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

 

15 interesting points from today’s earnings call

By Cody Lee on Apr 23, 2013

Apple just announced its earnings for its first quarter of 2013, second fiscal quarter, and despite all of the lead-in ‘doom’ talk, the numbers are actually very impressive. The company beat Wall Street projections in nearly every metric.

We’re just finishing up the conference call, where Tim Cook and company have made several announcements and dropped a number of impressive statistics. And as usual, we’ve rounded up the 15 most interesting points for you… Read More

 

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

 
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