Apple’s Juicy Secrets Revealed
When you go to trial, sometimes things you wanted kept private are made public. Seems like that's happening to Apple .
A trial is currently underway in San Jose federal court in which Apple is alleging that Samsung deliberately changed the design of its smartphones to look more like iPhones.
Apple seeks $2.5 billion for its claims that Samsung infringed patents. Whether the lawsuit is or is not warranted is a matter for courts.
However Wall Street can’t help but notice that as the testimony goes on -- details are coming to light that otherwise probably would have remained a secret.
And that’s a big deal because Apple is a company known for keeping nearly everything close to its vest.
Following are insights from the trial the Street finds intriguing and somewhat revealing.
How Apple Designs
- Apple industrial designers literally work around a kitchen table. There are 15-16 of them, most long-tenured. The entire team, and teams of CAD modelers and physical model makers, report to Jony Ive.
- Every designer works on every product in a collaborative style. They act like family but give each other brutally honest reviews.
- Ideas that make the first cut get worked up in a CAD program by a team of CAD specialists.
- A model making team then works up better ideas as physical models. Ideas might then go back to sketches, CAD, models again over and over.
Apple’s Marketing Strategy
- Apple is very conscious of the marketing value of its big-splash announcements. Phil Schiller said that after the initial iPhone announcement in January Apple purposefully stayed quiet for months to let the press buzz. Then they started doing targeted ads and certain targeted press.
- Apple is also intentional about shipping big new products (new categories) months after it introduces them. (In other words, no iTV this year)
- Apple revealed that its combined marketing spend for iPhone and iPad hit a cumulative $500M by fiscal 2011. (That's more than one year.)
- Apple does extensive polling of its users to see how they feel about products and features.
- Steve Jobs constrained iOS software chief Scott Forstall, for security reasons, to only hiring current Apple employees to work on iPhone software. He hunted for superstars and got them to come aboard without telling them exactly what they'd be working on.
- When Apple moves superstars like this, it creates risks for other products; because Apple moved engineers off other teams to work on iPhone, some of those product launches had to be delayed.
- Eddie Cue lobbied Steve Jobs for the creation of a 7" iPad more than 18 months ago, and told other execs Jobs "seemed receptive"
What should you make of the ‘secrets’?
Trader Joe Terranova as well as top tech analyst Toni Sacconaghi say all these details reaffirm the culture of Apple. Although they don’t see any actionable information that will move the stock, they both say the info makes them more confident Apple is a long-term buy.
* CNBC's Jon Fortt contributed to this report
Posted by CNBC's Lee Brodie
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Trader disclosure: On August 8, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Joe Terranova is long VRTS; Joe Terranova is long MCD; Joe Terranova is long USB; Joe Terranova is long GS; Joe Terranova is long JPM; Joe Terranova is long YHOO; Joe Terranova is long SBUX; Joe Terranova is long WFM; Joe Terranova is long AAPL; Joe Terranova is long NXPI; Joe Terranova is long EMC; Steve Grasso is long HPQ; Steve Grasso is long MU; Steve Grasso is long DD; Steve Grasso is long ZNGA; Steve Grasso is long MSFT; Anthony Scaramucci is long AAPL; Anthony Scaramucci is long C; Anthony Scaramucci is long JPM; Anthony Scaramucci is long GS; Anthony Scaramucci is long WMT; Jon Najarian is long call spreads in GMCR; Jon Najarian is long call spreads in OCN; Jon Najarian is long call spreads in SBUX; Jon Najarian is long call spreads in YELP; Jon Najarian is long call spreads in MON; Jon Najarian is long put spreads in HPQ; Jon Najarian is long put spreads in KCG; Jon Najarian is long CME; Jon Najarian is long CBOE; Jon Najarian is long CIGX; Jon Najarian is long GLUU
For Dennis Gartman
Dennis Gartman is long Gold in yen Terms
For Toni Sacconaghi
Bernstein currently makes a market in the following companies AAPL
Toni Sacconaghi maintains a long position in Seagate Technology STX
CNBC.com with wires.