Paying for recorded music is a voluntary act -- you can get almost any tune you want on demand from streaming music services or YouTube. Of course, musicians wind up making little or no money from this arrangement, but thanks to crowd-funding, bands can get paid in advance of making a record. At least initially there are no freeloaders, so the band really has an incentive to record! The same Internet that made it harder than ever to make a living from recorded music has made it possible for bands to directly connect to their fans.
Those who buy Apple products, keep on buying them and show few signs of stopping, a new analyst report suggests.
In a research note sent out to investors today, Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research makes the case that Apple's built up a product platform the likes of a cable company, with many of its customers coming back again and again to re-purchase devices like they would a paid subscription.
That may not be such a new idea given the fortune the company's made selling a new version of the the iPod, and now iPhone and iPad every year. … Read more
AT&T and Verizon Communications face billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities, which could significantly weigh on their bottom lines, according to one Wall Street analyst.
If the market closed today, AT&T could be on the hook for $41.6 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, while Verizon could see $31.6 billion in liabilities, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett said in a research note issued today. Moffett downgraded AT&T's stock rating and maintained his already low rating on Verizon.
The pension liabilities could be costly to the companies and shareholders. Moffett estimates … Read more
U.S. wireless smartphone subscribers will do almost anything to keep their unlimited data plans, which could spell trouble down the road for AT&T, the only U.S. operator without an unlimited plan.
For the growing number of smartphone users in the U.S. market, loyalty to a particular phone or a specific carrier is trumped by the availability of an unlimited data plan. Cell phone consumers are a notoriously fickle bunch. And for the past couple of years, wireless operators have been stepping over each other to gain exclusive deals on hot new phones to attract new … Read more
The iPad's initial sales rate has surpassed that of the iPhone and the DVD player, making it a "runaway success of unprecedented proportion," a Bernstein Research analyst said in a note to investors earlier this week.
With Apple selling 3 million iPads over the first 80 days and an estimated 4.5 million over the three months ending in September, Bernstein Research retail analyst Colin McGranahan said that the tablet is destroying all previous records of consumer electronics adoption.
Specifically, sales of the iPad have shot past the 1 million iPhone handsets sold during the smartphone's first quarter and the under 6 million sold during the full year of the phone's 2007 debut. The numbers quoted for the iPad and iPhone are all on a global basis, though McGranahan told CNET the assumption from his end is that around 45 percent of iPad sales today are in the U.S.
Sales of Apple's popular tablet have also greatly outpaced those of the DVD player, which had been the largest-selling non-phone electronic product with 350,000 units sold just in the United States in the first year, according to data from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Originally unveiled in Japan, DVD players hit the U.S. market in early 1997. The first DVD players were pricey, selling for close to $1,000, though the cost quickly dropped over the following years. It wasn't until 2002 that DVD players were selling at around 4 million per quarter in the U.S., a number that's about the same today, according to the CEA.
Based on McGranahan's estimate of 4.5 million iPads sold over the past three months, which Fortune says is actually a below-average forecast among the analysts who follow Apple, consensus is that Apple has so far sold around 8.25 million tablets. Apple is due to release its earnings report for its fiscal fourth quarter October 18.
The iPad is due to capture around $12 billion in global sales for the year, according to McGranahan's note, which is also bullishly predicting sales of almost $20 billion next year, with around $9 billion in the U.S. alone. Those numbers contrast with the entire U.S. consumer PC market, which takes in sales of around $25 billion annually, and the U.S. notebook/Netbook market, which sees sales of around $19 billion a year.… Read more
It's hard to tell if anyone is as enthused about the possibilities of Dell making a smartphone as Michael Dell.
He's been making periodic references to his company making "small screen" devices in the near future at public appearances for the last year. But the people who watch his stock and analyze his company's every move, appear incredibly underwhelmed by the idea of a Dell handset. Their apathy is notable since a) Dell's last handheld device was very popular with consumers and b) Dell hasn't formally announced anything specific.
While getting into the … Read more
Cloud computing isn't going to dominate the tech landscape but will raise a ruckus for software vendors. Google and Amazon will be cloud-computing winners, but the spoils will be relatively small. And there's a race to deliver a cloud developer stack for both consumers and enterprise customers.
Those are some of the key takeaways from a Bernstein Report dubbed The Long View: Netbooks, Wireless and Cloud Computing--Client Software's Imperfect Storm.