Episode 9 – Apple’s MVNO, the Law of Large Numbers, Apple Music subscribers

This week, we talk about the reports (now shot down by Apple) that Apple was doing trials for launching a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), and the reasons why this might (and mostly might not) be a plausible scenario. Our Question of the Week (which starts at 11:35) tackles a term that’s often bandied about in relation to Apple but that few really understand, which is the “law of large numbers” – Aaron talks us through the real meaning and definition of that law, and why it isn’t really applicable in the way it’s often used in relation to Apple. He also talks about another similar concept called the Gambler’s Fallacy, as well as the history of very large companies. Our final big topic (at 30:18) is the subscriber numbers Apple released for Apple Music the morning we recorded this podcast – is 11 million good or disappointing? And our weekly pick is a singer/album recommendation from Jan.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson, @aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com).

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Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

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  • I really appreciated the Question of the Week discussion on this week’s episode. I actually thought the Law of Large Numbers was simply that reaching multiples becomes increasingly difficult as numbers get bigger (ie. that as iPhone revenues get massive increasing those revenues by 2x becomes harder and harder to do). It’s terrific to have had this mistake corrected. Thanks guys! I’m looking forward to next week!