Most Popular
1. It’s a New Macro, the Gold Market Knows It, But Dead Men Walking Do Not (yet)- Gary_Tanashian
2.Stock Market Presidential Election Cycle Seasonal Trend Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
3. Bitcoin S&P Pattern - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Nvidia Blow Off Top - Flying High like the Phoenix too Close to the Sun - Nadeem_Walayat
4.U.S. financial market’s “Weimar phase” impact to your fiat and digital assets - Raymond_Matison
5. How to Profit from the Global Warming ClImate Change Mega Death Trend - Part1 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Bitcoin Gravy Train Trend Forecast 2024 - - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Bond Trade and Interest Rates - Nadeem_Walayat
9.It’s Easy to Scream Stocks Bubble! - Stephen_McBride
10.Fed’s Next Intertest Rate Move might not align with popular consensus - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Global Warming ClImate Change Mega Death Trend - 8th Apr 24
Gold Is Rallying Again, But Silver Could Get REALLY Interesting - 8th Apr 24
Media Elite Belittle Inflation Struggles of Ordinary Americans - 8th Apr 24
Profit from the Roaring AI 2020's Tech Stocks Economic Boom - 8th Apr 24
Stock Market Election Year Five Nights at Freddy's - 7th Apr 24
It’s a New Macro, the Gold Market Knows It, But Dead Men Walking Do Not (yet)- 7th Apr 24
AI Revolution and NVDA: Why Tough Going May Be Ahead - 7th Apr 24
Hidden cost of US homeownership just saw its biggest spike in 5 years - 7th Apr 24
What Happens To Gold Price If The Fed Doesn’t Cut Rates? - 7th Apr 24
The Fed is becoming increasingly divided on interest rates - 7th Apr 24
The Evils of Paper Money Have no End - 7th Apr 24
Stock Market Presidential Election Cycle Seasonal Trend Analysis - 3rd Apr 24
Stock Market Presidential Election Cycle Seasonal Trend - 2nd Apr 24
Dow Stock Market Annual Percent Change Analysis 2024 - 2nd Apr 24
Bitcoin S&P Pattern - 31st Mar 24
S&P Stock Market Correlating Seasonal Swings - 31st Mar 24
S&P SEASONAL ANALYSIS - 31st Mar 24
Here's a Dirty Little Secret: Federal Reserve Monetary Policy Is Still Loose - 31st Mar 24
Tandem Chairman Paul Pester on Fintech, AI, and the Future of Banking in the UK - 31st Mar 24
Stock Market Volatility (VIX) - 25th Mar 24
Stock Market Investor Sentiment - 25th Mar 24
The Federal Reserve Didn't Do Anything But It Had Plenty to Say - 25th Mar 24

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Is Apple's "Next Big Thing" Vaporware?

Companies / Tech Stocks May 16, 2013 - 01:11 PM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Companies

Michael A. Robinson writes: In Silicon Valley, there's a term for products that a company makes bold statements about and always seem on the cusp of launching but never quite materialize - vaporware.

And believe me, over the decades there have been more vaporware companies than real ones.

What's more, it's not uncommon for once-respected names to become vaporware makers over time.


One of the big questions now is, with the death of visionary Steve Jobs, the growing Android base, and the next generation in smartphones, is the "Next Big Thing" for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) nothing more than vaporware?

For investors slammed by the stock's 39% decline from its 2012 high, the question is hardly rhetorical.

Today, I'm going to explore what's in store for the whales of the tech space and tell you where I stand on whether their visions will be actualized or vaporized.

The Best Companies in the World

Here's the thing. U.S. high-tech stocks remain the greatest source of wealth for investors in world history because their companies do two things well:

They constantly push the envelope.

They deliver high-octane growth.

Just look at Apple's recent history. It changed the way millions listen to music with the iPod. And it followed up shortly afterward with the iTunes Store, then the standard in digital music distribution.

Apple set the world on its ears again in 2007 with the iPhone, which now sells at a rate of well over 100 million units a year. Just three years later came the smash success of the iPad, still the device by which tablets are judged.

Those are just a few of the reasons why its stock went on one of the wildest rides ever. It reached an all-time closing high last Sept. 19 of $702.10 a share. Ten years to the day before, the stock closed at $14.58.

That's a return of an incredible 4,715%...

But with its stock now hovering around $425, investors have had little to get excited about and few hints about where Apple might be taking the next generation of technology.

Even stock analysts complain openly that CEO Tim Cook seems to have run out of fresh ideas. They noted that in the most recent quarterly earnings call three weeks ago, Cook promised "amazing" things ahead. Trouble is, Cook didn't say what those are.

And Apple's top rivals sense blood in the water.

And to the joy of their investors these firms aren't keeping mum about their plans.

Here is a look at how three of Apple's big competitors are putting pressure on the company and its stock:

Mind-Control Mobile Devices

Apple earned rave reviews less than two years ago when it launched Siri, a voice assistant that dials the iPhone, sends and reads text messages and surfs the web.

But arch-rival Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (OTC: SSNLF) wants to take the mobile world to a whole new level. As Samsung sees it, in the near future, you'll control your phone by using just your thoughts.

I'm not kidding or being metaphoric.

The South Korean electronics giant has teamed up with a professor at the University of Texas to develop a new wireless brain interface.

While it's still in the early stages, mind-control tech isn't commercial. It's in the R&D phase but showing promise in helping quadriplegics and amputees gain some control over their lives.

In a recent interview with MIT Technology Review, Samsung officials said they want to broaden the brain-device interface so that virtually anyone could use it.

Samsung is testing how people can use their thoughts to open an app, send a message, select a song from a playlist, or turn on or off one of its mobile products.

This futuristic approach has gotten the world's leading seller of smart phones a ton of global buzz. It's all part of its strategy to show that it's no longer an Apple copycat but is intent on setting new tech standards.

Then again, global battles like these mean everyone is scrambling for a sensory niche.

The Next-Gen Vision Thing

It would be easy to dismiss the new wearable computer from Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) as far more hype than substance.

No doubt, Google Glass has gotten plenty of buzz in advance of its sales launch. Company co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have both worn the eyeglasses in public, generating a slew of media coverage.

Google Glass offers a ton of features that put the power of a smart phone inside a pair of eyeglasses. It takes photos and videos, sends and receives text messages, surfs the Web and displays maps.

Google Glass is an integral part of the firm's approach to next-gen tech. Google has an entire skunk works facility called Google X where senior technicians are working on a wide range of futuristic products like Google Glass.

The firm went so far as to hire renowned futurist Ray Kurzweil last December, who will head up machine learning.

Kurzweil is well known for his legendary work in speech recognition and is a proponent of Singularity, where technology and machines become one cohesive being- the technology compensates for the "flaws" in the biological human to create a superhuman.

It may sound a bit "out there" but we're heading there and it's good to have one of the globe's leaders of this vision working in your R&D lab.

To that end, Google is becoming a leader in robotic cars. These will be a godsend to an aging population that values autos as a key source of mobility and independence.

Google is lapping up the publicity as a company on the edge of tech's new frontier.

Talk to the Hand

What was just supposed to be a cool add-on for its popular Xbox 360 game console actually gave Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) some much-needed technical respect for the first time in years.

Kinect went from fun idea to a viral open platform for innovation overnight. Imagine what Apple could have done with this unique motion-sensing system...

Microsoft leaders had no idea the impact Kinect would have on savvy technophiles. It began to get an idea shortly after the product launch in 2010 when hackers started writing dozens of new applications for Kinect.

It ranks as one of the fastest transitions from the sci-fi concept to market debut. Just eight years before in the movie Minority Report, computers had Kinect-like features that responded to voice and motion -- no remotes or keyboards needed. And now it's a reality children use at slumber parties.

To date, Microsoft has sold 24 million Kinect units, though it hasn't disclosed total profits. But Kinect is part of the high-margin entertainment unit.

Microsoft is now looking for ways to make money off the device as a stand-alone product. Last year, it recruited several young entrepreneurs to a special campus to write new apps.

A wide range of corporate customers --from surgeons to sports trainers -- have expressed interest in using Kinect to improve their operations. So, there is a big market to sell to.

But even if Microsoft fails to push Kinect much beyond gamers, it has set a new standard for professional and consumer electronics.

So Where's Apple?

Mind-control devices, vision-enabled devices, robotic cars, motion-controlled devices.

These are where some of the tech titans have set their sights.

And Apple? Apple TV? A new iPhone? Big promises beyond that are starting to sound like vaporware.

But a big vision is what Apple needs if it wants to convince investors it can once again join the vanguard of America's tech leaders.

I'm starting to wonder, though, if it has what it takes to stay at the head of the pack anymore.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2013/05/16/is-apples-next-big-thing-vaporware/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2013 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2022 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in