Apple looking to add new Taiwanese suppliers to build 2014 iDevices

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 12, 2013

According to the latest chatter, Apple of California is looking to introduce new Taiwanese suppliers to its supply chain in a bid to diversify manufacture of iOS devices beyond the current production partners Foxconn and Pegatron.

The development comes just as Foxconn reported better-than-expected June quarter earnings on increased sales of its TV set making business.

Meanwhile, a city in China’s Henan Province is helping Foxconn increase its production capacity and inviting Apple to set up a domestic sales center… Read More


T-Mobile reportedly sold about 900,000 iPhones in June quarter

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 11, 2013

T-Mobile USA, the nation’s fourth-largest wireless carrier, started taking pre-orders for Apple’s iPhone on April 5, a week ahead of April 12 availability.

Following the strong advertising push, the carrier then boasted about ‘gangbuster’ opening for the iconic smartphone, leaving us scratching our head as the headline-grabbing phrase left room for various interpretations in terms of hard data.

The exact sales figure came to light during T-Mobile’s earnings call when we learned the Deutsche Telekom-owned telco sold half a million iPhones during its first month of availability, between April 5 and May 8.

Though T-Mobile won’t report June quarter earnings until August 8, the company reportedly confirmed selling about 900,000 iPhones during the three-month period ended June 30. If true, the data point suggests the carrier has moved an additional 400,000 units between May 8 and June 30, but also that sales have slowed following the initial push… Read More


Apple’s iTunes owns 75% of digital music sales

By Ed Sutherland on Jun 21, 2013

Apple’s iTunes is one of those happy ironies. Begun as a way to boost sales of Macs and other hardware and content with breaking even, the service now rakes in $20 billion per year selling digital warez such as video, books, apps and music – a whole lot of music. In fact, Apple now sells 75 percent of all digital music, according to a new analysis.

In a series of peeks into how iTunes earns all that revenue, independent analyst Horace Dediu paints a picture where more than a half-billion users are pointing to a future where apps surpass digital music sales… Read More


Outspoken Apple analyst calls iOS 7 changes most important in iPhone history

By Ed Sutherland on Jun 11, 2013

Love it or hate it, Apple’s newly-unveiled iOS 7 will breathe new life into the aging iPhone, argued one analyst late Monday. Unlike hardware changes which have a short lifetime in terms of public curiosity, phone software updates are mesmerizing.

In a note to investors, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster writes that the changes within iOS 7 will spark renewed interest in the iPhone, which some felt was being overshadowed by its Android rivals, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4… Read More


Haswell-powered iMacs expected in June or July

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 10, 2013

In addition to OS X 10.9 and iOS 7, credible media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal are expecting Apple to announce its Pandora-like iRadio music service and possibly a MacBook specs refresh at today’s WWDC keynote, which begins in less than four hours.

The reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has chimed in with predictions of a Haswell-focused iMacs that he believes are in the pipeline for a launch this month or next.

Intel just recently announced its fourth-generation Core architecture for desktop and notebook computers. Apple has traditionally been among the first out of the gate to update its computers with the latest Intel chips, sometimes even securing a period of exclusivity on the new chips, like with the original MacBook Air… Read More


Samsung’s Galaxy S4 dead in the water

By Ed Sutherland on Jun 7, 2013

Following clickbait dead-in-the-water headlines which spelled doom for Apple on overzealous analysts projecting overly optimistic iPhone sales, it’s now Samsung’s turn to feel Wall Street’s wrath. So, is Samsung’s smartphone business running out of steam?

That’s the question Wall Street is pondering as investors punish the South Korean firm after orders for its flagship Galaxy S4 had supposedly dropped by as much as thirty percent.

Friday, Samsung shares slid by more than six percent after more than $12 billion was sliced from the Android maker’s market capitalization. Can Samsung stop the downward spiral, perhaps offering a stock buyback as Apple did? Or are we seeing only the latest signs of an industry-wide slowdown in demand?

Either way, the old saying about people living in glass houses seems all the more pertinent… Read More


Why iTunes may be Apple’s biggest asset

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 4, 2013

When Apple’s iTunes Store debuted on April 28, 2003, it launched with zero customers. Today, Apple has more than half a billion iTunes accounts. While not every account holder gives Apple his or her credit card details, most do. Therefore, it’s fairly safe to assume that Apple with its online-only content store is the biggest seller on the web.

Indeed, an analysis by Morgan Stanley reveals that not only is iTunes second only to Facebook’s one billion accounts, it also makes more money per account than Amazon. More interesting factoids follow… Read More


Why budget iPhone doesn’t mean lower profits

By Ed Sutherland on Jun 3, 2013

Android smartphone makers have been doing it for years: controlling a market using inexpensive handsets to outnumber the more expensive iPhone. But when the idea that Apple should also produce a more affordable and contract-free device first appeared, a hue-and-cry erupted as if the next MacBook was to be powered by Windows 8.

Now comes calmer heads – ironically from Wall Street – showing Apple’s gross profit margin would increase by six percent because more people will buy the Apple smartphone if the company lowers the cost of owning an iPhone.

That’s right, all the hand-wringing going on about a less-pricey iPhone being suicide for Apple’s bottom-line could be all wrong… Read More


Galaxy S4 not hurting ‘resilient’ US iPhone sales

By Ed Sutherland on May 31, 2013

Listening to much of the tech press, you might get the impression Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 would further erode Apple’s share of the smartphone market. One Wall Street firm ended the week on a contrary note, telling investors iPhone sales in North America “remain resilient” and Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is only selling slightly better than its predecessor.

The analyst firm Detwiler Fenton expects Apple will sell a cool thirty million iPhones during the June quarter amid expectation the nine-month-old handset would lose market share to its South Korean rival… Read More


Popular analyst warns iWatch may not hit market until late 2014

By Cody Lee on May 22, 2013

Folks looking forward to seeing Apple launch its iWatch product this year probably shouldn’t get their hopes up. According to a new report from well-respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, there’s a good possibility we won’t see the rumored accessory until late 2014.

Kuo says that due to the vast changes coming in iOS 7, Apple won’t have the resources to build out software for the wristwatch-like device. And he thinks that, and an immature component market for wearable devices, will delay the project until the end of next year… Read More


Apple close to striking landmark iPhone deal with China Mobile

By Christian Zibreg on May 9, 2013

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty was visiting Hong Kong and Taiwan recently. She is now back from China with some interesting Apple news. Tim Cook & Co., she wrote in her note to clients, may be close to striking an iPhone distribution agreement with China Mobile, the world’s top wireless carrier by revenue and subscribers.

Specifically, Huberty wrote that “TD-LTE licenses, and related phone launches, are expected by year-end,” in her note to clients. China Mobile debuted small-scale TD-LTE network in 2010 and last year expanded coverage to select large cities. In case you were wondering, TD-LTE is a variant of the fourth-generation Long Term Evolution radio technology, also known as LTE… Read More


Apple v Samsung fight for mobile profits intensifies

By Ed Sutherland on May 8, 2013

For some time, whenever Android proponents argued for the platform’s dominance based on handsets shipped, Apple fans would counter by pointing out the iPhone was tops in profits.

Indeed, a new report shows Apple had more than half of all mobile profits during the first quarter of 2013, leading Android handset rival Samsung.

According to Canaccord Genuity, the iPhone maker came away from this year’s first period with 57 percent of mobile phone profits, despite having just eight percent of the worldwide handset market share.

By contrast, South Korea’s Samsung – which leads in market share – earned just 43 percent of the share of profits. However, the two companies could soon switch positions. The analyst firm claims iPhone sales will be weak in the upcoming June quarter, overshadowed by profits fueled by Samsung’s new Galaxy S4… Read More


Apple to begin producing multiple new iPhones next month, per Morgan Stanley

By Ed Sutherland on May 8, 2013

A well-known Wall Street Apple observer expects Apple’s manufacturing partners to start producing multiple new iPhone models in June or July, with the new smartphones introduced around September.

While the analyst note meshes with today’s report of Sharp gearing up to begin mass production of the iPhone 5S screens next month and other reports mentioning multiple iPhones on Apple’s roadmap, what’s perhaps most interesting is word that any drop-off in iPhone demand seems to be over.

And in her additional remarks bolstered by others, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty tells investors Wednesday that Apple could sell many iPhones in China even if the device were not priced cheaply… Read More


iPad mini 2 Retina screens reportedly entering mass-production next month

By Christian Zibreg on May 7, 2013

NPD DisplaySearch is on a roll. After reporting yesterday that Apple could release two Retina-enabled iPad mini models – one in the second half of this year and another in the first quarter of 2014 with an updated processor, the display market researcher tell CNET today they think those high-resolution Retina panels for the second-generation iPad mini could go into mass-production soon, as early as June or July of this year.

If true, and assuming satisfactory yield rates, Apple should be able to ready its first Retina iPad mini for a Fall introduction, a time frame KGI Securities’ well-informed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently outlined based on his own sources… Read More


Apple missing some 2.8 billion potential iPhone customers due to carrier demands

By Ed Sutherland on May 6, 2013

Much talk surrounding Apple has centered on a cooling consumer demand for its flagship product, the iPhone smartphone. However, it may be time to shift the narrative to feet-dragging by a number of global operators that could hold the key to as many as 2.8 billion iPhone customers, according to a Monday report.

Instead of a slowdown in demand, a Monday report by Bloomberg suggests the larger problem is vastly limited access to customers. Two numbers go far to tell the story: 240 and 800. While Apple has 240 carrier agreements throughout the world, rival Samsung has inked deals with virtually every of the 800 wireless providers. Indeed, Apple is lacking agreements to boost sales of the iPhone in some of the most-populated regions, including China, Japan, India and Russia… Read More


NPD DisplaySearch sees two Retina iPad minis

By Christian Zibreg on May 6, 2013

NPD DisplaySearch knows its display supply chain inside out and while they may not be the most accurate source of Apple rumors, more often than not their predictions have proved pretty accurate. In a report filed yesterday, DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim was quoted as saying that Apple is readying not one, but two Retina-capable iPad mini models, “one in the second half of this year, then one in the first quarter of 2014”Read More


Budget iPhone could be $350 mid-range device

By Ed Sutherland on May 3, 2013

Android is gaining ground largely by offering a cheaper alternative to Apple’s higher-priced iPhone and iPad. Case in point: Acer’s just announced $169 Iconia A1 Jelly Bean tablet. Now, for some time there’s been a drumbeat for Apple to respond with a cheap smartphone of its own, one sold unsubsidized and off-contract to cash-strapped buyers in emerging markets.

However, now comes a voice suggesting Apple doesn’t have to slash prices to improve its market standing. Instead, it could offer a mid-priced iPhone and in the process could cut rival Samsung’s U.S. operations off at the knees.

There’s no need for hokey plastic fake prototypes or leaks from “insiders.” Apple needs only to repeat what its done numerous times in the past, opine two Wall Street Apple observers at J.P. Morgan… Read More


Analyst sees larger iPhone 6 coming in June 2014

By Cody Lee on Apr 30, 2013

Despite the fact that Apple added a 4-inch option to its iPhone lineup last year, many folks are still calling for the Cupertino company to produce a larger handset. Even outspoken billionaire Donald Trump says he’s in favor of a so-called ‘iPhablet.’

During a conference call last week, Tim Cook all but shot down the idea of a larger iPhone, saying that Apple is not willing to make the tradeoffs currently necessary for bigger screens. But according to a new report, that could change next year… Read More


Low-cost iPad mini mulled, seen competing with Android cheapos

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 29, 2013

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a very strong track record, having previously predicted a number of Apple products.

For example, he correctly assumed the MacBook Pro with Retina display would be offered alongside the existing models and called for the phasing out of the 17-inch MacBook Pro.

You’ll recall that Tim Cook during last week’s conference call advised against major hardware announcements until Fall. Be that as it may, Kuo now thinks Apple could at its upcoming five-day conference for developers refresh the MacBook notebook lineup with upgrades mostly revolving around a speedier Intel Haswell chips.

He is also expecting a new low-cost iPad mini model – the budget iPad mini, if you will – which should help the company fend off the onslaught of cheap Android tablets on the low-end… Read More


Why Apple is borrowing money to pay for $60B stock buyback

By Ed Sutherland on Apr 26, 2013

To bolster its stock in the eyes of investors, Apple recently announced it would buy back $60 billion worth of shares. Such a move makes sense – after all, the iPhone maker does have this cash hoard of nearly $150 billion. However, it turns out Apple won’t touch that money, opting instead to borrow the funds.

By borrowing the money, Apple keeps its billions out of the reach of U.S. taxes, saving the corporate giant money while also retiring expensive stock dividends.

You didn’t think there was any altruism involved, did you? The move, however, isn’t without its pitfalls. Moreover, Apple isn’t alone in a corporate game of chess where it’s all about manipulating the tax code, according to a report Friday… Read More

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