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


Analyst: Apple is ‘leaving money on the table’ by not pursuing phablets

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 5, 2013

With half the respondents voting for an Apple phablet in our non-scientific poll and the growing number of pundits making the case for a 5+ inch form-factor iOS device, little wonder that analyst are joining the fray and calling for a jumbo-sized iPhone. A good example is Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu, who opines that Apple is losing out by not pursuing a phablet of its own.

We’re not sure what to make of this. Apple under Steve Jobs stubbornly stuck with the ’3.5 inch fits all’ philosophy. With the iPhone 5, four inch became the new 3.5 inch. But with the growing number of users yearning for an even larger iPhone and with ten million Galaxy Notes shipped in 2012 and another ten million expected in 2013, maybe analysts are right… Read More


Analyst reinvents the wheel, says iPhone 5S will look the same as iPhone 5

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 5, 2013

Apple’s 10-Q filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission shows purchase commitments for the March quarter dropping from $4.5 billion two quarters ago to just $904 million. Of course, two quarters ago Apple was ramping up iPhone 5 production and investing heavily in then new in-cell touch displays. Still, that’s a huge drop.

One clever interprets this data point as a sign of the iPhone 5S not needing new manufacturing processes, in turn proving it’s gonna look just the same as the current-generation iPhone 5. Notable changes will be from the inside, like the speedier CPU/GPU, better cameras and what not. Man, I should have been an analyst… Read More


Are analysts responsible for AAPL decline?

By Ed Sutherland on Jan 25, 2013

So… Exxon passed Apple to reclaim the title of the World’s Most Valuable Corporation. But how much did Wall Street’s prognosticators have to do with Apple’s drop in value following its earnings report earlier this week?

While investors realize the company is facing stiff competition and potentially lower profits, a number of financial observers were way off in the predictions ahead of Wednesday results. Indeed, while Apple reported $54 billion in fourth-quarter revenue, analysts had forecast between $51.7 billion and $65.69 billion.

According to Fortune, some analysts were up to 17 percent wrong, while some well-known Wall Street Apple watchers came within 3 percent of the iPhone maker’s final numbers. Partially as a result of such wildly-varying forecasts, Apple is changing the way to releases its revenue guidance… Read More


Munster (again) sees Apple shipping iTV and new remote in 2013

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2013

You gotta give it to Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, arguably for years the most vocal proponent of a full-fledged Apple television set. Speaking to Bloomberg today, Munster re-iterated his belief Apple is working on releasing a standalone television set in 2013. His thinking is apparently based in checks with Apple’s suppliers and he also sees the Cupertino firm shipping an intelligent remote that, in his mind, should be an important part of the rumored iTV… Read More


Verizon numbers suggest Apple sold over 50M iPhones last quarter

By Cody Lee on Jan 22, 2013

Apple is set to announce its iPhone sales and other figures from the holiday quarter tomorrow, in what many are calling its most important earnings report of the last decade. Recently, rumors of slipping iPhone and iPad demand have driven the company’s stock down to $500. And this is its chance to start turning things around.

The focal point will be on iPhone numbers, since the handsets account for half of Apple’s business. And it needs to have sold in upwards of 50 million of them to avoid disappointing the Street. Well according to analyst Brian White, they hit that mark and then some… Read More


Supply cuts? Think a major technology shift ahead of iPhone 6

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 18, 2013

There has never been so much hoopla surrounding Apple’s supply chain like recent talk of a severe cut back in orders of screens for the iPhone 5, and now iPads as well. The negative sentiment in those unverified reports has already sent AAPL below $500 ahead of the impending earnings call.

But one analyst isn’t worried at all. In his mind, the cutbacks are the result of an upcoming “evolutionary technology update” for the next iPhone rather than a sign of a lack of demand for the new Apple handset… Read More


Analyst: remember Steve – Apple’s best days lie ahead

By Ed Sutherland on Jan 17, 2013

A Wall Street analyst Wednesday gave investors a pep talk, invoking the words of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs to point out the iPhone maker is hardly ready to head for the exit. Instead, Topeka Capital Market analyst Brian White issued a record target price for a stock battered by negative headlines.

“The negative sentiment around the stock has reached epic levels that we haven’t seen in recent memory and yet we believe [Apple's] product portfolio has never been stronger”, White said in an investment note. He also quoted Jobs in response to naysayers who recently came out of the woodwork spelling doom for Apple… Read More


Could booming iPad sales save the iPhone?

By Ed Sutherland on Jan 17, 2013

If Wall Street analysts went in for such things, J.P. Morgan’s Mark Moskowitz would have a sign saying “It’s the supply, stupid.” Moskowitz Thursday morning issued a note to investors, reducing his iPad sales forecast for the fourth quarter of 2012. No, it’s not due to flagging demand – the misconception dogging the Apple shares – but a shortage of tablets leading up to December.

According to Moskowitz, Apple next week may announce it sold 18.4 million iPads to close out last year, down from his previously projected 20.1 units. Coming into 2013, the popular device may become the chief revenue producer for Apple, the analyst adds… Read More


Analyst says Apple sold 52 million iPhones last quarter

By Cody Lee on Jan 16, 2013

Apple’s quarterly earnings call is coming up next Wednesday, where the company will reveal its iPhone sales and other figures from the holiday quarter. And given its recent stock drop due to iPhone demand concerns, all of Wall Street will be watching.

Essentially, if the Cupertino company wants to stop the bleeding, it needs to report big numbers for last quarter. And according to KGI Securities’ well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, it will. He thinks Apple sold 52 million iPhones and 23 million iPads… Read More

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