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0_21_450_commonsense.jpgzahremar sent me this link to a short essay by Neil Cavuto regarding Apple’s iPhone launch. After reading the swill, one thing is certain, he clearly doesn’t write a single thing, and whichever one of his interns actually wrote this piece has obviously never taken a business class.

Cavuto’s intern’s overarching argument is that while a very respectable number of $500-600 iPhones were activated during the opening weekend, well over 140,000, Apple goofed by not lowering expectations.

Cavuto doesn’t dispute how impressive the number is, indeed:

“Selling 146,000 items at a minimum of 500 bucks a pop ain’t shabby. In fact, it’s stunning. Never in corporate history, have so many electronic devices sold so quickly.”

But he goes on to say:

“But then it didn’t meet that damn expectation, did it?”

The “expectation” he’s referring to was Apple’s officially-unofficial goal of selling 10 million iPhones in the first year and half a million in the first few days. As reported by Dow Jones’ MarketWatch…which is now presumably a subsidiary of News Corp., the stated goal was 10 million iPhones within the first full year of sales. That means 10 million iPhones by the end of June 2008, NOT December 31st, 2007.

It’s called Google, Intern.

Getting to the meat of the argument, Cavuto’s intern’s statement regarding the 146,000 “activated” iPhones is misleading as that number does not necessarily equal the total number of iPhones sold. There are plenty of people, myself included, who want an iPhone but are tied to a contract they can’t afford to break. So why not buy the phone and wait out your contract? I’ve purchased many a product on opening day only to have it sit on my desk at home until I had the time to play with it.

Secondly, Cavuto’s intern doesn’t mention the fact that Apple’s third quarter ended on June 30th…

The day after the iPhone first went on sale.

Thus, not only do we not have a clue as to how many iPhones were actually sold in the first two days, we won’t even have an idea of the overall profit from Apple’s new iPhone division until the end of Q4.

Cavuto’s intern seems miffed that Apple…which, again, is not exactly the humblest of tech companies…didn’t pull the old “under sell, over report” trick that so many other companies do. Apple’s perceived cockiness doesn’t seem to be hurting financially as their reported quarterly profits of over $800 million dollar easily outlines.

This post wasn’t designed as a fanboy manifesto about Apple’s financial status or market strategy, indeed, I’d be in trouble if it were.

This post is about challenging the notion that business pundits should have any credence as far as influencing the markets go.

Fox News is on the cusp of introducing it’s Business Channel and – as of this writing – Rupert Murdoch has officially gained control of what will surely become his legacy, the Wall Street Journal.

As one of the few liberals who both likes and respects what Murdoch has accomplished in his media empire, and one of the only people who thinks News Corp’s acquisition would BENEFIT the Journal, I would like to see people like Cavuto gone from the new business network and kept far, far away from WSJ.

Cavuto has his place, he is a political pundit with business branding, and that’s fine for Fox News Channel. But if Fox Business Channel is going to be any different, if you can approach reporting on the market with a clear lense, then you can compete with the likes of Bloomberg and CNBC on merit and quality…not on spectacle and audacity.

Also, please hire more talented interns.

Photo from FoxNews.com.

Disclosure: The author is employed by Apple, Inc. All of the financial information cited in this post is publicly available via Apple.com. The views of the author do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of Apple, Inc., its shareholders, employees, contractors, or Board of Directors, and the author is not representing Apple in any official or unofficial capacity. Please don’t fire/sue me.