This week, Bloomberg sparked a number of headlines with reports that iPad mini demand was failing based on supplier Pegatron’s earnings numbers as revealed at an investor conference. Those claims were later refuted by Pegatron CEO Jason Cheng, who argued that Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan had misquoted him to reach his conclusion about iPad mini numbers.
The problem here is one that comes up repeatedly for Apple watchers, namely that of trying to divine from scattered sources what the future holds for the iPhone maker. Reports of slowdowns, layoffs or weak fiscal results from any number of supplier companies, including Pegatron, Foxconn and Sharp have bloggers feverishly pounding keys, predicting dire straits for Apple to come. The problem is, these have never been a very strong indicator of what’s actually going on with Cupertino and its products, and for good reason.
As Fortune’s Phillip Elmer-DeWitt learned from Cheng via email, Pegatron has a wide customer base and never breaks out how each of those are affecting its bottom line or its quarterly financial outlook. Pegatron has its fingers in all kinds of pies, including home video game consoles and e-readers, both of which are currently suffering badly in terms of consumer sales.
Here’s a look back at some equally dire reports from recent memory that also turned out not to have any relation whatsoever to anything Apple was doing, performance-wise.
- Apple’s Q2 Earnings Foreshadowed by Weak Foxconn Results – Disappointing results at Foxconn for its most recent quarterly results were seen as a bad sign for Apple’s progress, but it still filed extremely impressive results, despite a rare year-over-year earnings decline.
- Apple’s Suppliers Experienced A Very Weak February – Supplier reports indicated that Apple was having weak iPad sales, which obviously wasn’t correct as it blew expectations away in terms of sales of its iOS tablet devices.
- Apple iPhone 5 Sales Showing Weakness – Apple was seen as dramatically underperforming relative to Wall Street’s consensus estimates on iPhone sales for Q1 2013, and in fact they exceeded consensus by a fair number (selling 47.8 million iPhones).
- Exclusive: Japan’s Sharp cuts iPad screen output – Sharp shipping woes on iPad panels were seen as an indicator that Apple was having difficulty moving iPads, prompting one analyst firm to predict that Apple would ship only around 8 million iPads in Q1 2013, when in fact they shipped 22.9 million.
In the best of cases, supply chain reports offers some vague insight into the larger picture of Apple’s inventory channels, but when looked to for solid indicators of performance, they’re about as dependable as using a magic 8 ball. The iPad mini, by all reasonable accounts, looks to be a very strong performer for Apple, and it’s very likely we’ll see that trend continue.
Now that Sony, LG, HTC, and Samsung have all pulled back the curtains on their flagship Android smartphones, the rumor mill can churn with renewed focus on yet another nebulous device — Motorola’s secretive X Phone.
Or rather, X Phones. According to Android And Me’s Taylor Wimberly, X Phone isn’t going to be a product name so much as it is a banner that multiple phones will fly under, and his sources assert that we’ve already seen the first of those devices in wild.
(I think it goes without saying that you should take all this information with a hefty grain of salt.)
The supposed culprit was captured on film earlier this week by the noted team at Tinhte, the Vietnamese site that thrives on getting their hands on unreleased gadgets well before the rest of us do. It was a fairly unassuming device — it bears a mild resemblance to the Galaxy Nexus when viewed dead-on, and sports a cleaner, rounded design that doesn’t quite jibe with many of Motorola’s recent angular design efforts.
What’s more, its modest spec sheet prompted many (myself included) to dismiss its odds of being the fabled X Phone. To wit: it sports one of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro systems-on-a-chip, 2GB of RAM, a 4.65-inch display, and a 2,200 mAh battery. In fairness, that’s not a shabby device at all. That’s essentially what the Nexus 4 is working with, but it just didn’t seem flashy enough to be what Motorola and Google have been working on all this time.
But if this new report holds true, that lack of next-gen horsepower could be because Google intends to sell this particular X Phone dirt cheap sans contract — $ 199 or so.
Curiously, the original video of the device was yanked from YouTube, and the original post on Tinhte seems to have disappeared as well. That’s far from a confirmation that Tinhte has ruffled some major feathers, but it’s something to consider.
Now to call this whole thing a little kooky would be putting it very mildly, but such an approach wouldn’t exactly come out of left field. One could look at the Nexus 4′s launch as a grand experiment of sorts, meant to see if the consuming public would be open to purchasing unsubsidized hardware directly from the people making it. The answer, clearly, is yes. The Nexus 4 isn’t exactly a mass-market success but demand for the device and its reasonably low price tag led to some notable woes for people trying to purchase the thing early on.
Moreover, the more limited launch of a high-end device like the Nexus 4 could help Google gauge their ability to fulfill device demand in markets across the globe. Now that Google has more or less figured out what needs to happen to keep a global device rollout from going immediately south, it’s arguably better prepared to push out a solid phone at a crazy low price point. Only time will tell whether or not Google and Motorola truly plan to inundate the world with a horde of cheap X Phones, but with I/O on the horizon I imagine it won’t be long before the next chapter of the X Phone saga begins to unfold.
Because I don’t know why, Ferrari is going to manufacturer a million-dollar, 863-horsepower gas/electric hybrid supercar called the *drumroll please* LaFerrari. *womp womp* Wow, and I was this close to putting my name on the waiting list.
The LaFerrari has more power than the McLaren P1, it’s also a hybrid made entirely of carbon fibre, it will do 62 mph under 3 seconds, and they will only make 499 while already having about 700 orders.
Who cares about how fast it can do 62MPH, how quickly can I get it to 88MPH? I’m asking for a friend and not me who totally doesn’t have a flux capacitor and no this isn’t a picnic basket full of dinosaur-sized condoms behind my back. They’re, uh, weather balloons.
Hit the jump for more pictures and and a video of the thing zoom around that gave me a boner even though I tried to fight it.Related Posts:
Question by Samantha: What is the point of having a tablet if you have a laptop and an android phone? I have been looking into different tablets, but what is the point of having a tablet if I have a laptop and an android phone? Do tablets play music?
Answer by MasterWhat is the point of having any technology? What is the point of living in the 21st century? We should all go back to the 1800′s and dress as cowboys!
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More tinyurl.com Xbox Live (trademarked as Xbox LIVE) is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service created and operated by Microsoft Corporation. It is currently the only online gaming service on consoles that charges users a fee to play multiplayer gaming. It was first made available to the Xbox system in 2002. An updated version of the service became available for the Xbox 360 console at that system’s launch in 2005. The service was extended in 2007 on the Windows platform, named Games for Windows — Live, which makes most aspects of the system available on Windows computers. Microsoft has announced plans to extend Live to other platforms such as handhelds and mobile phones as part of the Live Anywhere initiative. With Microsoft’s new mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7, full Xbox Live functionality is integrated into new Windows Phones that launched in late 2010. The Xbox Live service is available as both a free and subscription-based service, known as Xbox Live Free and Xbox Live Gold respectively, with several features such as online gaming restricted to the Gold service. Prior to October 2010, the free service was known as Xbox Live Silver. Video Rating: 4 / 5Related Posts:
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On the heels of rumors suggesting we’re just days away from an announcement pertaining to Microsoft’s next version of Office, the company has unveiled what’s it’s calling the Office Next blog. Described as a resource where engineers working on the productivity suite will discuss new improvements and design choices, Microsoft also promises to share the data and user feedback that influence key decisions. The inaugural post sees PJ Hough, Vice President of Program Management for Office, sharing some positive early buzz from those testing a technical preview announced back in January. Describing the product as “the most transformational release” he has worked on, Hough seems eager to share further details on the latest iteration of…
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