The Deipnosophist

Where the science of investing becomes an art of living

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Location: Summerlin, Nevada, United States

A private investor for 20+ years, I manage private portfolios and write about investing. You can read my market musings on three different sites: 1) The Deipnosophist, dedicated to teaching the market's processes and mechanics; 2) Investment Poetry, a subscription site dedicated to real time investment recommendations; and 3) Seeking Alpha, a combination of the other two sites with a mix of reprints from this site and all-original content. See you here, there, or the other site!

29 April 2008

The customer always comes first

I have remarked about Going Private (permanent link in sidebar), but today's post takes the cake and the icing; loaded, as it is, with intelligence, insights, understanding, and wisdom. And all to share the writer's bullish perception of Apple/AAPL.

As you know, I have been bullish on Apple/AAPL for several years; Apple/AAPL has been a Core Opportunity for almost as long. No surprise, then, that I agree with Ms Private Equity.

"I admit, grudgingly, to owing an iPhone. I bought it in time (that is to say foolish - early enough) to have Mr. Jobs give me one of those $100 "Sorry I screwed you on the price" rebates. I also have to admit to owning a top of the line 15" MacBook Pro (I bought after the latest upgrades - watching a colleague run Excel on a Windows XP instance isolated from the rest of his system and displayed in a window on his OS X desktop was the last straw). Before that, I had two white, Intel MacBooks. This is unusual, because three and a half years ago, I never would have bought Apple. This last, that new Apple owners almost find themselves surprised to own an Apple, seems a common trait among the, admittedly small, sample of Apple owners I have encountered. I've watched four or five people who swore they would never own an iPhone give in, buy them and proclaim, in such similar tones one wonders if The Amazing Alexander works for Apple now ("I loved it. It's much better than PC. I am going to buy it again, and again and again..."), that it is the best phone they have ever owned. And this is where I began to wonder, why the near epiphany in reaction? Now I think I know.

Why this reluctantly amazed reaction among iPhone buyers?

Because the definition of "phone" created by hardware and network providers today is so limited.

Why have so many Macintosh buyers had the same reaction?

Because the conventional definition of "laptop" or "operating system" or "computer" created by hardware and software providers today is so limited. Because these companies hate consumers, hate their desires, hate their needs and, consequently, make sure that the conventional definition of, e.g., "laptop," or "phone" is very limited.

Why is this? I blame Michael Eugene Porter..."
This essay merits your attention on many levels, irrespective of whether you already are long Apple/AAPL, or bullish or bearish on the company or its shares (but with no position). The writer's irreverent wit, there for all to enjoy in this commentary, help make it the special treat that it is. That rare ability, to be both edifying and entertaining, and concurrently, makes Private Equity a must-read for all serious investors. And, of course, there are those insights!

Full Disclosure: Long Apple/AAPL.
-- David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist

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