One of the guiding principles that has allowed Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) to build a consumer electronics company that briefly allowed it to become the biggest company on Earth was to make things that were sleek, intuitive, and instantly recognizable as premium devices. This was a part of Steve Jobs’ vision, and a central reason why the company has had so much success to date. A recent report from 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman suggests that Apple is on the verge of throwing out some of the most recognizable parts of iOS as a part of an overhaul that is known as “Innsbruck.” At a time when investors and consumers are clamoring for the next big thing from Cupertino, killing the icons that Jobs built seems poorly timed.
The Jobs look and feel
Pursuant to Jobs’ vision, current icons and graphics have a glossy, polished look and feel that speak of the premium nature of the products they come installed on. Additionally, Apple iOS software representations of tangible objects are designed to look like what they are — the calendar looks like a physical calendar and the notepad looks like a yellow legal pad. This was fundamental to how Jobs wanted his products to function and aided the sense that Apple made things that were easy-to-understand upgrades from classic tools.
Top New Companies To Buy Right Now: KiOR Inc (KIOR)
KiOR, Inc. (KiOR), incorporated on July 23, 2007, is development- stage company. KiOR is a renewable fuels company engaged in producing cellulosic gasoline and diesel from abundant non-food biomass. Cellulosic fuel is derived from lignocellulose found in wood, grasses and the non-edible portions of plants. The Company generates hydrocarbons from renewable sources . Its end products are fungible hydrocarbon-based gasolines and diesels that can be used as components in formulating finished gasoline and diesel fuels, rather than alcohols or fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) such as ethanol or biodiesel. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company commenced construction of its initial-scale commercial production facility in Columbus, Mississippi, designed to process 500 bone dry ton per day (BDT) of feedstock per day, As of December 31, 2011, the Company had not generated any revenues.
The Company has developed a process that converts non-food lignocellulos e into gasoline and diesel that can be transported using the existing fuels distribution system for use in vehicles on the road. Its biomass-to-cellulosic fuel technology platform combines catalyst systems with fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) processes that have been used in crude oil refineries to produce gasoline. The biomass fluid catalytic cracking (BFCC) process operates at moderate temperatures and pressures to convert biomass in a matter of seconds into the renewable crude oil that can be processed using standard refining equipment into its cellulosic gasoline and diesel. In its demonstration unit the Company varies its volume output of gasoline from 37% to 61%, diesel from 31% to 55% and fuel oil from 8% to 9% from its renewable crude oil. The Company focuses on its commercialization efforts with respect to its gasoline and diesel. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had 76 pending original patent application families containing over 2,300 pending claims.
- [By John Udovich]
Small cap biofuel or synthetic fuel stocks Gevo, Inc (NASDAQ: GEVO), KiOR Inc (NASDAQ: KIOR), Solazyme Inc (NASDAQ: SZYM) and Syntroleum Corp (NASDAQ: SYNM) all seem to have been seeing some trading action in recent days – meaning its worth taking a closer look at all four before taking a look at their rather dismal long term performance while noting that none are yet profitable:
- [By Robert Rapier]
KiOR (Nasdaq: KIOR) is one of three advanced biofuel companies that venture capitalist Vinod Khosla took public in 2011. The other two were Amyris (Nasdaq: AMRS) and Gevo (Nasdaq: GEVO). Each of these companies has seen its share price drop sharply since the IPO. While KiOR is one of the few companies to have produced advanced biofuel for sale, the volumes have consistently come in below company guidance, and I expect production costs to remain above the sales price for the foreseeable future.
- [By Robert Rapier]
In 2011, Khosla took public Amyris (Nasdaq: AMRS), Gevo (Nasdaq: GEVO), and KiOR (Nasdaq: KIOR). Each of these stocks started out trading up from the IPO price, with Amyris gaining more than 90 percent at one point. But the challenges of producing fuels from biomass began to mount, and investors realized that this business is capital-intensive. Enthusiasm for these companies dissipated as they fell short of production expectations. Since their respective IPOs Amyris, Gevo, and KiOR are down 70 percent, 92 percent, and 88 percent.
- [By Nickey Friedman]
It has not been a good year for biofuel producer KiOR (NASDAQ: KIOR ) . Aside from the stock being down over 75%, the company has badly missed its guidance targets virtually every time, and its CFO quit without any explanation. Then, to top off the 12 months of disappointment, KiOR ended the year with another resignation and more production shortfalls.
Top New Companies To Buy Right Now: SolarCity Corp (SCTY)
SolarCity Corporation (SolarCity), incorporated on June 21, 2006, is engaged in the design, installation and sale or lease of solar energy systems to residential and commercial customers, or sale of electricity generated by solar energy systems to customers. The Company sells renewable energy to its customers. As of December 12, 2012, the Company served customers in 14 states. The Company’s residential customers are individual homeowners and homeowners. The Company’s commercial customers represent several business sectors, including technology, retail, manufacturing, agriculture, nonprofit and houses of worship. The Company has installed solar energy systems for several government entities, including the the United States Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy, and the Department of Homeland Security. The Company purchases major components, such as solar panels and inverters directly from multiple manufacturers. As of September 30, 2012, its primary solar panel suppliers we re Trina Solar Limited, Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited and Kyocera Solar, Inc., among others, and its primary inverter suppliers were Power-One, Inc., SMA Solar Technology, AG, Schneider Electric SA, Fronius International GmbH and SolarEdge Technologies, among others.
Solar Energy Products
The Company’s solar energy products include Solar Energy Systems, and SolarLease and power purchase agreement finance products. The major components of its solar energy systems include solar panels that convert sunlight into electrical current. Most of its solar energy customers choose to purchase energy from the Company pursuant to one of two payment structures: a SolarLease or a power purchase agreement. In both structures, the Company charges customers a monthly fee for the power produced by its solar energy systems. In the lease structure, this monthly payment is pre-determined and includes a production guarantee. In the power purchase agreement structure, the Company charges customers a fee per kilowatt! hour based on the amount of electricity actually produced by the solar energy system.
Energy Efficiency Products and Services
The Company’s energy efficiency products and services include home energy evaluation and energy efficiency upgrades. The Company sells home energy efficiency evaluations to new solar energy system customers and existing customers. The Company’s energy efficiency upgrade products and services address heating and cooling, air sealing, duct sealing, water heating, insulation, furnaces, weatherization, pool pumps and lighting. As of December 12, 2012, the Company had completed over 13,000 home energy evaluations and performed more than 2,000 energy efficiency upgrades.
Other Energy Products and Services
The Company’s other energy products and services include electric vehicle charging and energy storage. The Company installs electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment that it sources from thir d parties. SolarCity markets EV equipment to residential and commercial customers through retail partnerships with companies, such as The Home Depot, and through EV manufacturers and dealerships, such as its partnership with Tesla Motors, Inc. The Company is developing a battery management system built on its solar energy monitoring communications backbone. As of December 12, 2012, the Company had over 100 energy storage pilot projects under contract. As of December 12, 2012, the Company had sold over 750 charging stations.
The Company’s enabling technologies include SolarBid Sales Management Platform, SolarWorks Customer Management Software, Energy Designer, Home Performance Pro and SolarGuard and PowerGuide Proactive Monitoring Solutions. SolarBid is a sales management platform, which incorporates a database of rate information by utility, sun exposure, roof orientation and a range of other factors to enable a detailed anal ysis and customized graphical presentation of each customer