MediaFile

Did Cisco Flip too soon?

I’m in Silicon Valley this week meeting technology bankers and venture capitalists. Among the deal chatter, this is a question that came up more than once: Does Cisco feel a little silly for buying Flip camcorder maker Pure Digital, now that Apple has launched its popular iPod music players with built-in video?

The networking giant has long been trying to expand in the consumer gadgets market, and six months ago, it paid $590 million to acquire the San Francisco-based maker of pocket-sized digital camcorders. These sell for between $149.99 and $199.99.

Last week, Apple unveiled a new iPod Nano with built-in video. The 8GB version that can shoot up to two hours of video costs $149, and the next version costs $179.

Cisco’s plan was to use its operational scale and marketing to bring Flip to a much wider market. Given how much people like to post home-made videos on YouTube and other channels, it sounded like a smart idea.

But now Apple is giving Cisco a run for its money. Some people say the Flip shoots better video than the Nano, but generally speaking — which device would you rather choose, given that both are similarly priced? A hip little music player that also lets you shoot baby Morgan’s first steps (not to mention plays radio and has a pedometer), or a Cisco-owned digital video recorder?

Graphic: A look at Apple’s historical stock gyrations

Apple’s stock has historically fluctuated widely in the days before and after three major annual events: the January Macworld showcase for fans, the mid-year Worldwide Developers’ Conference, and its September media/entertainment event.

Its share movements, however, have been relatively muted in the run-up to this year’s September extravaganza with many Apple-watchers initially expecting a no-show from CEO Steve Jobs, who had been out most of the year on medical leave for a liver transplant. Here’s a look at how Apple’s share price has fared in relation to major press events held by the company since 2007.

Key to events is below:

1 – January 9, 2007 (Macworld) – Announces (but does not launch) first iPhone

Apple’s Steve Jobs steals the show

New colors, video camera, price cuts. Whatever. The Apple show belonged to Steve Jobs.

So how did he look? Rail thin, as you can see from this picture (see below or click here for a bunch more shots of the 54-year old chief executive). That shouldn’t come as a surprise, given he’s recovering from a liver transplant.

Even looking frail, however, his presence pumped up the crowd. “Steve Jobs making an appearance was definitely a pleasant surprise,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst with Kaufman Brothers. Another analyst, Brian Marshall of Broadpoint AmTech added, “I was surprised to see Steve. It’s great to see that he’s doing well.”

from Photographers' Blog:

Live from the Apple media extravaganza

Reuters will have live updates and photos from Apple's live event at 1 pm ET on Wednesday.

Apple Inc's Phil Schiller, Senior Vice-President of worldwide marketing, speaks about the iPod touch's game playing capabilities.  REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

All photos by Robert Galbraith.

Beatles tie-in with Apple event? How about the Stones?

Apple confirmed what the technology world has been expecting for weeks: a September 9 media extravaganza. The company has been holding September events for years to refresh its iPod line and unveil new models ahead of the holiday season.

And while new iPods are also expected to be on tap this year, Apple threw in a little curveball to get the company’s fans and followers talking.

Sept. 9 is also the launch day for “The Beatles: Rock Band” video games, as well as the date that EMI will release the digitally remastered versions of their original song catalog. Given that supposed coincidence, some were speculating that a deal to finally bring the Beatles’ songs to iTunes was brewing. The Beatles may be the most famous rock band ever, but they have not yet made their songs available on Apple’s hugely popular online store.

Apple event next month not likely to feature tablet -blog

Tech bloggers love to write about Apple, for better or for worse. The secretive nature of the company means a lot of those blogs are speculative and light on sources, yet  we still all love to read them because the house that Steve built is indeed both a fascinating and hugely successful company.

The latest round of speculation is around Apple’s planned September keynote event which sources have told AllThingsDigital is due to take place on Wednesday,  Sept 9 in San Francisco. There has been a huge amount of speculation around whether Apple will unveil a new tablet device but sources tell the blogs there will be “no discussion whatsoever” of the such a device.

AllThingsDigital’s John Paczkowski isn’t giving up though saying: “Too bad. It’s looking more and more like we’ll have to wait until 2010 for that.”

Get ready for Facebook’s billion$

Ka-Ching! 

Silicon Valley veteran Mark Andreessen, who sits on Facebook’s board, says the company will rack up billions of dollars in revenue in five years.

It’s more important at this stage for social sites like Facebook and Twitter to beef up their base of user, rather than worry too much about filling their money bags.

Privately held Facebook — which counts venture capitalist Peter Thiel, Accel Partners, Microsoft Corp <MSFT.O> and Russian Internet investment firm Digital Sky Technologies among its investors — has never disclosed its revenue except to say it expects 70 percent growth this year.

Apple’s Steve Jobs steals the show

New colors, video camera, price cuts. Whatever. The Apple show belonged to Steve Jobs.

So how did he look? Rail thin, as you can see from this picture (see below or click here for a bunch more shots of the 54-year old chief executive). That shouldn’t come as a surprise, given he’s recovering from a liver transplant.

Even looking frail, however, his presence pumped up the crowd. “Steve Jobs making an appearance was definitely a pleasant surprise,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst with Kaufman Brothers. Another analyst, Brian Marshall of Broadpoint AmTech added, “I was surprised to see Steve. It’s great to see that he’s doing well.”

Live blogging the Apple WWDC

Reuters is sending live updates via Twitter from the Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference, scheduled to start at 10 am Pacific Time (1 pm Eastern). Read the updates below or follow us on Twitter.

More on Apple:

Apple and the netbook question

Given the phenomenal success of netbooks — small, cheap, lower-performance PCs — everybody wants to know what plans Apple, the only major PC player that doesn’t have a netbook offering, might have for the space. Netbooks are one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak PC landscape.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs openly dismissed netbooks.  And when the company was asked again asked about them on the conference call following its quarterly results Wednesday, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook sounded similarly unimpressed. Current netbooks, he said, suffer from “cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware.”

“Not something that we would put the Mac brand on, quite frankly. And so, it is not a space as it exists today, that we’re interested in. Nor do we believe that customers in the long-term would be interested in. It is a segment we would choose not to play in.”