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Thank you Steve for your courage, conviction, vision, brilliance and perseverance. You impacted the lives of untold millions and your legacy will echo in eternity.

 

Update: February 2011. It has been 2+ years since the “perfect storm” impacted and quickly enveloped the planet. Thanks to massive corporate bailouts gratis of taxpayers, and central-banks’ fiscal stimulus programs (e.g. quantitative easing – QE1 & QE2, etc), world economies have stabilized, stock markets have recovered nicely and corporate balance-sheets have improved. But the news is not all good. Many housing markets remain weak and the wounds inflicted upon homeowners and taxpayers are deep. Many citizens will be permanently impaired by the loss of employment and/or destruction of equity.

In the wake of this apocalypse, the Obama administration tasked the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission with the job of analyzing and reporting on the underpinnings of the melt-down. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report was released in January 2011. The full report can be found > at fcic.gov

One overriding theme of the report is that this crisis was man-made, not a naturally occurring “perfect storm,” and was preventable. Moreover, despite clear, convincing and early evidence of rampant toxicity (loans doomed to fail) pouring into structured securities… banks, the mortgage industry and Wall Street firms understood the risk/reward calculus and opted to continue (take the $ and run) down the path of destruction. Yes, greed was at the core of this crisis and subsequent melt-down. Perhaps most galling is that many who were most responsible for creating this crisis, have not been held to account and instead have walked away with seven figure bonuses. I strongly encourage readers to click over and listen to FCIC Chairman Phil Angelides > here

For inquiring minds, here are a few additional resources:

 

The 2008 Financial Crisis – How did this happen?

by Dan Butterfield

December 4, 2008

“I never thought I’d see the day when someone defaults on their condo in Ft. Lauderdale, and Iceland melts.” So said Princeton’s Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman in November 2008. Professor Krugman was offering a bit of gallows humor, yet his quote is a fitting way to highlight the global nature of the current financial crisis. What began as a housing bubble in the United States soon grew into an international credit crisis that roiled financial markets and destabilized world economies. The 24/7 news media love a good crisis and it’s no surprise that economic doomsayers have been featured guests on financial shows. Fear can be its own self-fulfilling prophecy and all of the dramatic headlines have had an effect on consumer and corporate behavior. Businesses have curbed spending, instituted hiring freezes and begun layoffs. Consumers are tightening their belts, and most are making due with last year’s model. It’s not all bad news for business. More-for-less foods such as Spam, pasta and oatmeal are flying off the grocery shelves. Discount retailers such as Wal-Mart, and value menu restaurants such as McDonalds, are doing surprisingly strong business. Yet this may be more a sign of the times than reason for solace.

There are a few sliver-linings… Continue Reading »

Dear all …

I will be taking a break from posting on iPhonAsia. I am working on a series of projects for a firm that precludes staff from posting any “non-approved” material in any public forum. Posting on blogs and/or message boards comes under industry “communications with the public” guidelines and any such posts must be “pre-approved” by their compliance group. Consequently, I will be on an indefinite hiatus.

Thanks very much to everyone for your readership!

~ Dan

Apple’s official carrier in South Korea, KT, revealed yesterday that iPhone has now surpassed the half-million (500,000) sales mark. This makes South Korea, a nation with 47 million total mobile subscribers, number 8 globally in first year iPhone sales. KT is understandably delighted. According to Pyo Hyun-myung, president of the mobile business group at KT;

There are only seven out of 88 countries, including the United States, where the figure of iPhone users has gone over 500,000 within one year. It even took seven months for Japan, a country with some 3 million using the device, to reach over 500,000 users.”

The ascention of iPhone in Korea has been surprising to many veteran telecom watchers. Until the summer of 2009, Korean government regulators kept a walled garden (special protocols & regs) that effectively shut out smartphone competition. These rules had allowed home players such as Samsung and LG to grab a dominant share of the mobile handset market. Apple has now trimmed the walled garden’s hedge.

There have been several chauvinistic campaigns in Korea that attempted to undermine iPhone’s success. Yet, ironically, these well-funded initiatives may have backfired … Read > News from the battlefront: Buying an iPhone is patriotic act

iPhone launched in South Korea on November 28, 2009 … to hit the 500,000 mark by March 30 means that KT has been selling 4,000 iPhones per day. Not too shabby.

March 19, 2010: Thanks to dirt cheap prepaid (no contract) calling plans, and low average revenue per user (ARPU), India’s carriers have virtually no appetite (no margin room) to subsidize handsets. Now add in the fact that India’s networks had overwhelmingly relied on 2G, and have been far behind schedule in deploying 3G. This equation has added up to less than stellar iPhone sales in India. But that may be about to change. India’s Bharti Airtel is in the process of expanding their 3G network and today (March 19, 2010) Bharti Airtel announced an accord with Apple Inc to sell its iPhone 3GS in India in the “next few months.”

Bharti Airtel is the country’s largest mobile phone operator by users and had previously launched the iPhone 3G > read prior PR

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May 14th, 2008: Venkatesh Ganesh writes in Rayaz.net

Full article > HERE

EXCERPT: The rollout of Apple, Inc’s iPhones in India is set to be the largest, anywhere in the world. It is understood from industry sources that Apple’s iPhones will be sold through about 2.5 lakh Vodafone and Airtel retail outlets including franchisee owned shops. This rollout would be mammoth when compared to iPhones being available only in about 7000 AT&T outlets in the US apart from the Apple Stores.

“Most phone makers want their products in as many stores as possible and Apple is changing its strategy from exclusivity to wider availability,” said an analyst from a brokerage house who did not wish to be named. Airtel announced yesterday that they would be selling iPhones in India. Earlier Vodafone inked a deal last week to rollout iPhones in 10 countries including India.

Read more > HERE

iPhonAsia comment:

It is apparent that iPhone will be available by multiple carriers in all major markets and at least two carriers will offer iPhone in India (Bharti AirTel and Vodafone).  Our understanding is that 1 lakh translates to 100,000 … The Ryaz.net article states that iphone will be available through 2.5 lakh (which translates to 250,000) distribution points. Perhaps something was lost in our translation as this number (250,000) is not realistic even in a nation as populace as India. We suspect something like 25,000 is possible albeit this is also a mammoth number of distribution points. Update: Sources have confirmed the 250,000 points of distribution in India.

India is a highly competitive cellular market with many low cost plans. For a more detailed analysis of the Indian wireless markets, visit iPhonAsia post featuring video and audio interviews with Duncan Clark, Chairman BDA. The NPR interview at the bottom of this post contains discussion of the India wireless market.

NPR Interview with Duncan Clark, Chairman of BDA Connect

BDA Telecom Market Review > HERE

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