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King Lodos
Posted: 25 January 2018 13:19:52(UTC)
#36

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jvl;55910 wrote:
King Lodos;55892 wrote:
.. as we're hearing with politics, they may be using it to push left-wing agendas in news...


So they're a huge corporation that is indulging in all sorts of nasty/monopolist practises and whose biggest shareholders are earning billions of dollars but they want to push communism out to the world?


Did you not notice Wall Street backing Obama and Hillary? George Soros' hedge fund $billions going into far-left causes through the Open Societies Foundation?

If you know the Pareto Principle, the wealthy always do well under left-wing governments .. What they hate about pro-business/free-market guys like Trump is increased competition – notice how, under Obama, small companies were paying 40% corporation tax, while Apple and Amazon weren't paying any?

How are you going to build a rival to Google while you're paying 40% corporation tax?


Quote:
Quote:
Google just becomes a collection of apps – and I don't think they compete well with Apple or Microsoft


You seem to have an Apple fetish, overrating them. Over the past few years my wife's been wanting to change phones, for the first time, to Android ones. Whenever I use her Iphone or Ipad I'm struck by how annoying things are. I like Microsoft a lot more but recently I tried to use Microsoft's free version of Word online and it seemed to be a little worse than Google's equivalent. Not much difference though.


Everyone has an Apple fetish .. Warren Buffett has one and he still uses a flip phone .. You know how many millions of kids see an iPhone as a status symbol, and Android as anything but?

99% of what you're talking about is just what you're used to – and if there wasn't this nondescript vaguery of alternatives out there, Apple wouldn't have the image they do.

If you want to invest in brands properly, you have to understand what Buffett and Munger understand about brand value .. Perhaps illustrated by this relationship, that's persisted a long time – Google Play: double the downloads; Apple Store: double the revenue .. In this relationship, Android is the price-competitive business, and Apple has the moat – you're trying to invest in businesses that make money

https://boygeniusreport.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/app-annie-apple-vs-android.jpg
1 user thanked King Lodos for this post.
Guest on 28/01/2018(UTC)
jvl
Posted: 25 January 2018 15:32:33(UTC)
#43

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Warren Buffett's nearly 90. He probably needs something easy to use and his eyes didn't notice that Apple were offering tiddly little screens at non HD resolutions for years while Samsung and other competitors were producing much more desirable hardware. And he didn't notice that they were still charging premium prices while not producing the premium product anymore.

I don't have an Apple fetish. When buying my wife's Iphone 6, I just pointed out that it was using a tiny non HD screen for more than the price of competitors with better screens. She now covets a Samsung rather than the next Iphone.

Samsung, Huawei and others caught up and even surpassed Apple in screen size, clarity, resolution, camera performance and desirability and Apple just rested on their laurels, using the same tired design for years. The belated £1000 Iphone X hasn't been a commercial success. It's being retired next year already. Chinese kids don't like the notch or something. Competitors are already copying its one new feature - 3D face recognition.

It's crass to say it but they did kind of lose it around the time they lost Steve Jobs. He brought something extra to it.

There was an interesting view from Matthew Lynn in The Telegraph the other day: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/01/24/death-amazon-get-set-necrosis-netflix/

He points out a possible side-effect of it crushing network TV - the subscription model decimating the power of advertising and brands in general.
Ark Welder
Posted: 25 January 2018 16:40:20(UTC)
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Keith Cobby;55895 wrote:
Interesting discussion but I think I'll hang on to SMT and the other BG trusts.

Don't actually see the need to go beyond Post 2 myself...
3 users thanked Ark Welder for this post.
Mickey on 26/01/2018(UTC), Guest on 26/01/2018(UTC), TJL on 26/01/2018(UTC)
King Lodos
Posted: 25 January 2018 16:49:30(UTC)
#45

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@jvl:

2 or 3 years ago, the argument was entirely Apple vs Samsung .. (Android of course being free to shove in anything.)

Since the exploding batteries, it's Chinese brands who've moved in on Samsung, and the ppl who were buying S3s are now proudly displaying Chinese brands no one's heard of.

That's the lesson right there .. Apple's brand value gives them a moat and makes them immune to profit-destroying competition .. If you had 5 Korean and Chinese smartphones fighting in that space, they'd be the airline industry – forced to squeeze every inch of their margin to compete on features .. Samsung's been a poorer investment, despite much lower valuations.


As for iPhone X .. There's no data on sales, and according to engadget, Apple withdrawing the phone is just speculation on speculated sales .. iPhone X was the phone equivalent of a concept car – no one knows whether Apple plan it as a limited run.

But according to Canalys (research), they think iPhone X has sold 30 million, outselling every other phone over Christmas .. I got the impression it hadn't done well, but people I know have bought them .. The more I look at Apple, the more I'm convinced by the long-term investment case.
Big boy
Posted: 25 January 2018 17:31:11(UTC)
#48

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We seem to have strayed from the original question......
colin overton
Posted: 25 January 2018 18:06:19(UTC)
#49

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Until recently I had a £60 4G smart phone, its performance was moderate but it was a phone. I recently bought a £170 Moto G5 with 3GB of RAM. In my opinion a nice phone. I recently saw a couple of iPhone Xs, owned by some iFollowers, but otherwise reasonably hard-headed friends. As always these were beautifully made, but £1000 for something that will not last more than 3 years? By the way it seems to be made of glass! I recently witnessed a hard working 16/17 year old struggle to say whether she'd spend her first £1000 on a car or an iX.
I can recall when Apple was a brand only supported by data-logging scientists and at one time pretty much bust, didn't they need a $50m handout from Bill Gates?
Now for about 20-30% of the western world Apple is a cult, modern jewelry. I wonder when the first £5000 phone will be on sale? Apple products are well made, easy to use, work and very, very expensive. The power of marketing.
King Lodos
Posted: 25 January 2018 19:32:11(UTC)
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£1,000 is too much for a phone .. But the contract deals aren't that much more expensive .. I think when people come to upgrade, it's certainly not feeling like £1,000.

The Coke factor with Apple isn't that Apple's marketing makes me want to use Apple: it's that you're going to use technology anyway, and you don't want to leave Apple.

It's like Bentley – you're not trying to buy the fastest or most feature-packed car (because it will always be next year's model) .. Rather, there's a design philosophy and user-experience that would be difficult to give up .. Because leaving isn't just a matter of going to another environment – it's throwing yourself back into the chaos, of noncompatibility, discontinued product lines, exploding batteries, different industry leaders each year, awkward operating systems, owning an Amazon Fire Stick, a Microsoft tablet and a Samsung phone, and nothing really working together



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Tim D on 25/01/2018(UTC), Guest on 25/01/2018(UTC)
D. Parkinson
Posted: 26 January 2018 01:07:59(UTC)
#51

Joined: 23/06/2017(UTC)
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Hi, Re Charlie Mongerfords Comments, Hi Lighted By "King Lodos",
I think one of the problems with airlines is the cost of buying planes. At some point an airline company decides it is doing better than the competition. It then embarks on buying new aircraft out of the money it thinks its "GOING" to make in the future from the new super efficient planes its buying. I suspect the majority of airlines start out by buying second hand kit, as they evolve they start buying new kit, on loans/leases whatever, that is where the problem lies if the airline is not state sponsored. When oil prices go up, should you spend/borrow a lot of money on the new super efficient aircraft or just wait a bit & buy when other companies go bust. I suppose the logical answer for any airline is never buy new.
Mickey
Posted: 26 January 2018 08:49:25(UTC)
#44

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jvl;55924 wrote:
Warren Buffett's nearly 90. He probably needs something easy to use and his eyes didn't notice that Apple were offering tiddly little screens at non HD resolutions for years while Samsung and other competitors were producing much more desirable hardware. And he...

Perhaps I woke up feeling too sensitive, I thought this ageist attack on Buffet to be entirely unnecessary and in poor taste.
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Tim D on 26/01/2018(UTC)
jvl
Posted: 26 January 2018 10:31:05(UTC)
#52

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I don't see why. It's not even an attack. The older we get the less skilled and familiar we are with new technology and the worse our eyes get. I feel it already. That's life.

KL bizarrely brought him up after Pewdiepie didn't really make an impact.
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Guest on 28/01/2018(UTC)
jvl
Posted: 26 January 2018 11:01:15(UTC)
#46

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King Lodos;55929 wrote:

Since the exploding batteries, it's Chinese brands who've moved in on Samsung, and the ppl who were buying S3s are now proudly displaying Chinese brands no one's heard of.

That's the lesson right there .. Apple's brand value gives them a moat and makes them immune to profit-destroying competition .. If you had 5 Korean and Chinese smartphones fighting in that space, they'd be the airline industry – forced to squeeze every inch of their margin to compete on features .. Samsung's been a poorer investment, despite much lower valuations.


Has it been a worse investment? I haven't looked but I'd heard that it had recovered well since the exploding phones debacle.

It's all a bit finger in the air and unscientific but I get the idea that Apple's brand power is waning. Their phones used to be the most desirable and that gave the brand the power. Now Samsung brings out an S8 and it makes the Iphone 7 and 8 look like relics. LG brought out a similar phone that hardly had bezels. Others too. The cameras could hold their own with the Iphone and their screens looked better. The software experience is also decent. That didn't use to be the case.

Samsung corners the market on screens - even Apple use them. They seem to be the innovators more than Apple now, with Apple looking as if it's being dragged into using technology. Wireless charging just this year?! Eventually this is going to drag on a brand.

The other thing that makes me think that Apple's power is lessening is the plethora of different devices they're bringing out. The small Iphone, the big Iphone, the cut price coloured Iphones and this year the separation of the Iphone X and the Iphone 8 (the 'good iphone and the already old one'). It looks a bit desperate.

It all depends on IOS, I guess but even there how many apps do people love enough?
Tim D
Posted: 26 January 2018 11:32:12(UTC)
#53

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Re Apple vs. the rest of the world...

Why would you not want to invest in a company who's brand power is so strong that their customers don't demand the latest hardware... and yet are still prepared to pay premium prices for whatever intangible value there must be in the brand/software/styling/"look and feel"/ecosystem etc? That company's profit margins per device are surely going to be streets ahead of the companies locked into HW spec wars with each other.

Some years ago now, but I remember a colleague describing how they'd walked the length of a London-Edinburgh train... in most of the carriages, most folks with a laptop were running Windows. Then they walked through 1st class... Apple everywhere. I noticed around the same time a lot of people I worked with (at a Windows SW development shop) were switching to Macs for their personal machines. This was quite a while ago mind you... these days all the youth seem to have MacBooks too.

Agree Apple seem to have lost their way a bit though... feels like they badly need another iPod/iPhone/iPad "that's the way to do it right" category-killer "experience product". Not clear to me what niches are currently open to such a breakthrough though... but it'll be obvious in hindsight, just like it was for the previous "blockbuster" products.
King Lodos
Posted: 26 January 2018 14:58:22(UTC)
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jvl;55962 wrote:
Has it been a worse investment? I haven't looked but I'd heard that it had recovered well since the exploding phones debacle.

It's all a bit finger in the air and unscientific but I get the idea that Apple's brand power is waning. Their phones used to be the most desirable and that gave the brand the power. Now Samsung brings out an S8 and it makes the Iphone 7 and 8 look like relics. LG brought out a similar phone that hardly had bezels. Others too. The cameras could hold their own with the Iphone and their screens looked better. The software experience is also decent. That didn't use to be the case.

Samsung corners the market on screens - even Apple use them. They seem to be the innovators more than Apple now, with Apple looking as if it's being dragged into using technology. Wireless charging just this year?! Eventually this is going to drag on a brand.

The other thing that makes me think that Apple's power is lessening is the plethora of different devices they're bringing out. The small Iphone, the big Iphone, the cut price coloured Iphones and this year the separation of the Iphone X and the Iphone 8 (the 'good iphone and the already old one'). It looks a bit desperate.

It all depends on IOS, I guess but even there how many apps do people love enough?


I had Samsung as a top 10 holding for a long time, through Korean and EM funds .. It's been on about half valuations of comparable companies .. I'd say they made the best plasma and LCD TVs for a long time (I still have a Samsung in use) .. I've got a Samsung fridge.

It's certainly not been a spectacular investment – and building a core portfolio now, it's so far from anything I'd consider (while Apple and Microsoft are among 6 companies in the world that look about the most attractive).

Apple's brand power waning is something I've been hearing for at least a decade – and less now than I used to .. The idea Samsung are still the competition is what's changed .. After the exploding phones, and gimmicky curved screens, they're not what people are buying.

If features are what you buy a phone for, you're suddenly in a very competitive world.

Before I bought an iPhone, Nokia were the go-to brand .. Then it was Samsung, now it seems to be Huawei, Xiaomi .. And this makes investing in that space more like betting on horses.


King Lodos
Posted: 26 January 2018 15:08:08(UTC)
#54

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Tim D;55965 wrote:
Re Apple vs. the rest of the world...

Why would you not want to invest in a company who's brand power is so strong that their customers don't demand the latest hardware... and yet are still prepared to pay premium prices for whatever intangible value there must be in the brand/software/styling/"look and feel"/ecosystem etc? That company's profit margins per device are surely going to be streets ahead of the companies locked into HW spec wars with each other.

Some years ago now, but I remember a colleague describing how they'd walked the length of a London-Edinburgh train... in most of the carriages, most folks with a laptop were running Windows. Then they walked through 1st class... Apple everywhere. I noticed around the same time a lot of people I worked with (at a Windows SW development shop) were switching to Macs for their personal machines. This was quite a while ago mind you... these days all the youth seem to have MacBooks too.

Agree Apple seem to have lost their way a bit though... feels like they badly need another iPod/iPhone/iPad "that's the way to do it right" category-killer "experience product". Not clear to me what niches are currently open to such a breakthrough though... but it'll be obvious in hindsight, just like it was for the previous "blockbuster" products.


I think the industry feeling that Apple are desperately in need of the next iPhone is why it's trading so cheap – it's significantly cheaper than comparable companies .. It's been on a PE below 20 for a long time, while the market's been 25-30.

Coke haven't needed a new Coke, but there was a time when they were desperately trying to find one .. I think Apple's brand power means they can sit back and let the competition take risks.

They've let Amazon and Google release the Alexa and Home (smart speakers) – the Apple Homepod still isn't out, but it's the most interesting .. It's much more focused on audio quality (it calibrates itself to a room), while Amazon are getting negative press for politicising (no surprise) Alexa .. e.g. it won't respond to politically incorrect language; it gives left-wing answers to questions .. Politics seems to be one of the most toxic things a brand can get into, and again that's why I started betting on Tencent and Alibaba

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Tim D on 29/01/2018(UTC)
sarah b
Posted: 26 January 2018 15:21:58(UTC)
#55

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This has been an interesting post, but I am still going to hold BG.
I also have my grandsons invested with them
King Lodos
Posted: 26 January 2018 15:31:23(UTC)
#56

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Well I hope it continues its run – and tech in general, as that's where I'm mostly invested.

But I would warn that post reminded of this:

Investor Views: "I've Put My Grandson's Cash in Biotech"
Private investor Anita Dalton tells Morningstar why she fired her husband’s financial advisers - and took over the management of his SIPP and her grandsons' ISAs
http://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/news/146366/investor-views-ive-put-my-grandsons-cash-in-biotech.aspx

Only 2016, and Biotech had been on a tear for I can't recall how long .. It was the 'no brainer' investment back then – people were living longer, so of course we'd all need more Biotech .. And maybe it will be again soon – but it certainly got overheated, and its slump explains some of the problems Woodford's been having
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Tim D on 29/01/2018(UTC)
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