Category Archives: Episodes

Episode 34 – Apple’s Cash and Borrowing, Apple and the FBI

A quick note for listeners: unfortunately, on this week’s episode, Jan’s microphone suffered some sort of glitch and started introducing an annoying clicking sound which gets worse as the episode goes on. It only appears when Jan is talking, so it doesn’t affect Aaron’s side of the audio, but you may find it irritating to listen to. Unfortunately, it’s on the master recording of Jan’s audio, and so it can’t be removed. Our apologies for the audio issues, and hopefully we’ll be back to normal next week!

This week’s episode begins as usual with our news roundup, in which we cover the launch of Apple Pay in China, Indian regulators’ shutting down of Facebook’s Free Basics program in that country, and John Gruber’s interview last week with Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi of Apple. Our Question of the Week concerns Apple’s borrowing to finance its share repurchase and other cash return programs. We discuss the logic of this activity, why Apple does it, and Aaron even offers a guesstimate of how much Apple saves by borrowing rather than repatriating cash. Our other major topic today is the court order the FBI obtained this week which requires Apple to assist in unlocking an iPhone used in the San Bernardino shootings in December last year, and Apple’s response to it. Lastly, our Weekly Pick is a movie recommendation from Jan.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

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). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

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

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 33 – iMessage as a Platform, Twitter Earnings

We kick off this week’s episode with our usual news roundup. This week, our topics are 5G (and AT&T’s announcement on this topic earlier today), Apple’s rumored March event, and ASICS’ acquisition of the Runkeeper fitness app. Our Question of the Week is finally back after a two-week hiatus for earnings season, and this week we talk about whether Apple should turn iMessage into a platform, and what that would mean. The context here is the Asian messaging apps, such as WeChat, LINE, and Kakao, and the way in which they’ve built platforms around the core messaging experience. As this trend continues, the question becomes whether Apple needs to follow suit, albeit not as a business model but as a way to stay competitive. We talk about what this might actually look like in practice, were Apple to announce it, including user and developer/business features, and the potential for more social elements. Our last topic is Twitter’s earnings this week, and what they signify. We wrap up with our Weekly Pick, which this week is a video service recommended by Aaron.

As ever, there are links to related contents and various formats for the podcast itself beneath the embedded SoundCloud player below.

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). We also now have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

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

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 32 – Alphabet, Facebook, Yahoo Earnings

As usual, we kick off this episode with our News Roundup. This week, we discuss Microsoft and Amazon’s earnings briefly, including the rather counterintuitive investor reaction to each of them. Then we have a quick conversation about the positive video subscriber additions both Time Warner Cable and Comcast have reported recently, and why they shouldn’t lead us to question the cord cutting trend.

Our main topic today is Alphabet (formerly Google) and Facebook’s earnings. We discuss Alphabet’s new reporting structure and the performance of its “Other Bets” (something Jan wrote about this week on the Beyond Devices blog). We also talk about the fact that both these ad-centric businesses are investing heavily in non-ad businesses that have yet to deliver meaningful revenue, at significant cost, and why that might be. We also talk about the meaning of monthly and daily active user numbers, and the significance of each. To wrap up, we discuss Yahoo’s earnings and the state of Yahoo, as well as the challenges facing the company and its failure to reinvent itself under Marissa Mayer over the last few years.

As ever, you can find some links to related content and other information beneath the SoundCloud player embedded below.

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). We also now have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

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

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 31 – News Roundup, Apple Earnings

This week, we once again did our brief news roundup on several topic items, but then we spent the bulk of the time on Apple’s fiscal Q1 2016 earnings, which came out earlier this week (and skipped our Question of the Week and Weekly Pick features).

Our news roundup covered three items: the FCC’s move to open up the cable set-top box market, the disclosure of what are purported to be Google’s revenues from Android as part of the Oracle-Google court case, and insights from the earnings of the US wireless carriers.

In our discussion of Apple’s earnings, we covered the iPhone and guidance for the March quarter, what’s going on with iPhone growth and when it’s likely to turn around again. We talked about the significant foreign exchange impact Apple has been facing, and the fact that it’s been forced to talk about it now that its growth has slowed dramatically. We discussed Apple Watch sales briefly, talked about China and India specifically, and also discussed the iPad, Mac, and the potential for new products in 2017. Lastly, we also covered Apple’s new emphasis on its Services business and the power of its installed base (something Jan wrote about this week on the Beyond Devices blog).

As ever, you’ll find links to related content and various ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded SoundCloud player below.

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). We also now have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

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

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 30 – News Roundup, Media M&A, Apple Earnings Preview

This week, we again kick off with a quick roundup of a few news items, and we’re feeling like this is probably how we’ll start all our episodes going forward. One side effect is that many of our episodes will end up being a little shorter than before – closer to 45 minutes than an hour.

This week, the three news topics we discussed up front were Netflix’s earnings, reports that Apple is applying to open its own stores in India, and the launch on Wednesday morning of an updated GarageBand app for iOS as well as a new Music Memos app. We discuss each of these items briefly and highlight what we think are the most significant aspects. Our Question of the Week this week is about M&A activity in the video content world, and specifically whether big tech companies should expect to be able to fix their streaming video rights issues by acquiring media companies. The context here is the continuing reports that Time Warner might be for sale, and that big tech companies like Apple or Amazon might be buyers. Aaron dives deep for us on which assets are actually for sale, why someone might want them, and what else they’d get by buying one of these companies, as well as the potential downsides.

Our last topic is a preview of Apple’s earnings next week. We run through both what to expect and what to look for as Apple reports iPhone and iPad sales, highlights Apple Watch performance, and provides other tidbits for observers and analysts. As usual, we wrap up with our Weekly Pick, and this week Jan recommends a couple of game apps for iOS.

As ever, you can find links to related content and other useful stuff under the SoundCloud player below.

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). We also now have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

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

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 29 – News Roundup, Fitbit, Apple Betas

We kick this week’s episode off with a new format, which is a rapid-fire review of three news items from this week: IDC’s new PC sales numbers for Q4, Buzzfeed’s article about Apple removing itself as the sales middleman for iAd, and rumors that Time Warner is up for sale and both Amazon and Apple might be buyers. We’ve dropped our Question of the Week item for the past two episodes because we had so much else to talk about, but it’s back this week with a review of Fitbit and why its share price has taken such a dive lately. Our final topic is the beta versions of updates to all of Apple’s major software platforms this week, some of which involved fairly major updates somewhat uncharacteristic of Apple’s point software releases. As ever, we wrap up with our Weekly Pick, which this time around is a card game recommendation from Aaron.

Links to many of the items we discussed along with Aaron’s Weekly Pick and some other stuff are under the embedded SoundCloud Player below.

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). We also now have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

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

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 28 – CES, App Store Numbers, Netflix

For our first episode of 2016, we focus mostly on CES and the announcements made there. Jan was there in person, while Aaron followed the news remotely. We discuss the following trends and products, among others:

  • The rise of USB-C
  • Cars, technology, and autonomous vehicles
  • Fitness and wearables – Fitbit Blaze and Withings Thermo
  • Drones
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Headphones, including Apple’s reported moves here
  • 4K and Ultra High Definition plus HDR in TV sets.

We also spend a few minutes specifically discussing Netflix’s big international expansion news from CES, including Jan’s post from this week about the possible financial implications. Lastly, we discuss the new App Store numbers Apple released this week and what they might mean. And, as always, we wrap up with our Weekly Pick, a product recommendation.

As usual, lots of relevant links and other information are below, under the embedded SoundCloud player.

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). We also now have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

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

  • The Verge’s Bragi Dash review
  • The Thermo thermometer product page on Withings’ site
  • TechCrunch article on Quanergy’s solid-state LiDAR technology
  • MG Siegler’s two pieces on Bluetooth earpieces (1, 2) and Jan’s earlier piece on intimate computing for Techpinions
  • Jan’s post from this week on Netflix Everywhere
  • Jan’s post on Apple’s new App Store numbers
  • Jan’s post on why Apple should buy Netflix
  • Aaron’s Weekly Pick, which is a knife sharpener, on Amazon (affiliate link).

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 27 – News Roundup, 2016 Predictions

For our final episode of the year, we decided to focus on our predictions for 2016. We kick off the episode with a review of three news items from the past few days: the Apple management changes announced on Thursday, December 17th; the recent Morgan Stanley report calling for lower iPhone sales; and the open-sourcing of Swift and the related interview of Craig Federighi by John Gruber. Following a roughly 15-minute roundup of these news items, we spend the rest of the time discussing our predictions for 2016, starting with our predictions for Apple’s various product lines, and then broadening out to cover other industry trends and companies, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft. We hope you enjoy this last episode of 2015 – we’ll be taking a break for the weeks of Christmas and the New Year, and will be back the week of CES, which Jan will be attending January 4-7. Enjoy the holidays and we’ll see you in January!

As ever, the SoundCloud player is embedded below, and under that you can find a list of links relating to this week’s episode along with links to other formats for the episode.

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). We also now have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

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

  • Apple’s press release about the executive changes
  • An article covering the Morgan Stanley iPhone estimates
  • Apple’s press release about open-sourcing Swift
  • Craig Federighi’s interview on John Gruber’s Talk Show podcast, and the transcript of the conversation
  • Episode 2 of the Beyond Devices Podcast, in which we first discussed the open-sourcing of Swift and talked about many of the same topics covered by the Federighi interview.

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 26 – Pixel C Reviews, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Apple Shelving TV Plans

Note: links to the podcast on several services (iTunes, SoundCloud, Overcast etc.) are below the SoundCloud player – just scroll down. 

Our first topic this week is the reviews for Google’s new Pixel C tablet, and what they signify about the state of Android. We also talk about the overall state of the tablet market and (the lack of) tablet-optimized operating systems. Our second topic is the decision by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan to give the bulk of their wealth to causes they care about, which is the subject of our Question of the Week, “Is the Zuckerberg announcement really philanthropic?” We tap into Aaron’s expertise in the field of philanthropy and non-profit work to discuss the basics of various organizational structures and their tax implications, the pros and cons of the LLC structure the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has adopted, and whether the gift is likely to be beneficial to society. Our last topic is the reporting in the last 24 hours or so before we recorded to the effect that Apple may be shelving its TV service plans for the time being. As usual, we wrap up with our Weekly Pick, which this week is a game recommendation from Aaron.

As ever, links to related content and to the podcast itself on various services can be found under the SoundCloud player below.

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). We also now have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

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

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 25 – Christensen’s Theory, Apple Resellers, Samsung Mobile

We kick off the discussion this week with a conversation about Clayton Christensen and his theory of disruptive innovation. Specifically, we talk about the recent controversy about whether his theory has a monopoly on the use and definition of the term disruption and its application in the technology market, and whether it even works and applies in the consumer technology market specifically. Our second topic is our Question of the Week, in which we discuss Apple’s changing relationship with its resellers. Specifically, Aaron runs us through some of the differences this Thanksgiving shopping season compared with last year. The final topic is the change in leadership at Samsung’s mobile division this past week, and what it might signify for the future of the business. As ever, we finish with our Weekly Pick, which this week is a handful of applications for the new Apple TV.

The SoundCloud player is embedded below, and under that you’ll find the usual collection of relevant links and other information.

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). We also now have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

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

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.