Newsletter Issue #714: Apple Inc. and the Journalism Freakout

August 5th, 2013

It would seem that it’s not really hard to accurately report about Apple. The sales numbers and financials are clearly posted on Apple’s site, and you can conveniently compare the numbers to previous quarters and previous years. You can even compare the financials to other companies, within the limits of their reporting. And there’s a generous amount of new product and OS information to be had just by checking the site. At least that’s a start.

As part of any competitive environment, it’s a sure thing that some companies will try to cheat, not by delivering false financials, which may violate the laws in the countries in which they operate, but by emphasizing the numbers that look good and deemphasizing those that might look bad, or just not including them altogether.

So we do not know how many Amazon Kindle tablets have been sold, although so-called industry analysts attempt to make educated guesses by surveying the retail channels and scrutinizing the financials. We do know that Amazon lost a few million dollars during the last financial quarter, though that’s par for the course for that company. Much of what would pass for profit in other companies is simply invested back into the company to fuel further growth. That Amazon is adding thousands of jobs as a result is a good thing. Cash flow is also great, but, as I said, Amazon only reports slim profits.

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