The HTC Touch

September 7, 2007

Over the past several years, there has been a significant move towards the development of the mobile handset. For some companies, it has been a rewarding venture (Apple, Nokia) while for others it has been a struggle (Motorola, Siemens, Sanyo). A few that have been quietly changing the landscape of the handset market rather unnoticed such as HTC. WHO?

HTC is the Taiwanese company that provides cutting edge smart phone technologies. It was founded in 1997 as High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC). According to their own statements: HTC designs, manufactures and markets innovative, features for Smartphone and PDA Phone devices. Since its establishment, HTC has developed strong R&D capabilities, pioneered many new designs and product innovations, and launched state-of-the-art PDA Phones and Smartphones for mobile operators and distributors in Europe, the US, and Asia. These machines are available as HTC devices and as products individually customized for operator and device partners.

Just how are they growing? Well, let’s put it this way, F A S T ! Over the past few years, revenues have accelerated due to the Microsoft partnership. This little known company has been serving up an amazing array of top shelf communication devices.

HTC Revenues

The latest breed will run the latest Windows Mobile 6, which by most reviews is going to be a major step towards real competition to the RIMM Blackberry device (RIMM) . There has been some recent talk about the potential for Microsoft to purchase RIMM . But the critics of this idea have a great point: The incompatibility of the devices will not make for an accretive transaction, unless one is simply removed from the market. That is a hard thought to believe as the RIMM has become the device of choice/need for government and enterprise businesses.

The HTC Advantage has been said to be the fastest and most powerful Windows Mobile device available. It will provide benefits of a true mobile office along with better push email technologies. (Still not as good as Blackberry Devices though)


The outlook for HTC continues to be bright as the product line up is rather amazing. The TOUCH (yes the touch) is the latest in the touch-screen line ups that has been available in Europe and Asia. The big question is what does this mean to the iPhone and Apple (AAPL)? The obvious question is: Who had the name first? As we all know by now, Apple introduced the iPod Touch this week to muted fanfare. There will surely be a backlash as the argument over name and trademarks will ensue.

In the end, the HTC partnership for Microsoft has been a breath of fresh air as they have been struggling with design issues for several years. One word sums this up: ZUNE. Never the less, with the addition of the latest HTC smartphones and the Windows Mobile 6, Microsoft should be able to maintain a decent share of this market as it is estimated that upwards of 30 new phone models will have Mobile 6 operating systems by the end of 2007.

Several sources have estimated:

–Worldwide revenue for mobile phones is expected to total $117.5
billion in 2010, an 18% drop from 2006
— GSM phones made up 45% of worldwide mobile phone revenue in 2006,
smartphones made up 18%, and the remainder was made up by CDMA, W-CDMA, and CDMA2000 phone sales
— Worldwide revenue for the small but fast growing smartphone segment
grew 10% in 1Q07 from 4Q06, driven by the wider availability of 3G, which
unlocks the media application potential of smartphones beyond email
— In 2006, 20% of total mobile phone revenue came from North America,
34% from EMEA, 36% from Asia Pacific, and 10% from CALA
— The number of mobile subscribers grew 26% to 2.5 billion in 2006

The upshot for Microsoft is great, particularly as they gain share in the business market. With Microsoft’s profit Margin of 27.5%, ROE of 52% and a 5 yr EPS growth rate of 11.54%, it is still a company worth owning. Would we buy now? YES! Under $30 is a price that will help to bring over the next few years. Don’t expect for this to be a high-flier, rather a slow steady play.

Windows Mobile - Press Conference

Click for Windows Mobile – Press Conference



Spots and Starch or Stocks and Charts…

August 2, 2007

Just a quick question… When did the journalists become the experts? I thought that the experts were the ones that were usually the information source for the television and print stories regarding the market. I know I have asked about this before, but this morning it really struck name when on CNBC, (the financial mavens’ network) there was a roundtable concerning the market lead by Becky Quick, a CNBC reporter.

The three people she was interviewing were all media/press representatives. One was a writer for, one from Fortune Magazine and another from the Financial Times. While they are very close to the market action and all very smart, one has to ponder when and why the reporters have become the “newsmakers”.

Maybe the change occurred when the markets became invincible some time around 2006 and everyone became an expert – no matter how much they really know or not. But the real concern is the continual bullishness by some of the reporters. It seems that they have become part of the volatility rather than simply reporting on it.Shoeshines

What is next? Maybe the delivery people will be interviewed. Maybe the cameramen and the radio diskjocky’s will be giving us advice. Maybe even webmasters will have a position they should share. I cannot wait!

I cannot help to think about the stories about two very famous gents. One is Joe Kennedy, a rather famous and very rich fella who decided to sell his positions in stocks after a shoeshine boy gave him a few stock tips. He thought that when the shoeshine boys have tips, the market is probably too popular for its own good.

Then there was the famous discussion by one of the most famous investors of all time Bernard Baruch, when he reflected on the environment before the big Crash: “Taxi drivers told you what to buy. The shoeshine boy could give you a summary of the day’s financial news as he worked with rag and polish. An old beggar who regularly patrolled the street in front of my office now gave me tips and, I suppose, spent the money I and others gave him in the market. My cook had a brokerage account and followed the ticker closely. Her paper profits were quickly blown away in the gale of 1929.”

I hope that when I get my dry cleaning today, we only talk about spots and starch rather than stocks and charts.

New Voice and Comment System

July 27, 2007

We have a new voice and comment system for the site. It is easy to use and will allow for you to leave a voice message or comment up to 2 minutes in length. If you would like to have a question answered on an upcoming podcast give it a whirl!

Make sure you have a computer with a microphone….

Someone test it out to make sure it works… we need some voice mail….Testing 1 2 3

Look to the right sidebar under Message Me! Enjoy….


This is how the new system looks ( click to try )

CNBC Portfolio Challenge finds Cheating

June 12, 2007

CNBC CheatersIt is amazing that no matter what, there are those that will find a way to cheat the system. In an apparent technology flaw, players could actually trade after the market closed, profiting on earnings and other news releases. The ability to do so was recently uncovered as a few players became vocal when they noticed that several of the daily winners had been 100% accurate on all of their trades.
I am physically sick about this. First from the fact that there were many unknown contestants that may have been involved and second because of the hard work that I personally put in and the realization that the challenge is so incredibly filled with fraud. The biggest problem?:

The entire 10 weeks should be scrapped as the entire process is now tainted.

CNBC may need to rethink the entire idea of this and retroactively cancel the entire game. There should not be a winner of this as no one can ever be clear where the cheating stopped and started. All involved with the design and management of this should be ashamed! (Not to mention that it was always a shameless act of promotion by CNBC)

CNBC Investigates Contest for Cheating
Listen to this story...
Morning Edition, May 31, 2007 · The financial news network CNBC announced it is investigating illicit trading in its own contest, called the “CNBC Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge.” The CNBC contest had 375,000 entrants, or so-called aspiring moguls. They each got a fictional trading account and $1 million CNBC bucks. It seems some of them were tempted to cheat — even with fake money. The grand prize: $1 million.

According to NPR: The financial news Web site says it’s canceling the first round of its “Beat the Street” competition because of fraud. This comes a month after the financial news network CNBC announced it was investigating trading scams in its own contest, Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge. Contestants are speaking out about what went wrong.

No Stoping Gamestop

May 31, 2007

Gamestop (GME) has a simple model: Sell new video games and then eventually buy them back from people who have become bored with them. The real power is in the second part of the strategy. GME buys a used game for, about $5-$10 and resell it for $20-$30. The people who feel they need to purchase the newestGamestop Statisitics and greatest can also buy new games at full retail price. Then when they get tired of the game, GME will buy it back for $5-$10 and the cycle can repeat. (and repeat and repeat)

Estimate profit margin per transaction of the used item is at least 100%, far out pacing any other product they offer.

GME also sells new and used gaming systems. This way, they are able to promote video games on multiple platforms.

According to leading marketing information provider, The NPD Group, in 2006 U.S. retail sales of video games, which includes portable and console hardware, software and accessories, generated revenues of close to $12.5 billion, exceeding the previous record of $10.5 billion set in 2005.

The stock has run up during the past 12 months and Read more

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