On Jul 14, 2013, at 11:35 AM, Bob Miller <robmxa@xxxxxxxxx> wrote: > The new Apple is Nokia with the introduction of the Lumia 1020 all a reporter > needs is a 1020 to take, crop, edit and send images that rival the best > cameras. And soon they will have a tablet, laptop and phablet to do the same > with the same 41 MP capacity. Are we really supposed to take this seriously? Or is this just an opportunity to stir the pudding? I saw a few things this morning that may help to put Bob's comments into proper perspective. http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/07/thoughts-on-apple-and-google-talks-new-camera-trends.html Will Apple Join the Higher-end Camera-Phone Trend People are increasingly using either a DSLR camera or a smartphone to capture life's little moments. Small, cheap digital cameras are being replaced by the phones in everyone's pockets. This weekNokia introduced the Lumina 1020 with a camera grip. The new camera offers super high resolution pictures at 38 megapixels that you'll be able to edit on your phone. Stephen Elop, Nokia's chief executive, claimed "We want to take people on a journey from capturing pictures to recording and sharing their lives." Samsung introduced their design winning Galaxy 4S Zoom a few weeks earlier which combines an advanced camera with a zoom lens and smartphone. There are times like the summer in general, on holidays specifically and at concerts most definitely where a more powerful camera would be appreciated. Many people today own multiple iPods and multiple cameras, so it's not going to be a strain or a big leap for consumers to consider having another iPod or iPhone with a super camera. I love taking pictures and videos in the Rockies, but it's a little awkward at times. An iPod or iPhone with a larger display and camera grip would put my DSL to rest finally, especially with a zoom lens that is sorely lacking on today's iOS based cameras. Would Apple be copying others already on the market today with such devices? Not at all. Apple has been on record since 2009 concerning a possible standalone camera and have been working on various aspects of such a camera ever since. One notable feature is an electro-mechanical shutter control associated with "dedicated high-end digital cameras," according to one of Apple's granted patents. With Apple's Aperture software already in place, a higher end hybrid camera-iDevice is certainly not out of the question down the road. The question becomes: would you like to see Apple enter the higher end camera market? ----- It takes more than a dense CMOS image sensor to capture high quality stills and video. The lens is a very significant factor, which it appears is now gaining some attention, at least from Samsung (the Lumia 1020 has a fixed lens with digital zoom into all those pixels). But this story begs a very important question. Perhaps Deborah can follow up on this if she is following this thread. Why is it that the traditional video equipment manufacturers that sell to broadcasters, are not developing products that integrate improved features for professional videographers with smartphone technology? More than a decade ago, I predicted that future HD acquisition products would grow out of the professional still image market - i.e. DSLRs with high quality lenses and dense CMOS sensors would evolve to capture both high resolution stills and HD video (and beyond). One need only look at Canon's success with the EOS 5D in the professional videography market to see that this prediction was on the mark. In addition to the camera, the concept of "broadcasting in the cloud" will ALSO require a range of software that can be used to efficiently produce a finished news story, commercial, or local program. Where is Nokia today in terms of this kind of "infrastructure?" And how does this compare with Apple today? The only plausible answer lies in the relationship between Nokia and Microsoft. If there are tablets, phablets, and laptops in Nokia's future, it will likely be as the hardware manufacturing subsidiary of Microsoft. Meanwhile, Apple offers the entire range of devices Bob speaks about, and a range of software applications from consumer to professional that are being used by broadcasters, video professionals and professional photographers today - iPhoto, iMovie, Aperture and Final Cut Pro. The other story from this morning says volumes about this relationship and Nokia's future. This paragraph is particularly telling: Again, Nokia posted a disappointing $196 million loss during its latest fiscal quarter. Be advised that Microsoft has continued to pay $250 million to Nokia each quarter in "platform support payments." According to a recent regulatory filing, Nokia now owes a net $650 million in royalty payments to Microsoft. At the moment, Nokia is effectively a parasite suckling at the underbelly of Microsoft. At any moment, Microsoft could walk away from this deal, allow the parasite to die, and reclaim assets later on as the first creditor in line. Business is business. And this morning Microsoft announced a fire sale on Surface RT tablets, reducing the price from $499 to $349. So it looks like Bob is either stirring the pudding, or is underwater with a Nokia investment… Regards Craig Here is the entire Nokia.Microsoft story: http://seekingalpha.com/article/1548112-memo-to-microsoft-walk-away-from-nokia?source=marketwatch Memo To Microsoft: Walk Away From Nokia Jul 14 2013, 21:44 On February 11, 2011, Microsoft and Nokia announced broad plans for a strategic partnership. In effect, terms of the agreement intimated that Microsoft would ante up Windows software and marketing cash in exchange for exclusive access to Nokia hardware. On the surface, pun intended, this strategic partnership was brought forth in order to build out an integrated ecosystem rivaling that ofApple's iOS and Google's Android. After literally reading between the lines, however, the original strategic partnership agreement does seem to be one of the first happenings in a chain of coincidental events to ultimately deliver Nokia into the hands of Microsoft as an acquirer. Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, is a former Microsoft man. Last month, in June 2013, The Wall Street Journal and "people familiar with the matter" reported that Microsoft was in "advanced talks" to purchase Nokia's handset business, but the pending deal collapsed over price. The breakdown in these discussions may serve as further evidence that the Microsoft-Nokia alliance has been an abject failure. Going forward, Microsoft may consider quietly walking away from Nokia and abandoning the smart phone business altogether. As always, Microsoft shareholders are best served when Redmond executives focus on their core competency of licensing software to personal computer manufacturers. I am a Mac. I am a PC. Apple's timeless Get a Mac campaign airing between 2006 and 2009 still defines today's consumer electronics space. Apple personifies itself as a chic, yet eager to please hipster. Alternatively, Microsoft is a corporate drone and near relic that demands help simply to stay out of his own way. Juxtaposed against these advertisements, the blockbuster iPod, iPhone, and iPad releases burnished a halo effect at Apple at the same time that Nokia and Microsoft were effectively mocked as has-been operatives. As recently as calendar Q1 2012, Nokia was hailed as the world's largest handset maker, in terms of units sold. Today, the Nokia-Microsoft alliance is actually battling for survival against the likes of both fellow fallen star BlackBerry and the Google Android and Apple iOS duopoly. On June 28, 2013, research firm comScore released its report presenting May 2013 U.S. smart phone market subscriber share. The comScore data averages information for the three-month period spanning between February 2013 and May 2013. The Google Android-Apple iOS operating system duopoly is consolidating power -- as evidenced by a 1% increase in share -- to control a staggering 92% of the total U.S. smart phone market. On the handset side of the ledger, Apple and Samsung are the leading original equipment makers, with respective 39% and 23% shares of this market. Certainly, Microsoft's eleventh-hour turn to abandon Nokia at the negotiating table is largely due in part to failure of the Windows phone to gain and maintain traction within the smart phone market. Windows Phone Fail All challengers to the Apple iOS-Google Android duopoly throne now follow a maddeningly cyclical pattern. Prior to release, each new BlackBerry or Nokia handset is dubbed the latest in a line of "iPhone-Galaxy killers," that will revolutionize the smart phone market. Share prices of both stocks will rise sharply prior to and through the phone launch. The following quarterly report, however, will reflect disappointing sales and an earnings shortfall. Irrational speculators will then dump stock upon digesting what has now become inevitable news.On April 18, 2013, Nokia reported a $196 million loss for its fiscal Q1 2013. The Lumia was then an obvious disappointment and traders immediately sold off shares to $3.17 -- and a 13% loss on the trading session. For the first fiscal quarterly period ended March 30, 2013, Nokia reported record sales of 5.6 million Lumia Windows phone units for the quarter. This performance is more than double the year-over-year quarterly period in 2012, when Nokia sold only 2 million Lumia phones. According to Tom Warren and The Verge, Nokia has shipped roughly 20 million Lumia smart phones since the November 2011 debut of this product. During its latest second quarterly period ended March 30, 2013, Apple sold 37.4 million iPhone units. By every metric, the Nokia-Microsoft partnership is a failure -- because the Windows platform has yet to make any significant dent within the smart phone marketplace. Going forward, Microsoft should take its proverbial chips off the table. For Nokia shareholders, the threat of Microsoft financial backing withdrawal would throw this company into bankruptcy. Microsoft is now negotiating from a position of strength -- because Nokia brass refuses to adopt the Android platform, while Redmond executives openly flirt with and engage the likes of Samsung and Huawei Technologies as rival original equipment manufacturers. While leading this mating dance, Microsoft deal makers may even feint to quit while they are ahead, only to return to scoop up Nokia on the cheap as vulture investors. The Bottom Line Again, Nokia posted a disappointing $196 million loss during its latest fiscal quarter. Be advised that Microsoft has continued to pay $250 million to Nokia each quarter in "platform support payments." According to a recent regulatory filing, Nokia now owes a net $650 million in royalty payments to Microsoft. At the moment, Nokia is effectively a parasite suckling at the underbelly of Microsoft. At any moment, Microsoft could walk away from this deal, allow the parasite to die, and reclaim assets later on as the first creditor in line. Business is business. Nokia shareholders must be cognizant of the reality of this situation -- and should consider selling out immediately to avoid steep losses. Nokia closed out its Q1 2013 with $25 billion in assets above $20 billion in liabilities on the balance sheet. On a per share basis, $5 billion in net worth calculates out to be a mere $1.35, when divided above 3.7 billion shares outstanding. At $4.15, Nokia stock remains overvalued, especially after considering that this company posts no earnings despite the fact that Microsoft is effectively paying it to carry product. The balance sheet does include $6.8 billion in goodwill, other intangible assets, and property, plant and equipment. In theory, these assets must be written down towards zero, if they cannot be leveraged to turn real profits. Right now, Nokia is running on fumes, as it has been forced to lay off workers, consolidate real estate, and sell off securities to harvest cash flow and meet debt obligations. The Nokia Lumia 1020 launch event is set to embody yet another maddening cycle of frantic technology blog posts, unwarranted hype, awkward retailing, and sales performance disappointment come earnings season. Microsoft, with its $300 billion in market capitalization now operates with nothing to lose and can play for keeps. At any moment, Microsoft could walk away, allow Nokia to crash and burn, and re-enter the picture as a savior of proverbial scrap. As par for the course, Microsoft shareholders will still own a blue chip stock with minimal growth prospects that generates massive cash flow for robust dividend payments. Ironically, Microsoft could own Nokia for a song -- by doing nothing. At the moment, no other technology player will step up and call Microsoft's bluff for Nokia. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.