HFA Padded
Brian Langis
Published on

It’s the time of the year where you can spend more money on a new iPhone! (At least on the iPhone Max, regular iPhone prices stay the same.) Apple just announced the iPhone 15. It feels like a new car commercial: “Same same, but better.” Every year, the improvements are marginal. It’s probably not enough to flip your iPhone 14 for a 15, but compared to let’s say the iPhone 7, there’s that “wow” effect.

Q2 2023 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The big notable news is Apple embracing the USB-C charger, after EU pressure. I’m not a big regulation guy, but this is a standard that should be adopted universally. How many charging cables do you need?!?! I don’t have horse in the fight (USB vs Lightning). I’m no pro-this cable or that. I’m pro charging. I just want to charge.

But the decision is a blow to Apple. They invested billions in R&D developing their proprietary charging cable, the lighting charger. The charger war is over. This is one of those decisions where the upside trumps the downside by multitudes. Let’s spend time and resources innovating other things.

By the way, it’s just charging. It shouldn’t be complicated. If you have one device and one cable, life is simple. But if you are like me, your phone, speaker, watch, tablet, kids’s stuff…then it becomes an IQ test for monkeys trying to charge stuff.

Imagine if you had to pump gas and each car brand had a different fuel filler inlet. Goddamn nightmare! There are things, certain standards or protocols, that universally we agreed that it should be the way. Like stop signs, traffic lights, air traffic control, seat belt mechanism, the height of a light switch, Internet protocols, most keyboards…it just makes everyone’s life easier and better.

Apple shares are down a bit lately but it’s still up 40% year-to-date. Part of the downslide is market sentiment turning negative. The other part is due to Apple becoming a new parn in the China-US rivalry. China is an important market for Apple. It represents about 20% of Apple’s revenues and income.

Still, even if Huawei and Samsung have superior phones, Apple has a much superior brand. It’s probably the #1 brand in the world. Young people want iPhones. They don’t want to be seen with an Android. The ecosystem is captive. You can’t go anywhere. You are lock-in. People are not trading down.