Posts by Aaron Pressman
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance20 hrs ago
“Did it do it?”
“Is that the Apple thing?”
So asked three clerks at the downtown Boston Macy’s after I completed authorizing a $29 clothing purchase today with Apple’s (AAPL) wireless Apple Pay service in about two seconds.
It was fun and quick, but the question that really matters is just how many of the millions of people in the United States who bought a new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus will actually use Apple Pay and how often.
Almost all previous mobile payment and mobile wallet offerings have flopped. Just $1.6 billion out of some $4.5 trillion purchases were made via mobile services last year, according to eMarketer, which projects the total mobile purchases to hit a whopping $3.5 billion this year.
One of the only remotely successful mobile payment palns, run by Starbucks (SBUX), has grown to 15% of all transactions thanks to loyal customers who love the brand.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance3 days ago
Starting on Monday, millions of people who bought an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus will be able to go shopping with Apple Pay, the company’s new wireless mobile payment program.
Shoppers will have to add at least one Visa (V), Mastercard (MA) or American Express (AXP) card from a participating bank to Apple’s (AAPL) Passbook app on their phone to get started. Once Apple Pay is set up, to make a payment, a customer simply touches the iPhone fingerprint sensor while next to the cash register.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance4 days ago
The future of television got a bit clearer this week, as Netflix (NFLX) stumbled and rivals rumbled. But for cord-cutting consumers, the news was almost all good.
Netflix saw its subscriber growth slow after it hiked prices by $1 a month. The company’s shares tanked, losing almost one-quarter of their value in two days, as investors fretted about future growth.
Meanwhile, CBS (CBS) launched a brand new Internet TV service, including access to its library of thousands of old shows, for $5.99 a month. And Time Warner’s (TWX) HBO unit said it, too, would offer an Internet plan based on its popular HBO Go App, but with the pricing and launch date to be determined.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance4 days ago
After Apple’s (AAPL) underwhelming new iPad introductions today, sales of the devices are unlikely to rebound much from their recent slump. But that may be just fine for Apple and its shareholders, as many customers are shifting their attention – and dollars -- to higher-priced phones and computers.
Apple introduced two new iPads and a new iMac at the event held at its Cupertino headquarters. A slimmer iPad Air 2 upgrades last year’s iPad Air with better cameras, faster processors and the fingerprint sensor, TouchID, carried over from the iPhone line. A new iPad Mini 3 was almost unchanged from last year’s model, though it also got the TouchID sensor and will be available in a gold colored body now. Apple will also continue selling older models at lower prices, a strategy borrowed from the iPhone line.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance5 days ago
Apple (AAPL) is expected to release its next generation of thinner, faster iPads later today, but analysts and investors aren’t very excited about the new models.
That’s because the tablets don’t have any earth-shattering new features that would cause enough owners of prior models to upgrade. And after the rapid growth of the early year, there are many fewer households that don’t own a tablet but still plan to purchase one.
Apple is holding a press event at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to unveil its new products. The company apparently slipped up on Wednesday and disclosed pictures of an upgraded iPad mini and iPad Air in a manual for using the devices posted online. Apple also may announce new Macintosh computers and new details about its Apple Pay service.
The new iPads will surely have faster processors and better screens, but are unlikely to spur a significant uptick in sales, analysts said.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance6 days ago
“For the consumer it should just feel like another channel…a very unique channel, but a channel.”
-Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer
Netflix (NFLX) got its start as a sort of everything store for renting movies and television shows, which fueled hopes that it would do the same when it started streaming video over the Internet.
But Netflix has no such ambition. Instead of realizing the cord cutters’ dreams of providing any and every kind of content online for a single monthly fee, Netflix is increasingly becoming just another premium cable channel, albeit one without the same scheduling limitations of traditional offerings. It's not trying to overthrow cable networks -- it even wants to be included on them. That could be a key element to increase subscriber growth, after the company's stock tumbled as much as 25% after hours today on a slower-than-expected increase for the third quarter.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance6 days ago
After a couple of failed takeover offers, T-Mobile US (TMUS) shares are trading under $27 for the first time since 2013. CEO John Legere has executed a turn around almost flawlessly at the fourth-largest mobile carrier, but the stock is still down 20% year to date, presenting a buying opportunity for investors.
The latest drop, 5% this week so far, followed news that French telecom upstart Illiad and Xavier Niel, its former peepshow parlor owning founder, had ended a quixotic effort to buy the much larger T-Mobile. T-Mobile’s majority owner, Deutsche Telekom, reportedly was unimpressed with Illiad’s latest offer of $36 for 67% of the US unit.
Even without a takeover, T-Mobile has enough strength on its own to keep outgrowing the rest of the industry, according to some analysts and investors.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance11 days ago
Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella joined the unfortunate club of offensive executives this week, after he offered the boneheaded advice that women who want higher pay shouldn’t ask for a raise. But his rapid and total apology separated him from some previous CEO offenders and should mitigate any fallout.
"It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along," Nadella said, as if he was unaware of the substantial pay gap between men and women of equal qualifications in the technology industry. "That's good karma. It will come back," Nadella added, as the audience at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference sat silently.
Criticism was swift and fierce, starting with Harvey Mudd College president Maria Klawe, who was Nadella’s questioner on stage and sits on the Microsoft board.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance12 days ago
Carl Icahn bought Apple (AAPL) shares last year and hit a home run, with the stock up over 50% since. But his call for the shares to double from the current price of $101.90 relies, in part, on optimistic assumptions, guesses and a couple of tax accounting strategies the company is unlikely to heed.
Will Apple be able to sell 20 million smartwatches next year? Turn around lagging iPad sales while increasing the average selling price? Come out with a television set retailing for $1,500 to generate over $50 billion in sales over the next three years? Or shave its tax rate by one-quarter?
Maybe – but maybe not.
“We continue to think that the market misunderstands and dramatically undervalues Apple,” Icahn wrote in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, which he also released publicly on Thursday. “At today’s price, Apple is one of the best investments we have ever seen from a risk reward perspective, and the size of our position is a testament to this,” he added.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance13 days ago
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) CEO Meg Whitman and her board agreed this week to split up the venerable PC maker just a few years after categorically rejecting the idea. Now the crowd of analysts and investors who see value in breaking up aging tech giants is moving on to new targets. Next up may be networking pioneer Cisco Systems (CSCO).
Cisco is not in nearly as dire straits as H-P – its revenue and profit growth have only lately tailed off amid weak corporate spending on information technology and growing competition from cloud-focused upstarts. Palo Alto, Calif.-based H-P, meanwhile, increased sales last quarter for the first time in three years.
But Cisco’s stock price hasn’t kept pace with its long-term, improving fundamentals. Over the past decade, sales have doubled and net income is up 67%. But the stock has gained only 26%, marking only a fraction of the market’s overall rise over that period.