Archive for January, 2010

Amazon Kindle Sales Eclipse 3 Million…A Year Early

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Amazon just reported their Quarter 4 earnings at the end of the week and it came out that they have already sold over 3 million Kindles, a year before they were suppose to. The total is about 500,000 more than analysts expected they would have moved by this time in the year. Whoa!

The day the Apple iPad was unveiled, some friends and I were engaged in a discussion about the validity of its market and use to consumers. I was trying to explain that it would instantly become a player in the e-reader market. I cited the success of the Kindle as evidence of the power of people who read(my friends confessed to never reading anything and thus did not understand) as buyers of these types of products.

One person asked me how much the Kindle cost. I like to read the old fashioned way and have never even considered reading a book electronically. Thus, I had no clue how much it cost and said $50! Upon research this weekend, it turns out Amazon lists it at $259 or $489 for the DX version. I would never have guessed they would be able to sell so many at that price point. But I find it to be even more evidence that the iPad will sell very, very well.

Reports are already surfacing of the first strikes in what is shaping up to be a full out book war with Amazon pulling all Macmillan books from their shelves. Apple and Amazon going at it is bound to be interesting. My guess is Amazon is in trouble. Barnes & Noble is the least of their worries at this point.

I fully expect sales of the Kindle to slow. In the meantime however, the evidence that they have sold over 3 million units is strong and extremely impressive. A bit of a buffer against the competition if you will.

Amazon sells just about everything, not just Kindles. As a whole they should be just fine. I do have to wonder how much this iPad will hurt their mystique though. People look to the Kindle as a sort of gauge of the power of the company and if they start to lose e-reader market share it could really frighten shareholders. Then again maybe it wouldn’t. Their dominance of the online marketplace will continue, and that may be all that matters.

BlackBerry Magnum Prototype Video

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

The Cellular Guru took offense to people calling their picture of the Magnum prototype a fake and released this video to prove it does exist. I’m glad he likes to silence the critics because this is an awesome video. Let’s hope when the real iteration of this concept does drop it doesn’t contain that awful Surepress technology that scared CrackBerry addicts everywhere into revolting against the BlackBerry Storm.

And I Quote…

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

“Sweat plus sacrifice equals success.” Charlie Finley

Dr. Cornel West’s Note To President Barack Obama

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Princeton Professor, Dr. Cornel West came and spoke at my school last year. He is one of the leading public intellectuals of our time. Here he is presenting an open letter to the nation’s president.

DOJ To Allow Live Nation/Ticketmaster Merger

Monday, January 25th, 2010

As I was getting ready for class this morning my Dad called me to let me know that it was being reported the Department of Justice was expected to allow the Live Nation merger with Ticketmaster. While I was expecting the merger to eventually be approved, the timing could not be better. The market is shaky right now and both companies are holding steady but it only reasons to expect that the prices of these stocks would be driven lower if the market continued its down trend. Even news of government clearance probably would not have helped the stocks weather last weeks storm. The fact that news broke today signaled to investors that Live Nation was worth buying and the price rose 15%.

Now, I bought Live Nation around $4.50 a share in the Spring so it has essentially doubled in that time. Today was a great opportunity for investors to sell into the merger and take strong profits. At the same time, Live Nation is still a very good company and I believe has the ability to go as high as $15 in the next 6 months.

Has the buying window for Live Nation been missed? Personally I would have probably bought as soon as the merger was approved in the UK about a month ago. Nonetheless, the company is still good and I believe in what they do and the potential their services have. The reality is that now Live Nation and Ticketmaster will form a company whose only real competition is AEG. In other words, the company SHOULD be more dominant than ever and in turn should be an even more attractive company to own.

Anytime there is a merger it is important to be cautious as an investor. Many mergers do not help the stock per se because the potential of the merger actually does more for the stock than when the deal is completed, the 15% increase in Live Nation today is a prime example of this notion. It is unlikely the stock will go up 15% in one day again anytime soon.

Start a SUCCESSFUL Clothing Company

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Over on my blog Lurk99Cents, my partner Bruce Ackerman just posted some thoughts on a subject that is frequently asked to us about starting a clothing company. Bruce decided that he wanted to expand the response he sent in his email reply for anybody interested in the topic to be able to access and read. So here is what he said to the young company in a nutshell with some expanded add-ins. I will be tackling issues on the same topics later on here on my own website.

BlackBerry Dakota Pic?

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

This is reported to be an image of the upcoming BlackBerry Dakota. Talks about this phone began a while ago. It is unclear if this is a current picture of the prototype or not.

It basically looks like the BlackBerry Bold 9000 without a trackball or directional pad. I hope that this is the form factor because I like the size of my Bold and its cosmetic build. This phone is highly anticipated in the CrackBerry community. It is believed to be a full qwerty device that also features a touchscreen. The concept is not new but for Research in Motion it can be a game changing device. It has been a while since RIM came out with a new innovative device to excite the tech community. The Storm is at least 2 years old and was widely panned by Berry Addicts and mobile critics alike. Its Surepress technology is truly hit or miss with consumers.

The Dakota could signal RIM is willing to continue to push the creative boundaries with the BlackBerry line which could be exactly what the stock market wants to see. As of late the stock has been drowning in inactivity. While Apple is viewed as a great creator of new devices and mastering new products, RIM is viewed as faithful and reliable. Which serves well for profits, but not so well for investors who know that technology is driven by what’s new. RIM needs this device to do well. Hopefully it comes out sooner than later.

And I Quote…

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

“Citizenship in a Republic,”
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910-Theodore Roosevelt

Reggie Bush on Sunday

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Just in case you missed what Reggie Bush did to the Arizona Cardinals in the Divisional Playoffs Sunday here are his highlights. The move he makes at 30 seconds in has to be the best of the year. Nobody else in the league could make that cut. Reggie Bush is certainly not a bust. It is clear the Saints don’t use him enough. While this would seem like a major mistake on their part, all they do is win so it’s difficult to argue with their game plan. But make no mistake about the talent of Reggie Bush. Simply amazing.

Charles Woodson IS Defensive POY, Sorry Darrelle Revis Stans

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

There has been recent chatter about who should have won NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Most of this talk is in light of the Packers taking a first round defeat from the Arizona Cardinals while the New York Jets continue to rise. I just have to throw my two cents in on this debate.

I have watched Darrelle Revis the past two weekends and I gladly admit that he is probably the best cover corner back in the NFL. If Charles Woodson didn’t have the season he had then he probably does deserve the Defensive Player of the Year award. But Charles Woodson had a ridiculous season. 9 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles, and 3 touchdowns is quite a stat line. Charles Woodson is not the cover corner back he use to be. When he came into the league you could leave him alone on an island with any receiver and confidently believe that they would be taken out of the game. Revis is at that stage in his career and is probably one of perhaps 3 CBs in the league who can do that right now.

The thing is this, Charles Woodson is a complete defensive back. Darrelle Revis is a shutdown corner back. Woodson is the type of player who gets in on tackles and can be trusted to make plays in the open field on running backs, blitz the quarterback and get a sack, and of course get interceptions and pass deflections. Darrelle Revis just plays pass defense. That’s not a knock on Revis because that is all he really is suppose to do. But when somebody like Woodson fills up the stat sheet like that you have to give him the award. It just makes sense. Darrelle Revis agrees.

Health permitting, I can see Woodson having a second career as a safety after he becomes too old to keep up with receivers one-on-one ala Rod Woodson. He is complete enough of a player to do that and I think he could make the transition nicely when the time is right. Hopefully he can stay healthy long enough to do it.

In full disclosure I should point out that I became a Charles Woodson fan back in 1995 and thus had a 12 year run as a faithful Michigan Wolverine football fan before enrolling at the University of Illinois. Woodson is the only reason I became interested in them and I loved them for over 10 years solely on my admiration for what he did while he was there. So yes Woodson was one of my favorite players for many a year. But what I had to say on this matter was completely unbiased, obviously.