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Do you think there is a fixed "profit" out there for the taking?

Apple's profit margin is an extreme aberration, and it isn't sustainable. Any comparison that relies upon profit numbers is...disturbed.

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Do you think there is a fixed "profit" out there for the taking?

Definitely not. But I do think that there's been incredible growth in Nokia's core business, and they haven't seen any of the growth.

Apple has been able to do this in four markets now:

1) iPhone -- a carrier subsisized market.

2) iPad -- see (3)

3) iPod -- Large margins based on industry leading large volume.

4) Computers -- Expensive niche product with huge margins. I believe the are the single most profitable computer company (if you look just at their computer division).

Why is a comparison based on profit disturbed? In business that's pretty much the only thing that matters. Profit yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

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> Apple's profit margin is an extreme aberration, and it isn't sustainable. Any comparison that relies upon profit numbers is...disturbed.

So the goal of a phone maker should be to sell as many devices as possible regardless of whether they're profitable? That sounds a lot like, say, Motorola before they adopted Android - not exactly a picture of a healthy business.

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Apple has been making similar margins on all of its products for the past 10 years. How can you say it isn't sustainable?

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10 years ago Apple had 5 billion in revenue. Now they're pushing 100 billion in revenue. They butting in on competitors who operate in the 5% margin range, and who are all desperately starting to claw back at Apple's gains.

No, it isn't sustainable. History will prove me out, and in 3 years I would bet that Apple has seen a significant margin haircut. Quote me on a 50% decline.

As a comparison, by the way, look at Sony (which was the Apple before Apple). Once a purveyor of high margin audio equipment, they saturated that market and started moving to high markup mobile audio equipment...and then TVs...and then lower markup mobile equipment, etc, and then everyone started fighting back.

Apple is exactly following the Sony curve.

EDIT: Arrowed down. This is one of those seminal moments that speak volumes about a community, and I think HN is done (just furthering an observation that has grown). Account and site abandoned.

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One downvote on a site where the voting arrows are tiny and close together and votes can't be reversed is a "seminal moment that speaks volumes about a community"? I think you're being a little melodramatic.

Anyway, Apple has always had a disproportionate share of any market it seriously participated in — the big difference is that 10 years ago Apple was a very small part of a single market. Some fluctuations will probably happen over the next half a decade, but you can bet that Apple will remain absurdly profitable in a way that embarrasses most of its competitors. It's just something that Apple is good at.

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you can bet that Apple will remain absurdly profitable in a way that embarrasses most of its competitors. It's just something that Apple is good at.

I'm betting it's not. It's something Steve Jobs is good at.

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It's a very easy bet that their profit margin is not sustainable. Obviously it won't survive the heat-death of the universe, nor the sun's expansion into a red giant.

The most contentious statement you made, to me, is "any comparison that relies upon profit numbers is...disturbed."

Why is profit a disturbing business metric?

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Apple and Sony do share some similarities, but at least one big difference exists... Sony focused on licensing technology, from CD to BetaMax. Whereas Apple is creating a walled garden to lock in customers.

Sony eventually got commodotized in the very technology they created. This won't happen with Apple. At worst they get undercut in their industry, but Apple has a rich ecosystem that has to stay with Apple to reap the benefits.

And just for the record, no downvotes from me.

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No, Sony tried to lock-in as well, e.g. Memory Stick, Minidisc, etc. Sony anything worked better with Sony anything-else. You saw this in the marketing too, SonyStyle etc, you could buy every electronic device from them and they'd all integrate nicely. Exactly like Mac, iPod/Pad, iTunes, AirPort, AirTunes, AppleTV...

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You're still thinking in terms of hardware and devices. Elop's memo clearly shows that he comprehends the challenge. It's not the hardware. It's the ecosystem that matters. Think iTunes, App Store, MobileMe etc. Why do you think Apple is building a data center in NC? They're skating to where the puck's going to be.

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EDIT: Arrowed down. This is one of those seminal moments that speak volumes about a community, and I think HN is done (just furthering an observation that has grown). Account and site abandoned.

I would say please don't let the door hit you in this ass on your way out, but you are a bog-standard troll and will be back again next week whining about Apple.

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that was not necessary.

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Apple looks for market segments where they can sell things at high margins, and abandons the segments where those margins are no longer sustainable.

Dell laptops start at about $400. The MacBook starts at about $1000. If you only want to spend $400 on a laptop, Apple doesn’t want your money. If you want to spend $400 on an MP3 player, on the other hand, you can get a very nice iPod.

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|EDIT: Arrowed down. This is one of those seminal moments that speak volumes about a community, and I think HN is done (just furthering an observation that has grown). Account and site abandoned.

Wow seriously, overreaction much? I don't know how long after you edited your comment but you're +8 now. It seems a little petty to dismiss all of HN because your comment was downvoted. Big deal. You just have to put up with some downvoting and realize not everyone is always going to have the same opinion as yourself.

My guess is you'll be back tomorrow or the next day judging by your comment history.

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Having your APK in multiple markets is laughably trivial.

But regardless, what a way to try to dig a negative out of a story like this.

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I realize how easy it is, I just wanted to point out that they still won't have market access.

I'm of the opinion that Nokia should just move to Android - they make nice hardware but they need better software and should stop spinning their wheels and partner with Google on Android. Don't get me wrong, I love my n810, but I'd like to see Android on a lot of hardware Nokia makes.

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Clearly it just works for a lot of people. I really tire of the "if it doesn't work for me it shouldn't work for anyone" attitude.

These sorts of complaints are ridiculous. It's one thing to host some little family site on GoDaddy shared hosting, but for anything real...come on. You get what you pay for.

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Clearly it just works for a lot of people

Why do you say that? Do you have data? It seems just as likely that it doesn't work for a lot of people, but they can survive on the churn from new customers (and subscriptions) -- or convincing people to provide a poorer service.

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It's a reasonable inference that it was working for enough people. Either that or this guy is the only person on GoDaddy Shared, or everybody who uses it is too dumb to know working from not working. Either way the moral seems to be: Not enough people complained to warrant a real investigation.

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Who is supposed to investigate? The way a lot of these companies work, like DirecTV, is that they know what the practice is, but as an individual you have little power to stop them.

It doesn't have to work for anyone for this to be succesful for GoDaddy. They just have to be able to collect on enough people, with decent churn for new blood.

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What are you talking about? Clearly it has to 'work' in the sense that when you upload your code and go to look at it you get a result back for the initial people. This guys app did not work at all. Are you saying GoDaddy has a product they sell that doesn't work even in the slightest? If this one guy noticed something broke it is not unreasonable to think that if it is across the entire product that more people would complain and it would escalate. It may not be true but it's not unreasonable. But this discussion is almost full retard.

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Clearly you don't know WTF you're talking about. But lets end this full retard discussion. Done.

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I am deeply curious why 15 people up-arrowed this. Was there something in it that I missed?

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Apparently 15 people found it useful and/or interesting. If you don't, flag it or move on.

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There is no way that 15 people found it useful and/or interesting. It's someone giving a brief resume and then, in a nutshell, saying "Gonna be doing stuff with data".

So my question stands. Do people just see 37 signals and data and imagine that it's interesting, so they up-arrow? Are there bots at work? Etc. I am deeply curious.

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It seems like so many of the other articles about 37 signals go roughly "37S wrote this blog post that proves that they listen to no one other than themselves and are in the process of shooting themselves in the foot," so in that sense, it is worthwhile to HN to see that do have people who are listening to customers / drawing inference from data / &c.

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Bots? Maybe?

37 Signals is a pretty popular company so I imagine people get excited for any kind of inside information on their inner workings.

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Also, the upvote is a good way to bookmark something to read later (ie. upvote => saved stories). That has to account for some of it.

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The article basically states

"We at 37 signals try to collect and analyze data about our users to make our products better. We may share some of what we do in later posts."

It is being upvoted here on HN because it plants a good idea into people's heads:

"I've heard about this new trend about using data to optimize your app, and it turns out those cool 37s guys are doing it. Maybe I should too!"

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The single and dual core thing is technically ignorant. It is exactly the sort of "detail" that people add to fabricated stories to lend legitimacy to them, but when they reach beyond their abilities it just sounds dumb.

We all know that Google is working on the next version of Android. Making up some inside sources, though, should not be rewarded.

My inside sources say that they like grilled cheese.

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Completely and totally agree. It's total manufactured bunk.

Even technically...to make "dual-core" apps work on single-core processors? Weak.

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Another day, another survey by a company desperate to get attention by defensive Apple fans. Sad how well the tactic works.

So I guess Android is done then. Lets shut her down! Or we could just wait and see how it pans out.

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Don’t you think you are kinda sorta defensive there?

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Do you think I am?

I find these surveys in all their forms to be garbage, whatever the purported outcome is. They're almost always online (because it's no-name, no-budget survey companies), self-selecting surveys, and they seldom have any relationship to reality. Lazy bloggers use it to fluff up coverage.

Funny that the Fortune guy posted it given that I called him out for a prior one - http://blog.yafla.com/Lazy_Surveys_Enable_A_Lazy_Press/

I have demolished more surveys than I care to explain. I just have lost the desire to point out how naive people are for falling for this nonsense again, and again, and again.

But again -- let's revisit it in a couple of months, after those millions of Android users have switched.

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You sure are.

The survey is in all likelihood garbage (i.e. doesn’t tell us anything about how successful or unsuccessful the iPhone will be on Verizon), we don’t even have to talk about that. I’m talking about you saying “ […] defensive Apple fans. Sad how well the tactic works.”

Why do you need to write crap like that?

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These surveys pander to a certain audience. Just had to check, and sure enough it's on Apple Insider, just as it will be or already is on most Apple-related blogs. These survey companies skip the middle man and often target the Apple community directly, because it is certain attention. The Apple community is simply too addicted to these things, with no discretion or filter.

We've had survey, after survey, after survey, foretelling doom and gloom for Android. All while actual metrics have shown it gaining marketshare by leaps and bounds. If I have to pick between reality and "what a self-selected group picks on an online form, usually to get offered a $5 Amazon certificate or the like", I'll choose the former.

My observation stands. Just noticed that the original poster has the email address "iphone". Indeed.

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Dell has been seriously underwhelming. They put zero effort into software, and their hardware has been...mediocre. I'm not quite sure what they're going for, but they're failing absolutely miserably.

Dell literally is bringing the whole Android platform down a notch. You heard about some great new Android device, and then Dell comes along and takes a piss in the water with some junk.

Dell needs to clean some house. They are too big of a company to be failing like this.

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I am not sure Android sandboxes that well.

Android sandboxes far better than iOS. It has a more granular, integrated security system.

The existence of "anti-virus" and task killers speaks more about customer ignorance and the placebo effect than it does to the platform.

I think the App Store review process is actually dangerous because it implies something that isn't true. Apple makes zero guarantees about the quality of safety of the applications.

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Granularity is good -- but as far as I know people ignore the security permissions warnings, because they are hard to understand, and its difficult to understand why would an app need them, and most people generally just click yes. So practically, it does not really help (thats the impression i got from reading online) For anti-virus apps, its not about why people buy (customer ignorance), but their existence and feasibility implies apps have the power to monitor the system closely. App store review helps ... when android store lists apps like these: http://photos.appleinsider.com/android.market.ios.002.jpg how can you trust the android store more or equal to the apple app store?

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Those are completely irrelevant problems. The problem you cite is the nature of the beast with an open market. I think you'll have a hard time finding Android fans willing to sacrifice the open intentions of Android and Google's Market to prevent copyrighted apps from getting into the Market.

I find it funny, that image, as if some random bloggers "indictment" should motivate Google to action. They're handling it just as they handle Youtube, and I think it's brilliant. If you see your material in the Market, file a DMCA. Problem solved.

Yes, customers ignore permission warnings, but again, that's an unrelated issue, and surely you're not suggesting that Apple's lack of a permission list is better simply because users sometimes ignore it when offered.

In terms of security, both from a disclosure, per-permission level granting and sandboxing perspecitve, Android has a superior model.

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I'm not quite sure why copyright infringement should make me concerned about the applications as a user. Though it's notable that there have been several noted cases of gross copyright infringement on the AppStore.

However I actually think there is a perfect medium somewhere in the middle: Granular permissions that allow for curation by an optional third party. That would be an ideal situation for the market, where Grandma or Joe User can select from a number of curation sources (or punching it in directly) where reviewers rate by quality, assess if the permissions are appropriate, etc.

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> Apple makes zero guarantees about the quality of safety of the applications

An important point, considering "flashlight" apps that managed to sneak in SOCKS proxies. No doubt more nefarious things would be difficult to do as a non-super user, but it does seem a false assumption to trust App Store apps implicitly.

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The real problem -- and the reason for most of the outrage -- is password reuse. Can we all agree yet that password reuse is the actual problem, and not the storing of passwords?

We should reframe the discussion around that, because it is the real issue.

But let's pretend that PoF stores a 128-iteration blowfish ciphered password for every user. The site is compromised, as it was, and the attacker now has the run of the place. They inject their capture into the login process and now they siphon off every plaintext password.

On the scale of things, whether the password is stored hashed or not is very, very low. It masks the real problem.

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Passwords are the problem. They're invariably hard to remember or easy to guess. Or to abstract it out, you're always choosing between resistance to getting lost and resistance to attack.

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Stealing passwords of people who log in during a limited time window is less than stealing passwords of everyone who ever registered.

That said, I agree password reuse is the underlying problem.

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Such an exploit could be in place on countless sites you visit daily, with no one the wiser. Further, aside from technical competence, why does anyone trust PoF? Why do they trust any site to not only technically handle their password correctly, but to not subvert it for their own purposes?

I see that my post above got moderated down. People want to lazily, and sloppily, reuse passwords everywhere. It's ignorant. The world would be better if we got rid of this ruse that sites hashing passwords themselves offers any reasonable protection. It leaves the barn door open.

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