Thurrott Daily: January 28

Thurrott Daily: January 28
This is what it’s like to be me.

Good morning. Here are some tech tidbits from around the web.

1/28/2016 10:58:14 AM

Microsoft Earnings: What to Watch

Microsoft reports its quarterly earnings tonight, so I’ll be analyzing that for Short Takes tomorrow. Here’s a quick peek at what the WSJ expects.

Analysts expect Microsoft to post sales of $25.3 billion, down from the $26.5 billion posted a year ago … Analysts will be on the lookout for any change in momentum [in cloud services] … A key question for the second quarter is whether Microsoft can continue to outperform the rest of the shrinking PC business … [And] the company has not been disclosing Surface unit device shipments, but any commentary about the health of Microsoft the computer maker will be closely watched.

New Microsoft app: Ringtone Maker Beta

Microsoft has delivered a Ringtone Maker Beta app for Windows 10 Mobile, though a version for PCs is expected soon too. Here’s the official description.

Ringtone Maker beta

Seriously, that’s the description. But it appears to be a UWA version of the Nokia Ringtone Maker from Windows phone days.

New features available in Xbox Beta app for Windows 10

I already wrote about this in Microsoft Reveals the First Set of New Xbox One Features for 2016, but the new Xbox Beta app for Windows 10 has now been updated, so you can see the new features for yourself.

Which are:

  • Avatar Store
  • Xbox News
  • Improvements to Trending
  • Suggested Friends
  • Activity Feed
  • Compact mode for Xbox Beta app

New Insider build 16.0.6528.1008 is available for Office on Android

The Office Insider Program tweeted about the availability of a new Office for Android version.

New Insider build 16.0.6528.1008 is available for Office on Android. Join the program and tell us what you think!

Deconstructing Apple’s quarter

As you might expect, there’s been a lot of analysis of Apple’s recent quarter. Much of it is contradictory. Some of it is downright hilarious. Some is illuminating.

Apple isn’t as rich as you think it is

Apple reported holding cash and investments of $215.7 billion … There’s just one problem — Apple’s cash isn’t free and clear for investors to cash in on. Apple has been piling on debt over the years – even faster than cash is growing. Apple ended last year with $53.2 billion in long-term debt, which is up 64% from the same period a year ago … [and] 93% of Apple’s cash is held overseas, says Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. Much of that cash would face U.S. tax rates if returned to the U.S. – which is a big reason why Apple is borrowing money.

iPhone lost market share to Android in every major market except one

Once again, Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors the secret of iPhone’s sales success was “Android switchers.” But … Kantar published some new data on iOS vs Android today. Android switchers may actually be in decline. [And] Apple lost share everywhere except China.

Speaking of which:

China’s consumers deliver for Apple—but for how long?

Apple now gets two-thirds of its revenue from outside the U.S. “If there’s a banking crisis that crushes the economy [in China], all bets are off.” But in a possible sign that even Apple is hedging its bet on China, Cook’s quickly changed the topic to India — which has a younger population and lower smartphone penetration than China, and where Apple boosted sales 38 percent. “India is incredibly exciting,” Cook said.

Apple’s Stalled Revenue Growth Puts Focus on Prices

iPhone sales are projected to decline in the current quarter, for the first time since the phone was introduced in 2007. That prompted questions to Chief Executive Tim Cook from analysts on a conference call Tuesday about lowering prices … Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said higher prices played a role in the company’s forecast that revenue will decline … For now, Apple seems focused on expanding revenue by other means.

Cramer: We’re valuing Apple with the wrong number

Cramer thinks the brand loyalty for Apple is so great customers won’t switch to another company. So maybe Apple doesn’t need to worry about peaking phone sales. Maybe it just needs to keep selling more devices, and let the service stream do the talking. “By this time next year, it wouldn’t shock me if that service revenue number becomes the key metric, especially with the iPhone 7 right around the corner,” Cramer said.


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