Apple's Secret Weapon Investors Don't Know About

The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which Motley Fool senior technology analyst Eric Bleeker and chief technology officer Jeremy Phillips discuss emerging trends in technology.

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Neither Eric Bleeker nor Jeremy Phillips owns shares of the companies discussed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Research In Motion, Intel, and Apple and has bought calls on Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft, Intel, Apple, and Amazon.com, creating bull call spread positions in Microsoft and Apple, and creating a diagonal call position in Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (23) | Recommend This Article (30)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2011, at 7:09 PM, baldheadeddork wrote:

    Will everyone who hates all of the videos loaded up every weekend please raise your hand?

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2011, at 7:23 PM, garybutternut wrote:
  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2011, at 7:59 PM, Oldfool103 wrote:

    So, is all this just a case of shooting the messenger?

    (Apple to $500 and then it pays for my new Subaru. Meanwhile, I can watch the stocks my adviser picked continue to sink...)

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2011, at 8:51 PM, shanghaid wrote:

    Hand raised. :-)

    Anyone who didn't know about Apple's emerging price advantages learned this when the iPad first launch in early 2010. $499.

    Anyone who didn't know about Apple's brand power in China simply never visited China.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2011, at 9:39 PM, demodave wrote:

    Boy I'm torn. I love Apple products. Have (and owned) since 1984. Owned stock for a long while, too, so I am totally in favor of Apple going ever higher.

    But I also have to agree that these "analysis" videos are extremely weak. They do not look professional. They look like the antithesis of Jim Cramer's hate-spewin'. But they're just opposite sides of the same coin.

    Clarity, detail, fact-and-number-based analysis.

    That would be refreshing.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2011, at 11:15 PM, tzmmtz wrote:

    Both hands raised!

    Have to agree with the other poster about not looking professional. They could have made their point in 1 minute. Nothing new here that isn't old news. Come on guys...Think up some originality.

  • Report this Comment On September 25, 2011, at 7:39 PM, TMFRhino wrote:

    Hey baldheaded,

    Do you not like the content, the mix of video to regular articles, or just video in general?

    I realize videos not for everyone, but I also have heard back quite a bit of positive response from people who aren't as prone to reading finance articles that they learn a lot from these.

    I guess i normally really respect your comments and you place good feedback that I appreciate, so I wouldn't expect the usual Internet negativity with little constructive feedback comment from you.

    shanghaid,

    Well... Most people have never visited China...

    demodave,

    Sorry if you don't like the analysis. I frequently write more in depth articles about Apple that are posted on the site, but as I said above, people request a different mix of content so we've tried accommodating that. Again, I've gotten a lot of feedback from people saying we cover topics they don't normally think about... So I'm sorry if you don't find this compelling... But if you're a huge Apple fan you're probably also a lot more well read on the company versus the average investors.

    Best,

    Eric

  • Report this Comment On September 25, 2011, at 11:23 PM, Bujutsu wrote:

    Both hands raised here.

    I downloaded Motley Fool's mobile app for my iPhone and it is my main method for reading the articles.

    The application is great for the podcasts, but not for video. I waste more time clicking on the title of article after article where after a brief introduction I get:

    "Please enable JavaScript to view this video."

    Well, that isn't possible on Motley Fool's own app.

    Even when I get a chance to get in front a computer to finally watch the conversations, I find that the two people are unprepared. Shooting from the hip and they quite often don't have the exact data and figures to back up their points.

    The video comes off as very unprofession when compared to the individual articles which have had some thought put behind them.

    With the videos we have:

    "Now Apple... it... er... I mean... has a moat... which....er... you know... ah... a competitive advantage... that... er... ah... you know...ah... others... don't like have."

    While I do applaud the Motley Fool for trying new formats, I would certainly eprefer getting the information in a well written format rather than in a video.

  • Report this Comment On September 26, 2011, at 2:23 AM, TMFRhino wrote:

    Hey Bujutsu,

    Thanks for the feedback. We've worked on getting these to work across all platforms, and I thought this had recently been fixed... But I could look into that.

    By nature, we've been doing conversation style videos. I guess its kind of like Bill Simmons on ESPN - he has his longer written work, but his podcasts are usually more a longer discussion. He's not worried about all the specifics, since the broader idea is discussing a variety of topics from different angles. Yes, that'll mean exact figures can't always be offered, but... I think having a discussion about the broader point is more important (to me at least) and allows the conversation to veer into different areas. This is my extension of reviewing all the articles on the site, writing on Apple, and contributing analyst work at the company. I think our points about some of the specifics on Apple's pricing advantages, the coming threats to its varying products, and home entertainment opportunities in various videos are well ahead of the curve, and as I mentioned earlier have received a surprising amount of feedback from people expressing how much they learn from the series.

    So, sorry if its not your cup of tea and we are always working on producing better videos, but just wanted to offer a little insight into what we're trying out here.

    Best,

    Eric

  • Report this Comment On September 26, 2011, at 2:23 AM, TMFRhino wrote:

    Hey Bujutsu,

    Thanks for the feedback. We've worked on getting these to work across all platforms, and I thought this had recently been fixed... But I could look into that.

    By nature, we've been doing conversation style videos. I guess its kind of like Bill Simmons on ESPN - he has his longer written work, but his podcasts are usually more a longer discussion. He's not worried about all the specifics, since the broader idea is discussing a variety of topics from different angles. Yes, that'll mean exact figures can't always be offered, but... I think having a discussion about the broader point is more important (to me at least) and allows the conversation to veer into different areas. This is my extension of reviewing all the articles on the site, writing on Apple, and contributing analyst work at the company. I think our points about some of the specifics on Apple's pricing advantages, the coming threats to its varying products, and home entertainment opportunities in various videos are well ahead of the curve, and as I mentioned earlier have received a surprising amount of feedback from people expressing how much they learn from the series.

    So, sorry if its not your cup of tea and we are always working on producing better videos, but just wanted to offer a little insight into what we're trying out here.

    Best,

    Eric

  • Report this Comment On September 26, 2011, at 2:40 AM, baldheadeddork wrote:

    Eric - thanks for asking.

    I don't like the videos primarily because I can't scan them. I have to watch the whole clip to find out if there's something substantive inside, and you make that worse by not offering any preview beyond the headline.

    If it's a bad piece or if it's fluff, I've wasted five minutes on something that I could have worked through in thirty seconds if it was written. What's worse, if you've packed it full of solid analysis I'm going to have to take notes to get it all. I would prefer to not do that.

    Next, and please understand that I'm genuinely saying this as constructive criticism, you don't have the chops to pull off what you're trying to do. Being entertaining and informative on camera for five minutes about something like Apple's supply chain is insanely difficult.

    To make matters worse, you've got zero production tools to support you. You're banking on us watching you talk through one fixed camera shot for five minutes. No graphics, no supporting video clips, and (again, not trying to be a jerk), Jeremy Philips is feeding you intros for your monologues instead of asking the questions that can create something interesting. He's your CTO, I know he has some real expertise he can lend to this, but it comes off like both of you are more focused on getting through a take than what you're saying and how you're saying it. The camera is overwhemling everything else.

    And that gets to the worst part of all. A tech analyst sitting down with a CTO to talk about the issues in the sector has the potential to be really great. It doesn't have to be overdone - hell, hook that mic up to Dragon Naturally Speaking and just transcribe picking each others brains about whatever the topic is.

    I don't know what the site gets from a video clip versus a written piece, but if you have to do this _please_ write a summary for each piece in the lede so we at least have an idea of what the clip is about. Labeling it as a video in the piece would also be very helpful. I do a lot of catch up reading on the weekends and it would be a big plus if I could sort through the stories and then come back to the videos if I want.

    Thanks again for asking, and I hope this was helpful.

  • Report this Comment On September 26, 2011, at 2:45 AM, TMFRhino wrote:

    Bald,

    Definitely very helpful. I mean in the most respectful way that I appreciate your comments, and I'll do my best to incorporate this feedback into future productions.

    -Eric

  • Report this Comment On September 26, 2011, at 11:28 AM, Bujutsu wrote:

    Eric,

    Sorry, I wanted to write a better comment above, but I was constrained by the amount of time I could get in front of a proper computer to leave a comment.

    I complete agree with everything baldheadeddork said above. He hit it right on the mark.

    At the very least a transcript of the videos would help in that it could be read by users of the app and readers could quickly scan it rather than watch the entire video which can be frustrating if ti is not done well.

    In comparison to podcasts, I'm a regular listener to MF Money and Market Foolery and enjoy both. I feel the questions by Chris Hill are more direct, the analysts are better prepared, the discussions more focused, and the transitions at the beginning of the show, between questions, and at the ending more professionally done. Although there is humor, it is always pulled off well and adds to the discussion.

    I think it is good to hear different angles on a topic which you referred to, but when the different angles are coming from the same person, it comes off as the person doesn't have a clear focus and that turns listeners off. Different angles from different people with good support for their clearly spoken views is much more natural.

    In comparison, take a look at the videos on Morningstar. The conversations are excellent. Jason Stipp asks well-though-out questions and his guests' answers are clear, well-supported, and succinct. I'm never left wondering what the point of the meandering conversation was. There is also more than one camera angle, natural transitions, etc. It doesn't have to be expensive as editing video on a Mac is literally child's play these days with excellent results.

    I hope this is helpful to you. As an SA subscriber I do care about the level of professionalism of fool.com and unfortunately I have never felt that this series of conversation videos lived up to the MF standard.

  • Report this Comment On September 26, 2011, at 1:36 PM, TMFRhino wrote:

    Thanks Bujutsu,

    Sure, very helpful. I think by nature, talking about something like HTML5 disrupting App Stores (etc) will be a bit more unfocused, but the point is very much taken we meander a bit too much. Its definitely next on the agenda to get these looking better and keeping each video to a shorter timeframe that's tighter.

    Really do appreciate the feedback.

    Best,

    Eric

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2011, at 12:01 PM, lastcardjb wrote:

    Correct on these videos, I don't have 15 minutes to watch someone beat around the bush, if you have something of value to say- say it. i don't need personal history, etc......... If I am on Motley Fool I know this stuff, respect the opinion and don't need the dross.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2011, at 12:35 PM, HappyDog777 wrote:

    As long as the foolishness of the Federal Reserve leadership, the do-nothing Congress, and illegitimate President Obama continues destroying all vestiges of economic recovery in America the stock market is at a uber-high risk situation for investors. Case in point... AAPL stock price started bouncing around after Steve Jobs resigned, and when it appeared the price might rebound I repurchased shares...then the very same day the price fell again and is now off about $16/share. That's poor performance for a high demand premium stock.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2011, at 3:08 PM, mwallace2775 wrote:

    Two more hands up, here. I think the reason I'm not a fan of [this particular] video (I don't watch many videos) is because halfway through, Mr. Phillips summed up in one sentence what Mr. Bleeker took half the video to say. It was difficult to stay with the video as I found my mind constantly wandering, wondering what the bottom line was going to be. I like to be able to skim through an article to determine if it warrants real perusal (which most Fool articles generally do) and just click my browser's "Back" button if it does not. One instance of a picture not being worth a thousand words... Thanks for the outstanding content on basically everything else y'all publish.

    -Matt

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2011, at 4:18 PM, rae13164 wrote:

    Amen to the commentaries above; summarize the critiques by the letter of someone or other (too lazy to google it) "I apologize for writing such a long letter; I didn't have time to write a short one."

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2011, at 6:00 PM, jazzmminister wrote:

    These videos are the most boring strung out ways of imparting practically zero information, while trying to get you to sign up for more and more expensive services. I think they are junk and should be junked.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2011, at 7:00 PM, 123spot wrote:

    I enjoy the videos. Some learn better by reading, some by hearing. Having a combination of both accelerates my learning curve. (Writing, ie taking notes, is the third method of integrating information into understanding). I like the conversational tone and particularly enjoy the enthusiasm and give and take of presenting then summarizing. I find you professional, yet casual--a great combination in my opinion. Fool on guys. Thanks, Spot

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2011, at 10:56 PM, gwalk22 wrote:

    Why is he shouting?

  • Report this Comment On October 03, 2011, at 3:28 AM, 650nm wrote:

    video comments:

    Eric Bleeker's delivery needs major improvement. Very uneven and a bit wild. He comes off sounding like a college freshman taking a first turn at radio, which is a bit of a turn-off. It reminds me of the Turk brothers podcasts, where the dipping and swinging speech distracts from what is being said, which, similar to here, is not much.

    There is very little reason to deliver this info via video. Others have already said it: anything useful would have been easily scanned in no more than a minute.

    I walked around the room while listening to the video, so why couldn't this have just been an audio podcast? Again, the voice was difficult to focus on. I found myself unintentionally tuning out Eric's wild intonations.

    Still, this is better than the MarketFoolery podcasts, which amounts to little more than a bite of information delivered by a bunch of guys laughing and chumming it up for a few minutes.

    I hope you understand that these criticisms were meant to be candid in the most constructive way possible.

    Additionally, I would actually suggest you guys simply skipped the video, opting instead for audio with the transcript on the same page. The video is only eating up your bandwidth (and mine, while I am mobile and/or in China), adds nothing to the message, and provides unneeded stress to the presenters.

  • Report this Comment On October 03, 2011, at 5:12 AM, scrn3 wrote:

    Fool Team! Please: You should post a transcript or stop posting videos. Think about bandwidth and those without large access to internet. Thank you.

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