Thursday, January 24, 2013

Morning Brief: Apple stock gets savaged because analysts are fools; newspaper and magazine app updates; online subscription company Piano Media appoints CTO

Once again Apple has reported record revenue and earnings, and once again the stock is getting hammered in after hours (and now pre-hours) trading. Why? Because it is all a game, played by folks who bat under the Mendoza line when it comes to forecasting. Those foolish enough to invest today in the market deserve what they get, which makes you wonder why anyone would want to go public and stay that way.

Apple stock dropped 46.5 points after their earnings report was released. That report showed that the company sold 47.8 million iPhones and 22.9 million iPads, both records. The company also earned a record $13.1 billion in profits in the first quarter of its fiscal year, on revenues of $54.5 billion – both were all-time highs and pretty much what most forecasters projected. As a result, a cash dividend of $2.65 per share was announced.

No matter.

Spreed released a series of app updates for the apps for MediaNews Group. The newspaper chain, founded by Dean Singleton, and now part of Digital First Media, outsourced the app development to Spreed and as a result all the apps are identical (and pretty bad, frankly).

The apps are for papers such as the Contra Costa Times, San Jose Mercury News and Marin Independent.

It is sad to think that newspapers so near the heart of Silicon Valley are forced to use simple apps that replicate their websites rather than explore the new digital platform.

Another newspaper that issued an app update has shown more leadership in digital, The Wall Street Journal. (the period is part of the app name), which with its last update moved in the Newsstand, issued an updated last night which fixes some crashing issues and reduces the amount of storage used by the app.

PCWorld's iPad edition, called PCWorld Digital Magazine (U.S.), also was updated last night, finally bringing the app up to iOS 6 standards. That certainly took a long time, don't you think?
A magazine I talked about last week, The Nimble Magazine, also issued an update (that was quick). The update fixes some subscription issues and the startup image.

The Nimble Magazine uses The Baker Framework and is published by Benjamin Rabe from Hmaburg.

The European online subscription payment systems company, Piano Media, this morning announced that it had appointed Stuart Ashford as Chief Technical Officer. The move, the company said, is an important part of the company’s integration of Piano Solo, aimed at individual publishers wanting to monetize their online content through paywalls.

Ashford, a South African native, worked for his own company in Johannesburg, before moving to the Netherlands, then Slovakia where he worked for Hewlett Packard.

Piano Media is based in Bratislava, Slovakia.

"Stuart brings international business, IT and management experience from two continents,: said Tomáš Bella, Piano Media's Chief Executive Officer. "We are planning to expand outside of our region soon and his breadth of experience really fits perfectly into our plans. His five years of corporate experience at Hewlett Packard in particular makes him a valuable addition to Piano."