back to article Apple to flush '£37bn' down the bog if it doesn't flog cheapo slabtops

A senior JPMorgan analyst has urged Apple to seize a $63bn (£37bn) opportunity by flogging a hybrid laptop-tablet device running iOS. Equity research analyst Rod Hall said the fruity firm was missing out on a huge market by failing to produce a cheap-ish mongrel laptop priced between $500 and $1,000 (£300 and £600). The …

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  1. Lusty Silver badge

    For $63Bn

    For $63Bn you'd think this analyst would get off his ass and try selling them himself rather than telling one of the most successful companies in the world how to run their business. I'm guessing he doesn't make $63Bn for making stuff up at the moment?

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: For $63Bn

      Those that can do.

      Those that can't become analysts and tell everybody else what they should be doing.

      1. SumDood

        Re: For $63Bn

        "Analyst - possibly the easiest most pointless job in the world? Make blindingly obvious predictions and get paid, make wildly unlikely predictions get paid. Its win-win!"

        There are different kinds of analyst.

        Some follow the great god Anal

        and talk from special places.

        1. Ted Treen
          Holmes

          Re: For $63Bn

          Analysts are rather like eunuchs in a harem:-

          Forever telling everyone how to do it, whilst being singularly incapable of doing it themselves.

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: For $63Bn

      You'd also think that for his stoopid analyst salary he'd realise that the laptop line starts at $799 well below the $1000 band he's quoting.

      Analyst - possibly the easiest most pointless job in the world? Make blindingly obvious predictions and get paid, make wildly unlikely predictions get paid. Its win-win!

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: For $63Bn

        Meteorologists make considerably more money than all but a few 'senior' market analysts. They also have actual career paths and do actually utilize science, poorly, but at least they try. They've also got no blowback risk with forecasts, so I'm raising my children to be meteorologists, not market analysts. Market analysts have parents who hate them.

        Besides, the general public, and most journalists, really sucks at seeing the actual message in analysts reports. This report wasn't telling Apple to make a cheap tablet, this report was telling other manufacturers to raise the prices of theirs.

        It doesn't matter anyway. Unless it's a previously agreed upon report used for fixing prices them nobody even reads the reports of analysts except journalists and useless brokers who don't actually know anybody to get insider information from. It's like the special games for 2nd string ball teams.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      Re: For $63Bn

      Apparently this analyst thinks if you have two successful products, that combining them into one bastardized hybrid that does neither as well as the two perform their individual roles, that the new product will outsell two individual products?

      I guess that's why Surface is taking over the market. Oh wait...

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: For $63Bn

        Completely agree, this is a classic case of an analyst fundamentally failing to understand the products and their reasons for success.

        The iPad is successful because of what it is - a quality media consumption device that allows some (limited) media creation. The MacBook devices are also quality devices but more targetted towards media creation compared to consumption. There is some cross over between the two but each have their specialisation and that is their key strength.

        If you really want to use an iPad to create content a bit more easily you can always link a keyboard to it. There's a reason why most people with iPads don't do this.

  2. cyke1

    "Equity research analyst Rod Hall said the fruity firm was missing out on a huge market by failing to produce a cheap-ish mongrel laptop priced between $500 and $1,000 (£300 and £600)."

    they already had the ipad at 6-700$ and laptop at 1000ish$. On top of that Apple don't know how to make a cheapish, they believe they can crap in a box and it will sell for 100$

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Trollface

      You wish

      And the fact that the market shows that's generally true really boils your blood doesn't it my rabid little commentard?

      1. SumDood

        Re: You wish

        "And the fact that the market shows that's generally true really boils your blood doesn't it my rabid little commentard?"

        Crap-in-a-box gotta sell, same as shell-suits.

    2. SumDood

      "they believe they can crap in a box and it will sell for 100$"

      It does.

      The wise know that buying the right crap-in-a-box makes them not only wise, but hip.

      They dress as does their emperor, copying his new clothes.

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Crap in a box

      They don't even need the crap. Just say that the box has Applecrap in it, but can't be opened by non-qualified personnel, and it will still sell. Sad, innit.

    4. El_Fev

      Well if I could sell my crap in a box for $100's I'd do it as well! Apple sell good stuff and make more money than creosote, as other posters have pointed out , if this analyst was so smart he would create a start up and earn than 67Billion himself!

      1. sam bo

        " more money than creosote," - creosote being a rather toxic substance that runs down the inside of my chimney when I burn wood that is not well seasoned.

        Surely, you meant Croesus, that rather rich chap that some even wealthier people have more money than ?

        1. JimC Silver badge

          in this context creosote

          Is a Terry Pratchett parody of Croesus.

          1. The Man Himself Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: in this context creosote

            There's a thin line between misunderstanding and parody....a line that is only waffer thin

  3. AndyTempo

    $63bn Profit!

    Or $63bn revenue that might cost more than $63bn to make?

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Sadly...

    There will a load of his golfing/country club buddies on Wall St who will accept this BS without question.

    Then when Apple don't follow is advice they will mark the stock down.

    As has been said, those who don't have a clue become Wall St Crystal Ball gazers.

    before any fandroid down votes this post just think for a second that his next pronouncement may be directed towards Google or Samsung. These Jerks don't care who they shaft as long as their name in in print.

  5. frank ly Silver badge

    I'm sure the correct spelling is 'analist'.

    Something to do with attention to detail and personality. I may have misunderstood.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ARM vs x86?

    "In 2014, we believe that the next A-series chip (probably named the A8) is likely to surpass the computing power of current i5 based MacBook Airs," he continued. "If our calculations are roughly correct, we would see no reason for Apple not to begin using the A8 in its laptops or... just make its tablet behave as a laptop."

    Wouldn't this necessitate a re-write of OS X, considering the A series are ARM processors and Intel are x86?

    1. Tapeador

      Re: ARM vs x86?

      "we would see no reason for Apple not to begin using the A8 in its laptops"

      Quite so re the x86s - there is a very good reason why Apple might not begin using the A8 in laptops and that's Boot Camp. At the moment nobody has to make much of a decision between Windows and Mac - buying a Mac allows both. But the A8 wouldn't allow that. There are important applications where the Mac versions are very inferior to the Windows, e.g. Dragon Naturallyspeaking Legal.

    2. Steve Todd

      Re: ARM vs x86?

      OS X is actually fairly easy to port (it started life on PowerPC, migrated to x86, was cut down to make iOS etc), but the prediction is complete crap. Current A series CPUs are something like 1/3-1/4 of the computing power of Core i5 series CPUs. The laws of diminishing returns also cut in, so the chances of Apple being able to repeatedly double CPU performance in the near to medium future are slim.

      1. William Gallafent

        Re: ARM vs x86?

        “it started life on PowerPC” … or, arguably, on 68000!

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: ARM vs x86?

          >There are important applications where the Mac versions are very inferior to the Windows, e.g. Dragon Naturallyspeaking Legal.

          Many CAD packages are for Windows only, too, not to mention many games. Okay, the starting price for Apple hardware with discrete GPUs is pretty high, but where else can I get a laptop screen that isn't 16:9?

          Re OSX on ARM, I don't think it will happen for quite a while, if at all, for the reasons posters have put above. However, I'd be surprised if Apple didn't have a small team working on it, 'just in case'. After all, it had been testing versions of OSX on Intel more or less since its outset, to allow the company some agility.

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: ARM vs x86?

      Apples code is largely in non-assembly language format. And probably has comments in - the original source did! Its not got huge blocks of intertwined assembler that seem to make it impossible to port like some ...sofware... companies.

    4. Thomas Wolf

      Re: ARM vs x86?

      Don't bother this poor analyst with reality! Never mind OS X - how about all the apps written for x86-based Mac OS X? How about VMs/bootcamp that allow running Windows apps?

      This analyst is a complete m0r0n. Apple is losing out on a $63b "opportunity"? Part of his argument goes (paraphrased) "current iPad buyers buy iPads as a supplement to the laptop or desktop.....if Apple made a hybrid, they'd be able to buy just one." Well, uh, isn't it a good thing from Apple's perspective to be able to sell one customer two devices instead of one? Wouldn't they LOSE REVENUE if they now sold this customer just that one hybrid (since the hybrid is to be in the < $1000 range according to the analyst and, therefore, has to cost less than the two individual devices?)

    5. JaimieV

      Re: ARM vs x86?

      The OS is already ported - not only is iOS over half of OSX's codebase running on ARM, but there have been persistent rumours of ARM MacBook sightings for a couple of years, and Apple would be mad not to be running those experiments. OSX was on Intel for years before the switch in chips, so they have form. They have iOS on Intel experiments too - the dev emulator runs on Intel with native executables.

      The trouble with going to ARM chips in laptops is that even the latest gen is slow compared with what we have now. Unlike the PPC to Intel change, where the Intel chips could emulate PPC code as fast as - or even faster than - the previous generation of Macs, ARM chips would run Intel code at ~quarter native speed. Crunchy, and Apple are highly allergic to crunchy UX.

      And iOS on a laptop would be a horribly crunchy experience. I've used Windows8 on a nice 10" touchscreen laptop, and I've used an iPad Air with a nice Logitech keyboard case. They were both reasonably unpleasant halfway houses, neither laptop not tablet. I'm really not seeing iOS in a laptop form at all.

      The point of jumping would be (a) power consumption, which Intel pretty much already have in hand for laptop class chippery, but also (b) moving the CPUs in-house, which I'm sure Apple would love to do. The groundwork is all in place, going ARM64 was one of the last required steps, but it's a couple of years and a couple of chip generations down the line yet.

    6. Charles Manning

      Re: ARM vs x86?

      "Wouldn't this necessitate a re-write of OS X, considering the A series are ARM processors and Intel are x86?"

      Not really. I would expect there have been skunk-works projects to do this anyway.

      The underpinnings of iOS and OSX are the same: both use BSD and Mach under the hood. The UI stuff and apps are surely reasonably portable too.

      Remember that until 10.7, OSX supported both PowerPC and x86, some of that was done through emulation and some through executables that included both PowerPC and x86 code.

      Nothing technical holding it back...

  7. poopypants

    Huh?

    So Apple can make more money by convincing users to buy one cheap product instead of two expensive products. That's too subtle for me, I'm afraid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Huh?

      Yeah it's odd that, bankers normally want it the other way round.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        Bankers want you to do the opposite of what you're currently doing, because they always think the grass is greener.

        If Apple sold a hybrid product, they'd be talking about how much more Apple could make if they sold an individual laptop and individual tablet, for those who don't want a hybrid of both.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    apple .... cheap

    don't fit in the same sentence shirley?

    1. Marvin the Martian

      Re: apple .... cheap

      With my first budget to get a laptop in 2000, the clamshell iBook was by far the best choice (what punishment that thing has suffered!), so I left the pc world (temporarily).

      MacMini has always been cheap... A few clones appeared at the same price or higher, that was it; self-built comes to a very similar price for a worse-looking, worse-finished, warranty-less thing.

      The original iPods weren't cheap, but comparable competitors (Creative Zen, etc) did cost the same or more.

  9. Jason McLaughlin

    Er...

    "While some iPad owners are replacing laptops with the device, we believe that most use the iPad as a supplemental device to either a laptop or desktop PC. If iAnywhere allowed these users to flexibly use an iPad as both a PC and a tablet, we believe that many would elect to own simply one device."

    But Apple don't want their customers to buy one device. Selling them both an iPad and a MacBook is better for their bottom line. It's always been about the halo effect and ecosystem lock-in.

    * beaten to the punch by poopypants :( *

  10. Dan 55 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Analyst funnyman

    Apple could make $63bn if it makes its own version of the Surface RT, which cost nearly $1bn for MS to write off.

  11. Alan Denman

    Is this a joke, of course they will do it.

    Bizarre headline grabber.

    They ain't even brought out their phablet yet, there simply ain;t any rush if they are grabbing the billions selling the wrong product!

    Of course sales of tablets will die next year but giving consumers options is not the way to long term fortune.

    They might just opt out.

  12. Alan Denman

    BTW 'supplemental' = crap

    Obvious really. It is a word for selling something useless or hardly needed.

  13. Frankee Llonnygog

    You can get seriously rich from J P Morgan advice

    Especially if you work for J P Morgan

  14. Robert Grant

    Coined the term iAnywhere?

    I think we'll hold off on saying whether or not he successfully coined a term until we see it in common use, and not by analysts.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Coined the term iAnywhere?

      Sybase got there years ago...

      Interestingly, the concepts behind "Apple iAnywhere" have already been demonstrated with Android/Linux. This doesn't mean that the Apple implementation won't get attention and create a market.

  15. Simon Rockman

    Sounds like an eMate

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMate_300

    Yeah, that was a great opportunity

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like an eMate

      The eMate, Apple's first use of translucent plastic. Basically, a Newton with a keyboard aimed at the educational market. My old school had one, didn't know what to do with it.

  16. Mage Silver badge

    I said it ages ago

    When they killed the OS X servers I said that eventually the OSX laptops would be killed and replaced with more locked down iOS versions.

    They are just not ready yet. Perhaps they will wait till the XPocalyspe Hype dies down to get maximum OSX sales from that. So no earlier than next year.

    The CPU performance and compatibility is not that important to Apple. They don't have "loyalty" to the niche customers that actually need CPU performance. Likely they will keep a high end OSX machine for a while longer than that.

  17. localzuk

    Why would they do this?

    Why would Apple do this? Their entire business model is to get you to buy into the Apple ecosystem. Having a device that behaves as a tablet and a laptop would mean they lose sales in both their tablet and laptop divisions. Why sell a single $1000 device, when they can sell 2 devices for $1600?

    Not to mention, I simply can't see a 'pretty' way to produce such a hybrid device. Sure the Surface looks good, in an industrial kinda way, but Apple devices are a head and shoulders ahead in terms of looks. Apple won't go producing some ugly mongrel.

    Not sure about the CPU talk though. It really depends if they want to upset their developers again.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Why would they do this?

      When they can make more profit selling a second larger cheap to make tablet-keyboard-iOS along side existing tablets instead of X86 Mac with OSX.

      If you have a 12" to 21" with BT keyboard you likely want a tablet to travel with or on the couch.

      1. localzuk

        Re: Why would they do this?

        That's not how their business model works though - they don't make devices and sell them at cost + a fixed profit margin. No, they sell them at whatever price they want to sell them at, with their brand accounting for a nice chunk of the price.

        So, they'd have to actually devalue their existing markets in order to create any value in a new market.

        It wouldn't make any sense.

    2. Michael Thibault

      Re: Why would they do this?

      They'd be more likely to release OS X (latest, or next-in-line) in an installable form broadly for Intel hardware of a certain vintage and spec and thereafter. It won't make them money. Not today, anyway--but they're giving the OS away in any case *cough*.

  18. Youngdog

    What insight!

    As someone who has already got a Logitech Ultrathin Bluetooth Keyboard I have to say its a great idea in principle - however I wouldn't buy one as, er, I've already got a Logitech Ultrathin Bluetooth Keyboard.

  19. mrfill

    More innovation

    Idiot analyst invents the netbook.

    Gosh - no-one thought of that before

  20. Nfsu26
    Facepalm

    Ask Microsoft how the hybrid market is going.

    No but seriously, Apple fans will happy stump up for a £1000 Macbook AND a £400 iPad, iPhone etc so throwing it all in one and make it £300-£600 makes absolutely no sense.

    1. bep

      Maybe ask Asus instead

      I believe the Transformers are selling OK. Alright I'm biased because I have one, but the lesson is that if it's properly designed and priced right it might sell. i'm no big fan of analysts myself but he might be suggesting that many people have an iPad and a Windows PC. If so then a hybrid device won't cannibalise sales so much. Getting the design and software right is everything.

  21. All names Taken
    Pint

    The whole world waits ...

    ... in eager anticipation.

    Should Apple do a new, value product in the 300 - 600 UKP price range it will be another winner.

    Heck, it is worth doing just as a marketing exercise to get users in to the Apple way of doing things (mindset and working methods).

    Hmmm, random factor: Mr Ives

    What will he promote, develop and endorse?

  22. Moosh

    Apple can't sell cheap because if they do it will ruin the "upmarket" image that the masses have of them (despite the fact that Apple is truly mid tier unless you randomly decide to have a gold, diamond encrusted one special requisitioned because you're the prince of a wealth oil nation)

  23. Juan Inamillion

    Same old same old

    Every so often over the years an 'analyst' has come along and said "Apple needs to produce a cheap computer/laptop/whatever to dominate the lower end of the market". Apple have always said (to my knowledge) that they're not interested in knocking out cheap products.

    I think a look at Apple's product line and bottom line over the years tells the whole story really.

    The 'analyst' is obviously a twunt.

  24. Stuart Castle

    "The analyst also had a bad prediction for Intel, and warned that Apple's own in-house-designed, A-series chip would probably be used in its next generation of laptop machines."

    I've heard this a few times, and I'm thinking the same I have every time I've heard it before.

    No chance. Yet.

    Why do I say bull? OSX. while (IMO) an amazing OS was very much a niche player on the OS market. It still is, but sales have improved massively. Regardless of the abilities of the Mac, it was not compatible with Windows. As such, any customer would have to buy new versions of any software they use (assuming a Mac version was available). This has previously (combined with the high price anyway) has been a major obstacle to selling Macs.

    Apple got a *huge* boost in sales when they switched to Intel. While Windows is still a viable OS, they aren't going to risk the Mac sales going back to the level they were.

    I'd also like to point out that while in Mountain Lion (and some extent Lion), they appear to have been aggressively moving toward a more iOS style interface, with Mavericks, they appear to have stopped.

  25. Rick Brasche

    wow

    it's as if the entire aftermarket of covers with bluetooth keyboards and wireless mice that's sprouted up around all the iPad models didn't exist...

    Anyone who wants an iPad laptop can make one with an order to Logitech or a hundred chinese accessory companies.

  26. Nifty

    Not nimble enough...

    Apple is now up (or down) there with the megacorps who would rather wait for new ideas to be adopted by competitors who then eat Apple's lunch. This, rather than embrace the fear of 'competing with itself'.

    This is somewhat analogous to telling Nokia in 2007 to abandon Symbian and adopt Android. Would they listen?

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Not nimble enough...

      Convertible touchscreen laptops have been adopted by the competition, and they aren't really selling that well. The reason is that while a tablet is less functional than a laptop, the things is does do, it does better than a laptop, so it is really a completely different product line.

      In the kitchen for example, toasters are better at making toast than ovens, but can't do any of the other things that ovens can do. Most people have both.

  27. Hughsey

    Think Different

    What is that people (this analyst and many others) don't get, Apple should continue to focus on the innovation and create new markets, not trying to saturate existing ones. Thats where the dollars (profit) lie!

  28. HoraceB

    If the "anal-yst" knew anything about Apple they'd know this is something Apple will simply not do. They said as much in interviews recently.

  29. Vociferous

    That is REMARKABLY dumb.

    An apple user with a slab and a desktop/portable, is an Apple user Apple has sold two devices to -- because Apple users are fanatics and will try their utmost to not use any other brand. This analyst suggests Apple should strive to only sell one device to them.

    Also, Apple is a prestige brand. Apple gear are status symbols, they sell BECAUSE the products are more expensive than equally-specced products from other vendors. Asking Apple to sell cheapo stuff is like saying that Ferrari is missing out on a lot of action by not selling Nissan clones.

    Dumb. The analyst does not understand Apple or the Apple customers at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That is REMARKABLY dumb.

      Vociferously moronic comment

  30. Dogsauce

    Should've stuck to operating a gropey bird puppet on kids' TV rather than switching career to a market analyst.

  31. Gradivus

    Another analyst. Another incredibly stupid statement

    Quote: "we believe that most use the iPad as a supplemental device to either a laptop or desktop PC. If iAnywhere allowed these users to flexibly use an iPad as both a PC and a tablet, we believe that many would elect to own simply one device"

    So, Apple, you must change your strategy so that people buy only ONE of your products and not TWO as they do at present.

    These analysts do make me laugh. What would we do without them?

  32. Phil_Evans

    Computer says no

    Rod Hall - technology analyst - right. Financial Analyst and proponent of the ultra-commodity. If it rained soup, he'd be out with a fork. Apple is a market maker. Rod is a follower. Good luck in the new job, Rod. Oh, good luck with the future too.

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