Some folks just aren’t all that great with money. For some it’s because it’s just not something that’s fun to do. They have all the knowledge and understanding, but it just a boring bit of drudgery that they can’t be bothered to give it the care and attention it deserves. Perhaps if it was more fun to deal with, it’d make things a whole lot easier – and better.
Apple’s market cap has been worth more for a while, but now even a single share of AAPL stock is worth more than Google’s, having reached that milestone today at 12:26PM EDT, as noted by Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt. Boom.
Apple stock just keeps going up, up, up… except when some computer goes bananas, starts screaming “SELL SELL SELL” and all of Wall Street panics. Which is pretty much what happened earlier today, when Apple stock lost 9% of its value in just a blink of an eye.
Enabling dictation on the iPad means sending your voice and personal data to Apple
One of the feature on the new iPad is its dictation capabilities, a feature also available on the iPhone 4S (which also boasts Apple’s Siri virtual assistant feature). There are quite a few ways that high quality dictation and other speech to text capabilities could useful to professionals in many fields.
The problem is that in order to get that high quality dictation functionality, the new iPad and the iPhone 4S rely on Apple’s servers to do much of the work in turning your speech into text. More importantly, it isn’t just snippets of voice recordings that get sent to Apple. Personal data from your iPad or iPhone 4S gets uploaded as well and much of it remains associated with you and your device. That’s a general concern for most of us, but for professionals in regulated industries like healthcare or fields that require confidentiality like finance and legal professions, it becomes a critical privacy concern and may even break the law.
Confirming a press release from just ten minutes earlier, Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed that Cupertino will use its vast hoard of cash to initiate a quarterly dividend payment to current shareholders, as well as buy back almost $10 billion in stock to help avoid dilution of employee equity.
The conference call announced for 9 a.m. this morning hasn’t even happened yet, and Apple’s already announced what they are doing with the cash: initiating a $10 billion share repurchase plan, as well as issue dividends and make strategic investments. All told, they expect to spend $45 billion over the next three years.
We’ll give you more details when the call starts, but for now, here’s the press release.
Intuit finally releases a Lion-compatible version of Quicken
When Lion was released last summer, there was a big outcry because Apple had decided to kill off Rosetta, the emulation engine that allowed Macs with Intel processors to run apps designed for Macs with Power PC processors. Apple’s position was that it had made the switch to Intel and stopped selling Power PC Macs five years earlier and it was time for users and developers to move on. Most developers did move on to releasing universal apps that could run on Macs with either processor or that were Intel-only.
One company that dragged its heals was Intuit, maker of the popular Quicken personal finance app. When Lion shipped, users of Quicken 2007, the most recent version, were faced with options that really weren’t that good: not upgrade to Lion, install a stripped down version called Quicken Essentials that was built for Intel Macs, run the Windows version of Quicken, or switch to a different app.
A recent study of finance chiefs at over 200 companies revealed that one in six expect the job of CIO to be gone within five years. More than twice that many (40%) expected that IT will eventually be folded into the finance department. This highlights the impact of trends like BYOD, the consumerization of IT, and the growing importance of cloud services.
As IT departments struggle to deal with an ever-increasing influx of iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and other “consumer” technologies, this raises big questions. Would handing management of IT over to a CFO with limited technical experience help or hinder Apple’s position as a business vendor? Would that drive BYOD programs or inhibit them? Would this ultimately be beneficial to most employees at a company?
Once again, Apple has found itself the most valuable company on Earth, attaining a market capitalization of about $456 billion today, beating ExxonMobil’s market cap of just $402 Billion. Yawn.
More interesting, however, is that Apple’s combined value is more than Google and Microsoft put together, who are worth $198.9 billion and $256.7 billion, respectively.
As we watch Apple race to be the world’s first trillion dollar company, I wonder what we’ll all be measuring its value against next. Silicon Valley? The United States? The Moon? The secret to immortality?