Report claims steel Apple Watch to start at $500, gold model between $4-5K

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French website iGen.fr, which has provided reliable information in the past, reported on Tuesday that the steel Apple Watch will start at $500 alongside a gold model that will retail for between $4,000 and $5,000. Apple previously claimed at its September event that the Apple Watch would start at $349, but did not disclose further pricing information.

The report claims that the stainless steel Apple Watch in polished steel or black will cost $500, while the gold Apple Watch Edition will be the more expensive version at between $4,000 and $5,000. That price range would be nearly half the estimated $10,000 price that some other reports have suggested.

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AAPL hits $500 for the first time since January following Icahn investment

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Following comments from billionaire investor Carl Icahn that he had taken a “large position” in Apple and discussed a larger buyback with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple’s stock experienced a new six-month high of over $488 per share. Today, AAPL continues to climb and has passed the $500 mark for the first time in nearly eight months since January 23rd.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal yesterday, Icahn noted that he expects Apple shares will soon rise above $600 and explained his proposal for increasing the stock buyback:

“This is a no-brainer to go buy stock in a company that can go borrow” at a low rate, Mr. Icahn said in an interview. “Buy the company here and even without earnings growth, we think it ought to be worth $625,” he said, referring to the stock price, which closed Tuesday at $489.57, having risen 5% on the news of Mr. Icahn’s investment.

Mr. Icahn’s thesis rests on Apple borrowing at about a 3% interest rate and buying back shares right now, likely at around $525 a piece. A stock buyback can increase earnings per share by reducing the number of shares outstanding.

While Icahn didn’t provide any financial details, WSJ adds that sources say his stake in Apple is now worth over $1.5 billion. Read more

DOD lays groundwork to install over 160k iOS and Android devices, capacity could hit 8 million

In December, we heard reports that the Pentagon had officially certified an Android device and Android 2.2 for use on Defense Department networks. According to a report from The Washington Postciting a recent document posted by the Defense Department, the Pentagon is hiring contractors to securely manage a combination of at least 162,500 iOS and Android devices. The document also noted the project could expand up to 8 million mobile devices: Read more