As rumors intensify of an Apple/Intel partnership, analysts have been generally dismissive or cautious in appraising its potential effect on the fortunes of Apple Computer. Not so for one forward-thinking analyst. David Becker Specks of Wall Street research firm Gloidon, Lampley and Crane is heartily applauding news of a potential shift from IBM's line of Power PC processors to Intel chips.
"I think it would be a great, long overdue fist step toward where Apple needs to be if they are going to survive," said Specks, "the market is such that the tiniest inefficiency is ruthlessly punished." Specks, known for favoring radical management strategies for achieving corporate efficiency, went on to further encourage wholesale changes at Apple.
"Anytime a company has the overhead of employees, that's a drag on earnings", said Specks, "and the move to Intel should facilitate layoffs, which are always good. What Apple needs to do, however, is get to a point where the products can be decoupled completely from the creation and marketing of those products".
Specks stressed that while he agreed Apple needed to continue to innovate in the short term, it also needed to lower costs, "you want to get to a place where Steve Jobs can simply conceive of new devices and they land in the Apple Store within hours or preferably minutes. If not seconds."
The analyst offered some additional analysis for Apple shareholders, "looking down the road, even if they streamlined the model such that Jobs was the only Apple employee left standing, that wouldn't really be all that impressive. He might draw a salary and could even want health care or options," said Specks, "look, Steve Jobs can't live forever. What Apple must do is have its followers simply pay money to be associated with the brand, a sort of perpetual tithe. The company really shouldn't exist as anything more than a logo and a bank account for people to wire money into."
"Apple's biggest problem at that juncture -and it will clearly have to be addressed if it is to survive in this cut-throat competitive environment- " Specks concluded, "will be the overhead associated with getting that money out to shareholders quickly. Ultimately what would be most efficient would be Apple customers simply voluntarily wiring their money directly to the offshore bank accounts of Apple's shareholders."