Monday, December 1, 2008

At Apple - internal crisis

Today, to any outside observer, it is obvious that the company Apple serious crisis of governance. And he was not due to failures and not the world's financial turmoil, but precisely the contrary - stunning success of Apple products in recent years.

apple crisis centereEven in summer and early autumn of this year against the backdrop of excellent sales and elegant financial condition of Apple, just exactly the place the company experienced a few unpleasant moments associated with the sharp fall in its shares. And, revealing, they were all linked to the persona Co-founder and head of Apple Steve Dzhobsa. More precisely, with the state of his health (Dzhobsu about a year ago, removed the malignant tumor of the pancreas). Now is Dzhobsu appear on a person not in the tsvetuschem as rumors start to crawl on his feel unwell. The last time Apple shares have collapsed, most recently, when spread information that Steve took Dzhobsa ambulance with a heart attack. Then, the truth, it turned out that this is hog-wash. But the very fact of telling. Many observers see the reason for such instability that investors remember the crisis of the company after the first resignation Dzhobsa. In a situation Dzhobs did not have to choose a successor as it was removed from the company after a wave of discontent co-owners. Now the business Apple is going well, but as a successor was not, or not. Not surprisingly, the increasingly voices criticizing this state of affairs. For example, a well-known technical analyst Ezra Gotteyl in an interview with the publication of PC World said that the departure of Steve Dzhobsa not be a disaster for Apple. According Gotteyla, «Apple does not need more of Dzhobse. He has developed three successful direction for the company - Mac, iPod, iPhone. In these areas the company is steadily growing. The company has a stable management team, they know what to do ». Indeed, now more and more Apple shareholders believe that business processes in the corporation should be designed so as not to depend on one person. Nevertheless, one, but a very charismatic figure Dzhobsa still largely successful company: any statement about the deterioration of his health sharply reduces the share price Apple. Against this background, increasingly recalls a second Co-founder «apple company» - Steve Wozniak. Formally, it does not work with Apple as much since 1987, but still officer and shareholder of the company. Recently, Wozniak gave great and very much scandalous interviews, which sharply criticized the current industrial policy of Apple.

But it is clear that in fact, criticized personally, Steve Dzhobs - a living embodiment of that very policy. For example, Steve Wozniak believes that the history of religious iPod players is nearing its logical conclusion. And sunset neminuem product and is already very soon. Quote: «iPod very long time, remained number one. Remember: with the transistor radio and the Walkman player was the same, and eventually they did not. This is all popular things: first, they are very expensive, then appear almost everyone, then recede and disappear, yielding place to new, more modern products ». Analysts that tirade about immediately noticed: indeed, the cost of earlier versions of iPod was several times higher than now. The first player appeared for sale in 2001 - when he had the hard disk 5 GB and sell for $ 400. Now for the same amount to buy iPod classic with 160 GB of memory, and the remaining $ 50 to spend on good headphones. However, comparing this with cassette player Walkman, Wozniak, perhaps mindful that the recent decline occurred not because they were «number one», but at the very fast moving consumer tapes from CDs. Now, analysts do not foresee any emergency death flash memory or hard drives, and Apple iPod continues to sell millions of copies each quarter. Do not leave Steve Wozniak on the sidelines and Apple iPhone - one of the latest products, which, again, it becomes cult. Wozniak criticized «closed» smartphone, saying that it prevents end-users. «Users can not receive from the product maximum if it is closed and is based on proprietary technologies». And this statement applies not only to the iPhone, but also to computers Macintosh. After all, they used it proprietary operating system MacOS, a system that all rights to use and copy of which belong exclusively to Apple. Moreover, referring to the iPhone, Wozniak focused on the terms of its distribution, when smartphones «compounded by» long-term contracts with operators. Of course, Steve did not fail to bring a counter-platform Google Android, is based, as you know, in the open code. Questions from reporters about new products Co-founder Apple replied that «no one, even Steve Dzhobs not know what will happen next». «Perhaps, Apple will release minutes iWatch», - joked Wozniak. But a joke that went quite bitter: Apple is criticized for the fact that the company «career» in the highly specialized computer industry, but now «down» to household appliances (for example, Apple TV). On the other hand, Steve Dzhobs repeatedly said that today's home appliances totally computerized, and remain aloof from the process, it would be foolish. Indeed, the same issues and the Microsoft Media Player (Zune), and telepristavki (Microsoft TV).

Another important point - a specific image of Apple. Everyone knows that «Apple Company» (like its products) internal to a «effect deringing», which analysts tend to believe one reason for its success. But, according to Voznyaka similar attitude to product and brand itself is not likely to have a positive impact on technological progress: «I do not like that, it has acquired certain features of religion. If you have a cult you can not change anything. I would like to allow users to decide what devices they want to see in the future. (...) I want our customers challenge us ». I recall that in previous times - in spring this year - Steve Wozniak criticized Macbook Air and Apple TV. Laptops do not like him because of the lack of DVD-drive and support network, and telepristavka - image quality and the fact that he took the film out, you need to watch for 24 hours. And one more nuance. For the first time - at least to my recollection - Steve Wozniak began to comment on the current slowdown in the IT-companies associated with the financial crisis and the prospect of a recession in the U.S. and Europe. Quote: «Perhaps for the entire computer industry it is time to slow down. Twenty years we were in the market, which is characterized by the desire to renovate and upgrade technology. But it is very easy to postpone to a later date against the backdrop of financial turmoil ». Well, speaking of the current Internet companies, Wozniak noted that the value of many of them seriously overstated, which could lead to another collapse similar to that which occurred in 2000-2001. Interestingly, in the words former allies respond Steve Dzhobs? For the final word is still behind him.

AMD: reproduction division

October 7, one of the most famous producer of microprocessors - the company AMD - announced its restructuring, which divided it into two companies. One will specialize in the development and design of chips, the second - to release processors. So AMD intends to reduce operating costs and increase their market share.

amd marketingThe company, which will release a chip, will be temporarily named Foundry Company. AMD, it will have 44.4% stake. Attachments from AMD it would be technology, intellectual property, patents, manufacturing facilities including two production sites in Dresden and related assets of factories. Headquartered Foundry Company will be located in Silicon Valley in the USA. The remaining shares of Foundry Company will be at the disposal of an investment company Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), established by the authorities of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). Advanced Technology Investment Company promised to immediately invest in Foundry Company $ 2,1 billion, with $ 1.4 billion of them will be invested in the organization directly, and the balance will be paid to AMD for some of its shares in The Foundry Company. In addition, ATIC intends to invest in a company for producing chips from $ 3.6 billion to $ 6 billion over the next five years. These funds will be focused on upgrading existing plants in Germany, AMD, as well as to build a new plant for producing chips in the town of Saratoga-Country (New York). In doing so, Foundry Company will be issuing processors, not only on orders AMD. The company also plans to produce chips for other developers and other users. This will allow the company to increase profits that can be directed to the development of new processors. In addition, Foundry Company will cooperate with the IBM Corporation in the manufacture of chips SOI ( «silicon at the detention facility») and 22 nm process. In IBM has been able to welcome the new player market.

Another company from Abu Dhabi - Mubadala Development - also intends to invest in AMD. In 2007, it had already acquired a 8.1% stake in AMD for $ 622 million it now expects to increase its share to 19.3%. In the future, Mubadala Development Company will be able to buy another 30 million shares of the new company. According to AMD Dirk Meyer, the news of the coming reorganization is the most high-profile statement the company in its history. «We will become more financially stronger company in both the short and long term», - summed up Meyer. Seats on the board of directors of Foundry Company will be divided between AMD and ATIC equally. In doing so, AMD will receive 44.4-percent share of the business and ATIC - 55,6%. Executive Director of the new company will Dag Grouz, currently vice president for production of AMD. In previous positions he takes. Chairman of the Board of Directors of AMD Hector Ruiz will also leave his current post to take similar in Foundry Company. After the restructuring, to improve its financial position, AMD focus on designing and developing chips for computers and graphics cards. Total of all actions AMD pay $ 1.2 billion debt, will receive $ 700 million from ATIC and - above all - still $ 314 million from Mubadala Development Company. This is one of the largest UAE investment company controlled by the government. «We are investing in AMD with enthusiasm, and for the first time», - both commented transaction Arab investors. According to market analysts, the current restructuring of AMD and the creation of a new joint venture - this is entirely the result of a strategy, embraced by the leadership of Hector Ruiz. It is anticipated that the restructuring will be completed relatively quickly for such a project - in early 2009. Officials from AMD are not yet comment on all published information.

Does this affect the restructuring of the business of producing video - is also unknown. However, the conversion must still be approved by shareholders and regulatory authorities of the United States and Germany. If that happens, as a result of the reorganization in the world market for microprocessors remains the only major player, independently and develop, and produce the chips - Intel. It would be strange if the Intel Corporation has used the situation and not «uschipnula» its main competitor in the microprocessor market. Almost immediately after AMD announced restructuring, the Intel officially announced that their corporation «had serious questions» to the company AMD on its dealings with the Arab investment firm ATIC. According to press secretary Intel Chuck Malloy, between companies Intel and AMD before the contract was made on cross-licensing, under which AMD Intel pays royalties. As Intel is interpreted as: «Intel has serious questions about the deal because it affects our agreement. Intel Corporation intends to vigorously defend our intellectual property ». According to Malloya, previously at Intel AMD asked the company to disclose an agreement with the investment company Advanced Technology Investment Company, but the latter did not.