The next iPhone’s killer feature? Fingerprint scanning.

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 12, 2013

Most analysts tend to pull their predictions out of thin air. We were cagey about last month’s Morgan Stanley report as it rather cryptically asserts Apple’s next iPhone, the iPhone 5S, will have a “killer feature.” Of course it will, stupid – every iPhone has at least one standout feature cunningly designed to convince existing users to upgrade.

The iPhone 3G had 3G networking, the iPhone 3GS had video, the iPhone 4 had the stunning form factor and Retina display and the iPhone 4S had Siri.

As for the current iPhone 5, it of course offers LTE and sports the dramatic two-tone design akin to a finely crafted watch. According to a rather reliable analyst, this year’s S-upgrade to Apple’s handset will have fingerprint scanning as an exclusive feature… Read More

 

Technical challenges delaying iPhone 5S, budget iPhone, iPad mini 2?

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 11, 2013

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who actually has a pretty good track record in predicting Apple’s product plans, has some bad news for Apple fans. In a note issued to clients Thursday, he basically wrote that Apple’s next batch of iDevice upgrades may hit the market later than originally expected due to a number of “technical challenges” related to the inclusion of fingerprint sensor beneath the Home button.

The rumored budget iPhone may be delayed because its slimmer-than-usual polycarbonate casing is proving harder nut to crack, while the second-generation iPad mini continues to face challenges with its high-resolution Retina panels. Jump past the fold for the full disclosure… Read More

 

Analyst: bowing to phablet trend, Apple’s iPhone 5S to come in three screen sizes

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 9, 2013

Apple’s rumored S-upgrade to its iPhone, the iPhone 5S, is assumed to arrive some time during summer, possibly shortly after Apple presumably announces it at its annual developers conference in June or July (the company hasn’t yet set the date for WWDC 2013). One analyst in a note issued to clients Tuesday wrote that supply chatter points to multiple screen sizes for the iPhone 5S in order to appeal to consumers who dig jumbo-sized handsets and improve its standing in the market… Read More

 

Asia calling for Apple iPhablets

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 5, 2013

Flurry data told us that so-called phablets comprise only a minuscule portion of smart devices compared to mid-size phones and large tablets, such as the iPhone and iPad, but there’s no doubt that devices with five-inch or larger screens are gaining acceptance, largely thanks to Samsung’s willingness to experiment with a bunch of different form factors. Even Apple acknowledged the trend by making the iPhone 5’s four-inch screen the new gold standard for iPhones.

But with Samsung launching a five-inch Galaxy S4 soon and rumors of an upcoming Galaxy Mega line with 5.8 and 6.2-inch handsets making rounds, Asian suppliers are advising Apple to follow suit and blow up the upcoming iPhone’s display if it wants to capture the next phase of smartphone growth… Read More

 

Analyst claims iPhone 5S has fingerprint sensor

By Ed Sutherland on Apr 3, 2013

What voice-recognition did for the iPhone 4S, fingerprints will do for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5S, one technology analyst is telling investors. For the second time, an Apple observer forecasts a fingerprint sensor as a key feature of a new iPhone expected this summer. Such a sensor would let iPhone 5S owners use their fingerprints instead of passwords, as well as open the possibility of mobile credit card payments, according to a Wednesday report… Read More

 

Analyst sees Apple television with ‘iRing’ motion controller and ‘mini iTV’ secondary screen

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 3, 2013

A rumored standalone television set from Apple dubbed iTV continues to be the subject of tremendous speculation, with one analyst recently citing supply chain checks allegedly pointing to a 4K Ultra HD set being built by Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn and slated for an early-2014 launch.

Another analyst now joins the conversation with some pretty wild predictions, also based on – you guessed right – checks with Apple’s suppliers. Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets told one publication Wednesday that after meeting with Apple’s Asian suppliers he now sees some pretty wild stuff in the pipeline.

Specifically, Cupertino will be launching an Apple-branded television set later this year, White says, along with a motion controller of sorts called iRing and a secondary display… Read More

 

Munster pops Apple hype balloon: no new gizmos until June’s iPhone 5S launch

By Ed Sutherland on Mar 26, 2013

We’ve chided Piper Jaffray’s well-known resident Apple analyst Gene Munster for his repeated predictions of a standalone Apple television set being just around the corner. However, this time we’re giving Munster credit for trying to deflate the hype balloon which has taken Apple stock and consumers for a ride fueled by unreal expectations. The analyst is just the latest Wall Street figure hoping to inject reality into a belief that the Cupertino, Calif. iPhone maker was immune to the vagaries of mortal businesses – such as down periods.

In a note to his clients, Munster walked a fine line, laying out some uncomfortable numbers for a company that hasn’t reported negative figures in a decade. Along the way, he also tested the waters of delayed gratification during a time investors appear more like strung-out addicts accustom to quarter after quarter of mind-blowing revenue from Apple… Read More

 

Analyst: budget iPhone won’t have Retina display

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 22, 2013

Apple’s rumored less-expensive iPhone aimed at emerging markets won’t just shave costs by having a polycarbonate body instead of Unibody aluminum design, it is bound to have a standard-resolution screen rather than Apple’s Retina display, like other iDevices. That’s at least what one analyst wrote in a note to clients Friday, based on the often unreliable supply chain checks.

He’s also calling for a June or July launch for both the budget iPhone and the iPhone 5S (a specs upgrade to the iPhone 5), which is the time frame that was mentioned previously in a few other recent reports… Read More

 

Analyst: higher dividend can help AAPL rebound

By Ed Sutherland on Mar 19, 2013

With Apple’s cash pile projected to balloon from a whopping $137 billion at the end of the previous quarter to an astounding $170 billion by year’s end, there is a growing call for the iPhone maker to increase its stock dividend as a way to build a safety net under its beleaguered shares. The report of a bulging corporate vault comes as one Wall Street analyst proposes a four-step solution to pull Apple out of the weeds.

According to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, Tim Cook & Co. should start with raising the quarterly dividend to at least $3.75 per share. A five-year program should begin with Apple increasing the $2.65 per share quarterly dividend paid to investors while also repurchasing up to $100 billion in company stock… Read More

 

Morgan Stanley: the iPhone 5S will have a ‘killer feature’

By Cody Lee on Mar 18, 2013

Morgan Stanley’s resident Apple expert Katy Huberty appeared on CNBC’s Fast Money Halftime Report this morning, in a rare TV interview, to field questions on her firm’s current positive buy ratings for both HP and Apple.

Asked about Apple, Huberty—who has an overweight rating on the stock with a price target of $630—says the company is poised for a big year with new software features for the upcoming iPhone, including one ‘killer feature.’ Read More

 

Budget iPhone: colors, 4-inch screen, super-thin plastic casing mixed with glass fiber

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 15, 2013

Apple’s budget iPhone, a rumored all-new design targeted at emerging markets where carriers rarely subsidize cell phones, will be offered in a range of colors and have a “super-thin plastic casing mixed with glass fiber”, one reliable analyst wrote in a Friday note to clients. The specs for the device were apparently decided on back in 2011 and call for a four-inch screen resembling the iPhone 5.

Dismissing talk of a 4.5-inch entry-level iPhone, the report argues Apple is “unlikely to abruptly change” its stance on screen size just because Android makers are increasingly building phablets. Jump past the fold for more tidbits… Read More

 

Analyst: Apple would be ‘stupid’ not to release budget iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 14, 2013

Many analysts have voiced their support for a rumored less-pricey iPhone which  they hope will help Apple recover from market share losses in emerging markets, namely China, India, Brazil and Russia – all huge markets for handsets. BTIG’s Walter Piecyk goes further, calling Apple “stupid” if it doesn’t release said device before year’s end.

By his own estimates, Apple could sell about 36.5 million less-pricey iPhones in fiscal 2014 for an additional $11 billion in revenue – and that’s after accounting for some inevitable cannibalization of the higher-priced iPhone models… Read More

 

Gullible analyst says no iTV this year because Apple finds 4K display too costly

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 12, 2013

An analyst with a terrible track record wrote in a note to clients issued Tuesday that Apple won’t release a standalone HD TV set in 2013 after all. As much as Apple wanted to, the report has it, the company has allegedly found ultra high-resolution 4K panels to be prohibitively expensive.

You should take this particular analyst’s observations with a healthy dose of skepticism: the same guy called for an Apple-branded HD TV announcement at last year’s WWDC, later mulling full iTV production for August 2012. He repeatedly said iTV was “imminent” (calling it the iPanel), having also missed with an Apple TV related media event (and a bunch of other things that never came to be)… Read More

 

Analyst doubles down: iPhone 5S with fingerprint sensor coming this summer

By Cody Lee on Mar 5, 2013

Back in January, KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo revealed, what he believed to be, Apple’s product roadmap for 2013. Kuo is known to have well-placed sources in Apple’s supply chain, and has been accurate in the past, so his predictions tend to carry more weight than others.

The report claimed, among other things, that Apple is planning to release an iPhone 5S—complete with faster processor, improved camera and built-in finger print sensor—alongside the long rumored budget iPhone, this summer. And today, Kuo doubled down on his claims… Read More

 

AAPL dips below $400B, Buffett tells Cook to ignore cash complaints, buy back stock

By Ed Sutherland on Mar 4, 2013

You can’t get a better financial advisor than Warren Buffett. The so-called ‘Oracle of Omaha’ Monday weighed in on what Apple should do, faced with low stock prices and one investor’s call to use the iPhone maker’s billions in cash. Although Buffett’s appearance Monday morning on CNBC lasted three hours, the short version is this:

Apple CEO Tim Cook should buy his company’s stock while cheap. It’s uncertain whether the financial whiz will have any luck, seeing Cook’s predecessor Steve Jobs supposedly ignored similar advice. Coincidentally or not, Apple’s market capitalization dropped below $400 billion in early trading Monday, the first such drop since January 2012… Read More

 

Barclays: budget iPhone and China Mobile-compatible iPhone 5S due in August

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 1, 2013

Per a rumor out of China, Apple won’t release a new iPhone at its upcoming summer developer conference. Instead, Tim Cook & Co. are thought to be targeting an August 2013 launch for both the iPhone 5S, a specs upgrade, and an inexpensive iPhone model, aimed at emerging markets that sell mostly unsubsidized handsets. And for the first time, the next iPhone will be Apple’s first truly world phone capable of supporting a bunch of flavors of fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) radio technology, including China Mobile-compatible TD-SCDMA network… Read More

 

Cricket seeing much weaker than expected iPhone sales

By Cody Lee on Feb 28, 2013

Leap Wireless, the US telecommunications company that owns and operates the regional carrier Cricket, just submitted a rather alarming filing with the the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

It seems that Cricket is only on pace to sell through half of its first-year commitment with Apple, which goes to June, leaving it on the hook for some $100 million in remaining iPhone purchases… Read More

 

Here’s your math behind a budget iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 22, 2013

After meeting with Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer recently, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty issued a report proclaiming so-called budget iPhone a no-brainer. Huberty joins what is now a growing list of analysts calling for such a device so Apple could better target emerging markets where cash-strapped folks mostly buy unlocked sub-$200 handsets – unlike the United States where carriers subsidize smartphones handsomely.

Thanks to these generous subsidies, US consumers don’t pay full price for the hardware – provided they agree to a long-term service agreement, of course. Now, with the penetration level for the iPhone approaching a limit in the high-end segment, the untapped low-end represents an estimated $135 billion opportunity.

Even with Apple’s margins peaking, an iPhone mini – as the media dubbed it – should triple Apple’s addressable market in China and add nearly $2.4 billion to its handset business… Read More

 

Piper Jaffray: Apple to debut low-cost iPhone in September quarter

By Cody Lee on Feb 20, 2013

There are currently 3 or 4 strong rumors floating around the Apple-centric blogosphere these days: the iTV, the more recently popular iWatch, and then the recurring low-cost or ‘budget’ iPhone. What’s funny is, some of these rumors have been around for years.

But if you ask The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, or anyone at Piper Jaffray, the budget iPhone will finally materialize this year. Reiterating its report from January, the firm sent out a note to investors claiming that a low-cost iPhone is on the way… Read More

 

Barclays says Samsung momentum ‘begs an answer from Apple’

By Cody Lee on Feb 19, 2013

It’s no secret that Apple has fallen out of the good graces of most Wall Street analysts. And with its stock price still bouncing around $250 below its last-September high, and no new products on the horizon, it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.

I wouldn’t say Apple’s in trouble though. It’s coming off a record high quarter in iPhone sales, revenue and other metrics, and has more than $130 billion in cash. But the folks over at the prestigious Barclays firm say that it’s about time for Tim Cook to panic… Read More

 
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