Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Apple's Competitors: Unexpected Success?

HP's new slate is so back-ordered, new buyers are not promised delivery until next year. Blowout sales, right? Everything's relative. When your production run is but 5,000 units (that's not thousands of units, but units), orders under 10,000 units stagger your capacity to deliver.

By contrast, Apple's first iPad production run was in seven figures, and sold out before it shipped.

Keeping the market Apple has captured will require continued vigilance in maintaining Apple's competitive advantages, and maintaining the features users think they need. Toward that end, I expect Apple to invest in its next generation of Apple-branded CPUs and a mechanism to ensure that users can print without being subject to print-based denial-of-service attacks. Since Apple's only recently seemed to have hired anyone worried about security, and lost its last batch of chip gurus, these things may take some time.


Anonymous said...

Hey Jaded- where are you?

Missing your ACAS commentary, wondering what you think of politics and the chance that the GSEs could be a *fabulous* investment?

Jaded Consumer said...

If the question is about Fannie and Freddie, I worry that their track record doesn't suggest they have a deep understanding of the risk they take as they guarantee loans. I don't know much about how the house market has changed (I sure didn't have trouble buying one last year; all you apparently need to do to "prove" income is to tell the Internal Revenue Service that you had enough Schedule C income for a few years, and presumably pay taxes as though you had the income, and lenders will buy it), and when we bought L a car they never bothered to check income because they liked the credit score. So the opportunity for fraud, games, and bubbles is surely still there.

I don't like to invest in things I don't understand, and standing behind the mortgage performance of strangers who were "vetted" by people making a commission and holding no risk is simply bizarre to me. I can't dig it. I think it's a business model only Congress could have conceived – and without Congress intervention, it'd have collapsed, too.

Since Uncle Sam backs Fannie, Freddie, and Ginnie's guarantees (with your tax money, I may add), there's a lot of confidence in the guarantees, so there's a nice market in the mortgages, which is good for the likes of AGNC whose business depends on the liquid market for these securities. So I suppose they are doing some good, in the form of a steady quarterly revenue at ACAS :-)