The Digital Skeptic: Pockets of Value in an Grim Google, HP, Sprint
NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- With summer fading and a lackluster Q4 rising -- and, really, nothing but more lackluster Qs ahead -- we all need some reasons to get out of the investing bed. And in that spirit, today we share some ideas that, despite the now-and-forever 13,000 Dow, harbor a glimmer of gold.
Remember, even as information diminishes in value overall, there are still tiny pockets of growth. The trick is finding the things that have potential despite the thin air, stifling heat and noxious gases of the digital age.
Major caveat: I am specifically leaving out Apple(AAPL) products, since there is not a market this operation cannot revolutionize at will. What's the sport in mentioning the iPhone, iMac and the iPad over and over? If you want to pay the $675 for a share of AAPL, you don't need my help.
Google Nexus 7 Tablet ($199)
I know, I know, I am going to have my skeptic's chevrons stripped for seeing upside in Google(GOOG) , considering how dubious I am about this operation. But there is no denying that the Nexus 7 tablet is the category leader in the only-going-to-get-more-brutal small-tablet market. Google deserves real props for getting the size right, baking in the right features and finessing the ergonomics to not suck. The device also flatly proves that Google can blend hardware with its Android operating system effectively when it wants to.
So, sure, its recent Motorola Mobility purchase, which brings a full line of hardware under Google's direct control, has "DaimlerChrysler" written all over it. (That is, a devil's merger of two cultures that will never get along.) The Nexus 7 may been pure luck for Google. But this thing is the portable flat display of the moment. If Google can replicate the Nexus 7 across its now wider product line, and get the heck out of the no-win information business, watch out.
HP OfficeJet 150 Mobile All-In-One ($378)
Poor Meg Whitman. HP gets hammered for not selling enough computers. It gets hammered for not selling enough printers. It gets hammered for not being Apple. It, well, just gets hammered. But from the tech perspective, this operation still fills some lucrative niches.