Thursday, September 19, 2019

Apple Catch-Up

Lots to catch up with, Apple-wise. I'll touch briefly upon the new iPhones, iOs 13, Apple Arcade, and the stock price:

I bought a slew of AAPL stock last January when it dropped to $145, and will sell after it levels off (I'm hoping for $250), once my purchase is a year old so I can pay low long term gain taxes. I've done this a half dozen times now; it's mostly how I pay the bills. Rinse and repeat. As I've explained a zillion times (most recently here):
The risk is that it won't recover next time - that the most successful company in the history of the world, sitting on a cash pile of $250 billion, will shrivel up and die because of some fleeting issue.

I just don't see that as a real risk. That cash hoard alone - which doesn't even do anything! - dwarfs the total market value of all but seven other corporations. Apple could throw their entire mega-successful business in the garbage and buy Starbucks, Boeing, and Goldman Sachs. If customers update their iPads more slowly than expected, or a phone antenna doesn't work properly, or a new product line undersells expectations, that's just not going to cause a death spiral. I'm not saying they'll be dominant forever...but the downside of buying at Apple's inevitable 30% bullish downturns strikes me as minimal.
iPhone 11
The new iPhones are wonderful, and will be a huge hit - especially the 11 Pro. However there's one aspect that's been mostly under-radar amid all the hype: they use weak Intel modems. These modems caused reception issues with the XR and XS, and there's no reason to expect the new models to be much better. If you're mostly on wifi, no biggie, but I'll upgrade my iPhone 7 to an iPhone X - two models back - and enjoy the good Qualcomm modem (note: some, not all, iPhone 8 and iPhone X have the right modem. Qualcomm modem phones have a model number of A1865, while ones with Intel modems have a model number of A1901). I'll buy on eBay from someone with 100% feedback, years of eBay history, and thorough photos and descriptions. I haven't gotten burned yet.

iOs 13
If you already have an iPhone or iPad, don’t upgrade to iOs13. It's buggy. Wait for v 13.1, which comes out in a week or so. Maybe even wait for 13.2.

Also, I'm a fan of the "Take Control" series of books on Apple tech, and this guide to iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 will surely be helpful. As is the screencast by the great Don McAllister of ScreenCasts Online, a service I highly recommend. Here's a preview of the iOS/iPadOS 13 screencast, which you can watch in its entirety if you sign up for a free 7-day trial.

Apple Arcade
For $4.99/month, Apple Arcade lets you play zillions of amazing games on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and/or Apple TV, with none of the in-app-purchases that have been ruining gaming. I'm normally more of an ala carte consumer, preferring to ferret out treasures one-by-one - but this is irresistible, even though I'd never play more than a small fraction (I particularly loathe super-realistic "real world" games - they're either make me hyper-aware of the cheesy shortfall, or else they're creepy in an uncanny valley way and make me wonder why I'm not just outside doing stuff). Check out this two minute supercut trailer:


Display Name said...

I wonder if you would like bloons tower defense five Jim? If you do it will reframe the way you look at balloons. My friend and I enjoy this game on co op and there are Two large hot air balloons decked out for Christmas Every Year at the mall. We have to sneak past them because we know we know. I wonder if I would be in over my head if I bought a phone on ebay. Links plz when u have da time.

Unknown said...

What's your strategy now that AAPL has split?

James Leff said...

The split is of no importance whatsoever. The sole benefit for the company is that the lower share price might encourage smaller investors (i.e. folks who can't cough up $500 for a share). But that possibility was priced in the moment they announced the split. Other than that, it's a bookkeeping issue that doesn't affect investors at all.

I bought more at $104, fwiw. I think it's still well below its peak (plus it always drops after product announcements), but it's not at this point cheap enough to be worth really loading up.

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