Above Avalon

Above Avalon

www.aboveavalon.com/podcast
Apple Analysis. From Wall Street to Silicon Valley.


159: AirPods as a Platform
Nov 23 • 37 min
Apple is turning AirPods into a platform for what comes after the App Store. AirPods will augment our environment by pushing intelligent sound. In the first episode of Season 6, Neil goes over how AirPods have evolved from an iPhone accessory into the…
158: Forced to Sell
Nov 9 • 30 min
How did Fitbit go from being considered the wearables leader to viewing a $2.1B acquisition as its best hope for shareholders to recoup any value? What led Fitbit to run out of options as an independent company? In episode 158, Neil discusses how Apple…
157: Let’s Talk Apple and China
Oct 19 • 26 min
Apple finds itself amidst another controversy regarding removing HKmap.live from the App Store in Hong Kong. However, Apple is facing a different kind of backlash this time. Episode 157 is dedicated to discussing Neil’s thoughts on Apple doing business in…
156: Apple’s Content Distribution Arm
Oct 5 • 37 min
Content distribution has been a major theme for Apple in 2019. In episode 156, Neil goes over how Apple’s revised content distribution arm is structured. Neil also goes over his estimates for how much revenue and gross profit Apple’s content distribution…
155: The Apple Keynote
Sep 21 • 38 min
Apple keynotes remain some of the most valuable marketing events in today’s media landscape. Episode 155 is dedicated to going over Neil’s thoughts on the Apple keynote. Discussion topics include the odd criticism facing Apple keynotes, the three primary…
154: Which iPhone Is That?
Sep 7 • 42 min
Naming iPhones is more art than science. In episode 154, Neil shares his thoughts on Apple’s iPhone naming strategy. The episode includes an oral history of iPhone nomenclature followed by a discussion of where Apple can bring iPhone naming in the future.…
153: The Bundler of Bundles
Aug 31 • 44 min
In episode 153, Neil discusses the strategy behind Apple TV+. Additional topics include the Apple TV app, five fundamental issues plaguing the paid video streaming market, Netflix’s business model, and what success in paid video streaming looks like for…
152: Let’s Talk Wearables
Aug 10 • 34 min
Apple is the undisputed leader in wearables, and they are pulling away from the competition. In Episode 152, Neil discusses how Apple’s wearables business can be thought of a train gaining momentum. Competitors face declining odds of being able to stop…
151: Apple’s Financial Tug-of-War
Jul 27 • 31 min
A different kind of Above Avalon podcast episode - dedicated to discussing why earnings are so intriguing to Neil. After going over the two ways to utilize quarterly earnings, Neil goes over some of his expectations for Apple’s 3Q19 and how Apple is…
150: A Larger Apple Machine
Jul 20 • 27 min
The recent Jony Ive and Jeff Williams news has been met with mixed reactions. In episode 150, we discuss why the leadership changes neither signify a company moving away from design or hardware nor suggest that management is facing some kind of growth…
149: Letting Go of the Rope
Jun 22 • 37 min
Despite there being no discernible change to the grand vision behind Apple’s product development, there does appear to be a noteworthy change in strategy. Episode 149 is dedicated to discussing how Apple’s product strategy has changed from a pull system…
148: Apple’s Billion Users
Jun 1 • 32 min
Apple has reached a level of ecosystem strength that still hasn’t been fully digested by the marketplace. In episode 148, we discuss Apple’s ecosystem ahead of the company’s developers conference. Additional topics include how I estimated the total number…
147: A Faster Bumper Car
May 18 • 33 min
In episode 147, we take a look at the changing competitive landscape facing the giants (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft). Comparing the situation to bumper cars, we discuss why Google and Facebook have the slower cars that are no longer…
146: Tackling Apple’s Excess Cash
Apr 27 • 37 min
In what has become an annual trend, Apple uses FY2Q earnings to also update its share buyback authorization and quarterly cash dividend. In episode 146, we preview the changes Apple will likely announce to its capital return program. The discussion begins…
145: It’s All About Curation
Apr 13 • 32 min
At Apple’s recent event at Steve Jobs Theater, the company unveiled its revamped content distribution arm. Episode 145 is dedicated to discussing Apple’s new content distribution services: Apple News+, Apple Arcade, and Apple TV+. Instead of just…
144: Checking Up on iPad
Mar 23 • 35 min
In recent years, the iPad line has undergone transformational changes. In episode 144, we look at Apple’s broader iPad strategy to add context to the newest updates involving the iPad mini and iPad Air. The episode kicks off with my thoughts on the new…
143: Look at the Capex
Mar 16 • 30 min
For the first time in 16 years, Apple expects its capital expenditures (capex) to decline during the current fiscal year. Episode 143 is dedicated to discussing capex and how the financial metric provides a different look at how Apple is unique in…
142: Rethinking the Smart Home
Feb 23 • 37 min
In one word, the smart home has been disappointing. Episode 142 is focused on why the way we think about digital homes is in need of a major reset. After going over my thoughts on the current state of the smart home, we take a closer look at Apple’s…
141: Viral AirPods
Feb 16 • 34 min
There’s a remarkable story found with AirPods. Nearly two years after launch, AirPods began to go viral at the end of November 2018. In December, search interest was up 500%. This is unprecedented for an Apple product. In episode 141, we take a deep dive…
140: Let’s Talk Content
Jan 26 • 39 min
Some of Apple’s recent decisions regarding content distribution have sparked a debate. Is Apple embracing a new kind of strategy that elevates services at the expense of hardware? Episode 140 is dedicated to going over Apple’s content distribution…
139: Thinking About Apple in 2019
Jan 19 • 44 min
January is a great time to embrace the unknown rather than come up with predictions for the next 12 months. Episode 139 is dedicated to going over my fifth installment of Apple questions as the new year kicks off. We discuss 56 questions facing Apple in…
138: iPhone Pessimism Gone Too Far
Dec 22, 2018 • 25 min
There will come a time when the iPhone business is in big trouble. However, that day has not arrived quite yet. Episode 138 is focused on how the sheer level of pessimism facing iPhone hit an inflection point in 2018. Things have simply become too…
137: A Cheaper Buyback
Dec 8, 2018 • 42 min
Given the magnitude of its buyback program, excess cash position, and free cash flow generation, no other public company is in as good of a position as Apple to benefit from stock market turmoil. Episode 137 is focused on how Apple can leverage its…
136: The Unit Sales Crutch
Nov 17, 2018 • 33 min
The most surprising part of Apple’s 4Q18 results wasn’t found with the numbers or even guidance. Instead, by announcing unit sales data would no longer be provided starting in 1Q19, management dropped a bomb on Wall Street. Episode 136 is focused on…
135: The Gray Market Factor
Oct 27, 2018 • 32 min
In episode 135, we look at how the gray market for refurbished and previously-owned iPhones is impacting Apple’s iPhone pricing strategy. The discussion begins with a closer look at iPhone ASP (average selling price) trends and my thoughts on how the gray…
134: Let’s Talk Netflix
Oct 13, 2018 • 42 min
The Netflix machine seems unstoppable. Strong paid subscriber growth and rising content budgets have given Netflix a commanding lead in the paid video streaming market. However, change is in the air. Episode 134 is dedicated to discussing Netflix’s…
133: The Big Picture from Steve Jobs Theater
Sep 22, 2018 • 34 min
Last week, Apple Watch was the star of Apple’s second major product event at Steve Jobs Theater. Episode 133 is focused on looking at the big picture following Apple’s event. The discussion begins by going over Tim Cook’s comments regarding Apple’s…
132: Titan vs. Tesla
Sep 8, 2018 • 32 min
In episode 132, we take a closer look at Apple’s Project Titan. The discussion begins by going over the signs pointing to Apple expanding Titan initiatives in recent months. We then turn to Apple’s goal with Titan and the automobile’s changing value…
131: Growth Drivers
Aug 18, 2018 • 31 min
Apple’s latest growth story is driven by three drivers: iPhone, Services, and Wearables. In episode 131, we discuss these three growth drivers to see how they are not created equal. After going over the factors fueling Apple’s growth drivers, we spend…
130: What’s a Computer?
Jul 28, 2018 • 29 min
Episode 130 is dedicated to discussing how Apple has become comfortable in accepting, and even embracing, the awkwardness that exists between the iPad and Mac. The discussion begins with a closer look at the fascinating juxtaposition between Apple’s…
129: Giants on Wall Street
Jul 14, 2018 • 36 min
A select group of corporate giants have been gaining influence and investor dollars on Wall Street. Episode 129 is dedicated to discussing today’s corporate giants (Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Facebook) including the key differences and…
128: Figuring Out What’s Next
Jun 23, 2018 • 27 min
One of the major takeaways from this year’s WWDC keynote was found with something not announced on stage. Apple finds itself announcing new technologies that make more sense on form factors that don’t yet exist. Episode 128 includes a discussion of this…
127: Let’s Go Behind the Scenes
May 25, 2018 • 34 min
Last week, Neil celebrated the third anniversary of launching Above Avalon subscriptions. Episode 127 provides a behind-the-scenes look at Above Avalon and includes a discussion of Neil’s business model and the broader paid subscription industry. Neil…
126: Let’s Talk Apple Services
May 19, 2018 • 33 min
Apple’s services business is remarkably strong yet surprisingly mysterious. A closer look at Apple Services reveals an apparatus, which can easily qualify as a Fortune 100 company, that isn’t what it seems from the outside. In episode 126, Neil puts…
125: How’s the iPhone X Doing?
May 5, 2018 • 32 min
In this special edition episode of the Above Avalon podcast, Neil goes over Apple’s 2Q18 earnings. The discussion is dedicated to analyzing iPhone results. Along with going over his iPhone X sales estimates, Neil discusses the latest iPhone ASP and iPhone…
124: Doubling the Buyback
Apr 28, 2018 • 32 min
In Episode 124, Neil discusses how Apple’s capital allocation goals will require the company to double the pace of share buyback from current levels. The episode begins by going over the various updates Apple has pushed through to its share buyback and…
123: Apple’s New Wall Street Story
Apr 21, 2018 • 31 min
Episode 123 takes a closer look at Apple’s capital allocation story on Wall Street. After discussing why narratives are so important on Wall Street, Neil goes over the core tenets of a capital allocation story and how the narrative does a good job of…
122: An Apple R&D Bonanza
Mar 17, 2018 • 33 min
After a brief lull, Apple’s R&D expenditures are once again exploding higher. In Episode 122, Neil analyzes the latest Apple R&D trends. After discussing three drivers for R&D growth, Neil goes over the two new products likely responsible for the recent…
121: Controlling Sound
Mar 10, 2018 • 30 min
In Episode 121, Neil discusses Apple’s strategy for controlling sound in our lives. The discussion begins by going over Apple’s motivation for controlling sound and the central role music plays in it. The episode then turns to the two parts of Apple’s…
120: An iPhone Turning Point
Mar 2, 2018 • 31 min
Episode 120 is focused on how Apple’s dramatic change in strategy regarding larger iPhones was driven by the realization that iPad mini was the wrong bet. After discussing the early iPad years, Neil goes over the background behind how the iPad mini came…
119: The iPhone’s Goldilocks Era
Feb 24, 2018 • 34 min
The unit sales growth era that had defined iPhone for years is over. Episode 119 is dedicated to discussing the iPhone’s new era that can best be characterized as status quo. After discussing iPhone sales trends, Neil goes over six headwinds that have…
118: Apple Watch Is a Bridge to the Future
Jan 27, 2018 • 38 min
Something is changing when it comes to the way people are thinking about Apple Watch. We are witnessing nothing short of a revolution with Apple Watch. In Episode 118, Neil discusses how Apple Watch has become a bridge between the present and future. The…
117: Lots of Questions
Jan 12, 2018 • 41 min
January is a great time to embrace the unknown found with a new year. Episode 117 is focused on going over my list of questions for Apple in 2018. We cover more than 60 questions on subjects that range from Apple’s major product categories to various…
116: Grading Apple’s 2017
Jan 5, 2018 • 47 min
Episode 116 is dedicated to reviewing Apple’s performance in 2017. After briefly discussing my methodology for grading Apple, we discuss the various milestones and issues that impacted the company in 2017. My grading process is broken into seven…
115: Betting on Hardware
Dec 23, 2017 • 30 min
Apple isn’t a hardware company. Nevertheless, hardware’s importance to Apple continues to grow. Episode 115 is dedicated to discussing Apple’s growing bet on hardware. The episode begins by going over Apple’s hardware strategy and includes a brief history…
114: The End to Apple’s Cash Dilemma
Dec 16, 2017 • 35 min
The probability of a U.S. corporate tax overhaul has never been higher. Episode 114 is dedicated to discussing how upcoming changes to the U.S. corporate tax code will impact Apple. We begin by going over Apple’s current cash dilemma. The discussion then…
113: It’s a Smart Speaker Mirage
Dec 1, 2017 • 40 min
We are in the midst of a massive mindshare bubble involving stationary smart speakers in the home. Episode 113 is dedicated to discussing stationary smart speakers powered by digital voice assistants. After going over my Amazon Echo sales estimate, we…
112: The Art of Disclosure
Nov 17, 2017 • 42 min
The fourth season of the Above Avalon Podcast kicks off with a discussion focused on Apple Watch sales disclosure. We take a closer look at the debate surrounding disclosure to see how Apple now stands to benefit more from disclosing Apple Watch sales…
111: Let’s Talk iPhone X
Nov 3, 2017 • 41 min
Apple was faced with a choice: Stick with the familiar and milk the iPhone business for all it’s worth, or throw familiarity out the window to pave a new iPhone journey for the next 10 years. Apple chose the latter, and iPhone X is the byproduct. Episode…
110: A Double Standard
Oct 28, 2017 • 36 min
Apple is a Silicon Valley and Wall Street leader with a bull’s-eye on its back, and rightly so. Leaders should be held to a higher standard. Episode 110 is dedicated to discussing how Apple is being held not just to a higher standard, but rather to a…
109: Apple’s Grand Vision
Oct 20, 2017 • 37 min
Apple’s product strategy has been receiving more attention lately as voice-first and AI-first become buzzwords in Silicon Valley. Episode 109 is dedicated to discussing the vision behind Apple’s product strategy. We begin by analyzing Apple’s current…
108: iPhone Courage
Oct 6, 2017 • 32 min
The amount of risk Apple is taking with iPhone X should not be underestimated. Episode 108 takes a closer look at how Apple is displaying courage by not letting fear of change and customer rejection dictate iPhone design decisions. The discussion begins…
107: Back from Apple Park
Sep 22, 2017 • 33 min
Episode 107 is dedicated to discussing Steve Jobs Theater. We begin with my impressions from attending Apple’s inaugural event at Steve Jobs Theater. The discussion then turns to how Steve Jobs Theater is an Apple product, and a closer look at the…
106: Getting Ready for Steve Jobs Theater
Sep 8, 2017 • 36 min
Apple’s largest product event in years is just a few days away. In episode 106, we look at the big picture ahead of the inaugural event at Steve Jobs Theater. We begin by going over the top three trends taking place in the smartphone market. The…
105: Apple in China
Sep 1, 2017 • 36 min
In episode 105, we focus on Apple’s business in China in an effort to answer whether the country represents more of an opportunity or risk for Apple. The discussion begins by going over some of the numbers, including those that show Apple’s volatile…
104: Obscene Amounts of Cash
Aug 18, 2017 • 41 min
Episode 104 is dedicated to discussing how Apple’s business model predisposes the company to cash generation unlike that of any other firm in Silicon Valley. The discussion begins by comparing Apple’s financials to those of the leading consumer-facing…
103: Apple Glasses Are Inevitable
Jul 28, 2017 • 38 min
Episode 103 marks the introduction of a brand new topic to the Above Avalon podcast: augmented reality glasses. All of the pieces are coming together for Apple to sell glasses. We begin the episode with the reason why now is the time to talk about Apple…
102: Apple Cash Influence
Jul 21, 2017 • 40 min
Episode 102 has a financial tone as we discuss how Wall Street is thinking about Apple in a new way. After breaking up the last five years of Apple stock performance into four eras, we go over my theory on why Wall Street now looks at Apple’s excess cash…
101: iPhone Turns Ten
Jun 30, 2017 • 31 min
This week marks the tenth anniversary of Apple launching the iPhone. Episode 101 is focused on how ten years of iPhone sales changed Apple. After going over three sets of data that stand out when thinking about the iPhone, we take a closer look at three…
100: A Glimpse of the Mac’s Future
Jun 23, 2017 • 35 min
The 100th episode of the Above Avalon podcast is dedicated to how WWDC contained clues hinting at the Mac’s future. We begin by discussing how management’s WWDC keynote marked a turning point in the awkward Mac stretch that has been unfolding over the…
99: HomePod
Jun 17, 2017 • 32 min
I am back from San Jose and WWDC. Episode 99 is focused on the most intriguing new product at this year’s WWDC: HomePod. The discussion begins with an overview of the expectations heading into last week’s HomePod unveiling. Apple’s sales pitch for HomePod…
98: iPhone Evolution
May 26, 2017 • 39 min
The iPhone’s role in our life doesn’t remain static, but rather it evolves. Episode 98 is focused on how the iPhone has evolved over the past 10 years. We cover the major implications this ongoing evolution will have on iPhone pricing, screen size…
97: Apple Wearables Are a Thing
May 12, 2017 • 35 min
In episode 97, we discuss one of the major themes from Apple’s 2Q17 earnings report. There were a number of interesting observations found in the “Other Products” line item. In particular, Apple wearables (Apple Watch, AirPods, Beats headphones) sold…
96: Defining Apple
Apr 28, 2017 • 37 min
Apple continues to be misunderstood. Episode 96 is focused on how best to define Apple. The discussion begins with all of the labels used to describe Apple over the years. We then go over the major clues that help us define Apple, and this takes us to my…
95: A Mac Headache
Apr 14, 2017 • 37 min
In episode 95, we discuss how the Mac business has become a headache for Apple management. We begin by going over Apple’s recent private meeting with outside journalists to talk about the Mac product pipeline. We then assess Apple’s success with Mac by…
94: Getting Aggressive with iPad
Mar 31, 2017 • 39 min
In episode 94, we discuss how Apple is pulling out all the stops when it comes to selling iPad. We begin by going over the significant changes to iPad strategy unveiled last week. The discussion then turns to the reasoning behind the changes, which…
93: Underpricing Luxury
Mar 17, 2017 • 40 min
As Apple pushes deeper into luxury brand territory, the company is making its products more accessible through lower pricing. Apple is underpricing AirPods and Apple Watch. In episode 93, we discuss Apple’s evolving pricing strategy. We begin by looking…
92: Wearables as a Platform
Mar 3, 2017 • 35 min
In episode 92, we discuss the changing wearables market. There has been a sea change involving the top wearables companies. Apple has become the new wearables leader according to unit sales. After discussing the driving force behind Apple’s move to the…
91: Netflix Chatter
Feb 24, 2017 • 36 min
Calls for Apple to buy Netflix are getting louder. In episode 91, we break apart the argument for why Apple should buy Netflix. By observing how Apple thinks about music streaming, we are in a better position to judge the approach Apple will likely take…
90: Buying Back 50% of Apple
Feb 10, 2017 • 34 min
Apple management is buying back shares like there’s no tomorrow. In episode 90, we discuss how a path has appeared where Apple management can realistically buy back 50% of AAPL’s outstanding shares within three years. After first going over some basics…
89: The iPad Asterisk
Feb 3, 2017 • 34 min
In episode 89, we take a deep dive into one of the major themes found in Apple’s 1Q17 earnings report. Apple’s reported iPad sales number was quite weak, leading some to make assumptions about the product’s fundamentals. We go over the results, including…
88: Grading Tim Cook
Jan 20, 2017 • 43 min
Tim Cook is a different type of CEO leading a different kind of company. In episode 88, we tackle the difficult task of grading Tim Cook’s performance as Apple CEO. The discussion includes a broader look at Apple’s leadership structure and evidence that…
87: Change Is in the Air
Jan 13, 2017 • 46 min
Episode 87 is focused on how the competitive landscape in tech is changing. As Apple celebrates the tenth anniversary of the iPhone unveiling, the battle for our attention is broadening into a massive land grab for the most valuable real estate in our…
86: Apple Questions for 2017
Jan 6, 2017 • 47 min
January is a great time to embrace the unknown found with a new calendar year. One way of doing this is to come up with a list of questions for the new year. In episode 86, we discuss my list of Apple questions for 2017. Topics include iPhone, Apple…
85: AirPods and the Battle for Our Ears
Dec 23, 2016 • 43 min
In episode 85, we go over how AirPods kick off Apple’s battle for our ears. After discussing Apple’s motivation behind AirPods, we go over my initial impressions from using AirPods for the past week. We then follow a few additional points, including my…
84: The Elephant in the Smartwatch Room
Dec 16, 2016 • 32 min
Episode 84 is focused on analyzing the smartwatch industry. Apple is consolidating power within the smartwatch industry at an alarming rate. We begin with a refresher as to the motivation and rationale for smartwatches in a smartphone world. The…
83: Milking the iPhone
Dec 9, 2016 • 42 min
Apple is betting now is the time to double down on the iPhone to build one of the world’s most formidable tech ecosystems. Episode 83 begins with a discussion about Apple’s iPhone strategy. The company has learned from mistakes made with the Mac in the…
82: Above Avalon 101
Nov 25, 2016 • 30 min
In this special edition episode, the focus is on Above Avalon. I recently celebrated the second-year anniversary of launching Above Avalon. Topics include the motivation behind starting Above Avalon, business models, and my philosophy on Apple analysis.…
81: Skating to the Apple Car Puck
Nov 18, 2016 • 42 min
Episode 81 is focused on Apple’s changing Project Titan strategy. We begin by discussing Apple’s initial car strategy and early momentum. The episode then discusses the various problems that began to appear with Project Titan at the end of 2015. We…
80: Let’s Talk the New MacBook Pro
Nov 4, 2016 • 41 min
I am back from Cupertino and Apple’s Mac keynote. Episode 80 is focused on the new MacBook Pro. We begin the episode with a few observations I had after attending the presentation. The conversation then turns to defining the Mac within Apple’s product…
79: Apple’s Trojan Horse into Hollywood
Oct 21, 2016 • 33 min
Episode 79 is focused on Apple’s video content strategy. Signs point to Apple building its own Hollywood arm dedicated to original content. After going over Apple’s long history of trying to rethink TV and video content, we discuss why video content is so…
78: Apple Is Going After Fitbit
Oct 8, 2016 • 39 min
There is only one genuine battle for the wrist, and it is between Fitbit and Apple Watch. Episode 78 is all about Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple putting Apple Watch on a fitness detour. We begin by going over the impressions I get from using Apple Watch…
77: Let’s Talk iPhone 7
Sep 30, 2016 • 34 min
Episode 77 is all about iPhone 7. Since the iPhone 7 should not be discussed in isolation, we begin the episode by going over some of the major themes impacting the iPhone business over the past year. The discussion turns to the impressions I get from…
76: AirPods
Sep 16, 2016 • 32 min
I am back from San Francisco. In episode 76, we discuss the most intriguing new product to be unveiled at Apple’s keynote. AirPods are not just a pair of bluetooth headphones or an iPhone accessory. Instead, AirPods represent Apple’s second wearables…
75: The Apple Services Myth
Sep 2, 2016 • 32 min
The narrative surrounding Apple Services has taken on a life of its own. In episode 75, we dispel the myth that Apple is becoming a services company. After discussing how this myth began, we take a closer look at the actual story involving Apple services.…
74: Jony Ive Is Making People Uneasy
Aug 26, 2016 • 29 min
Episode 74 is dedicated to discussing how Jony’s power and control within Apple is increasingly making people uncomfortable with the company’s direction. Apple has doubled down on its design-led philosophy. We go over the history of why Steve Jobs gave…
73: The Art of Simplicity
Aug 12, 2016 • 22 min
Apple Watch and Apple Music shared something in common with each other in the beginning. They lacked simplicity. After going over the definition of simplicity, we dissect where Apple Watch and Apple Music lack simplicity and what I suspect contributed to…
72: Let’s Talk iPad
Aug 5, 2016 • 31 min
The iPad has turned the corner. In episode 72, we take a look at the iPad business and the factors that give me confidence that fundamental elements of the business are beginning to improve. The episode begins with an overview of the iPad’s early days and…
71: Apple’s Earnings Surprise
Jul 30, 2016 • 26 min
In this special edition episode, we discuss the primary theme from Apple’s 3Q16 earnings. Even though Apple reported its weakest quarter in 15 years, AAPL shares increased as the company beat Wall Street expectations. Upon closer examination, it would…
70: The Wall Street Expectations Game
Jul 22, 2016 • 33 min
Episode 70 takes a closer look at how expectations guide Wall Street. We discuss AAPL’s transformation from a growth stock to a value stock, focusing on the contributing factors that led to the reset. We then discuss the framework underpinning Wall…
69: Apple’s Music Ambitions
Jul 15, 2016 • 35 min
Apple’s ambition in music continues to be misunderstood. In episode 69, we look at Apple’s overall plan to own the entire music industry. We begin with a brief history of Apple’s involvement in music over the past 15 years in order to understand…
68: The $10 Billion Apple Watch
Jul 1, 2016 • 28 min
In episode 68, we take a closer look at the Apple Watch business. After going over my estimates for Apple Watch revenue and unit sales since launch in April 2015, we discuss how much the Apple Watch business would currently be worth if it were a…
67: Apple’s Post-iPhone Era
Jun 24, 2016 • 37 min
This week’s episode is focused on what will come after the iPhone. Using clues found throughout Apple’s WWDC keynote, we discuss what this post-iPhone product era will look like and its driving forces. This new Apple Experience era will be a new chapter…
66: Back from WWDC
Jun 17, 2016 • 28 min
I am back from San Francisco, and Episode 66 is dedicated to Apple’s WWDC keynote. We discuss the five most interesting items from the keynote that are still at the top of my mind days after the event. These five items are a mix of new features, products,…
65: Getting Ready for WWDC
Jun 10, 2016 • 30 min
As I get ready to fly out to San Francisco to attend Apple’s WWDC keynote, this episode begins with a quick business update about Above Avalon and my recent first year anniversary of launching Above Avalon memberships. We then move to WWDC and an unusual…
64: A New Apple M&A Phase
Jun 3, 2016 • 33 min
In this episode, we take a closer look at how Apple’s M&A strategy is evolving. After analyzing 19 years of Apple M&A transactions, a number of patterns become visible. Apple M&A is closely related to Apple’s functional organizational structure as both…
63: Speed Dating Didi
May 20, 2016 • 34 min
Apple’s $1 billion investment in Didi Chuxing is an important deal, marking the beginning of the company’s official pivot into transportation. In this episode, we go over Didi’s ridesharing business and the three primary reasons Apple decided to buy a…
62: Apple Is Going to Pivot
May 13, 2016 • 30 min
Apple is projected to report more than $10 billion of research and development expense in 2016. Unlike most of its tech peers, Apple remains very quiet about future plans. However, upon closer examination, there is only one explanation as to what Apple…
61: iPhone Warning Signs
May 6, 2016 • 45 min
With Apple’s 2Q16 earnings in the rearview mirror, we focus on the iPhone business and what appears to be a number of warning signs regarding growth and profitability. The iPhone business is slowing, and it appears that Apple management is still trying to…
60: The Car’s “iPhone” Moment
Apr 22, 2016 • 39 min
This episode is focused on rethinking the car. We begin by looking at how Apple positioned the iPhone to change our perception of the phone. This helps us discover what will be the auto industry’s “iPhone” moment, or idea that leads us to think about the…