Monday, December 31, 2007

Enderle tries to get us to change our mind

Enderle has made a last minute attempt to get our n00b deluxe award. Sorry Rob, it was a good try but we're sticking with your mentor Dvorak. But I'll have at look at your article just for grins.

I'm having my doubts about Apple though, as it would seem success is going to their head as they put Think Secret out of business, and I and a lot of others were tricked into believing they personally threaten the guy who writes the Fake Steve Jobs parody

No Rob, you "and a lot of others" were not tricked. You're just stupid.

To make a point, Dan Lyons joked about how Apple's power might be going too far (and yes I fell for the joke).

Yes, you keep mentioning, so I will as well. You're a dunce.

If you search "Lyons and Apple" in Google news, you'll see he got a lot of us thinking about this subject, and perhaps we should.

Someone tell Enderle that "and" is ignored in a Google search. Oh well, I'll follow his lead. A search of "Enderle and stupid" gives over 31,000 results. Here Rob, this is for you:

The "AND" operator is unnecessary -- we include all search terms by default

In addition, as Apple goes into the battle with CES, arguably one of its biggest, it still has to put to bed the Options problem that implicates Steve Jobs himself in an alleged crime. This would seem very ill-advised. In any case, this isn't a good start for it in 2008, but recall 2007 looked like it would be difficult for Apple as well, and it powered through that.

Did he really just do that? Wolverton would be so proud!

I'll be at the show and participating in the 11th annual Build Your Own PC race, and I was practicing last week with my new AMD Spider system. Who knows, I may get lucky.

Dear God. This explains a lot. I'm not kidding about this one.

HTC created the fastest and most credible competitor to the iPhone last year, but it was rushed and I'd expect a much better offering for the second generation.

Enderle loves to play the "second generation" card to show authority. He called for the second generation iPhone to show up in October of 2007. Dolt.

By the end of 2008 I'll bet these folks will have moved one way or the other.

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

and possibly a full refresh of the iMac (long overdue).

Yeah. That aluminum and glass deal from August was nothing.

I think the product of the year should set a good example both inside and outside a firm. Sync does so, and it is my product of the year.

There it is folks, Enderle's pick for product of the year. Well Rob, you probably won't have a lot of competition for that pick. It's all yours pal.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

n00b deluxe for 2007

As we close each year, Team Munster likes to review its research and choose one person to be n00b deluxe for the year. A n00b above all other n00bs. There were plenty to choose from in 2007, as you know if you hold aapl.

Now, it might just be because I'm the boss, but the team agreed with me that Johnny Dvorak should win for writing Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone: Company risks its reputation in competitive business.

Here's a quote:

What Apple risks here is its reputation as a hot company that can do no wrong. If it's smart it will call the iPhone a "reference design" and pass it to some suckers to build with someone else's marketing budget. Then it can wash its hands of any marketplace failures.

It should do that immediately before it's too late. Samsung Electronics Ltd. might be a candidate. Otherwise I'd advise you to cover your eyes. You're not going to like what you'll see.

So congratulations John, you are Team Munster's n00b deluxe for 2007. Your advice is right up there with Michael Dell's, and for that we salute you.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Blockbuster Busted

Of course I've been mentioning it plenty. See the latest reason here.

Walmart just caved. Netflix is next.

The winner already has the hardware in consumer's hands.

Stay iTuned.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Viv came bounding into the office.

"Gene, got a sec?"

"Sure Viv, what's up?"

"You see Enderle's blogging yesterday?"

"Enderle's got a blog?"

"Yeah Gene. Apparently Apple is rotting from the inside out. Says people want Steve out. It confirms our retail check at the Apple store!" Viv grins like the Cheshire cat.

"That's nuts. Enderle's pretty thick, but. . . . hey, maybe it's a fake blog."

"Fake? You mean like Fake Steve? Like he's doing a genre crossover?"

"Yeah, like that."

"Hmm. Gene, why would he jump from creative nonfiction to fake blogging? It's too close, like just half a step. No, Gene, I think it's him. I mean the title of the blog is real official and everything. "

"What's it called?"

"Rob Enderle: The Real Truth About Technology and IT"

"Oh my God. Yeah, that's him alright. Never thought you could squeeze an oxymoron into a blog title."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Apple goes after Coach

So when Coach sat down last year to map our their 2007 holiday strategy, do you think they saw Apple as a competitor? Probably not. But such is the power of the iPod.

"Spending on luxury items is up 10.8 percent, “which isn’t bad at all,” Mr. McNamara said. Purchases of electronics rose a healthy 5.8 percent."

So now even the fashion industry has to figure out how to compete with Apple. And I gotta admit, I have no idea how they can do it. Who's next, the oil companies? I don't think anyone is beyond Apple's reach at this point.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oz Symbolism for the New Gilded Age

Dorothy -- Middle class
Wicked Witch of the East -- Eastern Bankers and Wall Street
House that falls on Wicked Witch of East after the tornado (which represents the homeowners revolt) -- Subprime mortgages, CDOs, SIVs
Munchkins -- the underclass and child labor (the Lollipop Guild)
Wicked Witch of the West and her flying monkeys -- Corruption in the lending industry
Tin Man -- Manufacturing economy
Scarecrow -- Agricultural economy
Cowardly lion -- Ben Bernanke, who eventually finds courage to act
Emerald City -- Washington DC
The Wizard -- Name your favorite politician
Silver Slippers (in the book they weren't ruby) -- Monetary policy
Toto -- Apple's new ultralight laptop (digital communication), a small bundle that's able to save the day

In the end the wizard can't help Dorothy. Civilization is saved by the magic of the silver slippers, and the help of her friends -- the tin man, scarecrow, lion, and Toto.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Subprime hasn't Eighty-Sixed Wall Street Bonuses

Goldman manages to eke out a $68 million bonus for the CEO. Others are mixed, but are averaging a 14% increase over last year.

Happy holidays.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Piper Jaffray is Serious About Global Warming

You all think I'm just kidding around about this stuff, but seriously, we have an environmental investments section. See Lois Quam, Piper Jaffray Director (that's her in the photo talking to Will Steger about glacial retreat in Norway).

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Strong Get Stronger

Erin called me this morning, wanted me to make an appearance. No problem, I'm always ready to go (note the rockin' tie, btw).

Apple, Google... the strong get stronger.

2008 is the year of the digital consumer.... and that means Apple.

Man, I'm getting good at this stuff.

Back to work.

Big Surprise (NOT): Frustrated Android Developers

As I predicted over a month ago, Android is being developed using Panic Mode Development Methodology (PMDM), AKA a "contest". Oh, and I also mentioned (and Jobs told Schmidt), that the Seattle software development boys and girls, hoping to find respite from Vista troubleshooting, would jump on the Android wagon. Yep. See a Macbeth tragedy here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Combo Ultra Light/Wood Chipper Coming From Apple

I didn't mention it in my press release today, but yeah, it's gonna turn Kindle into Kindling.

How do I know this? Here at Piper we put our hands on many new consumer electronic products.

So Vivian ran back from receiving today with the Amazon Kindle. She was panting, and so excited her hands were shaking, but she managed to rip off the packaging.

Soon as she had a book loaded, she flicked her finger down the screen to page down. She tried the pinch maneuver to make the font size bigger. "It doesn't work!" she cried as she passed the machine to Andrew.

And wouldn't you know, Andrew tried the same procedure to move to the next page -- touching the screen, he dragged his finger downward. "She's right, this thing is defective," he lamented.

Yes Munster Nation, multitouch is ubiquitous and intuitive, as a great user interface should be. And it's has been marketed so well it has become the defacto standard!

At MacWorld we'll see the real goods.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Z(ucker) is zuckered again: Dave Letterman takes a page from the Jobs playbook and negotiates independently with WGA

The Writer's Guild is learning how to cut out the network power brokers.

Letterman can end run the networks because he owns his show. "The CBS host is in a better position to make an individual deal with the WGA than late-night hosts Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel, whose programs are owned by their networks."

Anyway, ya' think there's anyone else the WGA could iNegotiate with, like somebody with lots of experience in the entertainment biz -- from places like iPixar and iDisney and the largest online music and movie distribution outlet perhaps?

The iParadigm shifts. Stay iTuned.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Team Munster Retail Checks

Last night Viv and I worked the action up at the Rosedale Apple store. Viv remembered her clicker but I forgot mine, so I used my finger counting (thanks to Sister Edna I have that valuable skill) as shoppers meandered through the 25 foot zone surrounding the store entrance.

Rosedale is a small store, about 2,000 square feet. People were entering the store at the rate of 260 per hour, consistent with our previous checks. Nearly 25 percent of mall goers who entered the "zone" were sucked into the store. Many were women, but there was still the occasional male veering toward the entrance only to be pulled away by the woman at his side. Viv calls those "mixed marriages". There were 50-60 shoppers inside the store at all times throughout our check period.

Viv went in to purchase an iPod. She saw a Macbook Pro, 3 iPods, and assorted software and accessories sold during the five minutes she stood in the checkout line.
But Apple needs to do something about the stroller problem -- not enough room to push a stroller into that store. Several times a baby pusher would stop outside the entrance and look wistfully into the store. At times these "stroller handicapped" shoppers blocked the entrance (tandem strollers were the worst -- when did they start making them to compete with Hummers on size?), making it difficult for other shoppers to enter or exit.

But overall, it's looking great for earnings.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

London-by-the-Sea the result of ice melt

Attention London Financial Centre:

Previously you had until 2099 to move your assets to Minneapolis.

Now it appears you have until 2012: "This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: 'At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.'"

And check out this recent report.

Ring me mates. I'm here to assist.

Team Munster. Easing you onto higher ground.

Resistance is futile: Cayman Islands will be destroyed by Artic ice melt

Attention Offshore Hedge Fund Management and their Wealthy Clients:

Previously you had until 2099 to move your assets to Minneapolis.

Now it appears you have until 2012: "This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: 'At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.'"

And our channel checks indicate that the next ice report will go further over the top, so to speak.

Trust me, this will be worse than the hurricane risks.

Remember, you have three short years before catastrophe, so give me a call and we'll get the ball rolling.

Team Munster. We can ease your move to higher ground.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Blockbuster, what was that?

I think it was the sound of MovieBeam crashing and burning. Hey but don't worry, I'm sure it will be different for you guys.

So good luck with that Movielink albatross. Hey Keyes, what movie was it that you showed that AP reporter on your phone when you were bragging on Movielink? Oh that's right.... Crash!

More Z curse stuff

Remember this?

"We know that Apple has destroyed the music business - in terms of pricing -- and if we don't take control, they'll do the same thing on the video side," Zucker maintained.

Hey Jeff, how's that "take control" thing working for ya?

NBC refunds advertisers as ratings plunge

Monday, December 10, 2007

Apple Shuts Down CompUSA

Buh-freakin-bye-bye to CompUSA, and it's all Apple's fault. How so? 

Think about it.

A big box store for PCs from Dell competitors. How much of a shift away from PCs would it take to have an impact? Nada mucho, amigo.

Hey ask Motorola if you don't think lil' ol' Apple has an impact on companies that run on razr-thin margins. And like I said.... watch out Blockbuster.... your day of reckoning is coming too.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

One way to increase your blog traffic

Steve is upping his traffic by flame baiting. Poor schmuck. Probably ticked that I'm siphoning off his fan base. After all, my advice is useful and profitable.

Team Munster is above Dvorakian dirty tricks. If you don't know what I'm talking about see this youtube video. Dvorak isn't smart enough to understand the flame baiter boomerang effect: The targeted population catches on and starts using the tactic themselves.

Yes, Minnesota has conceal and carry too. But here in Munster country we're smart enough to not provoke the gun lobby. We build our reputation the old-fashioned way: we earn it.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Elmer, Elmer, Elmer

"Does Rupert Murdoch’s Times know something we don’t? Is Apple PR paving the way for Steve Jobs’ succession?

No, no, no and no. If you read the Times story closely you will see that it is what journalists call a write-around — a profile written without the cooperation of the main subject or his handlers."

Yup... it's total crap, and Philip Elmer-Dewitt wanted to play Captain Obvious on it and get some eyeballs. So he titles his article:

"Will Jonathan Ive replace Apple’s Steve Jobs?"

Pretty provocative title, doncha think? Now why would he do that?

"With nothing new to say and no access to Ive, 
why run the story at all?"

My thoughts exactly.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Now What?

Viv's convinced that the PC guy is trying to nudge her out of her two-book contract. And she wants to know what kind of hack editor names a series "Now What?"
I told her I agreed -- Zuned: Another Scary Microsoft Hardware Blunder and Googled: A Tale of gPhones and gLust at the gSpot exude class.

But in any case I'm glad it's the weekend.

What can I say?

When the corn goes on sale, you buy the corn.

No need to thank me, it's why I'm here. But I must apologize to Shawn: Looks like I'm missing the over-200 close by a couple of weeks.

Upgrade soon? Yeah, watch for me on CNBC.

Scott Moritz

n00b extraordinaire. 

That is all.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Jimmy G takes the bait

From Paul:

Dear Gene,

For the last few days I've been communicating with Jim Goldman. I'll admit I've been a little bored, so I created a gmail address that I could use to see if he would nibble. Boy did he ever.

So anyway... that "story" of his today... well that's all me. I'm the "source with good connections." But as you can see Gene I didn't give him anything that Munster Nation didn't already know. No harm done.

So if we ever need him in the future... well he'll pretty much repeat whatever I tell him to. Hope you don't mind boss.


Neff shows me some respect

Bear Stearns raised their target today (from $243 to $249), carefully keeping it below my $250. The analyst club carefully bows to my superiority. Anyway, he's finally getting the story on accelerating Mac sales.

Did you notice that today's BS note was "team authored" (Neff, Hand, Chung). You know, that's smart. You have to give the underlings credit somewhere when the raises and bonuses at Bear Stearns are gonna be sub prime. It's too bad that team doesn't blog... I like 'em.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Kindle to become kindling

Paul sent me an update today:

Dear Gene,

Not much news out here lately, except for a little scoop on the ultra light. One of the things it's going to do really well is the whole "e book" thing. The guys out here are laughing their asses off about the Kindle. You can imagine what Apple's multi-touch is going to look like for e books... flipping pages, accelerometer, resolution independence and all that. Oh yeah... and color, duh.

So they're calling Bezo's thing Kindling out here... bonfires to commence after Macworld.

Gotta run boss. Dinner with Woz.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

We need to raise Ben Stein's retainer fee

Seriously. Nice job on the Goldman Sachs smack down Ben. Dodd's a heavy hitter.

Ben, I'm looking forward to those Swedish cookies at the potluck. Vivian says she's making her classic Stir Fry Tater Tot Hot Dish -- big hit at last year's party. You're gonna love it.

Shaw, I'm not gonna lie: you disappoint me

(Note: Originally posted in October, but since Shaw has seemingly taken my words to heart I thought I'd repost.)

Though he's been trying to get better, every now and then Shaw Wu comes up with something that makes you say.... HUH?

So here's the latest:

But for December, the Street’s view is too high at $8.6 billion and $1.38; Wu thinks it’s more like $8.1 billion and $1.25. “For the December quarter, we believe AAPL will most likely continue its tradition of conservative guidance to help reign in unrealistic expectations,” writes Wu.

Shaw, are you the only one still playing the cat and mouse game with Papa Peter? The rest of us are going it alone. Find me the last time Apple didn't beat the Street after issuing the lowballed guidance.

So you think Apple's gonna say $1.25...big deal. The point is, what do you think they're really going to make? 

Hint: It's going to be higher than the $1.38 Shaw. So how is $1.38 "unrealistic?" You following this?

And dude...$185? C'mon.

Gonna have to consider re-issuing n00b status on you pal. You're slipping.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I'm winning Ben Stein's money

He's signed on to efforts to make Minneapolis the financial hub of the universe. Ben was an easy convert -- turns out he's been reading my stuff for years and making money on AAPL. So anyway, now he's paying the Piper, so to speak, and his ties rate. So we're happy to have him on board.

Thanks Ben. Oh yeah, we've got you down to bring a dessert tray for the office holiday potluck.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Photo Caption Contest

Mirror mirror on the wall......

(post your entry in the comments)

P.S. Sorry about the Starbucks straw, I shoulda cropped that out

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Fadell is winning

Dear Gene:

This afternoon I was hanging out at the bar when in walks a group of guys from Apple including Tony Fadell. Some of the guys were slapping him on the back and congratulating him. One of the fellas saw me and shouted "hey Mayor Paul join us for a drink!"

Well boss, to make a long story short, seems that one of the things that the Apple guys do for fun is submit ridiculous patents, and then see who can get the most rumor mileage out of it. I guess Tony is currently in the lead with this gem:

One of the guys asked me what I thought it was and I said "I dunno a pocket frisbee?" Nope. Turns out it's an adapter for a mini CD that will allow it to go into a normal slot loading drive. "Well, who the hell uses little CDs?" I asked. "And wouldn't the cost of making that little thing pretty much negate any cost savings anyway?"

"Oooh!" said Fadell. "But what if you made the adapter itself break down into smaller pieces!"

"Uh, it would still be easier and cheaper to go with regular discs?" I said.

"Exactly! Doesn't make a lick of sense does it? But hey I submitted that patent over a year ago, and it's still got legs! It's a couple pieces of plastic for god's sake! Too damn funny. Hey not to mention no one will be using opticals in a few years anyway. That was my little ironic twist you see."

"Oh, well congratulations. That's quite a clever hoax" I said.

"Thanks Paul. Now hey get me caught up on how you opened a can-o-whoopass on Wolverton."

Googling Redefined

So Vivian limped through her latest writer's block episode and continues work on her Business-Erotica book, now renamed Googled: A Tale of gPhones and gLust at the gSpot .

New intel from Paul sparked Viv's latest theory about why they'd be using a contest to lure outside Android developers. He says the rumor runs that their software developers lack focus --- are prone to indiscriminately googling each other -- so anyway, it was too risky to have a critical, groundbreaking system like Android developed inhouse. Not only does this behavior create a revolving door, but heck, one strategically placed STD and the enemy could take out the entire place for months, maybe years.

On the bright side, Paul gripes that Apple runs a Sunday school outfit.

That's all good news for Munster Nation. My $250 target is sustainable.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Zander: Victim Of The Z Curse?

Viv corners me at the water cooler.

"Gene, Zander's out at Motorola. Totally expected, you know, the Z curse."

"Hey Viv. Yeah, I guess that Android thing isn't working out for them."

"Trust me, it's the Z affliction. The only character it boosted was Zorro, and that was fiction. Reality is totally the opposite."

"Uh, no kidding?"

She plunges her herbal tea bag into hot water (Viv loves "the version 2.0" water cooler here at Piper). "Gene I've done my research on this. Didn't you get the email I sent?"

"Oh. Yeah. You bet."

She rolls her eyes and sighs. "They're all clueless Gene. Z's had to sit in the back of the class. Sad, really. Look at that Zucker guy over at NBC Universal."

"You've got something there . . . "

"And this Men's Warehouse CEO -- Zimmer. Did you see their latest quarterly report Gene?"

Strange coincidence . . . I'm eyeing the men's warehouse/refuge door over her left shoulder. I nod. "Yeah, the retail section report mentioned it."

"And then there's that Zuckerberg kid at Facebook. He's still on training wheels. He's a disaster just waiting to happen!"

The back of my neck feels prickly. Bad sign. "Viv, excuse me, I think I have an appointment in the boy's room."

"Don't believe me Gene? Why do you think ex-CEO John Zeglis had to leave AT&T Wireless? Huh? That's right, even Jobs believes in the curse of the Z! There couldn't be a deal until the Z guy left."

"Well now, that's something Viv."

"Sure Gene, it's that karma thing with Jobs. You're lucky he tolerates you."

"Right Viv."

Munster Nation Always Gets The Early Nod

For example, tipping you off about Paul's inside scoop.

Now read my prediction on the new ultra portables. Sound familiar? You know I have to tell the masses sooner or later, but blog readers will continue to get the early nod.

Oh, and about the part on the risks of closed systems, where I say: "However, we believe customers also appreciate and need simplicity. Apple and AT&T's closed system enables a user to buy the phone activate and load it with media in a few easy steps, which is made possible by the closed nature of the iPhone ecosystem."

Activate and load in a few easy steps . . . kind of reminds one of the closed ecosystem that's made the iPod wildly successful ( iPod + iTunes vertical integration), doesn't it?

Michael Dell's World

It's all about "customer-driven innovation" at Dell. "We gather requirements directly through tens of thousands of customer interactions daily, organized events, and customer panels."

OK Dell, listening to the customer will get you the small product enhancements, the incremental stuff. But the leaps occur when you aren't listening to the customer.

Jobs knows this well. Apple blocks out the 1,000 not so important things and gives the customer something they need but didn't even know they needed.

And that's one of the big cultural differences between Dell and Apple.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

3G iPhone.... and... so?

So AT&T says the 3G iPhone is coming next year... which Steve already said... but more importantly, about which Munster Nation recently received confirmation along with the ten-year roadmap.


Doug Kass

n00b deluxe.

That is all.

What would Mac-Gyver do?

Even though he grew up on the wrong side of the river, I've been a loyal fan of St. Paulie boy Richard Dean Anderson for, like, forever. Anderson played secret agent Angus MacGyver on a popular TV series, which featured his use of brains -- not brute force or violence -- to extricate himself from danger. In a recent survey Americans were asked which fictional hero they'd like to have at their side during an emergency, and MacGyver was the top choice (27%), followed by Indiana Jones (16%). Anyway, mathematics and scientific knowledge are the way we roll here at Piper too. Twenty-five feet of dental floss, a stopwatch, and the basic laws of physics can save any day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesdays Little Ironies

Google announced a new renewable energy R&D initiative . They'll be spending tens of millions in 2008 in a dedicated effort to reduce coal use in electricity generation. Meanwhile, their effort to develop their mobile OS, called Android, is a contest.

Vice President Cheney got lucky, but attempts to resuscitate Zune failed due to lack of battery power to the defibrillator paddles.

And the growth of Minneapolis as the world's financial center got rerouted today because Abu Dhabi decided to prop up Citigroup. But it's a minor diversion. We'll get those guys here eventually because we can match them on extreme temperature conditions. And we have the edge. You can always dress warmer, but you can only undress to a certain point and still go out in public.

Trying to find a place for Paul

Think the real estate market is done selling down? That's what Paul thinks, so he figures we can buy a place for him to stay for a few more months and then flip it. So he sends me this pic. It's a nice little place in Cuptertino where he can stay close to the action.

Just over a thousand square feet. Price? Try just over a million. Not kidding, see for yourself.

I don't think so Paul.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Physical Forces Favor Apple Store, But It's Not Gravity

Viv made me say "gravitational pull" even though I wanted to tell the truth (and thank goodness for this blog, where I don't have to be politically correct) about the massive centrifugal force being exerted by other stores in those malls.

What we really observed: Shoppers were actively being thrown away from other establishments (and the outward force was strongest at stores selling PCs with Vista). Judy said it was like the force that tosses bodies in a car against the outside door as it swerves around a corner, except in this case they were being tossed into the Apple stores.

Internally we're calling it the "Vista whirl and puke", because it mimics forces encountered on popular carnival rides.

No kidding, Andrew claims he saw actual physical symptoms -- bruises, weak knees, nausea, and indigestion, but relief was immediate when the shopper entered an Apple store.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Today's Puzzler

Another nice piece of investigative journalism from the high school AV class . . .

Friday, November 23, 2007

Paul meets with Papa Peter

So ever since the fight with Troy and Paul's unofficial designation as honorary Mayor of Cupertino, Team Munster agreed to leave him out west for the time being. He's holed up in one of those executive hotels where you pay by the week. For the info we've been getting, it's easily worth it.

So yesterday Paul is out at one of Cupertino's local drinking establishments for Thanksgiving since he's got no family out that way. Well, who do you suppose walks in but Oppenheimer! Paul writes:

Gene, this is almost too good to be true and I hope you're sitting down. Definitely do NOT read this email on your iPhone while driving.

Peter sees me and sits down to congratulate me on the whole "kicking Troy's ass" thing and orders a round of martinis for us. Well, several rounds later I start asking him about the deferred revenue and the whole growth story and he tells me that he and Steve have been intentionally holding back Apple's growth.

Gene, I hope you're still reading this, cause you read it right. Basically boss, both the iPhone and Leopard could have been out as much as a year sooner than they were. That's not saying they were ready production-wise mind you. What I'm saying is that Steve has laid out a ten year plan for Apple and has the entire thing orchestrated for steady, controlled growth. It's mind boggling to hear Peter talk about it Gene...well and a little hard to follow cause he was pretty plastered. 

Basically it boils down to this: they were worried that if they allowed the innovation folks to run at their own pace, the growth story would be over too soon. So everything is being done in a very exacting way, from new product releases to store openings to new iPhone agreements. Everything Gene, for the next decade. It's all figured out already.

Somewhere around the fourth or fifth round he said to me, "Paul, if you think the iPhone is mind-blowing, imagine a half dozen products that make the iPhone look like Pong. Remember Pong? That's what is going on here Paul. But if we release everything too fast, people will hardly know what to do with it all. So we're going nice and easy so everyone can grasp where we are going, and we can keep growing the earnings.... and keep the story moving."

I said to him "so you mean something like the iPhone with 3G is already figured out?" He says "Paul, what the hell do you think Steve took out of his pocket at Macworld?!?!?! What do you think he's been using all these months? And that's just one example. If we let this thing go at the pace our engineers are on, consumers would probably just freak out and stop buying altogether. Customers are already holding back their purchases because they think the next version of whatever is just around the corner. They have no idea, Paul. We've got so much stuff in the wings. And we've got to keep such a tight lid on everything. This stuff could drive a man to drinking."

That's where I lost him boss. Got a pretty good bump on his head when he passed out too. Gene, I think we're going to need to consider finding me a condo out here.

Yours truly, Mayor Paul

My Thanksgiving

With some trepidation I cross the border to St. Paul. There's the usual suspects, and hugs all around.

Aunt June spies me through the crowd and saunters over. "Hiya Gene. I brought your favorite. Seven-layer salad!"

"Jeez, thanks June. Did you put it in that deep bowl, so I can only get the top three layers?"

She laughs. "Heyah Gene, you bet. Just like you like it! How's life? How's work going at that Goldman Jaffray place?"

I clear my throat. "It's Piper Jaffray. I'm a senior analyst now. I've been there twelve years."

Now Uncle Ed edges over. "You still doing that financial stuff?"

"Yep." I nod. Suddenly I need Fran's wine. Wait. I don't drink. Dang.

"Gene, you ever watch that Mad Money show? How come you don't have your own show like that Cramer guy? Is he great -- or what?"

Argh. "Yeah. We worship the guy over at Piper."

They frown in unison. That's what happens to people who've been married 40 years, I mean, it's almost scary. Anyway, Ed tries to slap me on the back, but he misses and hits my shoulder instead. "Gene, I'm just kidding, you know that. Heyah, I saw the skunk about you in Pioneer Press. The Apple thing. Don't they make computers? Boy you're on thin ice there Gene. That stock is spendy."

"It's going to $250."

June and Ed laugh. "Yah. Yah. You're a good boy Gene . . ."

But later I bring out the iPod Touch. It's good. Often I forget that most of the world hasn't seen this technology yet, and the crowd oohs and ahs as I show them cover flow, photos, and a couple videos. They are amazed at how thin it is, and then they are wowed by the touch screen. They all want to play with it. And it totally trumps Althea's show and tell, which is her new heated foot massage machine. By the end of the demo I've sold at least four Apple products. Poor Althea has to concede defeat.

Hope you all had a productive holiday like mine . . . .

Thursday, November 22, 2007

25 million iPods

That's right Munster Nation, see here.

It's going to be a big quarter friends, and once again Team Munster steps up to the plate with what seems to be an unrealistic estimate. But the others will follow eventually, they always do.

Enjoy your turkey. Tomorrow we'll see story after story about the amazing foot traffic at the Apple Stores.... and how Apple was ready.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New Vista Version

I'm hearing on good authority that Microsoft is working on yet another version of Vista in an effort to re-energize adoption. It's going to be called Vista Personal Operating System or Vista POS.

Ballmer is dead set on the name. Sources tell me Microsoft's marketing department is struggling just a little with this one. One guy thought maybe they should package it with XP:

Buy Windows XP and get a Vista POS for free!

Still doesn't have the right ring to it, for some reason.

I'm thankful for so very much.

Like chump analysts.

You bet, the clueless guys out there who make me look really good, even Double Slot. Sure, he's got a good gig going in the churning business, but he leaves a load of rotting bodies in his wake. And that's the basic difference between us. My wood chipper is for chipping wood.

I'm thankful for surveys that show 90% of Windows users are scared spitless about migrating to Vista, and 44 percent are considering a move to Macs. Of course I already knew this, but a little third-party confirm action to kick up my annual performance rating feels shamelessly good.

I'm also thankful for the sour grape rants spewing from old-guard company execs as they thrash helplessly, attempting to compete with Apple. Thanks to these guys I effortlessly add the qualitative color to my quantitative analysis, thus completing my masterwork of desperation facing off against brilliant innovation.

You bet, and thanks go to that guy who invented the fake blogging genre. Also thanks to Team Munster (Judy, Vivian, Paul, Andrew) because they make me look good every day, and thanks to all you readers who are growing your wealth and securing your retirements and building futures for your families.

Have a great holiday!

P.S. Thanks for the invite

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A is for Apple

now starring on the Piper Alpha list ahead of MacWorld.

Andrew thinks we should an Omega list for the dogs. I said I'd pass that idea up the chain.

Meanwhile Viv is grumbling about somebody pimping candy-colored Zunes the past few days -- some guy encroaching on her Zune Business-Horror story turf.

Did I mention that corn is on sale?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cough: iPhone to cannibalize Mac sales.

Looking back through old scans I found this chump analysis, posted four months ago. You bet, I don't see a followup explaining why Mac sales are through the roof post-iPhone release. And he doesn't think iPhone competes with cell phones, because he overheard "a vice president of a rather large supposedly best cellular network" saying so.

Does anybody really listen to these noobs?

Proof that Warren Buffett reads my blog

So, the Piper pool top pick for CEO of Citi is A-Rod. Now Buffet is working overtime to get him signed up with the Yankees.

Coincidence? I think not.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Competitive Intelligence Team Memo

To: Gene
From: Viv and Judy
Re: Microsoft Zune Spin

It's making us dizzy! Gene, take a look at this.

One Microsoft source says the 80GB Zune is hard to find due to "high demand". But another Microsoft insider says it's a manufacturing problem. Then the Zune senior product management director says it's a "prioritization" issue.

Who's driving the bus at Microsoft?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Paul Becomes Mayor of Cupertino

OK, he's more like the honorary mayor, but still.

Decking Troy Wolverton earned Paul the undying gratitude of Apple city. The locals, mostly Apple employees, are doing some hearty backslapping while buying him drinks and offering their women. OK, so maybe not the women thing (Paul exaggerates -- even without the black eye he isn't exactly a comely guy), but it's darn good, or so he says in today's report.

Even better, he's finally getting some real data, says he's hearing chatter about the sub notebooks, stuff like this Asus . Do you think they could replace that Asus logo with an Apple and load on the Leopard? Heck, it's already white like the Macbook.

Anyway, Paul hears this will sell for around $400 to $700. At this price, and the two pound weight (highly-portable), schools might even buy into providing one for each child.

Oh, and the Google phone thing -- just noise.

Anyone seen anything from Troy lately?

Monday, November 12, 2007

How to Build Software with Cheap Labor and no Bennies

Viv brought this to my attention.

It used to be that a company would use customer/third-party developer ideas to upgrade software products -- NOT to build them in the first place.

But if you've pre-announced a new product, so suddenly you're in a bind to add some real functionality and a decent user interface to the system . . . oh, what to do, what to do?

The answer for Google is: Start a contest!

What frustrated braingeek wouldn't jump on this opportunity to mold Android 1.0 ? Five thousand hours and 213 pizzas (sausage and black olive), an hourly rate to compete with Indian outsourcing? Sign me up! Then it's on to Phase II, where Google takes the beauty contest winners and loads them onto the first handsets, oh, sometime around the end of 2008.

The rumor going around is that Jobs pimped this idea to Google CEO Eric Schmidt during an Apple board meeting after Schmidt griped that Apple was hiring all the best software engineers. According to the scuttlebutt, Jobs convinced Schmidt the contest idea would lure the remaining talented and creative self-starter types left rotting in the dungeons up in Redmond.

Hmmm, it could work, but Viv says not to upgrade the stock on it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ruht-roh: Merrill Lynch and Citi don't have succession plans

and CEOs are being fired faster than you can say subprime fiasco. So, anyway, they're thrashing around down in the mailroom trying to find a guy with good hair.

Did I say I'd have to wait for global warming to flood New York for Minneapolis to become the financial center of the world? Naw, these guys are sinking themselves.

Anyway, Judy thought it would be fun to start an office pool to choose new CEOs for these beleaguered firms. The positions are wiiiide open. You bet, this is more fun than the high school hockey tournament bets, and these pools are the traditional way we redistribute the wealth here at the Piper offices.

Judy's Pool rules:

A) the candidate must be available to immediately occupy the position, and
B) the candidate must be AT LEAST as competent as the exiting leadership.
So far the best pick is Alex Rodriguez to replace Chuck Prince. He's a free agent, and Citigroup can match his salary demands at the same rate they were compensating Prince (about $30 million a year which includes stock options). He's a proven performer (over .300 batting average, which has gotta be better than the guessing that most CEOs do), already a good team player, and not many people can hit a major league fast ball -- so that makes him a quick thinker with a good eye for detail. Citigroup hasn't made big inroads in the hispanic market, and this should definitely help. AND he's passed the drug tests.

The favorite pick for Merrill Lynch is Britney Spears. Admittedly this is an odd pick to me, but she has massive media relations experience, is a veteran of crisis management (shaved head, custody battles), has already been through rehab, has the well-documented spending habits of a CEO, lives her life with complete transparency, and is generally known as the "comeback queen".

Anyway, I'm wavering on the Britney pick. Other suggestions from Munster Nation?

Paul Gets in a Fight with Troy

So Paul logs onto iChat from his SF hotel, and for a second I wonder if Apple has added a new effect to iChat Theater called "Black Eye."

Me: Uh, Paul, you OK?

Paul: Great Gene! Never better actually, why do you ask?

Me: Well, that left eye of yours is looking a little... different.

Paul: Oh that. Yeah well I sorta got sucker punched last night.

Me: OK.....

Paul: Well, I was out at one of the local techie watering holes last night, and who do I see lurking but Troy Wolverton. He was wearing shades.... trying to lay low and pick up some scoop I suppose. So anyways I call him over to the bar. One thing leads to another, and next thing I know he pops me one as I was reaching for my beer.

Me: Wow, Paul that's awful. What did you say to him that ticked him off?

Paul: Oh, just the truth. You know, how he is desperate for readers so he constantly makes stuff up about Apple... and maybe something regarding his mother not being married, I dunno.

Me: Well, I'm sorry you got hurt.

Paul: Oh don't worry about it Gene, I'm fine, really. Troy however might be... well, he might be staying home for a while.


Paul: Gene I had to defend myself! I'm not sure exactly what I did anyway Gene. Your training just sort of takes over, ya know? He was on the ground pretty quickly, wailing like a stuck pig.... mighta been a few teeth laying about. 

Me: Ohhh.

Paul: But that's not all! When his glasses came off someone else shouted, "hey it's that bastard Wolverton" and all these tech nerds dragged him into the bathroom for a half hour's worth of swirly treatment. And everyone starting buying me drinks. I had a great night!

Me: Well Paul, I'm glad you're OK. Maybe you should just get the next flight home.

Paul: Are you kidding? I'm a hero out here now! And people are talking! With any luck someone will help me get inside One Infinite Loop.

Me: OK, no more talking to reporters!

Paul: Who said anything about a reporter boss? -grins-

Friday, November 9, 2007

What is this I see?

So I'm at the grocery market today, and what do I see? 

Corn is on sale again!!

The last time I told you corn was on sale, at the end of July, did you load up the cart?

I sure hope so. Anyway, remember I can't give you any investment advice here, but I can tell you when stuff is on sale at the market. And brother, corn is on sale.

Now, you might want to make a few trips rather than loading your cart all at once. Who knows maybe they'll mark it down again.

Happy shopping.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Enderle Group death watch begins and assorted Team Munster news items

So Andrew leads the Trademarked Catch-Phrase Patrol (TCPP), but of course that's when he's not working the Paparrazi Distractor Task Force, and he found this article with a quote from a poser named Rob Enderle, where the guy says "the Google phone is a game changer". Munster Nation is initiating a class action suit.

Paul landed in San Francisco yesterday afternoon. He'll be using SF as a base. I told him to check out the Apple Store. He says there's a spy store he wants to check out as well.

Viv thinks she can still salvage her Google book. She plans to spin the 33 partners deal into a read that's steamier than a Finnish sauna.

And Judy's right -- the market is cattywampus.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Chump Targets

Apple is running through the noob analyst targets like a hot knife through butter. Jeez, at least mine are good for a couple months.

Anyway, Judy thinks it's time for another upgrade. In her quick-analysis memo she writes "the markets are cattywampus but Apple will prevail".

Gotta love that insider lingo.

Monday, November 5, 2007

I'm sending Paul to Cupertino

Paul is my number one recon person in the office. He's sneaky and fearless. Well, and a little temperamental and his ties are just above "suck" status but you can't have it all.

Lately I've been getting the feeling that things are a little too quiet right now. I mean, Apple's in the news every day as usual, but I don't know... I've just got this feeling that they've got one more thing up their sleeve this year, and I want to know what that is.

So anyway I'm sending Paul out to Cupertino. Best case scenario he gets inside a few Infinite Loop buildings and gets some scoop. Worst case he gets arrested. But at this point it's a risk we need to take. Munster Nation deserves the best intel (no pun intended... well OK maybe a little) and we're going to get it for you.

Stay tuned.

It's a boy, no it's a girl...oh wait, it's an android!

You guessed it. This newly-announced Google phone operating system wreaks havoc with Viv's book plan. Viv says robots don't have G-spots. Of course this spells doom for her debut in the new Business/Erotica category.

So Viv's been thrown into another infinite loop. Now she's saying they deliberately changed the name to stymie her efforts. And she's peeved because I mentioned the book here on the blog, and she's convinced that's how it all leaked to Google management.

You bet, my Samarai team skills are working to mitigate the productivity loss for Team Munster this week.

Anyway, suggestions from readers with experience in like situations would be greatly appreciated. She was mumbling something about me sleeping with my eyes open....

Hey Moritz!

Where ya been pal?

Got any more hot tips for us on new products from Apple?




Sunday, November 4, 2007

Shawn has me on the show

Shawn asked me to be on the Your Mac Life Show again. Gave the details behind Team Munster's iPhone revenue sharing estimate. 15% of Apple's profit in two years time. How's that work for y'all? Also gave some scoop on the Team Munster channel checking, including Viv's snooping techniques (she's fluent in Mandarin) at the Soho store.

Check it out.

I also had this quote all planned out, and dropped it in perfectly: 

Two years ago when you bought a mac you had to explain to your friends what you were doing, and today when you buy a PC you have some explaining to do.

God that's good stuff, I must say. And hey Shawn, aapl will close at $205 in November pal.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

New Button

So I decide to give Phil Schiller a call cause it's been a while since he's given me any scoop.

Well, not much to say unfortunately. I guess Steve is REALLY clamping down, more than ever, if you can believe that. But I did get one little thing.

iPhone's getting a new button.

Yep. What is it you ask? Well let me ask you something: Can you guess what it's going to do?

P.S. Don't tell Steve I've posted this. It's Munster Nation's little secret.

Sobering Thoughts

This is like shooting fish in a barrel. First to roll was O'Neal at Merrill. He choked up the largest quarterly loss in company history -- a $7.9 billion write-down in CDOs and subprime mortgages -- after "Scorched-Earth" Stan had announced it would be a paltry $4.5 billion. Do you think they could use a few competent financial analysts over there?

Now it's Chuck Prince over at Citigroup. Another chump CEO. He can't wait to get out -- he's offering to fall on his sword at an emergency board meeting on Sunday.

Next in the queue: James Cayne over at Bear Stearns.

Where are the hordes with pitchforks and torches who were incensed over options backdating -- a scandal which now looks like penny-ante poker in the boys room?

And here's some pay for performance: The O'Neals and Princes will take the severance packages. Nope, they never turn down the parting gifts.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Viv's gPhone Prediction

Viv was already in my office this morning, bursting at the seams.

"Gene, Gene, did I tell you I'm working a two-book contract?"

"No kidding! That's great Viv."

"Indeed," she nods, "cross genre is all the rage. B&N will be installing a new Business-Horror section just for Zuned: Another Scary Microsoft Hardware Blunder."

"Cross genre?"

"It's when you combine two types of books that don't normally fit together, like a mystery-slash-cookbook. Or science fiction time travel and romance, you know, like that Lake House movie, where Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves are stuck in a time warp but they fall in love and have to get together, and of course if features the requisite two obstacles to consummate the relationship. It's great stuff Gene."

"I can't say as I've seen it Viv."

She pushes her glasses up her nose. "No matter. There's a big market for cross genre books. Don't you want to hear about my second book?" Viv blushes.

"Oh yeah, sure. What is it?"

"Googled: How they missed the G-spot. I'm pioneering B&N's exclusive new Business-Erotica genre. Of course it's mostly about the gPhone, but, you know, spiced up."

"Viv I don't think they've released a phone yet. And we cover Google, so your book presents an ethical problem. How does it look if a crack Piper analyst, part of Team Munster no less, is publishing a title on Google for the Business slash, uh, Etcetera shelf?"

"Gene I can handle it. Besides everyone knows the gPhone is gonna be a dog. FSJ says they'll just throw their maps software onto a second-rate, third party-designed piece of hardware."

"True enough, plus a ton of ads. Who's FSJ anyways?"

"He's like you. He blogs in the Business/Angst category. But you've got more dark humor, you know, you're the innocent Hitchcockian guy making his way amidst the Wall Street opium dens."


Viv picks a piece of lint off her sweater. "It's very subtle. Think Cary Grant in North by Northwest."

"Right Viv."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Um, if we don't need it, does it matter if you destroy it?

"We know that Apple has destroyed the music business - in terms of pricing -- and if we don't take control, they'll do the same thing on the video side," Zucker maintained.

OK, so with iTunes:


What was your point again Zucker?

Unmasked: Apple shareholders are getting all the good candy this year

And Team Munster asked me (again) to direct your drops to them here at Piper.

FYI -- their favorites are:

Paul - peanut butter cups, Snickers, Tootsie rolls
Viv - Twix bars, M&Ms, Butterfingers
Judy - Almond Joy (dark), Junior mints, Nestle crunch bars
Andrew - Anything chocolate (but as the new guy he gets the leftovers)

As you've all made more than "fun size" gains, please send that stuff (and the stale popcorn balls) to the, uh, other analysts.

Thanks from Team Munster.

Monday, October 29, 2007

If Jeff Zucker Ruled The World

  1. Car Manufacturers would give a percentage of their revenues to Exxon and BP Amoco
  2. Barbers would send checks to the makers of Propecia and Retin-A
  3. Belt makers would owe money to Levi Strauss
  4. Lunch box companies would yield payments to Oscar Mayer
  5. Back pack manufacturers would share revenues with Barnes and Noble
  6. Dentists would make payments to Jolly Ranchers

Munster Halloween Tips

I'm getting a raft of requests from young Munster Nation investors. They're asking how to craft the perfect Munster costume.

Kids, it's all about the tie. Ditch the Hogwarts line -- the stripes are all wrong, they look like preppie candy canes -- and go with Armani. And practice your knots.

At the door don't forget to negotiate monthly "candy payments" over the next 2 years, or alternatively, request twice the amount of candy in an unlocked agreement.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Paparazzi Distractor Task Force (PDTF) Update

While the Munster Nation paparazzi were engaged with Hannah Montana last weekend I had free run of the town. Usually I have to hide behind local celebs like Kent Hrbek, Al Franken, and even that aging rocker that Cate Blanchett plays.

Jeez, for a guy who doesn't have a Wikipedia page I'm getting lots of attention.

Hey, and the blog is doing pretty well! I hope the boss isn't too upset that it's outranking the Piper website!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Leopard Weekend Channel Checking

So last night I installed Leopard on my iMac at home. As they say at Staples that was easy.

The main reason I wanted to have Leopard running today was so I could use iChat Theater for the weekend channel checking with Team Munster. I've got an image of the Piper office behind me now when I'm at home. And of course I've got the knockout tie on (with the boxers that no one can see below the desk). Man I love working from home, and iChat Theater makes it all the easier.

Anyway turns out that I didn't even get to fire up iChat cause the team could not get near a dang computer at any of the Minnesota Apple Stores! They were packed to the gills! Viv tried to get a little kid to give up an iMac at one point, but he kicked her right in the shins!

In any case, things are looking.... well, huge for Leopard, and therefore, ├╝ber-huge for Munster Nation.

P.S. Dear Shaw, time for a new target, and quick.

You're Welcome

 Team Munster has cracked the code. OK, I was off a bit on my previous estimates of AT&T payments. But Paul tinkered with the Munster secret decoder rings, and now we've smacked it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Reitzes, I'm Warning You

Can you believe this poser? I've blogged about this before, but seriously I'm getting ready to kick this kid's butt.

We continue to believe Apple is in the process of creating another version of the 'multiplier effect,' which we call 'Halo 2'. Apple’s fiscal 4Q results show that the build up to the launch of the iPhone and its ongoing excitement is driving sales of accessories, boosting retail traffic, and helping drive sales of iPods and especially Macs. As a result, we believe shares can continue to move higher into Macworld [Expo] in January.

Last warning Benny. Get your own catch phrases or things are going to get real ugly.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Munster Endowment Takes Shape

See here.

You all know I'm a Tommie. Well, Lee and Penny Anderson were so pleased with Apple's recent results they felt compelled to make $60 million gift (the largest single gift to higher education in state history) to University of St. Thomas.

Uff Da. You bet. I'm overwhelmed.

Thanks a thousand hockey sticks Mr. and Mrs. Anderson -- a heap of gratitude flows from all Minnesotans.

Share the love and wealth Munster Nation. That's the Piper way.

Over the Top

Just like Texas Hold 'Em. A huge re-raise that makes your opponent go "uh-oh."

Told you.... have a little patience my friends. I've got a great hand, and no one has my tell.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Double Slot Cramer: Worse than a root canal procedure without novocaine

Apparently he's over the burnt toast fiasco because now he's telling Cramerica to sell their Apple stock again.

The good news is I have an iPhone. With the Visual Voicemail feature -- an iPhone exclusive -- I don't ever have to listen to Double Slot again.

Munster Nation, follow me and ignore the toaster man.

Oh, and speaking of toasters -- thanks to Melissa for the combination toaster oven/blender/pasta maker -- another nice convergent device.

Keep those gifts coming Munster Nation.

Sorry David, you let the genie out of the bottle.

Are you kidding me? When the iPhone was released David staged a Broadway production number to rival A Chorus Line. And tonight he releases this?

Sorry David, that just will not do. I'll give you until Friday to get the edits done, and it had better be hotter than hot big boy.

My New Catch Phrase

So, when you think iPod, you think "Halo Effect."

When you think iPhone, you think "Game Changer."

The Munster Investor Catch Phrases are becoming legendary here at Piper. Anyway I thought I might as well get one on each leg of the Apple stool. See here.

That's right friends, the The Mac is Going Mainstream

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

An avalanche of upgrades

and Viv is going nuts trying to clip all the articles quoting me to add to my scrapbook. Look at the pull out quote on this one. And Franken says we need the SNL writers. Pffft.

And for those of you who think my $222 target is too low, how about a little trust and gratitude peeps?

Jeez I feel like Moses sometimes.

Monday, October 22, 2007

After the Bell: Domestic Squabble at the Berenstains

So the new Bernstein target ($175) reached it's expiration date faster than the milk in my refrigerator.

And rumor has it three key clients are defecting to Piper.

Even worse, Mama is threatening to move out and serve papers on Papa Sanford.

It's getting downright fugly at the Bernstein treehouse, and seriously, Sanford -- you need to stop arguing in the garage, or close the door, or something. It's like a megaphone -- the whole neighborhood can hear you.

How'd I do?

Munster Nation knows that my whisper number was a buck-o-fiver. Not bad eh?

CC went OK. Notice how I just kept asking questions until she cut me off? I figure "hey I'm the the guy that paves the way for you guys so I'm just gonna keep firing."

Didn't get squat from Peter on the revenue sharing. Bastards are cloaking it with accessory revenue. At least I got a little color on the Best Buy numbers.

Guidance for next quarter? What guidance? It's still lowballing. Now think about that.

Rejoice, Munster Nation.

P.S. How ya doin' there Shaw Wu?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

iPhone Becomes AT&T Top Seller, leads in customer satisfaction plus Apple market value soars past Dells and Apple to open 200th store . . .

and Apple workers get shuttle service, car wash, and 3 extra paid vacation days over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Kudos have been sent to Apple, and an anonymous suggestion made to Piper management to upgrade the benefits of any Senior Analysts who have been dead-on about aapl since coverage was initiated.

Off for some tie shopping....

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Palm is beleaguered, Vista is a flop, Nokia is downgraded, Dell tries to staunch market share bleeding

and Dumbledore is no longer an option for Viv.

Condolence notes have been sent to Palm, Vista, Nokia, Dell, and Viv (the Dumbledore thing -- she's devastated).

Have a good weekend Munster Nation. Monday, we rock and roll.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Everyone thinks they can be an Apple analyst

Look at this wreck, written by a Team Munster-wannabe.

So novice Cullen (a college sophomore) ran out of runway on takeoff and augered in.

Cullen, at this rate you'll never win a coveted position as one of my Piper Cubs.

Anyway, I'm sending this over to Andrew for analysis -- just another "new-on-the-team" test. If he doesn't use the n00b stamp on you he's fired, plain and simple.

Hey n00bs: Time to sell or what?

AAPL is passing the n00b analyst targets quicker than an 8-core Mac Pro.

So, does that mean it's time to sell?

Had you n00bs made reasonable targets when I stepped up to the plate and crossed two hundo you wouldn't be in this situation. I hope your clients aren't too upset with you cause their GTC sells kicked in.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

PJ Vlog-o-the-day

This is how we know what we know. Teens are ditching the clothes and saving up for iPods and iPhones. Thanks Jeff. Nice tie (thought the jacket fit is not-so-hot).

The Berenstains prepare their twinkie defense..

to include in their next blackbook report to clients.

In last week's installment, the Bernstein Bears raised their target on Apple stock to a whopping $175.

Upon hearing the news Uncle Bear sold his shares.

Anyway, to make a long story short, Mama Bear is furious about the 'paw in the honey jar' rumors, and when last seen she was de-installing the candy and pop machines at the community tree house.

Stay tuned.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Nokia Strikes Out, Motorola On Deck

Look here. 

While Nokia was fretting over missing out on the foldout "clamshell" design back in 2005 (Motorola beat them to it) Apple engineers were already busy designing the Triple Lindy of smart phones.

Nokia and Motorola were looking only for fast balls, and they missed the slow curve. Zander better start cranking out a LOT more digital set top boxes to the cable industry, cause otherwise that nineteen dollars a share is looking mighty rich to this Senior Analyst.

Hellooooo Moto?

Fake Vlogging?

Paul is on my case about vlogging. Blogging is so 2005, he insists. Visual stimulation is where it's at, he says.

Me? Visually stimulating?

Well no, Paul chokes out, it's the pie charts and graphs that'll knock 'em dead.

So he shows me a couple of poser analysts droning on youtube, and fer sure, they are lacking Munster-type charisma. And then he shows me what that guy Pogue is doing at New York Times. Great stuff. But they're a media outlet I say. They've got an on-site $6 million post production studio. Besides, Pogue has real writers.

Well we've got Viv, says Paul.

OK Paul, but my ties are light-years better, and you know I'm NOT dumbing down on the ties (a senior analyst has to draw the line somewhere).

I mention we'd have to get the idea cleared through the higher ups. That'll take five years. Paul retorts that since Andrew is handling the paparazzi he can do battle with Mr. Piper and Mr. Jaffray. Not a problem, he says.

I just don't have time for it, I argue.

But Paul has covered that base too. "Gene, you can fake vlog during your daily fake commute, you know, while doing your fake driving."

He gave me this "how to" video on it. I have to admit one thing -- it does make good use of the neighborhood kids.

They're Still Following the Piper.

Lehman raised their target on Apple to $190 today. As usual they waited until the previous roadkill target ($160) had been driven over 10,000 times, just to make sure it was really dead.

Good job Mr. Blount. You win the "Zune of Analysts" award.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Getting my questions ready

for the conference call. The fine citizens of Munster Nation surely recall that Peter shut me down last time, but we made nice afterwards and he assured me that this time around he'll give me my due.

Viv wants me to make some reference to the Zune 2, but I'd be wasting my time with that, so I told her no (much to her dismay, let me tell you). Nope, I'll be focusing on iPhone, and maybe even that Apple TV... the sleeping giant of the Apple arsenal.

And the eps? Look for a buck-0-fiver.

Friday, October 12, 2007

GS does not mean "Geologically Stable"

Funny how the Goldman Sachs target upgrade on Apple triggered a 5.2 on the richter scale yesterday afternoon.

But don't worry folks. Count on Team Munster, located here in the tectonically boring midwest. No sudden eruptions, no plate shifts, and no hurricanes. Just the occasional tyrant tornado.

And now you have the answer to Cramer's perennial question ("Geno, what's a great analyst like you doing in Minneapolis?").

In fifty years, when New York, London, San Francisco and the rest go the way of Atlantis (no, this isn't a signal to short the market) I'll be at the world's financial center.

Don't believe me? Ask Al Gore.

You betcha, fixing our roads and bridges is just the beginning.

Goldman Sachs is so yesterday. Piper is skating to where the broomball is going to be!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

In case you weren't sure...

ANYONE can run for President.

So I get an email from Al Franken, the comedian running for Senate. He says he's got this idea, about a Franken-Munster ticket. Never mind that US Senators don't have running mates he says. He needs to be ready when Hillary gets the boot. He says he got this great idea while reading my blog, and anyway, he thinks the content is good but the writing sucks, and maybe he could send the SNL writers over and what do I think about that?

With me on his ticket, he says, his research team is sure he can win Dawson, Moose Lake, Eveleth, New Prague AND Wayzata. Then it's on to Pennsylvania Ave. post-Hillary.

"Gene, picture it: The Franken-Munster Decade!"

Now this beats all. Everybody wants to ride the Team Munster train to fame.

I rewrote Judy's job description, and over her protests she's been assigned to respond to these Munster celeb inquiries. Fortunately Andrew volunteered to lead the Paparazzi Distractor Task Force (PDTF), but only after I mentioned an alternate assignment covering Microsoft.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Berenstains Raise Their Target

Hey investors, papa bear says this new $175 target should be good for the day. 

Sister Bear's happy because AAPL is still rated at 'market perform'.

Don't worry kids. Sanford Bernstein is still offering free coloring
books to new clients. And don't forget to check out the interactive
fantasy storybook and virtual maze on their website.

Thanks again for the gifts and cards

AAPL was up another $7 plus last week, and I just wanted to thank Kyle for sending another Team Munster cap.

We've received many Munster caps, and I've been seeing them all around town lately.

Anyway, just wanted to express my gratitude for your loyalty to to Team M here at PJ.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Yared breaks the unwritten law

regarding Piper maintaining the highest target on AAPL.

Judy and Viv flew into my office with Georges Yared's Hail Mary half-attempt to pass us up this morning:

"The stock has been acting superbly these past two months and after the earnings conference call look for many analysts to move their price targets to $200 and higher. My price target is $200 and I am prepared to move it to $225."

My target is $211; Yared's dancing on very thin ice here. Plus his research basically sucks. But anyway...

So Judy says "heck, $225 ain't dramastically higher than our target" ( upon hearing 'ain't dramastically' Viv winces in pain).

"It's just nutsy cuckoo to flip out over this third rate guy," she adds (at this Viv groans and mutters something about 'nutsy' and adjective formation rules).

"I'm already over it," I say.

But the women, for some reason, aren't.

So Viv adds that we need to cut the guy some slack. "After all," she tosses out, "he has to overcome that unfortunate name . . . how many struggle with the 'initial Y' handicap in America?"

Judy rolls her eyes at that, but folks, it's true. Rumor has it Yared almost got tagged as special ed back in grade school. They hadn't met their quota and panicked when they got down to the Y's. He had to recite the Gettysburg address five times to dodge that fate. It left a mark on the guy.

Viv continues. "Golly, and anyway, who has a plural first name? He's not putting anything past anyone. One analyst, one brain. That's how it works Mr. George with an "s"!

By this time Judy has broken two pencils in her bare hands. "That's nutsy cuckoo Viv," she says, "I think he's Greek."

Viv glares back at her.

"It's ok," I say. "Really. Yared has broken free. I can't call these chumps "n00bs" and then not give them props when they step up to the plate and offer a real target like we do. And you know, they name children just like that up in Anoka."

Viv and Judy immediately snap to attention. "Yah?" queries Viv.

"It's a scary place . . . you know, the Halloween Capitol of the World and all that."

They laugh and head for the door.

Keeping the peace on Team Munster is all part of a day's work. It takes wit and humor and courage. And it helps to be a graduate of the Piper Samarai Team Building program.

Note to George with an 's' Yared: That tie passes "Munster muster" but here's a free tip: You can use Photoshop to eliminate the unsightly piece growing out below your wrist (cross platform but of course I recommend OS X). Viv blushed profusely and mentioned how it draws the eyes downward . . . and I didn't want to ask her anything more about THAT.

Then end is near

Doug Kass:

To sum it up: iPhone is a game changer, and I finally get what Apple bulls have been on to for awhile. That said, with the shares up dramatically both absolutely and relatively, I am late to the party for Apple as a short-term consideration.

1. Game Changer is my catch phrase

2. Run for the hills, Doug Kass is positive on aapl

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Team Munster Divides and Conquers

Once a month Team Munster does a "Channel Blitz" in Minnesota. There are four Apple Stores here so Viv, Andrew, Judy and I would usually each drive out to one. But now that we have Andrew I'm able to run operations from home. That way I can use my 24" iMac and have the team log in with iChat for live shots. Naturally I wear a tie in case anyone at the stores should see me, but below the waist I'm in my boxers. Being a Senior Research Analyst has its advantages.

For the most part things went smoothly, though Paul caught a little heat from security as he was spinning the 17" Macbook Pro around so I could see the whole store at the Mall of America. And the reports were astounding. The team found that all of the stores were at capacity for most of the day, and products are flying off shelves into those cool Apple drawstring bags and out the door like it's December.

Which brings up an interesting situation: What is Apple going to do about traffic during the
 holidays? Judy thinks people are going to have to make appointments to shop at the Apple Store, sort of like making an appointment at the genius bar. Andrew took it a step further and suggested that Pro Care may be upgraded to included guaranteed shopping times. I like his style.

Whatever they do, they're going to have to do something, because I think the fire marshals are going to get involved in a big way, I kid you not.