xbox production facility.
So it has never been a surprise to me when I hear that Apple, and others, only do so much to change the situation in factories and factory towns in China. The simple fact of it is they’re not the ones at the reins. Foxconn and China have our all-important tech companies by the scruff of the neck, and bear the big bad audits by Apple (more likely by people representing people representing Apple) like they’d bear a kitten swiping at their face. It’s a high stakes game, and Foxconn and its like hold all the cards.
That’s something important that the NYT never addresses. The situation is decidedly more complicated than Apple simply turning a blind eye.
While this report brings such an issue to the forefront, similar pieces and stories surface quite frequently, actually. Guess what changes? Nothing. It’s shitty to say, but it’s the truth. And we all know it.
The fact of the matter is that we live in a world that demands amazing technology delivered to us at low costs and at great speed. That world leads to Foxconn.
We say we care about the means by which the results are reached when we read stories such as this one. But then we forget. Or we chose not to remember. We buy things and we’re happy that they’re affordable. And then we buy more things. And more. With huge smiles on our faces. Without a care in the world.
Also under this new deal, pirated movies remain free of charge, free of non-skippable ads, free of five-minute load times, and are now nearly three months ahead of the competition.
iTunes changed the music industry because it was more convenient than stealing. Most people made the value judgment that ten bucks for a clean, legal digital album was worth the alternative of fishing around for files that may or may not be damaged or infected.
It’s really — honestly — surprising that Hollywood doesn’t understand such a simple concept. Even stranger is that they can look to the music industry as an example and learn from the mistakes there, but they refuse.
After blasting the Federal Communication Commission for “picking winners and losers” in the wireless industry by scrutinizing every deal, Stephenson claimed AT&T is now in a mobile capacity-constrained environment which has forced it to raise prices and manage connection speeds (aka throttle) for its highest volume subscribers.
AT&T says that 7.6 million iPhones were activated last quarter, and 9.4 million smartphones overall were sold. Impressive numbers, but be careful.
As Eric Slivka of MacRumor notes, this doesn’t necessarily mean that 7.6 million of the 9.4 million smartphones sold were iPhones because “activated” can include older devices given away or sold through a third-party.
Still, AT&T says the “majority” of iPhone activations were of the iPhone 4S (which was new). And it’s probably safe to assume that overall, the vast majority of the activations were sales. If that is indeed the case, that means the iPhone outsold all Android phones combined on AT&T’s network.
AT&T does say that they set a sales record for Android devices (as they did with iPhone). But they only give the vague, Amazon-like: “more than twice as many Android smartphones were sold versus the fourth quarter a year ago”.
AT&T’s statement reads a lot like, “we love you too Android, we just love iPhone more”.
The first was with myself. I bet myself that if I devoted serious time to it, I could become a great technology blogger. It wasn’t an easy bet to make. I knew it would require upending my life at the time. And it did.
The second bet was related to the first. I knew that to become a key tech blogger, I would need a focus. As a relatively new Mac user myself, I decided that focus would be Apple. Yes, I was coming later to the party than some, but Apple was still a company at the time that was scoffed at by many. But drawing from my own experience, I truly felt that the company was on the cusp of changing the world. Again.
Philip Elmer-DeWitt breaks down how analysts — both Wall Street and independent — did in guessing Apple’s lastest insane quarterly numbers.
Check out his spreadsheet at the bottom of the page. You’ll note that almost all of the green is at the top (Independent analysts) while most of the red is at the bottom (Wall Street analysts). Hendi Susanto of Gabelli & Co. should get a special award — he actually believed Apple’s revenue would be below even Apple’s own guidance (that never happens).
To me, there are two really crazy things about this spreadsheet (which says all you need to know about how good Apple’s quarter was):
1) No one — not one analyst — predicted a number above Apple’s actual revenue. The closest one was still well over a billion dollars off.
2) Earnings Per Share and Gross Margin were even crazier. No one was close on either.
Kal Raustiala and Chris Sprigman of Freakonomics discuss the claims that piracy leads to $250 billion a year in loses and 750,000 American jobs lost:
The good news is that the numbers are wrong — as this post by the Cato Institute’s Julian Sanchez explains. In 2010, the Government Accountability Office released a report noting that these figures “cannot be substantiated or traced back to an underlying data source or methodology,” which is polite government-speak for “these figures were made up out of thin air.”
So what’s the real number? At this point, we simply don’t know. And this leads us to a second problem: one which is not so much about data, as about actual economic effects. There are certainly a lot of people who download music and movies without paying. It’s clear that, at least in some cases, piracy substitutes for a legitimate transaction — for example, a person who would have bought the DVD of the new Kate Beckinsale vampire film (who is that, actually?) but instead downloads it for free on Bit Torrent. In other cases, the person pirating the movie or song would never have bought it. This is especially true if the consumer lives in a relatively poor country, like China, and is simply unable to afford to pay for the films and music he downloads.
Do we count this latter category of downloads as “lost sales”? Not if we’re honest.
As for the other numbers. 15.43 million iPads. A record. 5.2 million Macs. A record. 15.4 million iPods. Not a record, but no surprise — this is the age of the iPhone.
Net quarterly profit was $13.06 billion. Again, holy shit.
That stock you were an idiot for selling after aforementioned “miss”? Up 10% now in after-hours trading, well past $460 a share. By far an all-time high, pushing Apple’s market cap well past $400 billion.
Apple now has $97.6 billion in cash.
I’ll be listening to the call at 2PM PT and posting some follow-up thoughts on TechCrunch. Stay tuned.
This doesn’t surprise me at all. What does surprise me is that no other consumer electronic company puts the care into packaging that Apple does.
By making each and every product a joy to open, Apple sets the tone for the product itself subconsciously in the user’s mind.
Compare this to the companies that put their products in the clear plastic anti-theft packaging. Not only do they take forever to open with a combination of scissors and ripping, I nearly slice at least one finger open every time. When I finally get the product out, part of me just wants to smash it against a wall — I’m that angry by the opening experience.
In the first quarter that Verizon Wireless was on board with Apple for an iPhone launch event, the company sold 4.2 million iPhones, accounting for more than half of the 7.7 million smartphones that its customers purchased in the fourth quarter.
We already knew the massive 4.2 million number. What we didn’t know was Verizon’s overall numbers. Now we do.
Every single Android phone that Verizon sells — dozens of models — combined could not outsell the iPhone last quarter. When you consider that Verizon sells plenty of BlackBerrys (and a few Windows Phones here and there) as well, this is even more incredible.
Yes, it’s just one carrier in one country. But it’s the biggest carrier in the key battleground country.
The only thing not looking good about this post from June of last year is the incorrect assumption that it would take the iPhone 5 to reverse the Android surge. It “only” took the iPhone 4S.
These numbers aren’t based on analyst checks. They aren’t based on store traffic guesses. They aren’t based on units shipped. These are Verizon’s stated quarterly sales numbers. And the iPhone dominated.
The rebooting of J.C. Penney is apparently underway. Why do I care at all about this? Because Ron Johnson, the man who led Apple’s amazing retail strategy for the past decade, is now the CEO of J.C. Penney.
It will be fascinating to see what Johnson does to this century-old retail chain. Many technology-focused shops are undergoing their own makeovers to be more Apple Store-like in a variety of ways. We’ll see if it can work in the broader retail space. If it can, Johnson is clearly the man to pull it off.
Fun fact: did you know that Sam Walton worked at a J.C. Penney 22 years before he founded Walmart?
With all the Google Search+ talk over the past few weeks, there seems to be something very simple which has been lost: Google can access all public data on Twitter. The deal they had in place previously was simply for real-time bulk access. In other words, it’s more work, and less timely for them to access it now, but they still technically can.
There’s absolutely no excuse and no reason as to why they don’t include Twitter (or Facebook for that matter) profile results in their new Search+ social areas. Actually, there is a reason, but it’s something Google won’t just come out and say.
Update: After this post by Chris Dixon, it’s probably worth shedding a bit more light on the situation. From my understanding, the reason why the Twitter data deal was important to Google is that it’s very hard to regularly index all the content flowing into Twitter at any given moment. There’s simply too much data coming too quickly.
Twitter isn’t blocking access to any public tweets, but because Google’s “firehose” access is shut off, Google is likely missing some of that data. It’s a technical challenge, but it’s not about data being closed off, at least on the Twitter side of things.
There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the future of blogging/journalism/information gathering/etc. That’s why Wavii, which is starting to roll out in beta today, excites me and why CrunchFund invested.
Wavii, at its most basic, is a service which boils down information to its core — “just the facts”, as it were. It then displays this information in easy-to-parse ways. In an age of information overload, hopefully this is a sight for (literally) sore eyes.
More to come on this as Wavii opens up a bit more. For now, PandoDaily has a tiny bit more.
Based on six analysts with the best track records, Philip Elmer-DeWitt compiles his best guess for the Q1 (Apple’s holiday quarter) numbers Apple will announce tomorrow. These are analysts who typically update their numbers over time and, notably, aren’t necessarily Wall Street analysts (who generally blow at guessing about all things Apple-related).
If he’s close, my prediction from October 18 (the day Apple announced Q4 numbers) that this quarter would not only be Apple’s first $30 billion quarter, but first $40 billion quarter, looks very good. Elmer-DeWitt’s numbers have revenues coming in at a cool $42.76 billion.
Such a number would constitute a massive blow-out. Apple’s previous revenue record is $28.57 billion, hit in Q3 2011. Again, if the numbers hold, Apple could see a quarter almost exactly 50% better than their previous record quarter. That would be insane.
It would also further prove that last quarter’s miss was simply because analysts were lazy and failed to recognize the impact moving the iPhone launch a quarter later would have.
It’s worth noting that Elmer-DeWitt’s whisper numbers were off last quarter as well. But again, all analysts were off, so it’s no surprise that an average of the best would be off as well.
DeWitt’s craziest number has to be iPhone sales of 33 million. The previous record was 20.24 million iPhones sold (again, in Q3 2011). It would also be eerily close to the projection of 34 million iPhones sold if you extrapolated out Verizon’s stated numbers. And it would directly speak to the recent NPD and Nielsen numbers that iPhone has closed the gap with Android sales in the U.S.
Peter Kafka reporting on new RIM CEO Thorsten Heins’ call with analysts this morning:
And the new tech that the company has in the pipeline — a revised version of its PlayBook tablet, and a new operating system due out in the fall — are great. You’ll see: “I don’t think there is a drastic change needed.”
RIM is still awash in revenue, so there is undoubtedly push-back to really shaking stuff up. But this sure sounds like RIM’s new CEO fails to see the writing on the wall, just as his predecessors clearly did.
And that shouldn’t be surprising. As Kafka notes, Heins has been RIM’s COO for the past four years. He’s the guy former co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis were grooming to take their place one day. That day came sooner than they expected, but all parties seem to be failing to acknowledge why.
RIM needs to quit dicking around with the PlayBook and focus on either what they’re good at (enterprise-focused smartphones) or something entirely new that blows away the market the way the first BlackBerrys did. To be honest, they should probably be doing both if they want to exist in 5 years.
The most troubling thing Heins said today:
Q: Please go into detail: What are your priorities for the next 100 days?
Heins: We need to get better at market communications.
Kudos to Facebook (with some help from Twitter and MySpace) for having the balls to do this. It’s a bookmarklet that replaces Google’s new “People and Pages” area, the hardcoded social search area, and the search completion drop-down, with organic results.
In other words, it makes the new Google behave more like the old Google.
There has been a lot of back and forth in recent weeks over Google’s new Search+ functionality — about how “fair" it is, and whether or not it should lead to antitrust inquiries. But the bottom line is this:
Search+ makes Google worse. It replaces relevancy with Google’s own agenda to pump up Google+.
I say kudos to Facebook because while this isn’t an official app they created, they let their key product manager, Blake Ross, work on it and deploy it knowing full well that everyone would immediately tie it to Facebook. That in turn will put some heat back on Facebook, which itself is far from fully open with regard to data — and is gearing up to IPO.
But again, the key issue here is that what Google is doing with Search+ is making Google worse. This bookmarklet illustrates that in a very effective way.