March 31, 2012

Link: How Apple Makes the World a Better Place ☍

Cult of Mac’s Mike Elgan points out how Apple is helping others, rather than destroying everything non-Apple. It’s a pretty interesting read that flies in the face of the “everything with an Apple logo is overpriced” mentality:

…As Walmart bulldozes mom-and-pop retail stores and erect massive new super stores, that company gains control over how manufacturing companies do business. They squeeze every drop out of the companies that make products of every description, forcing them to cut corners, lay off or offshore workers and seek out lower quality materials. Because everyone is either unemployed or making less money, they can’t afford to shop anywhere except stores like Walmart. This is the opposite of Henry Ford’s strategy, which was to pay workers so much they could afford to buy his cars.

The self-reinforcing economic death spiral continues until society resembles The Hunger Games, where the majority live as virtual serfs in District 12 shantytowns and a minority live in obscene luxury and leisure in gleeming, high-tech cities.

Link: Investor Urges AOL to Sell MapQuest and Moviefone ☍

I know Apple has purchased mapping companies already, but wouldn’t MapQuest be a great addition in the transition away from Google-provided maps? They certainly look better than what they’re using in iPhoto on iOS:

Activist investor Jeffrey Smith put another hot coal under AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong’s feet yesterday, this time urging him to divest the Moviefone and MapQuest businesses. Smith’s Starboard Capital, which owns a significant 5.2 percent stake in AOL, insists the prices paid originally for Moviefone and MapQuest are both “well in excess of the current market value.”

Starboard’s theory is that because AOL already appears to be scouting buyers for its patent portfolio and access business, sales that would result in big tax hits, the company should pair those transactions with a sale of underwater assets, like Moviefone, to help offset big taxes.

March 29, 2012

Link: Who’s Running NBC, Anyway? ☍

That logo looks a little familiar…

Link: RIM is in Bad Shape ☍

Glad they are finally realizing what everyone else knew:

  • Revenue of $4.2 billion, down 19% from the third quarter
  • GAAP net loss in Q4 of $125 million or $0.24 per share diluted; adjusted net income of $418 million or $0.80 per share diluted
  • BlackBerry smartphone shipments of 11.1 million in Q4, down 21% from Q3

Link: Best Buy to Close Fifty Stores ☍

It seems that they are blaming lower margins on mobile devices, as opposed to, say, people moving away from physical media and finding cheaper products online or at Walmart/Target:

The report noted that the popularity of Apple’s iPad has contributed to Best Buy’s struggles, as the device carries “relatively low margins” for the retailer. As a result, its mobile computing sales business has seen “strained margins” of late.

Best Buy reported a loss of $1.7 billion for the quarter that concluded on March 3. It plans to remodel some of its key stores in what it calls a “Connected” format designed to sell smartphones and push video and broadband services.