Apple’s evolution leaves it between two camps for investors, explains low share price (AAPL)

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An insightful Reuters blog by financial journalist Felix Salmon suggests that Apple’s surprisingly low share price may be due to the evolving nature of the company leaving it between two sets of investors.

Conservative investors, who like slow-growing stocks with high dividends, are constitutionally uncomfortable with the volatility inherent in the tech world. And technology investors, who are happy taking that kind of risk, want to see substantial growth. Apple, notwithstanding the fact that it’s one of the most valuable companies in the world, is falling through the capital-markets cracks.

Apple always used to be the company which surprised and delighted investors and customers alike. Its guidance to investors was deliberately pessimistic, blowing through those figures when it reported actual revenue and earnings. It was notoriously secretive about new products, launching new ones in a playful manner with Steve Jobs’ famous ‘One more thing‘ moments… Read more

Apple reports $43.6b revenue for Q2 2013: 37.4m iPhones, 19.5m iPads, 5.6m iPods, just under 4m Macs

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As planned, Apple has announced its Q2 2013 earnings results.

Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2013 second quarter ended March 30, 2013. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $43.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $9.5 billion, or $10.09 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $39.2 billion and net profit of $11.6 billion, or $12.30 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 37.5 percent compared to 47.4 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 66 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

The Company sold 37.4 million iPhones in the quarter, compared to 35.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold 19.5 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 11.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The Company sold just under 4 million Macs, compared to 4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Apple reported revenues for Q2 of $43.6 billion, which beats Apple’s estimates for the quarter of between $41 and $43 billion. This revenue compares to a revenue of $39.2 billion in the year-ago Q2. Apple also reported net profit of $9.5 billion, or $10.09 per diluted share

Apple sold 37.4 million iPhones, 19.5 million iPads, just under 4 million Macs, and 5.6 million iPods. This compares to 35.1 million iPhones, 11.8 million iPads, and 4 million Macs, sold in the year-ago Q2 2012 quarter.

Apple CEO Tim Cook on the results:

“We are pleased to report record March quarter revenue thanks to continued strong performance of iPhone and iPad,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software and services, and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline.”

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer as well:

“Our cash generation remains very strong, with $12.5 billion in cash flow from operations during the quarter and an ending cash balance of $145 billion,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO.

Apple’s guidance for next quarter (Q3 2013) is revenue between $33.5 billion and $35.5 billion

Apple will hold a conference call regarding today’s announcement. We will have live coverage at 5 PM EST/ 2 PM PST.

Here’s Apple’s press release announcement:

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Apple more than doubles capital returns, $100B to be returned to shareholders by end of 2015

Just off the wires, Apple is more than doubling its capital returns citing its inability to stop making more money than it can spend to “operate the business, invest in our future, and maintain flexibility to take advantage of strategic opportunities.”

As part of this program, Apple’s board has increased its share repurchase authorization to $60 billion from the $10 billion level announced last year. This is the largest single share repurchase authorization in history and is expected to be executed by the end of calendar 2015. Apple also expects to utilize about $1 billion annually to net-share-settle vesting restricted stock units.

More details in the press release that follows: Read more

AAPL earnings preview: what the analysts expect

Update: AAPL blew away expectations.

At 4.30pm Eastern, Apple will report its Q2 results (and we’ll be covering it live). It’s the day when the last three months of analyst predictions and forecasts come home to roost.

Apple’s newly-realistic guidance revenue is $41b to $43b, with margins of 37.5 – 38.5 percent. These numbers would suggest earnings per share of just over $10 … Read more

Review + Giveaway: Abstergo jailbreak tweak finally fixes iOS notifications

When Apple introduced Notification Center in iOS 5, they changed the way most people manage notification on their iOS devices. For the most part, they were right. Unfortunately, Notification Center introduced its own deficiencies and now people are looking for changes once again.

Today, change has finally come in the form of a jailbreak tweak called Abstergo, and we’ve got five free copies for our readers. Keep reading for a full breakdown of the tweak and more information about how you can win a copy.

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Budget iPhone rear shell leaked?

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Could this be the rear case of the long-rumored low-cost iPhone? Tactus (via Macrumors) thinks so.

While Tactus doesn’t have a notable track-record in such leaks, the design does appear reasonably consistent with the majority of rumors so far. It’s a plastic shell, similar dimensions to the iPhone 4 but a little thicker as you’d expect with a polycarbonate casing.

Tactus also claims to have some details of the phone’s spec:

I’ve also heard on the grapevine that the alleged budget iPhone will have an A5 processor like the iPad Mini with a 32nm diecast. It’s also rumoured it will have a 3.5 inch retina screen, much like the 4S, but not as big as the iPhone 5 … I’ve also discovered the factory producing this secretive project have confirmed the device will be available in Black, White, Blue, Red and Yellow

Real or not real? Let us know your view

Verizon unveils 1 year “Device Payment Plan” for yearly updaters, moves full subsidies to 24 months

Verizon announced a few notable changes this week, possibly in response to T-Mobile’s new ‘Uncarrier’ pricing structure.

The first change enforces 24-month contracts and restricts subsidized upgrades during that period. Customers will no longer enjoy ‘early upgrades’ after 20-months, as was previously the policy.

While the change may disappoint customers who enjoyed upgrading their devices more frequently, Verizon told The Verge that a new “Device Payment Plan” will be accompany the policy changes.

The new payment plan allows customers to upgrade their smartphone annually by paying the upgrade fee at the register and dividing the rest of the full-retail price over 12 months. This payment plan will include a $2/month finance charge through the duration of the year.

For people like us who update annually, this option is a more pragmatic approach, especially when vendors like Gazelle (as well as others) typically pay more than the subsidized cost of a new smartphone for last year’s smartphone.

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Apple to pay $53 million in class-action suit following iPhone warranty policy

via Flickr

Bring your faulty iPhone into your local Apple Store and probably the first thing the technician behind the Genius Bar troubleshooting your device will do is check the status of Liquid Contact Indicator, which signals excessive exposure to water.

This hidden tape strip reacts to moisture and can be found in your device’s headphone jack and charging port. The status of your warranty coverage depends on its color: if it is white, you pass, which means you are probably not responsible for replacement costs; if it is pink, your warranty is void, which can lead to expensive repair costs.

Apple’s practice of not honoring its hardware warranty based on this practice led to a class action lawsuit against the company in California.

Apple has reportedly agreed to pay up to the tune of $53 million in a settlement, nearly $16 million of which will go toward the legal counsel of the plaintiffs, and should be filed in a San Francisco federal court in the coming days, according to Wired.com.

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Apple nears ‘iRadio’ streaming deal with Warner and Universal in a dozen markets, royalties on par with Pandora rates

We’ve heard no end of rumors of a streaming Radio player from Apple.  We even found pay radio buttons in the iPad’s music player app code earlier this year:

The Apple radio service, once rumored for late 2012 to Q1/2013, has now been pushed back to mid-late 2013 because of difficulty signing the labels. Today the Verge says that Warner is all but signed up at rates comparable to what Pandora pays the labels  – which is to say a lot. Earlier reports put Apple’s asking price much lower.

Apple is expected to sign its first interner radio licensing agreement with a major record label perhaps as soon as next week, multiple sources with knowledge of the talks have told The Verge…Apple initially offered to pay 6 cents per 100 songs streamed, or about half of what Pandora pays. Now, Apple will pay rates nearly “neck and neck” with Pandora, one of the sources said.

Update: CNET reports that Universal is also close to signing and that Apple is hoping to go into a dozen territories by summer:

The press has dubbed the service iRadio, in negotiations with the labels Apple is referring to it as its “new streaming service,” says a source…Apple is building some unique features, such as the ability to jump back to the beginning of a song…Apple is hoping to quickly unveil the service in up to a dozen territories, according to sources, including the U.K, France, Germany, Australia, and Japan.

We’re hoping that Apple has an announcement to make at WWDC, if not earlier.