Oracle should have telegraphed its punch to the market earlier so that the analyst community could have rationalized their positions in light of the downturn before the offical report and softened the landing. Now they will have to announce some major
accomplishments before the next Q report in order to gain back its good graces. But, I think Larry is the only swashbuckler left in a field where risk takers use to make the big waves. Now it seems the bean counters and margin jockeys are asserting themselves with risk management and derivative plays which play on fear. The NC is where it will all end up as hardware commodities become as cheap as toilet paper. The backlash against Microsoft will be widespread as consumers begin to diversify more
into niches just as they shop for automobiles. No one believes that what is good for General Motors is good for the country. Ditto for Microsoft. Pigs get eaten but Hogs get slaughtered.
I lost a bundle on KOPN the last downturn, from which it has been laboring to recover. I thought it had a good story then, but up till now it has not come out with any products for sale marketed to consumers. It is still mired in defense department contracts
and little or no consumer products for distribution. It is better suited as an R&D takeover target by a manufacturer who knows what to do with technology (make money). I like the fact that Motorola is partnering up with KOPN, but I fear the amlcd market is completely dominated by the Japanese and that flat monitor screens and other potentially huge markets like that are now beyond the reach of KOPN. It is hard to be the writer, director, producer and star in a movie that is a hit unless you are
Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner, or Robert Redford.
I like my AMD 486 133mz CPU. However, I would like an upgrade trade-in program which would allow me to trade up to a more powerful K6 or better. Even if I have to get a new motherboard.
AMD might consider an environmental program where it takes back its older chips in trade for new ones, recycling the trade ins to charitable organizations, schools, and the disadvantaged. It would maintain and expand customer loyalty and also do some good. I donated my old IBM 286 machine to a rehabilitation program where it is used to teach handicapped people how to do basic computer skills and typing. Otherwise, it would have eventually ended up in some landfill.
Redundancy is probably not a highly rated concern, but I still don't understand why AAPL pulled the rug out of the clones, especially when they targeted the cheaper end of the market. The current new G3 machines represent a flight to quality and are priced
high. They would not have been threatened by a robust clone market. The NC strategy will require cheap machines made in volume. Something AAPL can't seem to accomplish. Frankly, I spend more money at Price Club/Costco (where you can go broke saving money) than at Nieman Marcus. AAPL should appeal to the lumpen proletariat more and less to the elite. A PC in every garage.
I doubt the stock will rise that high without a split happening. Corporate policy is to keep the shares affordable. I held on after the last split and am glad to see the price rise again.
I hope so. Pixar, SGI, Macromedia, etc. all represent very good niches in the multimedia mix of technologies, any one of which would enhance AAPL's position as the choice for graphic and media related work. Consolidation makes sense where strengths of all equals more than the sum of its parts.
Iaccoca is not the messiah. After he left Chrysler, the company did much better since the cult of personality was cut off in favor of results oriented and creative managers. However, he was critical to Chrysler's survival when the choice was to file bankruptcy
or get a loan/bailout. In this case, perhaps his involvement with AAPL is premature since I do not think AAPL is dying yet. But AAPL needs more than a symbolic fugurehead. It needs an aggressive team that can really fight for market share, not a bunch of self indulgent pseudo elitists with pretensions of creativity which are outdated and who rely on "loyalty" rather than true value for the buck. My own suggestion would be to merge with Sillicon Graphics and Pixar then sell the whole entity to Motorola,
IBM or Disney.
IFMX should hire an investment banking firm and put itself up for sale or merger. That would really start a bidding war with real candidates. A big investment house like Morgan Stanley or Merrill Lynch would put IFMX in its best light as far as the stock market is concerned. It is clear that current management are incapable of handling this company. They should recognize their limitations and bring in a Clint Eastwood.
If people are so panic stricken as to HOPE that Lee Iacocca is the next CEO, then I really begin to worry for AAPL. Chrysler rebuffed Lee and Kerkorian when they tried to gain control of Chrysler. Lee was no longer needed or wanted. If AAPL really needs
someone to rally the troops, why not Colin Powell? If all else fails, he could bomb Sadam Hussein with unsold Macs. Or what about bringing Johnny Carson out of retirement? At least he would entertain everyone and we could laugh our way back to profitability. Or how about Walter Cronkite? Everybody trusts him. Bruce Springsteen? How about Bill Gates?
Although I own IFMX shares, I am worried whenever I hear the "best technology" mantra for a company cut off at the marketing knees. Sounds too much like Apple versus Microsoft. Hopefully, IFMX will recover, but just in case, I'll buy Oracle on the dip.
I understand that Texaco is installing two SGI virtual reality theaters for viewing oil drilling geological maps. If this is a trend for companies to employ virtual reality presentations, SGI might consider outfitting some of the movie theaters in cineplexes
around the country so that companies could lease or rent the facilities for their presentations rather than build separate facilities of their own. It could also be the launching pad for digital media exhibition in addition to the old standby of film. Food for thought on Turkey day after.