A Tale of Two Giants

By Alex Brooks Today Apple announced the results of its fiscal first quarter of 2014, the period of time running from October to the end of December. This is historically Apple’s largest quarter, obviously because it incorporates the massive holiday shopping season, and this one didn’t disappoint. Apple breached more records than normal; setting record quarterly revenue, record iPhone sales, and record iPad sales. However it isn’t all up and up, and what about Samsung, how are they fairing?

Apple today announced quarterly revenue of $57.6 billion, on earnings per share of $14.50. That figure is up year-over-year from $14.36 purely because there are less shares on the market, Apple’s buyback scheme continues to be huge with over $7 billion dolled out to shareholders in the quarter gone alone. Earnings were however entirely flat staying at $13.1 billion—hardly chump change I might add.
What about Samsung? Well Samsung’s picture is definitely not as pretty but it’s not entirely easy to understand why. Two reasons for this are that Samsung very rarely breaks out product detail, if at all. The other problem being that Samsung is an absolutely ginormous company making everything from smartphones, watches, TVs, fridges to the very components that enter many of Apple’s devices.
However there is a picture available for Samsung’s quarter, earnings fell 5.4% to 7.2 trillion won ($6.7 billion USD), not great news and forecasts from Samsung aren’t much better. The true picture is in Samsung’s Mobile Division though (seriously, that’s about as detailed as it gets) which remained flat at 5.47 trillion won ($5.04bn), slipping 18 percent sequentially a record 6.7 trillion won. Samsung predicts that first-quarter smartphone shipments are expected to rise at a “mid single digit” rate from the fourth quarter, while tablets are forecast to gain at a “high single digit” pace.
Samsung’s next flagship Smartphone is due to the market in April and analysts are hoping for something more impressive than what the Galaxy S4 has managed to pull off. Estimates from Daewoo Securities Co. suggested that Samsung sold just 9 million S4 units between October and December, Apple just announced sales of 51 million iPhone models with ASP suggesting the mix shifted highly towards the more expensive iPhone 5s.
Apple has however entered one of Samsung’s big territories in big style recently. Apple’s deal with China Mobile meant that devices went on sale after the closer of the first fiscal quarter for Apple but will show a sharp increase in iPhone unit sales but can they compete with Samsung’s larger displayed devices?
Both Apple and Samsung are facing continued pressure from each other and the wider market. Where the two absolutely destroy any of their nearest smartphone rivals (Apple’s accessories revenue eclipsed HTC’s entire company revenue last quarter) they are beginning to see slowing growth in key regions and struggling to expand into new ones.
Apple will need new product categories and variation to tackle the slowdown in earnings, unit sales are climbing but for the iPhone are now in the single digits year-over-year. Samsung on the other hand is looking at tumbling sales of smartphones and continues to pour money into marketing efforts for a plethora of tablet and wearable devices with little result to show.
2014 will make for an interesting year for both these giants.

Source: World of Apple


Apple Posts Q114 Revenue of $57.6bn, Profit $13.1bn

By Alex Brooks Apple’s actual quarterly revenue and lower bound estimates
Apple today announced financial results for its first fiscal quarter of 2014 which ran from October 1, 2013 until December 31. Apple posted revenue of $57.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $13.1 billion, or $14.50 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $54.5 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion, or $13.87 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.
Gross margin was 37.9 percent compared to 38.6 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 63 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
Apple reported the following number of shipments for its products during the quarter:
51 million iPhones compared to 47.8 million in the year-ago-quarter
26 million iPads compared to 22.9 million in the year-ago-quarter
4.8 million Macs compared to 4.1 million in the year-ago quarter
6 million iPods compared to 12.6 million in the year-ago quarter.

Quarterly iPhone Unit Sales (millions)

“We are really happy with our record iPhone and iPad sales, the strong performance of our Mac products and the continued growth of iTunes, Software and Services,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We love having the most satisfied, loyal and engaged customers, and are continuing to invest heavily in our future to make their experiences with our products and services even better.”
“We generated $22.7 billion in cash flow from operations and returned an additional $7.7 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the December quarter, bringing cumulative payments under our capital return program to over $43 billion,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO.
Apple provided the following guidance for its fiscal 2014 second quarter:
revenue between $42 billion and $44 billion
gross margin between 37 percent and 38 percent
operating expenses between $4.3 billion and $4.4 billion
other income/(expense) of $200 million
tax rate of 26.2%

Source: World of Apple


Move the Terminal cursor position with the mouse

Which Terminal gurus among us hasn’t wasted too many minutes to count arrowing around the manipulate the cursor while deep within the confines of the command line?
The Terminal gurus who know this trick, I guess: Hold down the Option key and click where you’d like the cursor to move, and Terminal rushes the cursor that precise spot.

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Poor Man’s Text Expander

I use Tactor’s (http://onflapp.wordpress.com/tactor/) regexp functionality to expand my custom text macros. For for example, I can define something simple like MYEMAIL => tom@foobar.com. However regexp allows me to do more interesting things as well, like creating links: wiki:MyDocumentation => http://pages.intranet.com/docstore?page=MyDocumetation?view=html.
– lauch Tactor (it is free app)
– go to preferences -> regexp
– add regexp
you can use capture groups here, e.g. wiki:(w+)
– set the ‘matched key’ to ACT_TEXT – this will place the result into the clipboard
– set the ‘matched key’ to what the resulting text should be like
you can use the regexp substitution here, e.g. http://foobae/$1
– expanding is done by selecting the text macro in a text (any text field should work) and choosing ‘Expand Selected Text’ from the top bar menu.
This method is kind of technical to setup but very powerful. If one is not afraid of a bit of programming, it is possible to …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Avoid a cluttered download folder by using /tmp

First thing I do when I get a new system is to redirect downloads from ~/Downloads to /tmp.

The advantage with this adjustment is that in /tmp files older than a week is automatically deleted (and at every restart). Almost all files I download don’t need to be stored, for example:

1. Installers. Run the installer (or dmg) from /tmp and then forget about it and it is automatically deleted within a couple of days.

2. PDFs I just want to read (or possibly print) once.

3. Templates, e.g. expense reports and similar (typically .doc or .xls). I download it, fill it in, generate a pdf and e-mail to the appropriate recipient. No need to keep the original template.

4. Torrents. Download the torrent, add it to your torrent client and then there is no need to keep the original torrent file around anymore. Besides, a lot of the files I download using torrents I just “use” them once so they can be also be downloaded to the same folder as the torrent is stored in, that i …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Applescript to work around a Finder bug in Mavericks

Mavericks introduced several bugs into the Finder. One of them is that in List View, the Finder frequently loses track of the column widths, and makes the Name column so wide that the other columns aren’t visible unless one scrolls the window horizontally.

The following Applescript resets the column widths to something sensible. It uses a couple kludges to work around some *other* Finder bugs that Mavericks introduced.

— Reset the width of the Finder’s Name column to something sensible.
tell application “Finder”
set thisFolder to target of front Finder window
set the current view of front Finder window to list view
— In previous versions of OS X, the next line would tell the Finder to set the width
— to exactly 300. In Mavericks, the Finder uses it as a *minimum* width.
set width of column id name column of list view options of Finder window 1 to 300
— The following kludge is necessary to get the changes to “take”. I got it from
— Dr. Drang at www.leanc …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Import lists into Reminders app on Mac from a plain text file.

I wanted to import lists into the Reminders app on the iMac. (iCloud syncs the lists to other devices … when sync is functioning correctly.) The Reminders app’s import function acts only on .ics files. Went seeking solutions for plain text files.

Found Ben’s Applescript at http://benguild.com/2012/04/11/how-to-import-tasks-to-do-items-into-ios-reminders/.

It provides a nice technique to import a list from a plain text file into the Reminders app on Mac OS X.

Source: Mac OSX Hints