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


Rumor: 4.8-inch iPhone 6 arriving in summer 2014

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 13, 2013

Jeffries analyst Peter Misek is on a roll. First he wrote in a note issued to clients this morning that channel checks led him to believe that the iPhone 5S is entering production in March for a likely June/July introduction.

Then word came that Misek thinks Apple could be holding a media event next month to announce a software development kit (SDK).

The official SDK would enable programmers to write full-screen 1080p apps and games for the Apple TV set-top box. And now, we learn that Misek doesn’t see the 4.8-inch iPhone launching this year at all. Instead, Apple is looking to release a bigger iPhone in mid-2014, he writes… Read More


Analyst: iPhone 5 sales decelerating, iPhone 5S enters manufacturing in March

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 13, 2013

According to one analyst, Apple’s suppliers are getting ready for iPhone 5S manufacturing, which should commence in March with a likely summer introduction in mind.

With the next-gen iPhone just a few months away, Apple is apparently winding down some iPhone 5 manufacturing as sales of the handset are “decelerating faster than expected”.

Per the rumor-mill, the iPhone 5S will be a mid-cycle specs upgrade sporting a faster CPU/GPU (likely a new A7 chip). Rumors are also suggesting a higher-resolution camera (possibly a 13-megapixel sensor). Some think Apple will for the first time offer the iPhone in a range of colors, though the handset is expected to retain the current two-tone industrial design… Read More


Analyst sees Apple TV media event in March (update: nope)

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 13, 2013

Apple could be holding an Apple TV-related media event next month, according to Jeffries analyst Peter Misek. Despite the mounting rumors that Apple is working on a standalone television set, channel checks led the analyst to believe that the assumed event will serve as a launchpad for a software development kit allowing programmers to write third-party applications for Apple’s $99 set-top box, something a lot of people have been clamoring for… Read More


iWatch, iTV: an $80 billion opportunity

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 12, 2013

The iWatch, a rumored Apple smart watch, and the iTV, a rumored standalone Apple TV set, may be just vapourware for the time being, but that’s not stopping analysts from guesstimating what the two gadgets might contribute to Apple’s bottom line.

Per analyst Katy Huberty, assuming annual sales of 50 million units and an average selling price between $200 and $300, the iWatch could drive an incremental $10 to $15 billion in revenue, or $2.50 to $4.00 in per-share earnings, each year. Dick Tracey’s futuristic wrist watch has nothing on it… Read More


$300 budget iPhone due in June, analyst says

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 11, 2013

Topeka Capital analyst Brian White asserted Monday morning that a lower-priced iPhone could be introduced as early as this June. It will be sold unsubsidized for about $250-$300, he thinks, and suggests “iPhone Mini” or “iPhone Air” as names. Just as The Wall Street Journal originally reported, White expects the less-expensive iPhone to use a plastic body instead of metal and glass.

It would have a lower margin than prior iPhones though Apple could make up for the difference in sheer volume as carriers in emerging markets like China, Brazil and India could position the device as a competitive offering to local brands, like the Xiaomi handset which costs around $320 off-contract in China… Read More


Google paying Apple $1 billion annually in per-device iOS search fees

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 11, 2013

Analyst Scott Devitt of Morgan Stanley has estimated that Google pays Apple up to a billion dollars each year to be the default search engine choice on iOS. That’s $1 billion in pure profit.

The two companies apparently have a per-device deal in place rather than a revenue sharing deal, he wrote in a report titled “The Next Google Is Google.” The fee-based co-operation was agreed on in order to simplify accounting and it lets Apple collect upfront payments.

By contrast, Devitt estimates that Google pays around $300 million annually to Mozilla to be the default search engine for Firefox.

While one billion in traffic acquisition costs isn’t much relative to Apple’s $13 billion in holiday quarter profit, it ain’t spare change either. Moreover, it just shows that Google is very much keen on having iOS users search the web using Google search…

Read More

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