Proactiveinvestors Australia Apple Proactiveinvestors Australia Apple RSS feed en Thu, 18 Jul 2019 23:34:31 +1000 Genera CMS (Proactiveinvestors) (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[News - Apple Watch, FitBit could feel the heat of President Trump’s China tariffs ]]> While Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones, iPads and Macs should be exempt, the Apple Watch is one of several devices currently slated to fall foul of the Trump administration’s belligerent trade war with China.

The Trump administration on July 10 released a list of 10% tariffs on US$200bn in Chinese goods, and Apple Watch, health trackers, streaming music speakers and other accessories assembled in China could feel the blowback, government rulings on tariffs show.

“The rulings name Apple's watch, several Fitbit activity trackers and connected speakers from Sonos Inc,” reported Reuters.

READ: Trump’s Trade War: Who’s in the firing line?

“While consumer technology's biggest sellers such as mobile phones and laptops so far have faced little danger of import duties, the rulings show that gadget makers are unlikely to be spared altogether and may have to consider price hikes on products that millions of consumers use every day,” added the report.

Collateral damage

The specific products listed in customs rulings are the original Apple Watch; Fitbit's Charge, Charge HR and Surge models; and Sonos's Play:3, Play:5 and SUB speakers.

The tariffs will not go into effect immediately but will undergo a two-month review process, with public hearings from August 20-23.

That US$200bn list of tariffs is in a public comment period, but if the list goes into effect in the Fall, the products from Apple, Fitbit and Sonos could face a 10% tariff.

Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi estimates the Apple Watch alone will bring in US$9.9bn in sales this year, though that estimate includes sales outside the US that the tariff would not touch.

iPhone escapes being on tariff list for now

In the trade showdown, Apple, which has 41 stores and a chunk of its manufacturing anchored in China, has much to lose.  

For now, it appears Trump isn’t going to punish the iPhone in his escalating trade war with China. The New York Times earlier reported that the Trump administration assured Apple CEO Tim Cook that the iPhone would not be on the list of tariffed goods, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Cook met with Trump in May to dissuade him from levying tariffs against goods manufactured in China, citing the damage such a trade war would do to American companies.

Three radical new iPhones

Meanwhile, spotted by Consomac, Apple has chosen to publicly file identifiers for all its new iPhones in the Eurasian database, and it confirms three distinct designs will be coming to market.

“In its filing, the Eurasian database lists all the devices as running iOS 12 - the next generation of iOS which Apple historically launches alongside new iPhones every September,” reported Forbes.

Shares in Apple were trading slightly higher Friday at US$192.18.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at
Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive


Fri, 20 Jul 2018 12:12:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Multiple outages hit Spotify, Snap and The Drudge Report as Google Cloud platform goes down ]]> An array of wildly popular online sites, ranging from Snap to the Drudge Report to Spotify, reported outages and sluggish responses Tuesday, weighed down by problems with their hosting service - Google’s Cloud platform.

“Something’s not quite right, and we’re looking into it. Thanks for your reports!” a Spotify employee tweeted via the company account Spotify Status.

Something’s not quite right, and we’re looking into it. Thanks for your reports!

— Spotify Status (@SpotifyStatus) July 17, 2018

Snap also alerted its users to its technical difficulties via Twitter. “Many Snapchatters are having trouble using the app as well as our support site. We’re working with a partner on the fix! In the meantime, we recommend staying logged in.”

Read: Facebook mulls plan to switch to Google for cloud storage

A notice on Google Cloud platform’s status dashboard indicated the company was reporting problems with its Cloud Networking, Stackdriver and App Engine.

Class A shares in Google’s parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) closed up 1.38% at US$1,213.08.

Tue, 17 Jul 2018 16:16:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple’s MacBook Pro gets a makeover, including new Intel chips ]]> Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) MacBook Pro has received a makeover, complete with new chips and an improved keyboard.

The 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros now feature Intel Corp’s (NASDAQ:INTC) new eighth-generation processors, including a six-core option on the 15-inch mode, according to a 9to5Mac report.

And MacBook Pro users will also be able to use the “Hey Siri” feature for the first time.

The tech giant’s True Tone display technology, a feature that adjusts the display’s color temperature based on the light of a user’s surrounding, has been introduced to the MacBook Pro.

A third-generation butterfly keyboard, a design with thinner keys for quieter typing, is also featured. In terms of space, the MacBook Pros can be configured with up to 32 GB RAM and up to 4 TB SSD.

READ: Apple showcases latest advances at its yearly WWDC conference for developers

Some of the new features may have had an effect on battery life so the battery capacity has increased by 7.7 watt-hours to make up for that. There is no anticipated change in battery life in the new laptops versus the previous generation.

Shares of the California-based company were up around 1% to US$189.71 in Thursday morning trading.

Baird: Intel/Apple relationship 'well alive'

Baird analysts were encouraged by Intel’s ongoing partnership with Apple. Tristan Gerra wrote in a research note Thursday that a 100% market share of the new iPhones is a possibility in the second half of the year.

“This reinforces our views the Intel/Apple relationship is well alive and could result into a foundry agreement medium term, while representing a first step toward Intel's new heterogeneous computing approach,” wrote Gerra.

READ: Analyst: Much ado about Intel losing Apple

The analyst reiterated an Outperform rating with a price target of US$64.

Shares of Intel were up nearly 2% to US$52.04 in morning trade.


Contact Lenore Fedow at

Follow her on Twitter: @LenoreMariee

Thu, 12 Jul 2018 09:12:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Ex-Apple employee allegedly stole trade secrets, says Mercury News ]]> An ex-employee of Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reported to have allegedly stolen trade secrets from the tech giant, per a report in The Mercury News.

The stolen materials are said to have involved self-driving vehicle technology – an area that Apple has been working on in secret for several years.

Federal agents apprehended the alleged culprit, Xiaolang Zhang, at San Jose International Airport after he hastily bought a ticket to China from Hainan Airlines.

Zhang allegedly took the top-secret documents from Apple when he went on paternity leave and stored the data on his wife’s laptop. He intended to bring the Apple data to a new employer, according to a tweet from Henry Lee, a crime reporter with KTVU Fox 2 News, a San Francisco-based news station.

Moments B4 flight to Beijing, ex-#Apple worker Xiaolang Zhang nabbed by @FBISanFrancisco at @FlySJC for stealing autonomous-vehicle trade secrets while on paternity leave, per @USAO_NDCA. Zhang told agents he intended to work for @xmotorsglobal & air-dropped data to wife's laptop

— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) July 10, 2018

Zhang has been charged with theft of trade secrets in a US District Court for Northern California.

Apple shares held steady at US$190.35 today.

Tue, 10 Jul 2018 15:55:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple and Samsung finally agree settlement in lengthy legal battle over iPhone patent infringements ]]> Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and South Korean rival Samsung have finally agreed to settle their seven-year legal battle over patent infringements, according to court documents filed on Wednesday.

The settlement, terms of which were not disclosed, brings to an end a dispute that started in 2011 when Apple accused Samsung of copying the iPhone's design and software features.

READ: Apple awarded US$539mln in damages by US jury over Samsung patents lawsuit

In May this year, a US jury awarded Apple US$539mln, leaving Samsung with an outstanding balance of US$140mln it owed Apple.

The US tech giant had sought US$1bn in damages in a re-trial of a 2012 case, and South Korea’s Samsung had argued that it should pay only US$28mln.

The jury awarded Apple the bulk of the damages with respect to design patents, for which the jury said Samsung must pay $533.3mln. The remaining US$5.3mln was awarded for utility patents.

Samsung had previously paid US$399mln to compensate Apple for infringement of some of the patents at issue in the case.

In pre-market New York trading on Thursday, Apple stock was up 0.4% at US$184.96.

Thu, 28 Jun 2018 07:08:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple to partner with Sesame Workshop to create original children’s programming, Variety says ]]> Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is teaming up with Sesame Workshop to create new children’s programming for its Worldwide Video division, according to a Variety report.

The nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street will work with Apple to develop original content, including a live-action and animated series as well as a puppet series.

The Sesame Street series is not included in the deal. It will continue to be broadcast daily on HBO and is also available on PBS, where it debuted in 1969.

READ: Apple inks content deal with Oprah Winfrey

Apple has recently inked several deals for original content, including a drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and a reboot of Steven Speilberg’s sci-fi short story series “Amazing Stories.” And Oprah Winfrey inked a content deal just last week. 

Shares of Apple were up slightly to US$186.70 in Wednesday afternoon trading.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 14:16:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - How long can tech companies support the market rise? ]]> Over the last two years, tech stocks have come to dominate the market cap charts, pushing out the old guard of oil companies and industrial conglomerates to reign supreme over the market.

The meteoric rise can be seen in the numbers. In 2011, the top spot for the biggest market cap was held by oil major Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XON), which ended the year at the top of the Financial Times’ Global 500 list with a market cap of around US$406bn.

However, apart from a brief return to the top in the second quarter of 2013, Exxon’s days at the top were over as it was usurped as the dominant company by technology giant Apple Inc (NASDAQ:APPL) at the start of 2012.

Now in 2018, Exxon, along with all the other oil majors and industrial companies such as General Electric Co (NYSE:GE) are conspicuously absent from the top 10.

Instead, five of the top 10 slots globally are held by tech companies, namely the so-called FAANG group - Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Apple, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) – plus computing stalwart Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT), with Apple looking down on the others from the top spot with a market cap of around US$851bn.

And the boom in tech stocks shows no sign of abating, with the tech heavyweights effectively keeping the bull run going. While the rest of the market is tossed to and fro by geopolitical swings and trade war fears, the tech sector seems relatively unaffected.

This is played out in the numbers, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index rising 10.5% since the beginning of the year. In contrast, the US market benchmark, the S&P 500, has only risen 2.8% in the same period while the Dow Jones, up 0.65%, has barely moved.

With such a contrasting picture from the rest of the market, the question lingers regarding just how long the tech giants can support the weight of the rest of the stock market on their shoulders.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 15:36:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - US Supreme Court to hear anti-trust case accusing Apple of monopolizing iPhone app market ]]> Apple’s appeal (NASDAQ:AAPL) against an anti-trust lawsuit that accuses it of unfairly monopolizing the iPhone app market is heading to the US Supreme Court, per published media reports.

The justices have agreed to hear Apple’s case to throw out a class-action lawsuit, which takes aim at the iPhone maker for squelching competition by approving only those apps which are developed to be sold exclusively through its App store.

The plaintiffs argue that Apple unfairly controls the way the app market works in order to charge “excessive” commissions of as much as 30%, according to a Bloomberg report.

The case has the potential to set a precedent that could result in the slapping of damages against an array of e-commerce companies with businesses that work similarly to Apple’s App store.

READ: Apple inks content deal with Oprah Winfrey

The suit against Apple began back in 2011, according to Reuters, when iPhone buyers in a California federal court, led by lead plaintiff Robert Pepper, accused Apple of unfairly controlling the sale of games and other apps via its App store and jacking up their prices.

While app manufacturers establish the prices of their apps, Apple charges these companies a 30% commission on each purchase and accepts payments from its iPhone users, according to Reuters.

The Supreme Court will hear Apple versus Pepper sometime during its next term, which kicks off in October.

Apple shares were flat at US$188.91 in morning trade today.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:24:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple inks content deal with Oprah Winfrey ]]> Another Silicon Valley player has gone Hollywood.

First Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) started offering original content, followed quickly by Inc’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime Studios.

Now Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is taking a seat in the director’s chair – and not the kind found in the boardroom.

The maker of iPhones, iPads and laptops announced Friday that it’s struck a multiyear content deal with media superstar Oprah Winfrey.

READ: Apple bans cryptocurrency mining apps on its iPhone, iPad devices

“Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world,” the company said in a statement.

Multiple reports Thursday indicate that Apple also has an interest in producing an original, feature-length animated film in partnership with Ireland-based Cartoon Saloon, which produced several Oscar-nominated animated films, such as “The Secret of Kells” and “The Breadwinner”.

Shares of Apple were down 1.2% Friday afternoon to US$188.56.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 14:38:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Kount survey reports fewer merchants accepting Apple Pay and Google Pay ]]> It’s becoming harder, not easier, to pay at stores with Apple Inc's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Apple Pay and Alphabet Inc's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Google mobile wallets — at least that's what the results of the sixth-annual Mobile Payments & Fraud Survey from Kount, a risk management firm, suggest.

The number of the nearly 600 respondents across 29 industries who accepted Apple Pay this year slumped to 35% from 48% last year.

Elsewhere, the rate of take-up is even worse for Google Pay, which is only being accepted by 25% of those merchants polled in the study. That's down from 38% last year.

READ: Apple bans cryptocurrency mining apps on its iPhone, iPad devices

The sole mobile payment app to grow its business over the last twelve months is American Express Co's (NYSE:AXP) AMEX Express Checkout, which is now being accepted by 16% of survey participants, up from 9% last year.

Apple shares are flat at US$190.66 in afternoon trade while class A shares of Google’s parent Alphabet are up slightly at US$1,157.28.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 14:59:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple bans cryptocurrency mining apps on its iPhone, iPad devices ]]> Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has rejigged its App Store policy and formally banned all cryptocurrency mining applications at the App Store, reports said Monday.

This comes on the back of Apple’s move in March to remove the Mac app Calendar 2 for running a cryptocurrency mining tool in the background.

The App Store’s review guidelines have now been updated to explicitly ban on-device mining — across any type of app, and all of Apple’s platforms.

Under the Hardware Compatibility section,  Apple now states that "apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining," reported.

The website reported that new developer guidelines released during Apple’s Worldwide Developers' Conference (WWDC) set new rules for cryptocurrency apps distributed through both the iOS and Mac App Stores.

According to the report, Apple will only allow wallets, and apps may facilitate virtual currency storage, provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization.

“In addition, apps may not mine directly for cryptocurrencies, unless the mining is performed in the cloud or otherwise off-device,” reported

In addition, apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself.

Apple is also quite clear that apps facilitating Initial Coin Offerings, cryptocurrency futures trading, and other crypto-securities must come from “established banks, securities firms, futures commission merchants, or other approved financial institutions.”

Demystifying the ban

The upshot of the new rules is that while Apple will permit cryptocurrencies to exist on its platforms, it’s adding requirements to “stop scammers and individuals from exploiting App Store customers, while making explicit that it’s blocking developers from eating Apple device processing power” for mining activities, wrote Jeremy Horwitz in VentureBeat.

Apple is not the only tech giant to crack down on crypto mining apps. In April, Google announced it will ban any cryptocurrency mining extension at its Chrome Web Store.

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 12:03:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple’s WWDC all about software, ‘progress in AR’, says UBS, while Deutsche Bank calls it "incremental" ]]> A slew of analysts weighed in on Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Worldwide Developers' Conference (WWDC) on Monday and noted that the software-focused conference didn't include any new hardware announcements, but the company did unveil a bevy of upgrades that will roll out in the coming months across various products. Naturally, some were more impressed than others.

Apple CEO Timothy D. Cook, opened the company’s annual conference for developers in San Jose, California on Monday amid high expectations. In fact, RBC Capital analyst Amit Daryanani raised his price target on Apple to $210 from $203 after attending the conference.

On the other hand, UBS analysts maintained their Buy rating on Apple and US$210 price target.

Apple was up 0.66% to $193.10 in premarket trade.

Progress on AR

Analysts at UBS pointed out that there were no hardware announcements, but good progress on augmented reality (AR).  

“The App Store turned Apple into a platform company with substantial developer support. This week marks US$100bn in payments to developers,” UBS analysts Steven Milunovich, and Munjal Shah wrote in a note to clients.

“Apple nixed hardware announcements — no new iPads or Macs — to focus on iOS12 and applications. The event lacked big announcements, but there is progress in augmented reality.”

Apple claims it has the largest AR platform and announced enhancements such as “multi-user support, Measure tool, and a new file format to aid content development.”

“We still don't see the AR killer app, but there is time with AR glasses likely 2-3 years away,” wrote the analysts.

The analysts maintained their Buy rating on Apple and US$210 price target.

Apple was up 0.66% to $193.10 in premarket trade.

Privacy and screen time

Apple says Safari will prevent share buttons and widgets on websites from tracking users without their permission. This announcement comes on the heels of new reports of Facebook sharing user data with technology partners, including Apple. Safari will also block advertisers from collecting characteristics specific to each user's mobile device so they can't identify your device and retarget ads to users.

The analysts said Apple continues to make a statement about privacy, “a potential competitive differentiator.”

Apple will also give users a new app called Screen Time to monitor how long they are spending on specific apps.

“Apple added new protections for user data that can be accessed by applications. Screen Time addresses concerns of consumer advocacy groups. This feature gives consumers a weekly summary of how they use their phones, amount of time spent on each app, and an ability to set time limits for particular apps,” wrote the analysts.

Milunovich, and Shah said the “joke on twitter was that Apple is limiting time on the phone” but now providing more multitasking capability for the Apple watch.

Updates for Siri, group FaceTime, CarPlay

The company's latest iPhone operating system update brings a host of new features. With iOS 12, users will be able to FaceTime with up to 32 people.

“Siri Suggestions allows users to embed Siri into applications. The company is making life tougher for advertising when Siri can stop tracking,” wrote the analysts.

“Group Face Time should be a popular feature for consumers. Adding support for third-party apps such as Waze and Google Maps could increase adoption of CarPlay. Also significant is that Apple takes revenue on Office subs on the Mac, and Apple TV revenue has grown 50%,” they added.

RBC Capital raises price target

Meanwhile, Apple’s price target was raised to $210 at RBC Capital after the WWDC keynote.

RBC Capital analyst Amit Daryanani raised his price target on Apple to $210 from $203 after attending the conference, saying the announcements focused on "small but critical" changes to strengthen the company's ecosystem over the long term.

In a research note to investors, the analyst, who maintained an Outperform rating, said he is increasingly confident that even in a "muted" smartphone unit sales environment, Apple could realize mid-teens EPS growth through gross margin upside from cost downs, NAND tailwinds and yield efficiencies, services growth and capital allocation.

Deutsche Bank less impressed

Meanwhile, Apple “software updates more incremental than game-changing,” says Deutsche Bank analyst Sherri Scribner who was less impressed by what came out of WWDC.

Apple's enhanced security and time-management features are the most meaningful new updates, Scribner tells investors in a research note. She says that with only "modest" software updates announced, her view on the stock remains unchanged. The analyst keeps a Hold rating on Apple.

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 08:29:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple showcases latest advances at its yearly WWDC conference for developers ]]> Tim Cook, Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) fearless leader took to the stage Monday at the company's Worldwide Developer Conference to unveil the newest software for its iPhone and iPad as well as iOS12, its latest operating system.

Thousands of programmers from around the world have flooded San Jose, California, to listen to Cook, whose presentation came as Apple shares hit a fresh all-time high of US$193.42, pushing the company’s market share higher than US$940bn and nearing the elusive trillion-dollar mark.

Not only will your newest Apple devices be sleeker and faster, as Cook describes, but the company is introducing a number of specific changes across its gadgets and devices designed to make your life a model of efficiency. Here are just a few:

Siri is undergoing a remodeling as part of the introduction of iOS12. If you take advantage of the new “Shortcuts” app and you tell Siri that you’d like to order groceries, your grocery delivery app will surface on your phone. If Siri knows you tend to order a Starbuck's coffee via an app in the mornings, it will prompt you to seek out a quick caffeine rush at the usual time.  Your iPhone and your Mac will simply be faster and respond more quickly to your needs. iOS12 will run your apps at a speed, which is up to 40% faster than in iOS11. Apple is encouraging people to become less addicted to their phones as well. If you click on “Do Not Disturb during Bedtime”, for example, your phone will not post alerts while you’re sleeping. Apple is introducing “Memojis”, which are virtual versions of yourself that have moving facial expressions. Currently only available via the iPhone X, you’ll soon be able to alter the color of your eyes or your hairstyle or the shape of your head by playing around with your own animated emoji. Augmented reality or AR first made its debut with the iPhone 8 last year. This feature opens the door for apps to superimpose images from your computer on your real-time photo or video. In related news, Apple has unveiled ARKit2, which allows an array of users to experiment with augmented reality in real time. You might, for example, opt to play checkers on a table with your friend while using your iPhone or iPad to control your moves. FaceTime can now support group calls. More than 30 people can now log onto one FaceTime call. Also, if you want to turn a chat via your messages board into a video call, you can as FaceTime calls will be blended into that app as well.


Mon, 04 Jun 2018 15:50:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - JP Morgan analyst pours cold water on report that Apple will introduce OLED screens in 2019 iPhones ]]> Fresh doubts are being cast by Jay Kwon, a widely followed JP Morgan analyst, on a new South Korean media report that suggests that the iPhone maker Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) will adopt next-generation OLED displays in three of its expected iPhones in 2019.

JP Morgan’s Kwon rushed out a research report today and called the new story in South Korea’s Electronic Times a “false alarm” in response to the suggestion that Apple will convert all of its new iPhone models to OLED screens – which Samsung supplies to Apple exclusively – by 2019.

Instead, Kwon expects that Apple will stick to providing two phones next year with fancier OLED screens (organic light-emitting diode) and one with an LCD screen, which are supplied to Apple by Japan Display and Sharp.

Kwon disputes South Korea’s Electronic Times’ report as he says it’s “too early” for Apple to make this sort of a decision and that the iPhone maker would face difficulty positioning its product if it were to introduce three phones with the more expensive screens.

READ: Apple to launch a credit card with Goldman Sachs

Even if three phones were introduced with OLED screens, Kwon forecasts that further manufacturing efforts would be unnecessary as the industry could handle additional demand of as much as 50 million units.

The recent news from the South Korean news outlet has had a radical effect on share prices, with manufacturers of LCD screens slumping in response while companies on the OLED supply chain fare well.

Shares of the two big LCD screen suppliers, Sharp and Japan Display, were down 3% and 8%, respectively in afternoon trade. Shares of Universal Display, a supplier of OLED screen parts, meanwhile, were recently trading 5.4% higher at US$105.05

Kwon warns that today’s share price reactions are attributable to “false-market alarm” and may well reverse in the near-term, according to his note, which was first obtained by The Fly.

Brian Lee, a Goldman Sachs analyst, however, is now more bullish on shares of Universal Display, a key supplier of critical parts for Samsung’s OLED screens, and is keeping a Buy rating on the shares with a US$150 price target.

Tue, 29 May 2018 15:29:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple awarded US$539mln in damages by US jury over Samsung patents lawsuit ]]> Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was on Thursday awarded US$539mln in damages by a US jury over a lawsuit with rival Samsung Electronics Co. over smartphone technology.

The US tech giant had sought US$1bn in damages in a retrial of a 2012 case, and South Korea’s Samsung had argued that it should pay only US$28mln.

The jury awarded Apple the bulk of the damages with respect to design patents, for which the jury said Samsung must pay $533.3mln.

READ: Apple faces lawsuit over allegations of Touch ID patent infringement, 9to5Mac reports

The remaining US$5.3mln was awarded for utility patents.

Samsung has previously paid US$399mln to compensate Apple for infringement of some of the patents at issue in the case.

Because of that credit, if the verdict is upheld on appeal it will result in Samsung making an additional payment to Apple of nearly US$140mln.

In a statement, Apple said it was pleased that the members of the jury "agree that Samsung should pay for copying our products."

The US firm added: "We believe deeply in the value of design. This case has always been about more than money."

In pre-market New York trading on Friday, Apple stock was up 0.3% at US$188.75. 

Fri, 25 May 2018 05:34:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple to launch a credit card with Goldman Sachs ]]> Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is getting to ready to launch a credit card in partnership with investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS), according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.  

The new credit card marks the end of Apple’s credit card partnership with Barclays PLC.

“The planned card would carry the Apple Pay brand and could launch early next year, people familiar with the matter said. Apple will replace its longstanding rewards-card partnership with Barclays,” the newspaper reported.

This will be Goldman’s first foray into consumer credit cards that will expand beyond its own customer base. The move comes just months after Goldman acquired the team behind Final, an Oakland-based credit card startup.

The partnership will extend into other services including Goldman offering in-store loans to Apple customers buying iPhones and other gadgets.

According to the report, the Apple-Goldman card could help the “companies combat weaknesses in their core businesses.”

Apple shares have been on a tear of late and touched an all-time high of US$190.37 today as the company's valuation edges ever closer to the vaunted trlilion-dollar mark.

READ: Wall Street praises Apple as tech giant becomes less reliant on iPhone

Apple bowled over Wall Street by posting better-than-expected profits on May 1, but it also reported that iPhone sales had slowed in the United States.

Apple which is widely expected to become the first company to hit a trillion-dollar capitalization is scouring for new opportunities to add to its formidable revenue stream. Now worth over $940bn, Apple is broadening its presence in the banking and finance industry through the Apple Pay card. 

The WSJ report quoted people familiar with the matter saying Apple stood to “boost its revenue by collecting a bounty from Goldman” for each new cardholder.

The supplementary revenue could help Apple reach its goal of doubling its services business to US$50bn annually by 2020 from US$24.35 bn in 2016.

Thu, 10 May 2018 14:42:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Report: Apple, FedEx land successful bids for U.S. drone program as Amazon, China's DJI miss out ]]> Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) are among the applicants behind the10 initial projects selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation to assess how to regulate drones and safely integrate them into U.S. air space, according to a report by Reuters.

Projects put forth by online retail giant Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and China's DJI, the world's largest maker of non-military drones, did not make the cut, Reuters reported. The news service said about a dozen applications that involved DJI were rejected, as was an application that involved Amazon delivering goods by drone to shoppers in New York City.

Reuters said the Transportation Department initiative drew 149 bids from locales looking to host flights at night, flights over people and other drone operations that U.S. rules prohibit. The applications listed companies that the locales would partner with in the experiments, according to Reuters, with the winners potentially gaining a leg up on the revenue and jobs the young industry could create.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said dozens more projects could be approved in coming months, either with new waivers or under existing rules, according to Reuters.

Reuters said the broad interest in the U.S. initiative, launched by President Donald Trump last year, underscores companies' desire to have a say in how drones are regulated and to win approval to operate them for a wide range of purposes.

Among the other companies involved in the selected projects are Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC), aircraft maker Airbus SE and ride services provider Uber Technologies Inc., Reuters reported.

Thu, 10 May 2018 09:16:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Warren Buffett piles into Apple stock in 1Q, says CNBC ]]> Even before Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) crushed market expectations with its fiscal second-quarter results, Warren Buffett believed in the stock and went so far as to purchase an astonishing 75mln shares of Apple in the first quarter, according to an exclusive report by CNBC.

Those shares add to the 165.3mln of Apple shares which Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett’s investment holding company, already owned at the close of 2017.

“It’s an unbelievable company,” Buffett told CNBC. “If you look at Apple, I think it earns almost twice as much as the second most profitable company in the United States.”

Buffett divulged the news about the size of his Apple stake in a CNBC interview, which aired last night and comes ahead of the yearly Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, which is set to be attended by tens of thousands of Berkshire investors.

READ: Apple announces US$100bn share buyback as 2Q earnings beat estimates on strong services growth

Apple posted revenue of US$61.1bn in the three months ended March 31 – up 16% year-on-year and just ahead of Wall Street forecasts for US$60.8bn.

Reports of weak iPhone sales in the run-up to the earnings proved to be true, with Apple shifting "just" 52.2mln units in the quarter, behind analysts’ already-lowered estimates of 52.5mln.

But the higher prices of the new iPhone X and 8 more than offset the lower volumes, with total iPhone sales climbing to US$38.0bn.

The company – which has a cash pile in excess of US$300bn – also unveiled a US$100bn share repurchase program and hiked its quarterly dividend by 16% to US$0.73 a share.

Class A shares in Berkshire Hathaway were flat at 287,051 in pre-market trade while Apple shares inched up 1.28% at US$179.21.

Fri, 04 May 2018 09:38:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Report: Apple reps, California officials met to discuss autonomous cars ]]> A report by website Appleinsider says Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) representatives met with California Department of Motor Vehicles officials last month to talk about the company's ongoing autonomous car program.

Appleinsider cites documents acquired by macReports through a public information request that show at least six California DMV officials, including Director Jean Shiomoto, were present at a meeting that took place April 2 at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Also at the meeting, according to the report, was Apple director of product integrity Steve Kenner, whom Appleinsider described as "an executive known to have close ties with Apple's autonomous vehicle project." The report said Kenner wrote a letter in 2016 to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposing a policy update that would grant automotive industry newcomers opportunities to test their self-driving vehicles on public roads.

The specifics of the meeting are unknown. However, Apple has been looking to certify more drivers to test autonomous vehicles on California roads, according to the report.

Appleinsider said Apple's Autonomous Vehicle Tester (AVT) Program is an extension of efforts to build a branded self-driving car. Known as "Project Titan," the initiative dates back to at least 2015, but was scuttled in 2016 after hitting a number of roadblocks.

Apple since has refocused efforts on the less ambitious goal of developing self-driving software and supporting hardware that might be used in conjunction with third-party platforms, according to Appleinsider.

Wed, 02 May 2018 09:20:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Wall Street praises Apple as tech giant becomes less reliant on iPhone ]]> The iPhone is still Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) big money-maker but Wall Street analysts like how the tech giant is reducing its reliance on the smartphone business.

In Tuesday’s after-hours fiscal second-quarter earnings release, Apple reported revenue of US$61.1bn and earnings of US$2.73 a share – both ahead of consensus.

READ: Apple announces US$100bn buyback as 2Q earnings beat estimates

The higher prices of the iPhone X and iPhone 8 helped to offset a slight miss on unit sales, with total iPhone sales climbing to US$38.0bn in the quarter.

That means the iPhone is now responsible for just over 60% of Apple’s revenue; slightly lower than the year-ago period which itself was an improvement on the year before.

Picking up the slack has been the nascent services business, so things like iCloud, Apple Music and the App Store.

Revenue from that division surged to US$9.1bn, beating last year’s figure of US$8.5bn and Wall Street forecasts of US$8.4bn.

Being too reliant on one product has its obvious pitfalls but there are also perhaps ‘hidden’ benefits to generating more sales from the services business.

For example, people who have purchased lots of apps on the App Store or who have signed up with Apple Music are much more likely to continue to stick with Apple in the future.

Wall Street analysts have praised the work Apple has put in to developing its other businesses away from the iPhone.

“There is increasing revenue balance as the iPhone matures with services and wearables picking up some slack,” wrote UBS’s Steven Milunovich.

“Services growth of 31% was impressive – Apple should reach its goal of doubling services over four years organically.”

US$50bn in services revenue ‘by 2019’

Morgan Stanley number cruncher Katy Huberty thinks Apple might hit its US$50bn of annual services revenue in early 2019 rather than its previous guidance of 2020.

“We don't see Services growth slowing anytime soon given the many growth levers, including: 1) fewer than half of users pay for services and the paying customer base is growing strong double-digits.2) a broadening data center footprint and new payment methods improve the services experience, and 3) strong growth in relatively nascent services like Music and Pay along with upcoming services like Video.”

Deutsche Bank’s Sherri Scribner upped her price target for the stock to US$165 from US$152.

In a note to clients, the analyst said she was encouraged by the strength in services and wearables, while iPhone sales weren’t as bad as she had feared.

Wed, 02 May 2018 08:53:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple announces US$100bn share buyback as 2Q earnings beat estimates on strong services growth ]]> Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares surged in after-hours trading after the world’s largest company topped expectations with its fiscal second-quarter results and announced a staggering US$100bn share buyback.

The tech giant posted revenue of US$61.1bn in the three months ended March 31 – up 16% year-on-year and just ahead of Wall Street forecasts for US$60.8bn.

Earnings per share jumped 30% compared to the year-ago period to US$2.73, versus expectations of US$2.67.

Apple shares rose 3.4% to US$174.85 after the bell in New York.

iPhone sales miss forecasts

Reports of weak iPhone sales in the run-up to the earnings proved to be true, with Apple shifting "just" 52.2mln units in the quarter, behind analysts’ already-lowered estimates of 52.5mln.

But the higher prices of the new iPhone X and 8 more than offset the lower volumes, with total iPhone sales climbing to US$38.0bn. That was also behind expectations, though.

Although the iPhone still accounts for more than half of all sales, Apple is becoming less reliant on its top earner, and the real growth this time around came in services, which is made up of businesses such as Apple Music, iCloud and App Store.

Services revenue jumped to US$9.1bn, beating last year’s figure of US$8.5bn and Wall Street forecasts of US$8.4bn.

Many investors will have been paying close attention to the capital return program, and Apple didn’t disappoint.

US$100bn buyback and div hike

The company – which has a cash pile in excess of US$300bn – unveiled a US$100bn share repurchase program and hiked its quarterly dividend by 16% to US$0.73 a share.

“We’re thrilled to report our best March quarter ever, with strong revenue growth in iPhone, Services and Wearables,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive. “Customers chose iPhone X more than any other iPhone each week in the March quarter, just as they did following its launch in the December quarter.

He added: “We also grew revenue in all of our geographic segments, with over 20% growth in Greater China and Japan.”

As for its outlook, Apple is guiding for fiscal third-quarter revenue of between US$51.5bn and US$53.5bn – towards the higher end of the US$51.6bn Wall Street number crunchers had pencilled in.

Tue, 01 May 2018 16:51:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple job posting sparks rumor that an in-house chip is in the works ]]> A job posting was recently taken down from Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) site, sparking rumors that the company will develop an in-house chip to move toward 5G wireless networks.

A job listing for a “mmWave IC design engineer” was removed from the site, according to a report by Cult of Mac.

While the post never specifically mentioned anything about 5G modems, the engineer would “be responsible for providing circuit and system solutions for multi-gigabit wireless chips” and that the work would bring “functional products to hundreds of millions of customers.”

READ: Apple is the subject of rumors regarding a takeover of Conde Nast

Apple has been tangled up in legal battles regarding patents and royalties with chipmaker Qualcomm Inc (NASDAQ:QCOM), the company that supplies the modems for iPhones. The company also buys components from Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC).

The job listing has fueled speculation that Apple may cut ties with Qualcomm and Intel, opting to create its own chips.

The tech giant received an experimental license to test the millimeter wave technology necessary for 5G technology. 5G cellular wireless networking occurs along millimeter wave frequencies.

Telecomm rivals T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) and Sprint Corp (NYSE:S) announced a merger this weekend, citing their plan to build a 5G network for their customers as one of the driving forces for the collaboration. The companies expect to have a network available by 2019.

Shares of Apple rose less than a percent to US$166.37 in Tuesday pre-market trading ahead of its earnings announcement later today, while shares of Qualcomm and Intel were both down slightly.

Tue, 01 May 2018 09:04:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple is the subject of rumors regarding a takeover of Conde Nast ]]> Rumors have erupted in the press that the iPhone maker Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is looking into acquiring either all or part of Conde Nast, the upmarket publisher of the New Yorker, Vogue and Vanity Fair, according to a report in the UK publication The Guardian.

While the debate could be passed off as no more than speculation, Conde Nast is thought to be a takeover target as it is engaged in strenuous cost-cutting efforts, put in place by the consulting firm McKinsey, which are aimed at paring down 2017 losses of more than US$100mln on revenues of about US$1bn, according to the New York Post.

Bob Sauerberg, Conde Nast’s chief executive, is vigorously denying the rumors. “We are not for sale,” he told the New York Post.

READ: iPhone sales aren’t looking good for Apple, according to a host of Wall Street analysts

The price of a sale of Conde Nast could fall between US$1bn and US$2bn if a bidding war takes place.

The rumors coincide with the release of Apple’s quarterly earnings results Tuesday. It is thought that Apple could be interested in Conde Nast as its acquisition would allow the tech group to widen its content offerings beyond music and video. Apple’s recent acquisition of Texture, which offers access to a range of print magazines, suggests that the company is interested in supplying written content.

In pre-market trade, Apple shares were up slightly at US$166.38 ahead of its earnings announcement later today.

Tue, 01 May 2018 08:05:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - iPhone sales aren’t looking good for Apple, according to a host of Wall Street analysts ]]> Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is set to post its second-quarter earnings on Tuesday and if the analysts are right, the results could be a bit of a bloodbath for iPhone sales.

The iPhone X – Apple’s tenth anniversary smartphone – was supposed to be the best yet, but it seems the public has been less-than-impressed by the phone’s features and, more likely, its hefty price tag.

In a note obtained by, Bernstein analyst A.M. Sacconaghi Jr highlights the “striking” similarities between the current iPhone X and 8 cycle and the iPhone 6s cycle – another difficult period for phone sales.

READ: Samsung warns of weak demand for OLEDs used for Apple’s iPhone X

Going into its second-quarter earnings, Sacconaghi reckons the risk-reward is, at best, neutral, while he continues to believe that estimates are more likely to go down than up in the near-term.

READ: Apple supplier Teradyne reports sharp drop in demand

The analyst – who has the stock as a "Perform" with a price target of US$170 – points out that Apple’s expected large capital return programme could mitigate this, but still sees the post-earnings narrative being dominated by questions over the iPhone.

Saggonachi isn’t the only one predicting a slowdown in phone sales. Barclays’ number cruncher Mark Moskowitz has cut his price target to US$157 from US$168 on concerns that a “weaker iPhone franchise” could require the company to go out and make a few acquisitions.

He cut his estimates for the second time in as many months, claiming that Apple investors are in the stock for capital returns from its US$200mln+ cash pile.

If that cash is used elsewhere, Moskowitz – who has Apple as Equal Weight – says it could be a “sell on the news event” should the capital returns to shareholders be merely in line with forecasts.

Apple to lower forecasts?

BMO Capital analyst Tim Long thinks the tech giant could even lower its projections in the earnings call on Tuesday.

Long kept his "Market Perform" rating and US$166 target price in play but dropped his full-year earnings per share estimate to US$10.55 from US$11.16.

In a note to clients obtained by, Long believes that iPhone sales have struggled this time around because the higher price means people are waiting longer to upgrade their smartphones.

The analyst isn’t convinced that the new phone, due in September, will immediately solve the iPhone’s issues although he does expect the company to announce a new shareholder return programme which could pacify investors for a while longer.

As for what to expect in Tuesday’s second-quarter results, the Wall Street consensus is for earnings of US$2.69 on revenue of US$61.1bn.

Apple shares rose 1.8% on Monday and were up another 0.1% to US$165.41 in after-hours trading.

Mon, 30 Apr 2018 16:45:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Samsung warns of weak demand for OLEDs used for Apple’s iPhone X ]]> Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (KRX:005930) is the latest Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) supplier to offer a sign of weaker iPhone X sales, saying that it’s seeing slow demand for the screens used in the iPhone X.

Samsung posted record first-quarter profits on Thursday but warned about a deceleration in its display panel segment.

"Generating overall earnings growth across the company will be a challenge due to weakness in the display panel segment and a decline in profitability in the mobile business amid rising competition in the high-end segment," Samsung said in a statement.

The bad news for Apple is piling up as CNBC reported that Samsung’s weak prognosis for the iPhone X came after key iPhone supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. (NYSE:TSM) warned about slower growth in smartphone chip sales. 

Apple’s iPhone X boasts organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens touted as the future of smartphones because they’re crisper and easier on batteries than their than their liquid-crystal predecessors.

Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers had said in a note to clients that Apple was likely to expand OLED to “additional models.”

Read: Apple will probably post 'in-line numbers' in 2Q on lukewarm demand, analyst says  

Separately, Fast Company reported that Qualcomm Inc (NASDAQ:QCOM) was to remain Apple’s iPhone modem supplier in 2018, but will see orders reduced to 30%.

Apple and longtime partner Qualcomm are caught in a bitter legal battle, but Apple is reluctant to ditch the supplier on those merits alone. Rumors had suggested that Apple is planning to remove Qualcomm from its iPhone supply chain in favor of industry rival Intel this year.

Citing sources familiar with Apple's plans, Fast Company reported that Apple is tapping Intel to supply 70% of LTE modems for iPhone models set for release this fall, with Qualcomm picking up the remaining 30%.

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 11:27:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Fears that Apple is set to report a slowdown in iPhone demand playing out through Teradyne, says KeyBanc analyst ]]> Fears that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will report a slowdown in demand for its iPhones when it reveals its quarterly profits on May 1 appear to be playing out, says Weston Twigg, a KeyBanc analyst.

Twigg notes that this week Teradyne Inc (NYSE:TER), the semiconductor-test equipment maker, cited a sharp drop in demand for mobile device testing, primarily due to a slowdown in demand from Apple for gear to test mobile devices.

This factor pushed Teradyne’s earnings guidance for the second quarter down well below consensus estimates, according to, the business website, which first obtained the KeyBanc note.

“Despite the strong first quarter results, the demand outlook for 2018 mobile device test capacity declined sharply in the quarter and our second quarter guidance reflects that revised outlook,” Mark Jagiela, Teradyne’s chief executive, said in a statement.

READ: Teradyne 1Q sales and profit rise; acquires Mobile Industrial Robots for US$148mln

In the second quarter, Teradyne is now predicting its adjusted earnings will fall between US$0.45 per share to US$.052 per share and its sales will come to US$490mln to US$520mln. 

These figures pale by comparison to analysts’ projections. They had expected the group to earn US$.093 cents per share, with sales of US$690mln.

The stock of Skyworks Solutions, a wireless-smart phone chip maker, also inched down this week after Vijay Rakesh, an analyst with Mizuho, slashed his rating on its shares to neutral from buy on fears about a slowdown in iPhone sales.

Shares in Teradyne dove 15% to US$35.30 in midday trade Wednesday while Apple shares were up less than 1% at US$164.53.

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 10:59:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - UBS sticks by Apple price target of US$190 as it deems iPhone's price strategy 'successful' ]]> Despite recent price weakness at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), analysts at UBS are sticking by their price target of US$190 a share for the iPhone maker's shares.

Apple shares have taken a nearly 8% hit in the last five days amid weaker numbers reported last week by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (NYSE:TSM), a big Apple supplier. UBS noted the supplier's miss has sparked fears that Apple will report disappointing iPhone sales in June, but its analysts say they are not convinced the miss "is only a reflection of iPhone end demand."

"Consequently, we think June units may end up closer to 40mn (million) than 35mn," according to the UBS report dated 24 April 2018.

And while there appear to be "a lack of upside catalysts" at Apple, the UBS analysts said "the downside also appears limited, with strong services growth likely and a significant stock repurchase to be announced."

Analysts deem Apple pricing strategy 'successful'

UBS acknowledged there "has been little good news regarding iPhone demand given continued supply chain concerns" and question marks in China. Nonetheless, the analysts maintain that Apple "is having success moving buyers up the iPhone price curve." They estimate that 24% of customers paid more than US$900 for their iPhones, up from only 5% a year ago.

"We think Apple's pricing strategy has worked better than most investors believe," the analysts said. "A moderate mix-down is evident, but Apple successfully moved most premium customers in the US$700-US$900 price range to price bands over US$1,000.

READ: Apple's post-earnings dip is the time to buy, says Morgan Stanley analyst

"Some believe Apple's pricing strategy failed, but we view it as successful at the high and low ends," the analysts stated.

The UBS analysts also say they expect a "fairly aggressive capital return policy" in the form of stock buybacks.

"We look for the yearly repurchase rate to about double from US$30bn to US$60bn with zero net cash achieved in five years," UBS said.

Price target maintained

UBS noted that Apple's stock is near its 200-day moving average, and said the current quarter "should test whether the iPhone demand is becoming less important to investors." The analysts said they're maintaining their price target of US$190, or 16 times their fiscal 2018 earnings estimate of US$11.70 a share, "in line with hardware-centric names."

In mid-morning trading Tuesday, Apple was down 0.8%, to US$163.93. It traded as high as US$178.82 a week ago.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:31:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - European regulators launch probe into Apple's takeover of Shazam ]]> European regulators have opened an investigation into iPhone maker Apple’s takeover (NASDAQ:AAPL) of Shazam over concerns that the deal could limit choices for users of music streaming services.

EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, said the investigation “aims to ensure that music fans will continue to enjoy attractive music streaming offers and won’t face less choice as a result of this proposed merger.”

If it goes ahead, the proposed transaction, which was arranged last December, would allow Apple Music, the group’s music streaming service – now the second-biggest of its kind in Europe – to gain access to Shazam, a music recognition app for mobile devices across Europe and internationally.

At this point, the European Commission is concerned that following its takeover of Shazam, Apple would obtain access to data about the customers of its competitors, which could pose an unfair advantage.

READ: Apple's post-earnings dip is the time to buy, says Morgan Stanley analyst

“Access to such data could allow Apple to directly target its competitors’ customers and encourage them to switch to Apple Music,” the regulators said. “As a result, competing music streaming services could be put at a competitive disadvantage.”

Regulators are also looking into whether Apple Music’s competitors would be harmed if Apple were to discontinue the referrals they now receive from the Shazam app.

The European Commission has until September 4 to deliver a verdict on its investigation.

Apple shares were down 0.45% to US$164.92 on the news. Shares have been under pressure in recent days, falling to bear-market levels.

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:20:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple's iPhone X may be discontinued this year as demand drops, CNBC says ]]> Apple Inc. (NADAQ:AAPL) will probably discontinue making the iPhone X this year because of a lull in demand, CNBC reported, citing an industry expert.

An oversupply of chips at an Apple part vendor that “has never been higher” suggests the company is no longer buying components for any future iPhone X models, signaling the device is “dead,” CNBC cited Neil Campling of Mirabaud Securities as saying in a note to clients.

Mirabaud has been tracking inventory data at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, or TSMC, the world's largest semiconductor foundry company, for more than a decade, according to the CNBC report. TSMC has record levels of inventory on hand, Campling said, citing a recent earnings statement from TSMC.

“The iPhone X is dead," Campling wrote in his note, CNBC said. "The simple problem with X is that it is too expensive," he said, referring to the device's US$999 price tag. "Consumers are turning their backs on high-priced smartphones."

Campling said that old inventory of iPhone X models will still be on sale, while no new ones will be made.

Apple shares fell 3% to US$167.64 at 10:45 a.m.

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:50:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple's post-earnings dip is the time to buy, says Morgan Stanley analyst ]]> Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is set to report its second quarter earnings on May 1. Morgan Stanley analysts recommend that investors to buy the dip after the earnings release.

The tech giant is expected to meet expectations in the second quarter, but analyst Katy Huberty said that estimates should be lowered for the following quarter, according to a note reported on by

The company’s capital return announcement will likely accompany its second quarter report, spurring a “sell the news” event, according to Huberty.

The analyst lowered the June quarter estimated iPhone shipments to 34 million from 40.5 million.

READ: Apple will probably post 'in-line numbers' in 2Q on lukewarm demand, analyst says

The Morgan Stanley analyst maintained her overweight rating, slightly lowering the price target to US$200 from US$203.

Canaccord analyst T. Michael Walkley said in a note reported on by that a survey he conducted pointed to slow iPhone sales. However, he said that Apple’s market share will continue to grow and that iPhone owners are not abandoning Apple for Android.

Walkley also stated the company may be clearing its inventory to make way for three new models being introduced in September.

The Canaccord analyst reiterated a buy rating with the same price target of US$200.

Apple’s iPhone outlook in China has weakened as well, according to OTR Global, after checking in with Asian wireless carriers, service providers, and other telecommunications-related businesses. Apple’s shares rating was lowered to mixed from positive.

Shares of Apple were down slightly in Friday pre-market trading.

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 09:38:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple will probably post 'in-line numbers' in 2Q on lukewarm demand, analyst says ]]> Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may post fiscal second-quarter revenue that meets its forecast even amid softer demand for the company's iPhones, Mizuho analyst Abhey Lamba said in a research note.

Still, Lamba sees a a risk to Apple's third-quarter revenue guidance, and said the results may miss the mid-point of consensus estimates, he wrote in a note cited by He expects Apple on May 1 to report “fiscal Q2 numbers in-line with guidance.”

The analyst wrote that channel checks pointed to “iPhone X demand softness” in addition to an “incremental downtick” in procurement of the iPhone 8 and iPhone8 Plus.

Capital-Return Program

Apple’s shares have already priced in any upside from the firm increasing its capital -return program, given the incremental cash provided from US tax reform and Apple's pledge to reduce its net cash position to zero over time, the analyst said.

Lamba is keeping a Neutral rating on Apple with a $175 price target, citing what he says is a limited upside to 2018 shipment estimates and a "full" valuation.

Apple fell 1.9% to US$174.45 at 10:15 a.m.

Read:Apple is an 'uninspired investment,' CNBC cites analyst as saying

Separately, Longbow analyst Shawn Harrison said in a note that his contacts reiterated outlooks of flat to as much as 2% growth for Apple's iPhone in both the second quarter and full year.

Even with Apple's likely large future capital returns, the analyst reiterated his Neutral rating on the company's stock.

In the short term "we remain cautious on the iPhone vs. consensus while highlighting that other near-term positives in terms of services growth and accelerated capital are known to investors," Harrison wrote in a note cited by CNBC.

Harrison said even if the company doubled its dividend, it will have more than $40 billion per year of free cash flow to buy back its stock for fiscal 2019, boosted by corporate tax cuts.

Apple will boost OLED tech

Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers wrote in a client note seen by that Apple will probably expand organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology and introduce it to “additional models.”

Apple’s iPhone X boasts an OLED screen touted as the future of smartphones because they’re crisper and easier on batteries than their liquid-crystal predecessors.

The analyst said investors should maintain a “cautious view” on “forward demand rivers/upgrades/elasticity” in Apple's iPhone installed base in fiscal 2018.

The analyst reiterated a Market Perform rating and US$195 price target on Apple, according to

Budget LCD iPhone may start at US$550

Apple may launch two versions of a rumored 6.1-inch LCD iPhone later this year, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, Kuo says Apple may be planning a dual-SIM dual standby or DSDS-capable LCD iPhone with two physical SIM card slots and no eSIM support.

A second LCD variant will be outfitted with a traditional single-SIM arrangement and could sell for between US$550 and US$650. Based on the new bottom-tier pricing, a DSDS model may cost between US$650 to US$750, the analyst said. 

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:08:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple is an 'uninspired investment,' CNBC cites analyst as saying ]]> Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is an "uninspired investment" as the company is poised to report disappointing iPhone sales and profit in two weeks, according to Nomura Instinet, CNBC reported. Citing analyst Jeffrey Kvaal.

"We believe the investors have sufficiently dissected the key near-term drivers of the shares,” the report cited Kvaal as saying. “Consensus estimates are likely to fall on weak iPhone demand. We add that our work into China also suggests the” iPhone model X “malaise continues."

Kvaal is keeping his Neutral rating on the stock and his US$175 price target, according to CNBC. He has an earnings-per-share estimate for Apple's fiscal second quarter of US$2.69, it said.

Apple shares were little changed at US$178.06 at 1:58 p.m.

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 13:53:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple tells employees in memo that leaking information risks legal action, Bloomberg reports ]]> Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is warning employees not to leak information about future company plans or they risk possible legal action and loss of their jobs, Bloomberg News reported, citing an internal memo.

Apple has already caught 29 workers whom it found were leaking information, of which 12 were arrested, the report said.

“These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere,” the company said in the memo.

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 14:05:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple brings in external contractors to help replace iPhone batteries on demand surge, 9To5Mac Says ]]> Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is bringing in external contractors to help replace iPhone batteries because demand has soared since the company cut the price for the service, 9to5Mac reported.

Along with shifting AppleCare employees into retail stores to work on the replacements, outside workers are being trained by Apple staff before working on phones, the report said, citing unidentified Apple employees.

Apple said late last year it would cut the price of out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements from US$79 to US$29 for anyone with an iPhone 6 or any later model, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018.

The company has been accused of deceiving customers by reducing processor speeds in outdated handsets. Apple has owned up to slowing down older handsets but has said the move was designed to stop devices from abruptly shutting down.


Thu, 12 Apr 2018 16:52:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple faces lawsuit over allegations of Touch ID patent infringement, 9to5Mac reports ]]> Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is facing a lawsuit over allegations that Touch ID infringes upon a South Korean mobile tech company’s patent, 9to5 Mac reported Thursday.

Jung Jae-lark, co-chief executive officer of FirstFace, registered patents in several countries, including South Korea, Japan and the US, for technology that allows users to verify their identities by placing their finger on a home button that would recognize their fingerprint.

A Korean Company is Considering a Patent Lawsuit against Apple over Touch ID

— ionica's blog (@iSayRO) April 12, 2018

The company may be what is known as a patent troll, or a company that buys patents only to take legal action, according to a Business Korea report.

READ: Apple ordered to pay 'patent troll' VirnetX US$502.6mln

The report states that the company has also filed a lawsuit against Samsung Group.

A Texas court recently ordered Apple to pay US$502.6mln to VirnetX Holding Corp. (NYSEMKT:VHC), a company that has also been referred to in published reports as a patent troll, for patent infringement.

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:50:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple may scrap iTunes to pole vault Apple Music subscriber base beyond 40mln ]]> Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has set a hard date for snuffing out iTunes as even music downloads are now obsolete, with streaming services dooming iTunes to the recycle bin, reports said Thursday.

The news follows a leaked e-mail written last month that revealed Apple will stop taking new iTunes LP submissions ahead of more widespread changes, according to the, which saw the email sent to people working in the music industry.

“Apple will no longer accept new submissions of iTunes LPs after March 31, 2018,” announced “The End of iTunes LPs” email sent to music industry executives.

A phase-out of the iTunes music download service may help Apple keep up with subscription-based streaming platforms such as Spotify Technology SA (NYSE:SPOT).

READ: Apple's HomePod smart device is not winning the AI popularity contest, says Bloomberg

The tech giant is thinking of world domination as its popular three-year-old streaming service Apple Music officially surpasses 40 million paid subscribers in 115 countries.

The company recently announced the promotion of Oliver Schusser to lead Apple Music Worldwide, reported Variety.

With some 8 million auditioning the service via free trials, Apple Music is gaining ground on its competitors — namely Spotify, which went public on April 3 — at a monthly growth rate of 5% (versus Spotify’s 2%), per a recent report in the Wall Street Journal.

Sweden-based Spotify is aiming to exceed 200 million users by the end of 2018, and also hopes to have 96 million of them paying the monthly subscription fee, up from the current 71 million.

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:31:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple's HomePod smart device is not winning the AI popularity contest, says Bloomberg ]]> The fiercely competitive world of personalized AI devices is proving difficult for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to crack into, as sales of its new HomePod smart device are failing to keep up with Amazon’s line of Echo devices.

A news article by Bloomberg, which cites data from Slice Intelligence, says that during its first 10 weeks of sales, HomePod won just 10% of the smart speaker market while Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Echo devices garnered 73% of the market. Google Home, meanwhile, earned 14% in the contest.   

Piles of HomePods remain in inventory, according to the Bloomberg story, and Apple store workers at some locations are selling fewer than 10 HomePods a day.

READ: Apple may scrap iTunes to pole vault Apple Music subscriber base beyond 40 mln

Apple recently poached John Giannandrea, Alphabet Inc.'s (NASDAQ:GOOG) head of search and artificial intelligence at Google, in a move that is designed to raise its game in the AI field.

The recruitment of Giannandrea is regarded as a coup for the company. Google, Amazon, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:MSFT) are all thought to be more advanced in the artificial intelligence field than Apple as they have access to more data on their users than Apple does.

In pre-market trading, Apple shares inched up 0.65% to US$172.44.

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:10:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple ordered to pay 'patent troll' VirnetX US$502.6mln ]]> A federal jury in Texas ordered Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to pay US$502.6mln to VirnetX Holding Corp. (NYSEAMERICAN:VHC) for infringing on patents for secure communications after a protracted legal battle that dragged on for eight years, Bloomberg reports.

VirnetX was up 39% to US$5.70 in pre-market trading on Wednesday in the NYSE American small-cap equity market.

Apple’s stock was little changed on the news, given that the $502.6mln award is itsy-bitsy compared to the iPhone maker’s staggering US$20bn profit in the first quarter.

VirnetX claimed that Apple’s FaceTime, VPN on Demand and iMessage features, breach four patents related to secure communications. Apple denies the claims.

A history of patent litigation

There have been multiple trials and the dispute has bounced between the district court, patent office and Federal Circuit since 2010.

"The evidence was clear," Kendall Larsen, CEO of VirnetX told Bloomberg after the verdict was announced. “Tell the truth and you don’t have to worry about anything."

But VirnetX could ultimately end up seeing little to none of the money.

“For VirnetX, the jury verdict in its favor could be a short-lived victory. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has said the patents are invalid, in cases that are currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington,” according to the Bloomberg article.

As Ars Technica detailed last year, VirnetX is the kind of company often referred to as a patent troll. It said it offers some products including a “secure mail and messaging system called the Gabriel Collaboration Suite,” though SEC filings show they derive the entirety of their revenue from judgments in patent lawsuits.

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 08:09:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple introduces red iPhone 8 to support AIDS battle ]]> Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) announced on Monday that it was introducing a new color to its hotly anticipated limited edition versions of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus lineup: red.

The phones will sport a glass enclosure, now in red, with a matching aluminum band and a sleek black front. The special edition red iPhones will be available to order online in select countries and regions on Tuesday and in stores starting April 13.

READ: Apple to give US$100bln back to shareholders thanks to tax cut

Apple also introduced a new red iPhone X Leather Folio, which will be available starting Tuesday.

Apple has donated over US$160mln in the last 11 years by partneriing with RED to battle AIDS. It has contributed upto 50% of profits from its RED-branded devices to the global fund to help fight AIDS.

"Today’s announcement is further evidence of Apple’s leadership in and commitment to the AIDS fight since the beginning of (RED) in 2006,” said RED’s CEO Deborah Dugan.  

Product Red was founded in 2006 by U2 frontman Bono and ONE Campaign activist Bobby Shriver and licenses its name to other private companies to highlight efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in eight African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia.

Apple has released a number of special RED edition iPods, iPads, and cases over the years, and last year, released an iPhone 7 for the first time last year.

Ultimately, whether red iPhones appeal to customers already excited by the bigger changes coming to the range later in the year, particularly the redesigned iPhone X SE (or iPhone SE 2 as it is also known) remains to be seen. The new phone is expected to blend cutting-edge iPhone X technology with a lower asking price.

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 09:15:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple to give US$100bln back to shareholders thanks to tax cut ]]> The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has given Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) the opportunity to give US$100bln back to its shareholders, according to a note by Citi Research analysts shared by CNBC.

The cash benefit will be used to buy back more of its own shares and increase the dividend programme.

In a Wednesday note, analyst Jim Suva wrote: “Looking ahead, we expect investor focus to be on the impact from Apple’s capital returns strategy, which we estimate could be a $100 billion increase, the 2H18 lineup, and continued strength in Apple’s Services segment.”

Citi on $AAPL: "we expect investor focus to be on the impact from Apple’s capital returns strategy"

Goldman on Apple: "would not recommend that investors focus on expected increased buybacks as the main reason to own the stock.

(h/t @marfgilbert) @CNBC

— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) April 5, 2018

Citi also confirmed its Buy rating for Apple shares and the analyst reiterated a US$200 price target.

Apple shares were trading at US$168.92 per share on Friday afternoon, down 2.25%.

Goldman analysts stress fundamentals

Goldman Sachs analysts on Tuesday maintained their Neutral rating, even though they noted that Apple has done well with previous buybacks.

They calculated that the company has reached investment returns of US$66bln for its buyback programs. Apple has returned US$237bln to shareholders since 2013, with three-fourths of that money coming from buybacks.

“Our conclusion is that buybacks have become a less dependable way to predict future stock performance in recent years as their popularity has grown,” the analysts said.

They recommended that investors shift their focus from the buyback program to Apple’s fundamentals when deciding whether to own the stock. The analysts called Apple’s fundamental outlook, and the iPhone demand expectations for March and June, “weak.”

The 12-month price target remains at US$159.

Apple is set to report its second-quarter earnings May 1.

-- This update adds Goldman Sachs research and rating.

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 09:45:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple chief Tim Cook to testify in Qualcomm lawsuit ]]> Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), is set to attend a deposition on June 27 as part of the group’s tumultuous legal battle with chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), which has launched a lawsuit against the computer and iPhone maker.

Qualcomm’s lawsuit contends that Apple executives allegedly lied to regulators to create problems for Qualcomm and that this spurred investigations into Qualcomm’s business practices in a number of countries.

The legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm began in January of last year when Apple sued Qualcomm in a US$1bn claim over its alleged overcharging and its royalty payments. A few months later, last April Qualcomm countersued Apple and accused the iPhone maker of “giving government agencies false and misleading information and testimony” about Qualcomm.

In pre-market trade, Apple shares were flat at US$171.47 and so were Qualcomm shares, which hovered at US$54.58.

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 08:43:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple poaches Google's head of artificial intelligence ]]> Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), the computer maker, has reportedly poached John Giannandrea, Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) head of search and artificial intelligence, in a move that is designed to raise its game and improve the capabilities of Siri, its digital smart assistant, in the fiercely competitive artificial intelligence field.

The recruitment of Giannandrea, which was first reported by The New York Times, is regarded as a coup for the company, which has struggled to compete in the contest being waged among artificial intelligence gadgets like Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Alexa and Google Assistant.

Management reshuffle at Google

Google, Amazon, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) are all thought to be more advanced in the artificial intelligence field than Apple as they have access to more data on their users than Apple does.

In the wake of Giannandrea’s departure for Apple, a management shuffle is in place at Google and its search and artificial intelligence is being split into two units. Ben Gomes, who is currently vice-president of search engineering, will take the helm of Google’s search division, according to published reports.

Jeff Dean, a programmer who was one of the first employees at Google and a co-founder of the Google Brain team, will take control of Google’s artificial intelligence unit.

In pre-market trade, Apple shares were down 1.7% to US$165.50 while class A shares in Alphabet were down 1.7% to US$1,018.68.

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 08:42:00 +1000
<![CDATA[News - Apple’s new iPad for schools still leaves it behind Google in the classroom ]]> Much has been made of Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) sending its iPad, quite literally, back to school this week.

On Tuesday, the world’s most valuable company unveiled the new model of its entry-level tablet to a hall full of teachers and school kids.

Users for life

The new 9.7-inch iPad includes has an upgraded, faster processor and supports the Apple Pencil – a US$100 stylus which was previously reserved for the pricier Pro models.

It is an attempt by Apple to reassert itself as the dominant force again in the education market, which is now led by Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and its inexpensive Google Chromebooks.

As the late Whitney Houston once said, the children are the future, and if you can get them through the door early – and signed up to iCloud, Apple Music or Gmail, for example – the chances are they still with that company for a long time, if not forever.

That is why Apple wants to appeal more to this market. But apart from a few tweaks on the inside, the new iPad doesn’t offer much more than its predecessor. From the outside at least, this new model is almost identical to the 2013 iPad Air.

The design isn’t the only familiar thing about the tablet either; at US$329, the price is the same as the previous model and around US$120 more than a standard Chromebook.

Price could be a sticking point

Part of the reason for the lack of a major overhaul is that Apple is not looking to get existing iPad users to upgrade, rather it is looking to get people using its product and platform for the first time.

Still, commentators have noted that, although the changes are welcome, it is far from an all-out assault on the sector.

Apple has the difficult task of convincing teachers and parents that a device which comes without a keyboard is a viable option for learning as opposed to social media and games.

The price could also be another sticking point. While Apple has never been about being the ‘value’ option with any of its products, if users wanted to buy a wireless keyboard and an Apple Pencil, the total would be around US$500 – more than double what a Chromebook sells for.

Apple shares edged 0.2% higher in early afternoon trading to US$168.77.

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 12:17:00 +1100
<![CDATA[News - Apple's reported push to make its own screens knocks down Universal Display shares ]]> Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) is designing and producing its own device displays for the first time, according to Bloomberg, and word of the tech giant's efforts to make the screens is dinging the stocks of display technology suppliers such as Universal Display Corp. (NASDAQ:OLED).

Universal Display shares were down around 7.2% in premarket trading, at US$115 a share, in light of a Bloomberg report that Apple is using a secret manufacturing operation near its Cupertino, California, headquarters to make small numbers of the screens for testing purposes. Bloomberg cites people familiar with the situation as the source of its information.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is making a big investment in the development of next-generation MicroLED screens, which use different light-emitting compounds than current OLED displays. The goal is to produce gadgets that are slimmer, brighter and don't consume as much power.

No easy task

Bloomberg said the screens are far more difficult to produce than OLED displays and that Apple almost killed the project a year or so ago. Engineers since then have made progress, according to Bloomberg, though consumers likely will need to wait a few years before seeing the results of Apple's efforts.

The prospect of Apple producing yet another key component of its products in-house was hurting the shares of display technology suppliers such as Universal Display in the U.S. and Sharp Corp. and LG Display Co. overseas.

Bloomberg said the secret initiative is overseen by Lynn Youngs, an Apple veteran who helped develop touch screens for the original iPhone and iPad and now oversees iPhone and Apple Watch screen technology.

According to Bloomberg, about 300 engineers are designing and producing MicroLED screens for use in future products.

Bloomberg said an Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on its report.

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 08:27:00 +1100
<![CDATA[News - Apple buys magazine subscription service Texture for undisclosed sum ]]> Consumer electronics giant Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is to acquire Texture, a digital magazine subscription service.

The app, often described as “the Netflix of magazine publishing”, offers US-based users unlimited access to more than 200 magazine titles at a cost of US$9.99 a month.

Apple acquires digital newsstand Texture as it doubles down on content 'from trusted sources' by @ingridlunden

— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) March 12, 2018

Texture, formerly known as Next Issue, was founded in 2010 and was owned by Next Issue Media, a venture backed by magazine publishers such as Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith and Rogers Media, plus private equity group KKR.

Respected technology web site, Tech Crunch, said it was not clear what Apple plans to do with the acquisition.

“One area where we could see the product end up is Apple News, where Apple already provides access to a variety of third-party content. More generally, the company has been focusing on a larger premium content play across other mediums, putting a lot of investment into music, video and podcasts. Texture fills out the scope of that vision with reading material,” said Tech Crunch’s Ingrid Lunden.

Similar subscription services are available from Amazon and Google.

“We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users,” declared Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.

Apple is buying Texture, signaling a harder push into news

— Mashable (@mashable) March 12, 2018

The price Apple paid to acquire the service was not disclosed.

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 08:25:00 +1100
<![CDATA[News - Apple in talks with miners to secure long-term cobalt supplies ]]> US tech giant Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in talks to buy long-term supplies of cobalt directly from miners for the first time, according to reports.

The US$870mln company is one of the biggest end-users of the metal, which is a key battery ingredient for a lot of its products, including its popular iPhones.

Until now it had left the business of  buying the metal to its suppliers which make the batteries, but according to Bloomberg it is looking to secure several thousand tons of cobalt for five years or longer.

Apple wants to protect supplies of the metal as the rapid growth in demand for electric vehicles and their batteries - which cobalt is also used in - threatens to create a worldwide shortage of the raw material.

Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported that the company first began tentative discussions with miners last year, adding that Apple is still exploring its options and may end up deciding not to go ahead with any deal.

READ: Is Cruz set to be the most active junior cobalt company on earth?

Should the firm press on, it will pit itself directly against car giants BMW and Volkswagen, as well as battery producers such as Samsung - all of which are also racing to sign multi year deals to ensure they have a steady and sufficient supply of cobalt.

Wednesday's news will be welcomed by a host of miners and their investors; from UK giant Glencore PLC (LON:GLEN), which had already hinted it was in discussions with Apple, right through to juniors such as Cruz Cobalt Corp (CVE:CUZ) and Sienna Resources Inc (CVE:SIE).

Apple shares gained 0.7% to US$173.12 shortly before the opening bell in New York.

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 09:10:00 +1100
<![CDATA[News - The iPhone super-cycle is dead but Apple will be fine ]]> Watches, Macs, apps and other services are set to play a more important role for Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) than ever before, according to analysts at UBS.

Steven Milunovich & co said in a note that the iPhone super-cycle – when many customers would update their handsets every September as Apple released their latest model – is dead.

Q1 iPhone sales missed targets​

The tech giant sold 77.3mln iPhones in the final three months of 2017, well short of analysts’ expectations of 80mln and even below last year’s figure of 78.3mln.

 In the same earnings report, Apple showed why, even as the iPhone matures, the company as a whole will be just fine though.

“Near-term average selling price increases [thanks to the US$1,000 iPhone X] and longer-term potential in new product categories should allow Apple to grow at least in-line with consumer technology spend,” wrote Milunovich.

“A mature iPhone means that other categories, especially services and other products, will become material to growth.”

But revenues and profits still beat expectations…​

Apple already appears one step ahead of the game, having blown past expectations for fiscal first-quarter revenues and profits despite the slowdown in phone sales.

Its software and services division saw revenue rise 18% year-on-year to US$8.5bn, while sales of other products such as its AirPods earphones and Apple Watch jumped by 50%.

The Silicon Valley firm has also been working hard to squeeze money out of its existing customers, with the App Store, Apple Music, iCloud and Apple Pay all enjoying their biggest quarters ever.

Making money from existing users

“The narrative is changing even faster than we anticipated from iPhone growth to monetizing the installed base [existing users] with additional hardware and software,” the analysts added.

“The installed device bases are growing, loyalty is high, the iPhone is gaining share, and Apple is far ahead in wearables.”

UBS reckons the stock is still “undervalued”, especially if it launches a share buyback programme. The Swiss bank has a price target on the stock of US$190 – some 20% or so above the current share price of US$156.49.

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 08:00:00 +1100
<![CDATA[News - Apple looks into complaints from iPhone X users unable to answer calls ]]> Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is investigating complaints from iPhone X users about being unable to answer incoming calls.

Customers on Apple’s online support forum have said the screen on the US$999 device does not turn on when trying to unlock the device to answer a phone call.

READ: Apple to halve production of iPhone X in first quarter after slower-than-expected sales

Users have complained about trying to answer calls but staring at a blank screen for sometimes longer than 10 seconds without facial recognition or the ‘slide to answer’ function working.

"Sometimes the screen does not turn on and this problem can last for a few seconds or remains permanent until I do a forced reboot," one person wrote on the forum.

Apple has advised customers to restart their phones to solve the problem, which has been caused by a software glitch that is freezing the display.

However, one customer on the company’s support forum said this service as a temporary fix and only lasts for about 15 or more calls.

It is unclear how many people are affected by the issue but the Financial Times reported that hundreds of customers have complained.

iPhone X criticism 

The news serves as the latest blow to the iPhone X following criticism that it may not be worth the price tag due to the lack of new technologies compared to previous models and its competitors.

Apple has reportedly experienced a slowdown in iPhone X sales in recent weeks and is said to be planning to cut production.

Last week, however, chief executive Tim Cook appeared to dismiss rumours of sluggish sales of the iPhone X, saying it has been in demand since its launch.

READ: Apple reports record quarterly profit even as iPhone sales fall

“iPhone X surpassed our expectations and has been our top selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November,” Cook said as the company reported a record quarterly profits.

iPhone battery bungle

Meanwhile, Apple has also come under fire from the US Department of Justice after admitting to deliberately slowing down older iPhones.

Apple has argued that it slowed down the phones to protect the battery and stop the phone from shutting down abruptly in adverse weather conditions. 

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 13:06:00 +1100
<![CDATA[News - Apple reports record quarterly profit even as iPhone sales fall ]]> Apple Inc (NASDAQ:APPL) posted a record quarterly profit that beat market forecasts as higher prices offset fewer iPhone sales.

Profits in the final three months of the year rose to US$20.1bn, up from US$17.8bn the same period a year ago and above analysts’ estimates of US$19bn.

The results included sales of the iPhone X for the first time. The device, which starts at price of US$999, helped lift average selling prices despite a 1% decline in the overall number of iPhones sold in the period to 77.3mln.

IPhone X sales top expectations

Chief executive Tim Cook appeared to dismiss rumours of sluggish sales of the iPhone X by saying it has been in demand since its launch.

“iPhone X surpassed our expectations and has been our top selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November,” Cook said.

Ahead of the results, media reports said Apple was going to cut production of the iPhone X after disappointing sales in recent weeks.

READ: Apple to halve production of iPhone X in first quarter after slower-than-expected sales

Revenue in the quarter grew 13% to US$88.3bn, also a record, driven by a 36% jump in sales of its ‘other products’ category that includes the Apple Watch and Apple TV.

Shares in Apple rose 3.4% to US$167.7 each in after-hours trade.

Apple's outlook disappoints

However, the company issued a weaker-than-expected sales forecast for the next quarter. It said it expects revenues of between US$60bn and US$62bn, below the U$65.7bn analysts have forecast.

Apple also predicts profit margins of 38% to 38.5%, compared to the 38.9% expected.

The disappointing guidance was interpreted by analysts to mean that Apple expects to sell fewer phones than expected or to sell phones that are either more expensive to make or have lower prices.

CFO reassures investors on guidance

 Apple’s chief financial officer Luca Maestri tried to soothe investors’ concerns about the outlook in a conference call.

"We typically don't go into this level of detail but I think it's important this quarter to give you additional color, and maybe the two most important messages are that we believe iPhone revenue will grow double-digits as compared to last year during the March quarter and also and, importantly, that iPhone sell-through growth on a year-over-year basis will be actually accelerating during the March quarter as compared to the December," Maestri said. 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 08:41:00 +1100
<![CDATA[Media files - Apple numbers point to iPhone progress says Matt Brown ]]> Wed, 02 Aug 2017 13:31:00 +1000