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AT&T Responsible for Apple's Beating


The new iPad should have featured Verizon service.


Editor's Note: The following was posted in real time on our premium Buzz & Banter (click for a free trial).

Greetings from New York, where you can neither make reliable phone calls nor surf the Web with an iPhone. I've taken abuse on Apple (AAPL) for years despite

a) never shorting the stock and
b) being right regarding the failings of the AT&T (T) phone and data network.

The iPhone is so unreliable both in New York and for travel that I actually discontinued my contract, making my iPhone a very expensive, but cool, iPod. Will I buy an iPad? Probably but only because I'm a sucker for gadgets and I wish my iPod/phone had a bigger screen.

I'm not sure why Apple would stick to a service provider that fails to provide service, but the relationship reminds me of that between J. Edgar Hoover (FBI) and the Mafia (MOB). Whatever the reason, Apple continues to ignore the existence of better network providers and the reality is this: I'd have paid more for an iPad powered by Verizon (VZ). What's more, I don't think I'm alone and I doubt Apple's stock would be getting beaten this badly had Jobs announced a Verizon relationship.

Here's what I'm watching that's coming through loud and clear:

  • Ford (F) says it's seeing better demand since Toyota (TM) stopped production after realizing its gas pedals stuck. Turns out there's limited demand for cars that refuse to slow down and/or actually stop. This despite inexplicable demand for Web devices that won't hook up to the Web. Go figure.

  • Is Dow 10,000 too obvious to be support? I'm not sure but I'm rolling my stops down on the SDS ETF (See my post on the Buzz). A 1% rally from here and I'm sidelined. Why? Because I get the sense locking gains where you got 'em is going to be key to making anything this year.

  • How do I feel about being long Apple and a two-times levered negative S&P ETF today? So-so.

  • Why don't I ever short Vol? Because of days like today when the VIX pops about 10%.
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Positions in AAPL, SDS, F

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