Gene Munster

Apple could pocket $1 billion in iWatch profits during first year of availability

Despite there being no product nor confirmation from Apple that it will offer one, a high-profile Apple analyst is estimating the iPhone maker could sell between five and ten million iWatch units in the first year. According to Piper Jaffray Gene Munster’s survey of 799 U.S. consumers, some twelve percent of U.S. iPhone owners said they might pay $350 on Apple’s watch, if it materializes.

The survey follows Samsung’s attempt to beat Apple to the smartphone punch, introducing its $299 Galaxy Gear in advertisements. For Apple, the iWatch lives only in patents filed and registered trademarks. Munster, of the ‘Apple TV is just around the corner’ fame, follows another analyst who believes the iWatch could be an even bigger hit…

Loyalty: almost all iPhone 5s buyers apparently own an iPhone

Remember the days when Apple or Android hoped to snag a customer from the rival camp? You can file that dream alongside winning the Super Ball lottery, because nearly all of the people lined up Friday to buy one of Apple’s new iPhones already owns an iPhone.

According to one Apple observer, 90 percent of people lined up in New York, San Francisco and Minneapolis are upgrading from an older iPhone. The finding reflects both the loyalty of Apple users as well as a U.S. smartphone market where few consumers switch from one handset brand to another.

The 90 percent upgrade figure tops that of the iPhone 5, when 83 percent of those purchasing the handset in 2012 said they already owned an iPhone…

Apple stock takes a hit after Wall Street hammers iPhone 5c ‘iPhlop’

Wall Street is a curious bunch. Apple shares dropped by five percent Wednesday morning after analysts piled on with disappointment over the iPhone 5c.

Expecting an inexpensive smartphone costing $400 without a contract, Apple instead unveiled a device priced at $549 unsubsidized.

The departure from the expected script caused some industry observers to downgrade Apple’s shares, citing worries the iPhone maker may have shot itself in the foot when it comes to inexpensive Android alternatives selling in places like China…

Analyst: iPhone 5C may exclude Siri, but will boost margins and attract new sales

For some time, Wall Street investors and Apple watchers have stressed the iPhone maker must adjust to more modest profit margins, as well as a worldwide reality where cheap Android smartphones enable competitors to attract price-conscious consumers. Now comes a voice saying Apple could have it all: a cheap handset, fatter margins and a larger international audience.

By attracting the prepaid market, Apple’s much-expected iPhone 5C will do all that by going after a huge pool of prepaid wireless customers that’s four times larger than the current U.S. subscribers. Meanwhile, another analysts believes he knows the cheaper iPhone will exclude some features, such as Siri…

Analyst: iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor limited to user authentication, secure payments due in 2014

The upcoming iPhone 5S revision, likely slated for an announcement at Apple’s upcoming September 10 media event, is widely expected to include the fingerprint scanning feature based on Apple’s 2012¬†acquisition of smart sensor experts AuthenTec.

Now, there’s been a lot of uncertainty as to what software features the smart sensor might support.

According to a research note issued late yesterday to clients, an analyst predicted the feature would be initially used to authenticate users in place of the iOS slide-to-unlock feature because rumored secure payments which are dependent on the smart sensor won’t be ready in time for the iPhone 5S introduction…

Chip-making venture could cost Apple $7 billion

A story published this past weekend by a website called SemiAccurate has renewed speculation of Apple’s supposed interest in producing the engine for iDevices¬†at a plant of its own, as opposed to simply designing silicon blueprints in-house and commissioning others to build the chips, as has been the case since 2010.

So if Apple really bought into a fab, as the exclusive story alleges, the non-trivial move would span years to complete while costing billions of dollars.

Worse, Apple would expose itself to unforeseen difficulties not limited to yield issues: running a sophisticated chip-making factory requires a disciplined approach to attracting and retaining highly-trained engineers, one analyst cautioned Monday…

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

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…

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

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…

Here’s your math behind a budget iPhone

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…

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

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…

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

AT&T’s ‘best-ever’ smartphone sales hint at 8M iPhones in Q4 2012

What can be divined from AT&T’s announcement of record smartphone sales during the holiday quarter? According to one Apple watcher, the fact that the Dallas-based carrier sold ten million Apple, Android and Windows smartphones likely means the bulk – more than eight million – were iPhones. According to Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, during the holiday quarter of 2011, the wireless company sold 9.4 million smartphones, 7.6 million of which were Apple’s handset. Because of that trend, Munster is forecasting 8.1 million iPhones were sold during the fourth quarter of 2012…