Post of the Day
August 9, 1999
Apple Computer Folder
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OK, time for some more thoughts on AAPL...
After reading about the upcoming Jobs keynote at Seybold August 19th (?correct?) and a keynote in Paris at an Apple convention in September, I started thinking (dangerous thing BTW):
What does Jobs have up his sleeve next?
Then it occurred to me that I never had such thoughts a few years back. The rate of new or upgraded product announcements back then was painfully slow. Now, they seem to come at us like karate kicks from Bruce Lee (where did *that* analogy come from??).
I remember two specific moments during the MacWorld keynote that hit me so squarely in the eyes I nearly went blind.
Think back to the instance when Jobs unveiled QTTV--was I the only one who said, "Where the heck did that one come from!?"
OK, now for memory #2. Fast-forward to almost the end, when we all thought the speech was over and the iBook was pretty darn cool looking.
There. In a RDF (reality distortion field) moment like all others, Jobs walks to the other side of the stage and wows the crowd with untethered internet access. Bravo!
But that wasn't the second moment, folks. Here we all thought Apple had done plenty to justify the delays and rumors about the iBook.
Then we get AirPort shot at us full speed. Zing!
It was a fantastic moment for me. My jaw dropped. My neck hair stood on end. My co-workers all ran in to administer CPR because the scream from my office was "that loud." Here's Jobs telling the world that Lucent has been developing this AirPort thing for the past year and no one basically new a thing about it. And, it's faster than most ever imagined, etc., etc.
Which brings me back to the point of this rambling post: We ain't seen nottin' yet. Not even close.
I shudder to think at the "items" Jobs and Co. have planned for the near (and distant) future. We already know a few of them:
-Mac OSIX (better known as OS9)
-the Apple Store
-Akamai (all should read the Wired article on them from two issues ago on the web--it'll answer most questions discussed here recently)
OK. So at least we think we know the "roadmap."
But here's the fun part for me. Remember what the past announcements have been like and then remember this: Apple is firing on all cylinders right now. But don't be fooled (lower-case 'f' BTW) --anything we think we know is only half the story or less.
G4 Servers? This alone has the potential to be something so beyond our collective scope of thinking we my never see Apple in the same light again.
AirPort? Let's put it this way: The "major carriers" are going to be begging Apple to allow them to fly in and out of this jetway. Runway "Revenue" clear for take-off!
Akamai? Hit "Reload" on this Fool page and see what the dynamic URL flashes on the bottom of your browser--this is one powerful company and Apple has plans with them. Big plans.
I love to look back at the past (I do this with magazines like Fortune or Business Week too) to see if history was right--or wrong. Did they spot the trends? Did they filter-out the duds? Did they see the potential before anyone else did? Did they execute?
And so it is with Apple. The past was quiet and bleak with nary a hopeful cheer in sight. Now, it's a holiday every 3 months. This isn't boring stuff like, "Oh, and we fixed all the bugs in this latest OS patch." No, no. It's huge announcements like AirPort and QTTV. It's major alliances with content providers. It's Jobs sitting with AOL on a board for IM standards. It's a 10%+ market share and growing. It's copy-cat iMac's.
I humbly submit to you that Apple is going to blow the doors off the computing world in the next year or so. Not with what they already have out there (that 4-square grid--now filled--isn't the end by any stretch) but...
with "stuff" (for lack of a better word) that we never even knew they were doing. Not secret stuff, just innovation and that "extra" something that made the iBook not just a cheaper version of the PowerBook, but something revolutionary.
I've mentioned my views on how AAPL is "executing" many times here. Let's add to that. Apple has finally moved beyond PREDICTABILITY--Apple is now "invisibly executing."
We can't see it, we can't hear it, and we can't predict it. They are inventing the future again. And at a pace that makes this investor very, very happy.
I love surprises, especially ones that show me that a company has a brain and knows how to use it. Apple is truely a Growth company trading at a Value price. Pick up some shares if you get the chance. This sleeping guerilla is waking up and will VERY hungry!
Have a great weekend. Lurkers, type away. I'd love to hear from all of you.