yeah, i’m kicking it off with a clue reference. i love that game. enough to own a t-shirt with the phrase “miss scarlet in the hall with the revolver” emblazoned across the front (on a side note, check out that link to threadless – they have a lot of cool t shirts, if you’re into that sort of thing). after all the tech news of this past year, i can’t help but think about the world’s major tech giants as characters from that very board game. there’s something going on all the time – who’s doing what to who? with what? what’s being hidden, and where? to win you have to keep your eyes peeled and tune your ears to whispers, and occasionally leak misinformation to neighboring players, just to keep them on their toes. at least that’s how we roll. and you always want to catch a glimpse of the secret envelope in the middle to see what’s really going on. especially since that envelope can give you the win. apple of course would be miss white. look at an ibook and you can pick that one up pretty clearly. google would be professor plum by my estimation, and you can fill in the rest with microsoft, sony, verizon, and at&t. yes i know there’s many more players in this game en masse, but they kind of fill in the gaps between.
unless you want me to break out clue master detective. then it’s on.
gaming, media, and communication is slowly (well less slowly now) but surely becoming one conglomerate mass media market, complete with industry guesses, blogger conjecture, and acquisition rumors. oh and the secrets. now then, after apple’s latest earning reports, one of their cards is shown and it’s pretty public that they’re sitting on $51 billion in cash (as per brian marshall, gleacher & co) in their fruity coffers. for those not in the know about how much money is considered a lot of money, that’s an insane amount. crazy insane is the industry term, i think. of course with that kind of information comes matching levels of output from the rumor mill. in recent interviews, steve jobs has hinted that his mad stacks of loot may be used if the opportunity comes along to shore up their strategic position in the macrochasm of computing. so what’s there to buy? some rumors indicated that netflix was on the list – which is something that would make sense for apple to buy. these are the people who killed blockbuster with their rental through mail system. moreover, a lot of their business is now done sans disc – as in streaming movies and media from your tv, ps3, and xbox 360 consoles. given the popularity of the iphone/ipad, as well as apple tv, netflix would indeed give apple the pure power and media libraries to facilitate more offerings to the consumer. but again, just rumor.
|playstation phone (engadget)|
a second rumor, sony, is a little more interesting. some people say apple was targeting sony’s gaming business, since they really don’t have any presence there. or maybe their hardware division, so they can have that cell processor that makes their ps3 run oh so smoothly. but it’s just not true. there’s no merit or evidence behind it. all of this hoopla was started by a pure speculative guess at barron’s by blogger eric savitz. i would post a link to the report, but the site seems to not be up anymore. though afterwards he put out a retraction of sorts: “in the piece i noted that the company could do something aggressive, like bidding for adobe, sony or even disney. but that was pure speculation. yeesh.” so who cares, right? apparently investors do – enough for an innocent blog statement to affect the market. from an unfounded piece of speculation, sony’s stock actually went up 3% given the prospect that they may become an apple property. it leveled out after a while, but still. THREE PERCENT just on potenial buzz. that’s just insane.
i’m not sure why analysts thought it held any weight. an apple-sony deal is clearly never going to happen. in addition to all the obvious reasons, there have been images roaming the interwebs of something we’ve heard rumors of for a while now – the playstation phone. this has to be sony’s answer to some critics’ opinion that the apple mobile platform is the next big area for gaming. while sony has had a lot of success with the PSP, that success didn’t fully follow into their PSP go device. with its shortcomings, even after their very public price cut, i don’t see their sales numbers for it jumping through the roof anytime soon, including the holiday season. but a PSP go-like device that runs on top of a phone running an android OS? i think there’s more than a few people would be interested in that. so why would apple want any piece of a company that’s adopted android, and thereby google – their arch enemy? they wouldn’t. unless they bought it to destroy it. so let me try my hand at messing with free markets – could this be why apple recently pushed back release of their white iphone 4? maybe it’s not because they’re having issues manufacturing as they report, but that they want to make it more game-able on release day to compete with the playstation phone. is this nothing more than misinformation? whispers and a stall tactic from the kingdom of jobs?
i’m sorry, let me take that back. i don’t want NASDAQ to go all nutty now.