Scott Moritz Full of Ca-Ca. Again.

For those of you just tuning in, financial “analyst”, Scott Moritz of theStreet.com, has proven once again that he doesn’t know jack when it comes to Apple, how the technology sector works, or even the stock market. Moritz first spread rumors that Wall Street expected Apple to sell upwards of 1 million iPhones in the weekend launch of their new product. This despite the fact that no one but Moritz himself had circulated that figure to the press.

Then, later when Apple dropped the price of the iPhone, he reported that the move was because the iPhone wasn’t selling as fast as “some optimists” (read Moritz himself), had expected. According to Moritz, Apple dropped the price to keep sales brisk and catch up with Wall Street’s sagging expectations. More factless speculation on his part, especially since the iPhone eventually hit 1 mil units in just 74 days.

Now we can say with absolute certainty, that Moritz was full of crap on at least one other report he filed. On October 17th 2007, 9 days before Leopard went public, he reported from theStreet.com that Apple would be shipping an ultra-portable 13-inch laptop as a companion to the operating system launch. Do you remember Apple announcing a new 13-inch MacBook on Leopard’s launch day? No, your memory isn’t fading. You didn’t just happen to miss the news that day. Moritz’s prediction never happened.

Not only did it not happen, there was no reason to ever believe it in the first place. Apple has never announced new hardware in tandem with an operating system release. Never. And why would they? Jobs wouldn’t risk overshadowing an OS launch that has taken years for Apple to develop, test and ship with that of a flashy new sub-notebook or powerful desktop computer. Any “analyst” who tells you differently is blowing smoke up your ass for some reason. As I’ve speculated before, I suspect Moritz is either very bad at his job or is intentionally trying to manipulate Apple’s stock price. Either way theStreet.com needs to grow a spine and get a new Apple expert. All investors of AAPL need to know is anything that comes out of Scott Moritz’s mouth or published in his columns isn’t worth the time it takes to watch or read it.

Disclosure: I own stock in Apple Computer.

Is Thurrott Laughing Yet?

A full six months after the hugely successful launch of Nintendo’s innovative Wii game console, PC and Windows “analysts” Paul Thurrott published a predictable piece about how Microsoft’s XBOX 360 was the console to beat. Despite Thurrott’s own “concerns about the 360′s reliability” he still felt that consumers would choose the XBOX over both the PS3 and especially the Nintendo Wii. He remarkably advised that except for parents with very young children, all others should “skip out on this console”, and called the Nintendo Wii “a joke”.

It’s now seven months later and the Wii buying season is upon us for the second time. The funny thing is, people are still lining up to get their hands on a Nintendo Wii. This weekend, I went to Best Buy here in Greensboro to finish up my Christmas shopping and arrived a bit before they opened at 10am. What I found was a line of about 50 people waiting outside the store. What were they waiting for? Had they braved the chilly morning air since 7am to snap up an XBOX 360 and a copy of Halo 3? Not in the least. The majority of these people were waiting to earn a chance to take home one of 18 Wii’s the store manager later told me had come in for the week. As I walked past the line I was reminded of Thurrott’s column and knew I couldn’t resist the urge to say “I told you so.”

In the span of less than a year, Wii sales have far outpaced those of the XBOX 360. I challenge you to walk into any electronics or toy store today and walk out with a Wii. People still can’t easily get a hold of the console, even though Nintendo ramped up production to 1.8 million units a month. If the Wii is a joke, then it’s one Nintendo’s laughing all the way to the bank. Depsite Microsoft’s success with Halo 3, Nintendo is making money hand over fist with each Wii sold. Not so for Microsoft, or especially SONY’s PS3, where margins are miniscule.

The Wii has once again secured Nintendo’s place in the halls of gaming history and proven that flashy graphics and all the cash in the world don’t make up for innovation, solid game play and word of mouth. Best of all though, it has shown that like many things he writes about, Paul Thurrott doesn’t have the first clue. I’m looking forward to playing Super Mario Galaxy over my holiday break and I hope all those people waiting in front of Best Buy this morning eventually get to play too. If you’re still on a quest for a Wii, remember to keep an eye out for one for Thurrott. After he takes his fifth or sixth XBOX back for repairs, maybe he’ll start to give Nintendo the respect they so rightfully deserve.

PS – I’m already bookmarking this gem that says Super Mario Galaxy sales figures won’t live up to expectations. With this kind of crack analysis from TheStreet.com, you know it’s got to be reliable.

I Believe

… 8 days of rest are bad for professional baseball teams.

… I never want to have to choose between fires, mudslides or earthquakes.

… in Bigoot Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster & the theory of Atlantis.

… Apple is the most valuable computer maker in the world.

Scott Moritz couldn’t “analyze” his way out of a paper bag.

… there is only one OCTOBER!

… Halo 3 is overrated.

… Digg is a double-edged sword.

… Hiro is his own father.

… chemists know their puns.

… people regret re-electing George W. Bush.

… watering golf courses during a historic drought is a mistake.

… “Deal with it!” is my new favorite TV catch phrase.

and

… Kirk > Picard.

Schadenfreude ala Apple

Ask Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch or anyone who’s dared to stick their neck out on Survivor, and they’ll tell you being at the top is a dangerous place. As often happens in technology, industry and reality TV, the higher you dare to reach, the more people will want to see you fall. Judging by the flurry of negative reports published this week about Apple, Steve Jobs must be doing something VERY right. The sheer number of “analysis” by so-called experts, dealing with the iPhone price cut has reached deafening proportions, and almost all of them take pot shots at my favorite computer company.

How bad can it be? That’s what I asked when the usual suspects published their typical bullshit about Apple following the “Beat Goes On” special event on Wednesday. TheStreet.com’s Scott Moritz was back in classic Apple bashing form with this whopper:

“The move will add more evidence to the speculation that the iPhone, while causing quite a buzz, may not be selling as rapidly as some optimists had expected.”

Lest he forget, the only “optimist” that said Apple would sell more iPhones than were expected was Mortiz himself. A fact that he’s never actually admitted to or apologized for. TheStreet.com was just getting started however, as this piece from Marek Fuchs proved:

“Now, if you can name a product in the annals of commerce that was introduced to great fanfare and shortly afterward had its price slashed to ribbons where that worked out to be a good thing, well, do let me know.”

I hate to break the news to you Marek, but there are plenty of examples of similar price slashing, and one even comes from the cell phone industry. The ultra-popular Motorola Razr dropped more than 1/3 in price within the first six months of its debut, and although the iPhone dropped faster, I suspect it’s simply because the iPhone was ten times more anticipated (and sold ten times better) than the Razr.

I’m pleased to write that it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Apple this week however. In an enlightend piece from NYT piece on Friday, Saul Hansell cuts through the crap and actually discovers the real reason for the iPhone price cut:

“The central rule of technology is that the unit price drops sharply with volume. If Apple sold more than it hoped, then it would achieve scale faster and would be able to drop prices sooner. Apple’s introduction of the iPod Touch, using many of the same parts as the iPhone, gives it an even bigger checkbook to brandish in Taiwan to secure good supplies at good prices.”

Hansell aside, it’s a sad state of affairs that outsiders like John Gruber and myself, have a clearer picture of what’s going on here than the people that write for Wall Street’s largest publications. Apple set the iPhone’s launch price high because they knew gadget lust would be ridiculous. It’s the basic law of supply and demand, and Apple played it perfectly. They knew that people would bitch about the price of the iPhone prior to launch, but that hundreds of thousands would pay it just the same.

With the successful launch of the iPhone, Jobs was able to reduce the iPhone’s entry price to levels below any similarly equipped smart phone on the market. These new price levels virtually guarantee Apple a very merry Christmas buying season. Despite this clear and agressive strategy, all Mortiz, and others such as Dvorak and Robinson can come up with is “The iPhone is DOOMED!”. This second rate analysis is almost as funny as Britney Spear’s supposed come back.

So all you so-called “experts”, do me a favor and keep publishing those Apple hit pieces. Your collective efforts drove AAPL down far enough that I could pick up more shares that will eventually, inevitably rise to $150 and help pad my retirement. Steve and I thank you.

UPDATE: Gruber thinks Mortiz is shorting Apple stock, and I agree 100%. He’s got another tissue of lies masquerading as factual reporting today. Moritz says that “Optimists had figured the price cut and product shuffle, while sudden, was part of a bigger plan to make way for a higher priced 3G iPhone on the eve of the holiday buying season.” Wanna take a bet as to whom the “Optimists” are in this scenario? Can’t be Apple or any real customer base, because no one has ever said that 3G would be available on the iPhone this year or even next. That leaves one person… Scott Mortiz. Break out your duck boots people, we’re knee deep in bullshit.

Street Trash

If you are unfamiliar with the recent flap over TheStreet.com’s reporting of Wall Street’s so-called “whisper number” for the iPhone sales launch, take a minute and go read this post over at OneButtonMouse. Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait.

I was content to let this story lie thanks to the great post Anthony had written concerning Scott Moritz’s seemingly fabricated 1 million unit mark that was “whispered” to TheStreet.com prior to the iPhone launch. I had written to both Moritz and his editors and vented my frustrations with his piece. In addition, John Gruber’s Daring Fireball and even MacNN had brought attention to it. Well, today I spied a new story from these financial wizards that I just couldn’t let pass.

Today, writer Marek Fuchs has a new piece up called “Can’t Get a Clear Signal on iPhone Sales“. What’s the story about you ask? Well, it’s about how there’s confusion on just what the expectations were towards how many iPhones Apple would sell in the initial launch. That’s right folks, TheStreet.com is now claiming that it’s impossible to tell just how the iPhone did this weekend because analysts’ public estimates are different from the so-called “whisper number” that Moritz reported on after the launch on Tuesday, July 3rd. The “experts” (and I use that term loosely) over at TheStreet.com know they were the ones spreading the FUD of expected sales of 1 million units, and were called on it. Now they’ve decided to cover their asses with a piece about how no one can really know how many were sold. I particularly love this bit from page 3:

“First, when it comes to such a well-hyped product, never base your decision on one article. If you do, The Business Press Maven will come to your house and put you in time-out.”

In other words, don’t listen to what we reported to you last Tuesday, just listen to what we’re telling you now. Never mind that Mortiz’s report possibly depressed stock prices early in the week and made investors second guess AAPL, never mind that the 1 million number seems to have come straight from the mouth of a competing cell carrier, and above all, never mind the fact that TheStreet.com was the only one to report the number, and only did so after the launch. All these facts should be ignored, because after all, it’s a whisper number! The problem with whisper numbers is that no one is accountable for them. They’re like gossip on the wind that no one can trace back to its source. For all investors know, Mortiz might have just as well pulled the number out of a hat.

Despite all the fear, uncertainty and doubt that TheStreet.com generated this week, AAPL weathered the storm quite nicely and gained in value an average of 7.8%. For all the nay-saying about the iPhone from various sources, Apple has proven that they can, and did generate unparalleled interest in the iPhone. Gizmodo reported this week that the 1 million mark was in fact met in the form of iPhone activations. In addition, Bloomberg reported there were more iPhones sold in these three days than the über-popular Razr sold the entire month of its launch. That’s what we in the business call street cred. Maybe Scott Moritz and company should get some.

Disclosure: Being the huge fan boy I am, I own stock in Apple. Duh.