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Re: Apple to ditch Intel?

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Tim Wilson
Re: Apple to ditch Intel?
on Apr 4, 2018 at 4:22:18 am

[Oliver Peters] "I find it hard to believe that MacBook and iPad won't somehow merge.

I find it hard to believe that they WILL. 😂 After all, "What's a computer?" In all of Apple's organizational schemes, it seems like these are the two product lines where they've worked the hardest to draw lines between them.

Some of this is differentiation to protect iPad, I suspect. I'd think that there are a lot of people who are happy enough with their big phones that iPads start to feel superfluous.

Apple also has bizarrely little imagination here, or perhaps Jonny Ive has bizarrely short arms. Listening to them moan about the intense physical discomfort caused by just the IDEA of a touchscreen on a laptop, and you can see how they will never, ever, ever merge these experiences.

[greg janza] "To get a sense of where Apple may be headed in the future just look at how their revenue source has changed over time. "

AMAZING chart, but the quintessence of skating to where the puck has been, I think. 😋 As others have noted, that line doesn't represent Apple's overall computer revenue, but Mac's percentage of revenue relative to the rest of the company. That's a massive distinction.

In fact, looking at Mac sales by UNIT, the chart is almost inverted! This is as current as it gets, too, running from 2006 through the end of December 2017 (which is the end of Q1 '18 in Apple's calendar). Down a skosh from the 2016 peak, yes, but let's see what we see when Apple updates their Q2 '18 numbers in just a little bit. And trust me when I say that the iMac Pro promo push has barely gotten started.

Keep in mind too that the bars going up and down along the way are references to individual quarters -- some quarters of the year are bigger for computer sales as part of the annual cycle. But pick any quarter of the year and follow it through the chart -- the 2016 peak notwithstanding, Apple's Mac business unit is doing fine, thanks.

(Source here.)

This is actually quite a feat. Apple has the best-growing computer business in the industry, but it creates the optical illusion of shrinking, only because the rest of Apple is growing so much faster.

So the question for where the puck is going next is, what ELSE will Apple be doing, other than what's currently on the table? What's the thing we DON'T see right now that's going to drive the curve so massively higher that Apple's VERY NICELY GROWING computer business will LOOK like it's shrinking?

Well, they've already told us some of it -- Home Pod. This is potentially massive, not just for the devices themselves, but for what they drive. For example, Amazon says that sales of Echo drove a doubling of Amazon Prime Music revenue last year.

Believe me, Apple has noticed Spotify absolutely kicking Apple Music's ass. But who do you think is going to be quicker to market with a speaker/mic music DJ request line thingy, though, a la Echo? Apple. Count on it. Apple Music doubling annual growth would allow it to at least keep pace with Spotify, and if they hit the ball as far as Amazon did with Echo, will of course additionally create a nice source of hardware revenue.

Apple has of course been hinting at TV sets or something like them for over a decade now. Meh. I don't see it. The making and selling of TV sets is a terrible business to be in right now. Not nearly enough margin, even for what Apple could get away with charging for their version of the thing.

There's also honestly not nearly enough revenue coming from Apple's own corner of TV content. They'll do more than they are, but they're still years away from catching up to the most laughable channel on your Roku channel.

Contrast this again with Apple Music, with upside galore, easily accelerated with Home Pod.

Now then.

I know I'm the only gol' darn person in the entire history of this forum to believe that Apple can make a killing with cars. An accidental pun, but I'll take it. I don't care what Tesla is up to, and neither does Apple. Apple wants to go after Prius, and their most recent patent filings this very week are ASTOUNDING. If you haven't dug into these yet, you have absolutely no idea how seriously Apple is taking this.

The fact is that cars have been a massive part of Intel's business of late, and I'm convinced that Apple doubling down on moving away from Intel has EVERYTHING to do with moving into the heart of Intel's actual current businesses....and what's the one besides cars that have been driving (hahahahaha!) Intel? Artificial intelligence and VR/AR. And where do you need AI and VR/AR-styled technology, especially for heads-up display? In a car?

No shit, fellas. I'm telling you. LOOK AT THIS. Chips out the wazoo. HUD out the wazoo. And, as Patently Apple calls it, The Patent of the Decade. I think they're underselling it. If Apple pulls it off, it's the patent of the century to date, by a mile.

Don't just reject this out of hand. READ THE APPLICATION, or at least Patently Apple's summary of it. THIS is what it means to go after Intel where Intel lives. It has everything to do with why Apple is poo-pooing VR and promoting AR: because the goal isn't to get you out of your current reality into a different, not real reality. The goal is to provide overlays on the reality you're in. While you're driving.

This is of course old technology in some ways. Pilots have had this for many years. What's new is doing it without a helmet, in a consumer environment, with a combination of information dense but quickly readable, in a manner that stays out of the way, that can be operated at almost a subconscious, reflex level.....not unlike iOS. That you control with your eyes, not your fingers. Using AR technology.

Running on an assload of chips. Trust THAT to Intel? No thanks. If you give most people a choice in chip provider for controlling my door locks and lighted drink holders, you think they're gonna choose Apple or Intel? Hmmmm..... I wonder. NOT.

Note bene: this has NOTHING to do with whether Apple actually builds the cars. Who cars. Apple doesn't need to get in the brakes and upholstery business to pull of AI/AR driving environments. (Although, wouldn't it be nice? Anyone who flies Virgin knows EXACTLY how cool it would be if Apple DID get involved in building "transportation devices", so to speak. Virgin is as close as we've gotten yet -- it's like flying inside a white iPod, in a good way.)

This is already where they're headed with cars: get the manufacturers to open the hooks for an overlay, to let Apple control the car's systems. If Apple was also licensing them the chips, well, this gets right interesting. Now you don't have to compete with Toyota, Tesla, or anyone else. You let the market (eg, you maniacs) demand that your car vendor of choice license Apple's stuff if they want your business.

After you dig into Patently Apple -- here's the link -- take a listen to the normally pretty level heads at USC's Entertainment Technology Center, who posted some nice coverage just this morning.

Look, you may keep saying I'm wrong about Apple and cars. Apple has certainly made no bones about deciding that they didn't want to build the actual cars, which I was very hopeful they WOULD do. But it's clearer than ever that Apple's view of its own future is developing the INTERFACE for the future of driving. The interface for the car on the road and such -- wheels, brakes, steering, all that? Apple doesn't need that pain. But when it comes to the experience of how drivers relate to cars, to the world, and relevant data to manage that relationship -- who ELSE would you rather have do that? NOBODY.

Of course I say this as somebody who still can't imagine ever giving Apple another dime. 😂 I just don't like their stuff. I don't think a single thing they do is best of category. I just don't. But I WANT them to keep winning, so that companies I like better will win MORE. 😁

I need a rimshot emoji to truly sell that last paragraph, but don't think for a minute that I'm kidding the tiniest bit about believing that THIS is where the puck is going, that THIS is why Apple is parting ways with Intel. As big as Intel is thinking about cars, AI, VR, and AR, I think Apple thinks Intel isn't thinking nearly big enough. I KNOW Apple thinks that YOU aren't thinking big enough if you think Apple's chip moves are mostly about computers.

While also underscoring that Apple doesn't want you to take your eye off the ball, that the computer business is thriving, and entirely relevant.

Say, I've got the perfect music for the ad campaign for the Apple car overlay dingus, whatever they're gonna call it. Beep beep, mm beep beep, yeah!

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