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Guest Post: Apple Succumbs To Battery Chemistry?

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Sabregold1999

Apple Succumbs To Battery Chemistry

In light of the news that Apple is issuing a dividend with the stock flirting with all-time highs, it might be a good time to assess where Apple is with its two products, the Iphone and the Ipad. There is no arguing with the success of these products, but that is not the real story that needs addressing. The real story for Apple is battery chemistry and much like the automakers it fails.

Apple, like a lot of gadget makers needs new iterations to generate a buzz. If the newest product lacks significant improvements the growth model suffers. For Apple any and all great innovations on the hardware side will be limited, simply because battery chemistry, unlike Moore’s law, moves at a snail’s pace. Here is some evidence to show you the proof.

Let’s examine the latest offering from the IPad3. Apple was able to increase the size of the battery in its device by about 70%. It did this by engineering a more efficient internal set-up. It did NOT increase the energy density of the individual lithium ion cells. Why was all of this done? They did it for two reasons.

4G eats batteries and that new screen hogs power. So, without engineering a better set-up, the IPad 3 would have been much larger, instead of only slightly larger.

Why is this important? If you examine a laptop, there’s a reason why the battery is as large as it is relative to the device. The laptop uses significant power and lithium ion batteries are only capable of packing so much energy density into a defined space. Design engineers at Apple and Samsung know perfectly well, that asking your phone or tablet to replace that of your laptop comes with one big problem that no one has solved; namely, battery chemistry.

For a company like Apple, it truly is constrained on what it can do moving forward with the Ipad and the Iphone franchises. Computing power comes at a price in small packages and with the latest revelation that energy densities did not improve, an investor might conclude that the next iterations will have to contain extraordinary software rather than hardware developments.

Oh and it is for this reason that this author believes Apple is tackling the TV market next. Stay tuned.


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Tue, 03/20/2012 - 14:42 | 2274195 Hard1
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Buy this HOT stock

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:08 | 2274294 hedgeless_horseman
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Post moved to iFry at the request of Apple Marketing Dept.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:27 | 2274396 battle axe
battle axe's picture


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:02 | 2274554 dwdollar
Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:50 | 2274728 spiral_eyes
spiral_eyes's picture

iDon't give a fuck.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:58 | 2274750 Triggernometry
Triggernometry's picture

ipad3 has the same cpu as ipad2; the difference in power consumption comes from a display which has one million more pixels than a 1080p television, and a quad-core gpu to drive juiciness into said display.  Therefore I disagree that the only improvements will come from software, as the processor can be improved in the next iteration; not to say that software won't need revising.  Apple can squeeze a bit more, but is ultimately contrained by power density and intensity.

As a disclaimer- I do not own any Apple products or stock.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 20:23 | 2275345 UnderDeGun
UnderDeGun's picture

For some reason i cant see your point as it relates to the focus of the article. You can tweak the engine of a car but you aint gonna get many more miles without a bigger gas tank - especially as you are still towing the three-ring circus behind you.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:53 | 2274521 Pool Shark
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Battery solution:


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 20:25 | 2275352 UnderDeGun
UnderDeGun's picture


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 20:28 | 2275353 UnderDeGun
UnderDeGun's picture


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:38 | 2274446 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Bet AAPL turns over at $666 pps almost exactly.      

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 17:27 | 2274866 Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler's picture

How soon before the liberal Trial Lawyers Association coordinates a consumer product litigation strategy on behalf of the poor people who got burned  (the Apple Crisps) begins against the deep pockets, and the stock turns the other direction following a massive class action suit ?

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 14:43 | 2274202 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture

What is up with WTI?

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:33 | 2274337 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

I dont know whats up with the 5 minute WTI chart but youre not going to be paying any less for gas, thats for sure.

Some story I caught earlier about ICE stepping in with limits on oil and gas, I dont know, its all a total clusterfuck.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:37 | 2274686 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture

......aaaaand its alive again.



Tue, 03/20/2012 - 14:45 | 2274215 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

Maybe efficient programming will come back in fashion? The "just throw more hardware at it" philosophy of computing has run its course, I hope.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 14:57 | 2274266 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

Nah, just delve deeper into the compiler optimization flags.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:47 | 2274489 metastar
metastar's picture

My PC has Gigabytes of memory, inconceivable CPU speed, and way more than 640K of memory, yet my old fat DOS applications worked faster than many of today's best web apps. I can't believe how long it takes some of these things to load.

Programmers today have no idea how their bloated frameworks operate internally and would be completely lost if they had to write efficient code. So instead we crank up the capabilities of the hardware to compensate.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:54 | 2274530 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

Hate windows and it's bloated shitty software. Vista was prime example of this.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:59 | 2274757 12ToothAssassin
12ToothAssassin's picture

There is more money to be made with the hardware industrial complex.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 17:13 | 2274816 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

That is inherent in the design and nature of higher level languages, especially scripting languages and cross-platform runtimes/VMs, and with fancy GUIs, animations, graphics, and features in general. Higher level languages are essential to what computing is today. You know that.

Lynx is 4.3 MB with 2 dependencies, Links is 3.6 MB with 8 deps, and Firefox is 26.8 MB with 15 deps (i686 Arch Linux). It is not hard to see the progression of features and graphics.

It's Wirth's Law: "Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster"

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 23:53 | 2275782 Rynak
Rynak's picture

I don't know: High level VMs do require a high price, yes. But you see, the concept of a "VM" ..... the conceptual model.... isn't really something that bloats up forever. HL langs by themselves (excluding bloat of ever larger standardlibs).... require a high but STATIC increase of cost.

So, even considering lower efficiency of HL langs, i do not think that in the longterm they will be the main issue.

What will be the issue, is plain bloat of application features, programmer lazyness, libraries and giant frameworks.

Bottom line: While HL VMs do have a high cost, the cost of the VM itself is mostly constant and "one-time".... while the costs of what those HL langs are used for (including the stuff bundled with them), ever increases.

Basically, the longterm enemy really just is applications and middleware... not the machines that run them.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 18:24 | 2275037 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Moore's law says that while transistor count can double every three years, the software inefficiency will deteriorate at the same rate, yielding constant performance.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 23:46 | 2275773 Rynak
Rynak's picture

Moore's law is based on minituarization, that worked for more than 50 years... so it was taken as "this will work forever".

But if you look at processors in the recent 5 years... and compare amount of cycles per second... it doesn't look like x2 anymore every 2 years, does it?

And yet, real performance (ignoring software bloat) managed to stay close to doubling.

How is this possible? Answer: Recent improvements of speed, are no longer primarily related to minituarization.... but increasingly on better design.

So, it is hw design, rather than minituarization, that is currently keeping moore's law established - if it were just about minituarization, moore would be dead years ago.

But the problem is: Even though rethinking chip design is long overdue... there are dimishing returns to this as well. So, if in like 10 years reached near optimal circuit board based chip design.... what will rescue moore then?

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:46 | 2274484 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

If the demise of craftsmanship is any indicator, no.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 23:31 | 2275745 Rynak
Rynak's picture

While inefficient programming (mainly caused by the supposed "programmers"-department of corps, not really being programmers... but rather people capable of adding glue between "sofware-modules" bought from elsewhere.... which also is one reason why current software is so bloated: they just buy a bunch of "feature-collections", and then use SOME features of them... thus bundling an entire toolset, of which they only use like 10% of the tools)... while that certainly is the major reason for current computing efficiency...

....another one, especially on x86, is an inefficient hardware architecture. See, back in 1990, computers contained a bunch of highly specialized chips... there usually was a dedicated chip for graphics, one for sound, one for managing the entire flow of the chipset... and then a general purpose processor. Heck, even external hardware like floppy drives, came with their own processor and ram. Basically, it was more a web of autonomous interacting actors... instead of a central "god" managing and executing everything.

With the rise of the PC, most of this was thrown overboard: A central general purpose processor, that can do everything, but nothing efficiently, was used to basically manage and do everything: It would control disk-datatransfer, hdd datatransfer, currently usb-datatransfer, graphics, number-crunching, memory-management, sound, everything... a single general purpose chip, doing everything.

That surely made stuff cheaper. Now you only needed one central processor, to control the entire computer and all connected gadgets. Thus, all the other components of the computer now longer needed to be able to be "autonomous" as in capable of managing themselves.

It also made programming someway easier, because of lack of concurrency (if there are no other "actors", you in your program code only need to consider your own actions (single-threading basically).

However, as this architecture gained popularity, and speeds and features multiplied, it became slowly but continiously apparent, that this "one to rule them all"-model doesn't really scale well.

Why? Because it totally eliminates specialization and maximizes data-transfer latencies.

It eliminates specialization, because if a single chip has to do everything, it obviously has to be a jack-of-all-trades: Thus, it would basically do EVERYTHING less efficiently than i.e. a chip dedicated for a specific task. Initially, this was compensated via inflation: Just throw ever faster CPUs at the problem: Quantitative Easening. The reason why this at first seemed to work, was moore's law and minituarization: By building the CPU with ever better minituarization, the amount of computing power basically doubled every 2 years. Thus, the lack of scalability, and inefficiency of a CPU, got compensated by every two years getting double the amount of ressources out of nowhere.

However. Beginning at around 2006, this scheme - and together with is "Moore's Law" became to fall apart - for two reasons - One: Minituarization quickly approached physical limits. And now at 2012, circuit-board based CPU's are close to the highest minituarization that is physically possible (This is NOT merely a matter of going into "nanoscale"... reality to propaganda: CPUs ARE already nanoscale right now.... the brickwall you're trying to break, is that of individual ATOMS. And this is impossible to do with circuit-board style chips... to break it, you'd have to abandon the circuit-board design of chips - which is not merely a matter of some incremental technological progress - it would be a bottom-up revolution in how to design chips, with all past chipmaking research becoming irrelevant. So, it is not something that merely happens overnight. In case anyone is interested why the atomar level is a physical brickwall, i'll provide the explanation).

The second problem, is transfer latency... and discrepancy. CPU's get data as input, and then do processing on this data. However, memory - the thing that transfers data to a cpu - by now is dozens of times slower than CPUs. Basically, while CPU's became ever faster at processing data inside them, communicating with other chips (i.e. RAM) did not increase at the same speed. Which did lead to a weird situation, where CPU's in theory could process data incredibly fast, but unfortunatelly no one can transfer data to them that fast.

That the CPU in the current architecture has to control everything connected to a computer (instead of the parts being able to manage themselves) escalates this problem further: At this point, the speed at which the CPU can manage other components of the computer, does no longer increase significantly.... because, when a CPU i.e. wants to manage disk access, it has to communicate with a hdd controller, that is at the other end of the circuit board.

In numbers, it's like "i can do 2billion things per second, but communicating with anyone else than myself, happens at 0.1 Billion things per second".

How was this addressed? Well, by increasingly AGAIN making components self-autonomous.... we got GPUs, soundchips that can manage themselves, increasingly beefed up network-chips that can manage the network themselves, and so on. Oh, and CPUs increasingle get more physical registers and cache, so that they can actually do their stuff, without depending on other components (i.e. memory).

Basically, in terms of the overall architectural model, we're in the process of going back to 1990. The "Central Processing Unit"-based design, is slowly obsoleted.

Wed, 03/21/2012 - 02:16 | 2275963 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Excellent overview Rynak. Thanks.


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 14:47 | 2274222 undercover brother
undercover brother's picture

i don't know how many of you ever bought the first generation apple tv, but that thing ran so hot it would damage furniture, overheat nearby components and possible scorch your hands.   How about their laptops?  Users of certain aapl laptops, who placed them on their laps during use, suffered from "toasted skin syndrome".    I have to hand it to aapl's PR department for being able to turn a real public safety issue negative into a non-issue. 

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 14:47 | 2274224 i_fly_me
i_fly_me's picture

Just include a small gasoline engine with future models to keep you from being stranded with a "brick" far from home.  There, I fixed it.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:48 | 2274718 WeekendAtBernankes
WeekendAtBernankes's picture

Naw, the real answer is you have to buy two, and use one to boost power for the other.  The iPad^2

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 20:38 | 2275381 UnderDeGun
UnderDeGun's picture

Fly, u da man... err - fly. Keep buzz'n.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 14:49 | 2274231 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

It would be neat if the next gen ipad could partly get energy from new developments in solar cell technology.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:07 | 2274316 tmosley
tmosley's picture

You would need a fold-out solar panel.

PV isn't meant to be portable.  No point in shoe-horning it into consumer products like that.  It might work for an e-ink reader application that draws very little power, just not for reletively heavy applications like this.

If you really want to extend the battery life, you need to do some research into making metal-air batteries such that they are rechargeable for more than ten cycles.  Make that happen, and all our fuel problems go away basically forever.  Then we just have to focus on energy production.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:23 | 2274375 Mercury
Mercury's picture

I'd like to see them make a low-tech Ipad with decent computing power maybe but a black and white, lower res screen that could run for days or weeks  without a charge.

Start with one of those $10 calculators with the 1 in. solar strip that runs forever...and see how much better you can make it.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:36 | 2274439 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture



Go to bed, old man!

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:45 | 2274467 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

awesome idea. I'll hook it up to the ol' transceiver and the only thing that could take us offline is an electric hairdryer

(only half kidding here)

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:49 | 2274500 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Yeah good luck.  Might better have it come with its own compact, pedal-powered generator.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 20:30 | 2275364 MaggieL
Wed, 03/21/2012 - 04:06 | 2276018 Rynak
Rynak's picture

I own a lowtech e-ink mobile, and the only thing i miss, besides of awesome visibility and unreal battery power... is more pixels (mine basically uses the style of oldschool LED based displays.... which is a bit limiting (i.e. can't even properly get uppercase and lowercase letters).

Bottom line: HELL YES! And some battery please, that doesn't selfdestruct in a matter of 2 years, and doesn't spontaneusly explode. I don't need more power.... i need more quality and endurance out of the power i already have in my gadgets!

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:15 | 2274604 BreadnH2O
BreadnH2O's picture

shoe-horning at this point is correct but.... ...I think you're on the right track about energy production. You'll also note again with these carbon nano-tubes - Delta Heat!

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:31 | 2274414 exi1ed0ne
exi1ed0ne's picture

30 seconds of Googling. OK, 10 seconds of googling for this and the rest blowing digital raspberries at the NSA.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:35 | 2274433 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

The NEWTON comes with a full solar panel array...

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:47 | 2274490 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

...and a moon colony

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 20:43 | 2275396 UnderDeGun
UnderDeGun's picture

:whistle blows: :red flag flys into the air: The referee switches on his microphone and says, "Unnecessay use of bullshit. TW. 15 yard penalty and loss of down."

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 14:52 | 2274237 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

molten salt thorium ipad up next

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:17 | 2274353 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Use more silver! use more silver!!!

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:17 | 2274356 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Just imagine how much higher the stock would be today if the New iPad exploded when turned on?  

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:40 | 2274457 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

It would be freakin AWESOME! NSA would step right in and make it required battlefield loadout gear for every soldier.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 14:52 | 2274238 Dermasolarapate...
Dermasolarapaterraphatrima's picture

Better buy at the all-time high before it drops, right?

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 17:18 | 2274841 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Watch for the worm in the Apple.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 20:47 | 2275409 UnderDeGun
UnderDeGun's picture

Oh it is coming. And when activated you will see Apple fall from the tree and splash in a rotten glob when hitting the ground.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:01 | 2274241 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 14:52 | 2274244 ptoemmes
ptoemmes's picture

Kind of related, but I was chatting with a Motorola techincal type the other day and I did not realize that a non replaceable battery can be made smaller, or in this case larger, but in any case more efficient space and power-use wise than a replaceable battery.

May be common knowledge, but I always wondered about non replaceable batteries in portable devices - figured it was a potential rip.  But is seems to makes sense.  I suspect the device gets replaced well before the battery craps out and hopefully you won't have a too early battery failure.



Tue, 03/20/2012 - 17:39 | 2274898 MrBinkeyWhat
MrBinkeyWhat's picture

That is true, but only if the product cycle is very short. I still have a C 1996 Gateway Server computer online, and working...When you own the network, you tend to make it work till death.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 14:55 | 2274256 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

Battery technology is more virtually no change, then a jump.  Just how big that jump is or when it will be is anyone's guess.  Portable device compute chip manufacturers are throwing lots of money at ways to decrease the cpu's power budget, since it can be done in a more "three yards and a cloud of dust" manner.  Battery technology is more long bombs.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:04 | 2274302 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Bo, may he rest in peace, and Woody appreciate the reference.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:22 | 2274636 Matt
Matt's picture

I'm betting on Methanol cell powerpacks as the next step, although they require liquid refueling, they promise to provide great power and efficiency with very small size.

On the CPU side, Intel is building their 14 nm foundry, so we could see double the processing power with half the power consumption within a couple years.

IDK about screen technology; I assume there are efficiency gains, but everyone seems to be mainly focused on brightness, resolution, frame rates, etc, which all mean more power draw. would be nice if something like the iPad had optional ultra-low power monochrome mode.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 22:46 | 2275655 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

good for power because ambient light provides the regular illumination & actuation only changes the pixels then power consumption for the screen goes off.

Not compatible with existing touch-screen technology. Maybe a transparency-layer can be added to it but only if it doesn't get in the way of the Mirasol.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:02 | 2274289 MaggieL
MaggieL's picture

The next big thing in portable power may very well be ultracapacitors, replacing batteries both in cars and mobile devices. There have been some interesting developments on that front recently. 

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:16 | 2274350 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Thats what they said about the uranium batteries to...

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:02 | 2274290 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Any on fire I-PADs yet? Like the old mission impossible... In 6 months this IPAD will self destruct?

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:03 | 2274295 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

On, come on...television is sooooooooo...1970s.  Who even watches it anymore...?

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:50 | 2274724 junkyardjack
junkyardjack's picture

Exactly most people watch TV on their computer now.  You know it'd probably be a huge market opportunity if someone could bring a good computer experience to a television, something simple that anyone could easily pick up and know how to use.  I'm sure someone out there is thinking about that, nah couldn't be.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:03 | 2274298 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

It's those shitty made in China Rare Earth elements that are to blame.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:06 | 2274313 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

Yeah it sucks, but who does not love the internet and personal computing devices?

Oh yeah, centralized power hates and tries to destroy/co-op individuals with power.

Enjoy the HOT computing power and networking FiSHeS.

My world would be much darker without it.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:08 | 2274320 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I have noticed that the availability of wall sockets is not a problem in coffee shops and fast food restaurants where people use computer devices heavily in Hong Kong.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:03 | 2274560 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:11 | 2274336 ZeroPower
ZeroPower's picture

AAPL shares have missed this news, stock is up once again as no headline out of CNBC or CR seems to be taking it down.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:14 | 2274341 AmazingLarry
AmazingLarry's picture

After dl'ing OS5.1 on my phone last week the battery is now kaput by about 8 pm whereas before I never had a problem. Given all I do is read ZH and watch goat porn, but still this could be the iFail that takes this beyotch dow a bit.



Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:13 | 2274342 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I told them to use solar panels on the back of the new Ipads, but do you think they listened?! NNoooooooooo misters I'm to smart to listen to a genius. And look now what it brought them....

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:15 | 2274344 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

TV market....yea go ahead and try to beat Vizio flat screens for $200 bitchez.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:50 | 2274501 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

SD1 I am surprised at you: haven't you learned yet that isods will pay almost anything for a brightly coloured plastic case?

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:15 | 2274346 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Oh and it is for this reason that this author believes Apple is tackling the TV market next. Stay tuned.

Great, we'll soon be a zombie nation where everyone walks around staring into the TV they're forever holding in their hands.

iProgress no doubt.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:17 | 2274351 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

Hon Hai (Foxconn) has bought Sony factories in Slovakia

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 17:42 | 2274908 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Next up:  "Slovakians threatening mass suicide off the roof of their workplace factory"

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:15 | 2274347 DavidC
DavidC's picture

Yup, the market loves it, Apple climbing!


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:24 | 2274383 monopoly
monopoly's picture

There is no fear in this market. We have truly reached Nirvana. Just buy it all. No need to look at company profiles. Just buy it.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:28 | 2274398 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

It's been almost a day, where is somebody to tell me how low the vix is?

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:28 | 2274402 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

AAPL over $606 now...this has officially become comical.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:35 | 2274436 DavidC
DavidC's picture

Take a look at the weekly (or monthly, or daily) to see something REALLY comical. EXPONENTIAL!


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:41 | 2274460 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

yeah I've looked at those. It's just insane. I like the company and I use a MAC...but still...this is just insane.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:29 | 2274403 ivars
ivars's picture

AAPL is very close to crashing - all the telling patterns and worldwide hype plus superexponential growth:

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:30 | 2274406 monopoly
monopoly's picture

Actually TVIX is hanging tough. I am long that one. But that is it. Confetti for the rest outside of physical.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:48 | 2274410 ugmug
ugmug's picture

Apple is preparing the market for its next 'must have' product-

the iExtinguisher.

It comes with a built-in camera so you can document what's left of your iPad after it catches fire and burns up from normal use.

(...of course if you use the camera on the iExtinguisher it too will catch fire and burn up....)

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:31 | 2274412 BandGap
BandGap's picture

I interviewed at a place that makes the cathode material for car batteries.  They had had fires.  If the anode or cathode materials are not homogeneous when placed in a device, or if there are anisotrphies, you get some localized hot spots, and hot spots lead to localized chemical breakdowns that lead to more hot spots and so on and so forth. The battery field is being pushed and studied beyond belief.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:06 | 2274573 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Very few things compare with efficient, portable energy sources.

Especially when entropy is always right there waiting to punish the inefficient.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 19:37 | 2275257 smiler03
smiler03's picture

. "If the anode or cathode materials are not homogeneous when placed in a device, or if there are anisotrphies, you get some localized hot spots, and hot spots lead to localized chemical breakdowns that lead to more hot spots and so on and so forth"

This sounds like a vibrator.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:31 | 2274413 monopoly
monopoly's picture

Good one new. lol

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:33 | 2274420 DavidC
DavidC's picture

Errm, it's NOT the iPad3, it's the new iPad. One may conjecture why they didn't call it the iPad3, but it's not called that.


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:34 | 2274423 monopoly
monopoly's picture

I see targets as low as 650 and as high as 1,000 in 2 years. This movie is turning into a double feature.

Damn, ran out of popcorn. Be back.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:38 | 2274449 DavidC
DavidC's picture

Yup, that's the sort of thing they were saying about Gold in the early 80s when it got to over $880 - it then fell to below $300 before staring its climb again - and I know which I prefer of Gold or Apple.


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:34 | 2274432 FXPortent
FXPortent's picture

Truth be told, although everybody loves Apple. They are going to have be very price competitive in the TV market. The moment an Apple HDTV hits the floor of Bestbuys, every company will start cutting prices to box Apple out of the market.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:44 | 2274473 flacon
flacon's picture

I saw a DVD player at WalMart selling for $99. We are getting close to the products being sold for less than the materials that went in to make the product. And that business model won't last for long. 


Don't HDTV's use rare earth metals? 

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:52 | 2274513 DavidC
DavidC's picture

Or Raspberry Pis...


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:09 | 2274585 BandGap
BandGap's picture

Dude, I can get you a good DVD player at Sam's Club for $39.

And HDTVs utilize a number of technologies, but I don't think any of them involve the use of rare earth metals.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 19:48 | 2275280 smiler03
smiler03's picture


I've got you beaten! In the UK too, this includes 20% VAT

Only $23.78 (£14.99)

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:53 | 2274524 DavidC
DavidC's picture

I don't love Apple, I don't own any Apple stuff and I've no intention of owning any. I've played with the iPod and iPad (both belonging to friends) and got bored after half an hour.


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:46 | 2274714 Piranhanoia
Piranhanoia's picture

I still don't get that they are coming with a TV.  They only need to make something that connects to anyone's TV and have 1000% more sales of their product.  If they play to their specialty, it will be something that no one else can do, and it will work for everyone, now.  Why limit sales?

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:48 | 2274493 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Is this the part where I am supposed to care?

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:49 | 2274504 DoctoRx
DoctoRx's picture

At least Reggie, when he dissed AAPL 350 points lower in the summer of 2010, pretended to say something intelligent.  This is a pathetic excuse for a negative post.  Give it up, ZH.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 15:58 | 2274544 DavidC
DavidC's picture

People are buying into Apple as a stock because there is very little else to give a good return and they WANT to believe in something (Apple is good, Apple is God, Apple will go UP!). It's mania at the moment and needs a correction even if, ultimately, it does go over $1,000 (or whatever). However, people were saying the same about Microsoft et al and as they matured as companies their growth was nothing like as stellar afterwards. So will go Apple.


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:09 | 2274584 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Yeah, cuz we all know that Apple is more valuable than the rest of the entire retail sector.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:47 | 2274712 junkyardjack
junkyardjack's picture

Have you seen what the rest of the retail sector is selling, let me hop on line for a pair of retro Jordans...

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:07 | 2274574 FXPortent
FXPortent's picture

You can buy a PS3 for $250 that is not only a gaming console, but a Blu-Ray player as well. Not to mention that a PS Vita is better then an iPad 3 for half the price.

Apple shouldn't underestimate the competition in the TV market if they decide to venture there.

Very different ball game entirely, where prices aren't rigid and they always go down within a matter of months.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:49 | 2274723 adr
adr's picture

You also do not carry your TV around with you to show how col you are. Mac sales are garbage compared to even a crap PC vendor like Acer. Why? Because you can't show off your iMac like you can show off your iPhone.

Some people may overpay for an iTV but if you can buy a TV will better quality for 1/4 the price most people will go for the cheaper alternative. Most Vizio TVs are garbage but they outsell many of the big guys because of price. An iTV will probably start at $1500 for a 40" version and go to $3500 for a 50". Apple could try to be the first to market with a 4k TV but there will be no content and the picture will look like crap.

The only thing Apple can add to the TV is an online content service like iTunes. As much as streaming TV has started to catch on, it can't come close to matching cable and satellite offerings. Many people also like watching  TV on a schedule. Everything on demand at once just leads to absolute boredom and it becomes impossible to actually decide to watch anything.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 17:46 | 2274924 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

That's what they said when Microsoft went into the console game business.  Never underestimate the ability of a massive multi-national to flood a project with money until it eeks out a market share.  And Apple has $100 billion that they don't know what to do with...

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:08 | 2274580 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Barium Titanate Bitchez...

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:09 | 2274582 FXPortent
FXPortent's picture

Besides, Apple recently patented a hydrogen battery that lasts for "weeks".

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:11 | 2274588 KickIce
KickIce's picture


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:20 | 2274627 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Here is what I think...

Apple will continue to penetrate its main growth markets, primarily Asian.

Apple will address the TV video space by integrating it into its digital ecosystem.

TVs are dinosaurs and Apple will come out with the next generation of home environment media intersection.

apple will push its entire offering into the iCloud and will fully integrate OSX with iOS. Eventually it will reinvent the concept of desktop design. This is long overdue since the mouse user interface is dated.

Apple will pioneer the creation of a CGE, computer generated environment, for user interface. This means the manner in which we arrange and organize our content will change dramatically. The first adopters will be the younger generations that grew up on gaming and on line social . If you want to understand this, look at what your kids are doing with their friends online.

These are a few things that Apple will do.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:30 | 2274653 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

One final word on the iPad. It is now just called the iPad, not the iPad3, because they designed it and they know the technology is way ahead of the consumer curve. All the content generators will have to upgrade their output to take advantage of the enhanced display which is startling.

So, while battery design is very important, it is short sighted to think that the only thing for Apple to do is to ring their hands over battery life and conquer old school television.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:41 | 2274697 adr
adr's picture

16GB doesn't last too long with 2048x1536 worth of screen to fill up with content. I'm sure the carriers will love the data overage charges one streaming film will generate.

Apple shot too high this time. The internet is still a low resolution affair, youtube on the new iPad looks terrible. Even gaming beyond 720p is hard to find. Most the so called HD apps for the new iPad are still running far below the new screen's resolution.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 18:07 | 2274988 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I don't think they shot too, the price point is the same and there are plenty of people, such as I, use only the WiFi.

All the visually oriented content generators are loving it.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 16:36 | 2274682 adr
adr's picture

Packard Bell shipped their first Windows 95 PCs with a 3D computer generated living room environment that you navigated for different computing needs. There was a bookshelf for programs, an entertainment center that loaded games. An office desk to launch office.

Many people were turned off by any type of home computer because it was unfamiliar. This was an attempt to make windows, folders, and menus more accessible to computer novices. CG overlays and other types of navigation have been tried many times before. The death of the mouse has been called as many times as the death of the lightswitch. There is still no better interface than a mouse and keyboard. If you really want to control your computer with hand gestures, go right ahead. Try using any software that matters with waggle gestures.

Apple is not an innovative company. They are the greatest company in history at stealing others ideas and passing them off as their own.

99% of the innovations of the last decade were thought up by college students in the 1990s. Many of whom did not get the credit they deserved as predatory corporations like Apple and Microsoft stole the ideas and used their massive team of lawyers to gain patents and screw the bright young minds.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 17:16 | 2274711 kevinearick
kevinearick's picture

Apple Qe through front and back channel subsidies...

they blew up access to open source...went down the CIA path...and ultimately turned to Soros...

they are attempting to solve the MS prisoners dilemma problem...

just keep applying force...

in fact, place the entire weight of the empire behind it this time...

3rd time's a charm...

something about that VIX 15 pop...

it always comes back to G, and who does G turn to...

not GE, not NASA, and not NSA...

it's all about price discovery. So far, they are willing to pay a price equivalent to the value of Apple, to reconcile $600T, with no takers.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 19:26 | 2275223 snblitz
snblitz's picture

I will give Jobs the Apple ][.  Somehow it beat out better computers. 

After that was a series of flops until Jobs lifted the Xerox Star user interface and offered the MacIntosh.

Apple has not innovated but stylized.  There is a old book I think 60 years old now called 'The Waste Makers' about how when you can no longer innovate you switch to style.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 17:11 | 2274810 Maos Dog
Maos Dog's picture

About this:

Eventually it will reinvent the concept of desktop design. This is long overdue since the mouse user interface is dated.

I find myself pressing and grabbing the computer screen on my laptop after using a tablet for a few hours. The touch interface just seems really natural to me, and I can see a desktop screen that's touch and gesture sensitive being a big leap.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 17:09 | 2274777 jmc8888
jmc8888's picture

Two things can happen.

1. Decrease the process size of the components.  Every time the process shrinks, it consumes less power, and generates less heat.  (or find alternative low power components)

2. Increase the power capacity at a given size of the battery.


Some processors that a decade ago or so were top of the line can now be made and consume about 1 watt of power.  This is because such processors, with comparable transistor counts as the one a decade or so ago, are made using a much smaller process. 

So that's one end, except they are reaching the point where it is becoming very difficult with electrical leakage.  That's why they are using newer materials like strained silicon, even gold, to reduce leakage.  They're also trying to change the transistor. Intel's tri-gate transistor is one such way. 

The other end is the actual battery capacity.  Battery power (at the current rate of discovery with current level of captial expenditure to raise Battery Power) raises about 2 percent or so a year.

This is a major problem.  One that won't be solved without a major project to find alternatives.  This sort of leap is beyond that of coroprations.  While occasionally corporations can luck into a breakthrough, it usually is either a spin off from a gov't funded program or done hand in hand with gov't. 

Of course there's other alternatives, like black swans, that can affect things.  Like a wireless outlet.  Where the electricity can be beamed without a wire someone.  But good luck being able to beam enough into a laptop, or while a laptop (or ipad) is in a park, travelling on a subway, or whatnot.

They could also focus on other features rather than clockspeed, more cores, bigger display's, etc. Once they get it down to a certain threshold, maintain it.  They already pretty much do this, but at a much higher wattage level...that sometimes they go over.   Nvidia and probably ATI use a gigaflop/teraflop per watt measure. 

When Intel hit the wall with the Pentium IV, they started shifting focus away from clockspeed, since at the time this was the biggest factor in power consumption.  (now of course you have to figure all the cores into the mix).  But Intel and AMD have backed off the power consumption for gains gimmick.  Consequently that's why you have i7 processors that can easily be overclocked by 50 percent or so.  They got their gains from elsewhere, and lowered the wattage, especially per core.

There are many components in laptops, phones and whatnot.  Each piece needs to be better engineered to get it down, and we must over time, lower the thresholds, so we have a good computer, fits the pace of the software developement, while at the same time does suck more juice than we need.

So it isn't just battery life, but how far we pull future tech into today at the expense of energy needs to do it.  I think at some point, not that far away, we can afford to pull some of this back, at least when it is for mundane things like email, web surfing, basically all the stuff except raw computational power (think SETI or cancer research) or video games.

There is nothing wrong with either approach, it's just that not everything needs all that power.  Probably a better way to segregate things should be done.  This has been tried with computers that down shift their clockspeed, but it can get better.

OLED displays will lower wattage requirements for displays.  SSD or flash (can and in some instances) already have replaced standard mechanical hard drives.

But if you want to build a better battery, you need a major project to have that involved in the process.

My best bet. Space program.

Because guess what, people in space, need dense batteries...because 7-11 ain't around the corner. 

So to overcome the needs to be successful and relatively safe in space, a much better battery is required.  Thus I could easily see as part of the space program, a program to increase the power density of batteries.

Apple has 100 billion dollars.  If private business was to do this sort of shit, that they barely but sometimes do, now would be the time.  What else are they going to spend the money on, stock buybacks?  If Apple was so great a corporation, or even just one interested in maintaining iteself (it's never crashed before has it lol) then a project like that would be a good path to go down.

Of course NASA could do it with a much bigger picture in mind, and perhaps by focusing on somethng much bigger, they aren't spending all that money like Apple may make, based on the needs of a slightly incrementally better iPad. 

In other words, just for the sake of scale, if Apple starts working on a 5000maH battery, NASA might be gunning for a 500,000maH.  Which if NASA is successful, sure solves alot of Apple's, and many other businesses problems, at least with power.


American Credit System



Tue, 03/20/2012 - 19:38 | 2275258 snblitz
snblitz's picture

Shiny new 10x density battery designs are laying around.  We just need a manufacturing process engineer to figure out how to make them cheaply enough.

As for NASA they can always just stick on small nuclear power sources.  They are not exactly nuclear in the popular sense of nuclear energy, but you can read about them: RadioIsotope Thermoelectric Generators. 

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 17:14 | 2274824 junkyardjack
junkyardjack's picture

You're holding it wrong

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 17:24 | 2274856 nachtliche
nachtliche's picture

Apple may lose its innovation ability without jobs. They are still riding off jobs ideas, and I don't see that anyone there has the drive to really push the envelope, especially since they can just ride on their laurels for at least a decade and still be wildly successful. Battery technology is a very important step, particularly for reducing weight and size in devices, and its holding back many industries. 

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 18:23 | 2275034 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

All customer's who bought the New iPad, will receive a free pair of oven mitts.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 19:41 | 2275253 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

Should be fairly easy out patient procedure to implant some battery terminals.  If a potato can run a clock why can't I run an iThingy?

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 21:39 | 2275502 dreadnaught
dreadnaught's picture

I dont understand all this extreme vitriol against APPLE-

FOXCONN uses the same slave labor to make virtually every other companies smartphone/Pad/Pod/gamebox etc (Windows phone-even parts of Android)

Further i see the Windows whiners/fanbois as the Dinosaurs here-weeping and moaning that the age of the Mammals is coming and they can do nothing about it except b*tch

APPLE users are insufferable smug

Windows users seem to be psychotically full of hate, as Apple starts to grow sucessfull- witness KD lol-which one would expect of a slowly dying species, as we are at the end of the Cretacious period (some 65 million years ago) lol

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 21:27 | 2275503 dreadnaught
dreadnaught's picture

double post

Wed, 03/21/2012 - 04:17 | 2276028 cnhedge
cnhedge's picture

apple is a bubble, stay tuned.

Wed, 03/21/2012 - 06:40 | 2276117 celticgold
celticgold's picture


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