current

126.44

(-0.16)

Open 126.43
Volume 27,210,952
Day Range 126.69 - 125.77

Opinion: Seven reasons I think Apple may become a bank within the next five years

apple-bank

I first speculated that Apple might one day become a bank almost a year before the launch of Apple Pay. What triggered that thought was the use of Touch ID for iTunes purchases and the depth of security involved in the secure enclave used by Apple’s fingerprint system. It was clear even then that Apple had big ambitions in the mobile payment field.

Now that Apple Pay has launched, and already proven a big success, I think the argument for Apple to make the move are even stronger. So here are seven reasons I think Apple may become a bank within the next five years …  Read more

Apple ranks in at number 5 on latest Fortune 500 list

Fortune-500-Apple

Apple ranks in at number 5 on the latest Fortune 500, the annual list that ranks US companies by revenue, this time for fiscal year 2014. The company maintains its same position as last year behind Berkshire Hathaway (no. 4), Chevron (no. 3), Exxon Mobil (no. 2), and Wal-Mart Stores (no. 1).

While Apple comes in at fifth place for revenue, Fortune notes that it “boasts both the biggest profits of any company on the list ($39.5 billion) and the highest market value (more than $700 billion).” Read more

Millward Brown explains why Apple retook #1 slot as world’s most valuable brand

apple-most-valuable-brand

Millward Brown’s full report on its 10th annual brand equity ranking sheds light on why Apple regained its #1 ranking from Google. The company bases its rankings on the perceptions of more than 3 million consumers across 50 countries.

With a 67 percent rise in Brand Value to $247 billion, Apple returned to number one in the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking. Success of the iPhone 6 and the related excitement surrounding the Apple brand drove the increase. Apple also led in the rate of brand value growth over 10 years – 1,446 percent.

The company noted that Apple’s remarkable growth in long-term brand equity was evident in the fact that it didn’t even make the top 100 brands when Millward Brown began its BrandZ measurements just ten years ago …  Read more

Icahn pumps AAPL stock w/ predictions of Apple HDTVs, electric vehicle batteries

High-profile investor and AAPL shareholder Carl Icahn has published yet another open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, this time giving his thoughts on new product categories that he expects Apple to enter alongside his usual advice for the company on share repurchases, valuation, and more.

As for his product predictions, Icahn highlights two new big categories, both of which have been reported in detail and rumored for the last year, including TV and electric vehicles. Icahn thinks Apple will release full-fledged UHD TV sets sometime next year…

Read more

UBS matches KGI’s upbeat forecast for Q2 iPhone sales of 51M, well above consensus

iphone

UBS has matched the upbeat iPhone forecast made last month by KGI for Q2 (Apple’s fiscal Q3), both analysts estimating sales of 51M – well above the consensus expectation of 45M.

KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo predicts 51.4M, saying that while he believes iPhone sales have peaked, demand will remain higher than the normal seasonal pattern. UBS forecast 51.1M, noting that Apple’s “continued surge” in China is a key factor, where the premium market remains strong despite reports of the country approaching saturation point in smartphones.

Both analysts have strong track-records, Ming-Chi Kuo being our go-to guy for supply-chain rumors, and UBS producing a graph to show the accuracy of its past predictions (below) …  Read more

Apple announces major new bond sale to finance increases in capital return program

apple-cash1

At its last earnings call, Apple announced that it is expanding its capital return program by more than 50%. This means the company is now looking to repurchase over $140 billion worth of shares and a larger dividend for shareholders.

To fund this activity however, it is cheaper for the company to sell domestic company debt than repatriate its ever-increasing cash hoard that is ‘trapped’ overseas. Therefore, Apple has today announced it will issue a new 7-part bond to raise the funds.

Read more

Apple accused of stifling streaming music competition as DOJ joins EC in antitrust investigation

apple-doj-investigation

Allegations that Apple is engaging in anti-competitive practices in the run-up to the launch of its rebranded Beats streaming music service are now being investigated by the Department of Justice, according to “multiple sources” cited by The Verge.

The claim is that Apple has been attempting to use its influence to persuade music labels to pull out of deals with free, ad-supported services like Spotify and YouTube in order to reduce competition and increase demand for its own paid service. The European Commission launched an investigation into these same allegations last month …

Read more

Apple CEO Tim Cook on why he’s still optimistic about the iPad despite significant decline in sales

ipad-sales(Credit Quartz)

Tim Cook has once again defended the iPad in the face of continued falling sales, arguing that the “underlying data” paints a more positive picture than the pure sales numbers, and predicting that there will be future iPad growth.

As Quartz noted, the 23% year-on-year fall in iPad shipments to 12.6M means that iPad revenue actually dropped below Mac revenue for the second time since 2011. Cook again acknowledged that other Apple products cannibalize iPad sales, the iPhone 6 Plus a strong competitor on one side and the MacBook Air and new 12-inch MacBook on the other, but said that there were a number of reasons to be positive about the future of the iPad …  Read more

Live blog: Apple’s fiscal year Q2 2015 earnings call

tim-cook-apple-watch

As promised, Apple will hold its quarterly conference call with investors and analysts at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET to discuss its fiscal year 2015 second quarter results. These numbers include sales of 61.1 million iPhones, 12.6 million iPads, and 4.5 million Macs. Apple also reported $58 billion in revenue during FY 2015 Q2. During the latter half of the call, analysts and investors will have the opportunity to ask Tim Cook and company questions regarding today’s results and Apple’s future. While today’s earnings do not include Apple Watch sales and Apple doesn’t plan to disclose sales numbers, expect Tim Cook to at mention the company’s latest device. Stay tuned for our live coverage below:

Read more

AAPL’s numbers today are going to be huge, analysts predict: double-digit growth in all but iPads

aapl-q2-2015

With Apple set to reveal its fiscal Q2 earnings after market close today, analysts are expecting double-digit year-over-year growth in all categories except iPads. Fortune‘s roundup says that analysts predict revenue of $56.84B, up a massive 24.5% year-over-year, and above the top end of Apple’s $52-55M guidance. Earnings per share is predicted to be $2.21, up a third on the previous year, with gross margin just shy of Apple’s top-end guidance at 39.4%.

Double-digit growth is expected in both iPhones and Macs. For iPhones, the prediction includes sales just under 56M, 32.6% higher than the same quarter last year, while Mac sales are forecasted to hit 4.7M, 13.6% up on last year …  Read more

1.7M US Apple Watch orders to date, 22% of them shipped – Slice Intelligence

apple-watch-shipping

Slice Intelligence, which earlier estimated first-day US Apple Watch pre-orders at just under a million, said that the number has now reached 1.7M, and that 376,000 of them have shipped – around 22% of pre-orders. KGI has estimated worldwide shipments of 631,000 in Q1, with Q2 shipments expected to hit 3.8M.

Slice gathers its data by scanning the email inboxes of more than two million participating online shoppers and extrapolating its numbers from there. Of those panel members who ordered an Apple Watch, 22% of them were given a shipping date of Friday to Sunday inclusive …

Read more

Opinion: I’ve seen the future of Apple’s online/offline retail experience, and it’s magic

watch-01

‘Seen’ is something of an exaggeration, but ‘had a small glimpse of’ would have made for a rather lengthy headline.

Despite the fact that I’d placed my Apple Watch order online within a few minutes of pre-orders opening, I also made a same-day appointment for a try-on. This was partly because I wanted to handle the watch right away: Apple PR does not smile on a website that consistently reports upcoming product information, so we are firmly crossed-off the list of invitees to launches. But it was also partly because I was curious how the watch would be presented by store staff.

But let me begin by backing up a step or two …  Read more