current

132.54

(+1.15)

Open 131.65
Volume 45,595,972
Day Range 132.97 - 131.40

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…

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

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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

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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.

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

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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 …

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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

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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:

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

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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

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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 …

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

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‘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

Apple’s easy finance initiatives in India pay off as local revenue breaks a billion dollars – report

india

Times of India is reporting that Apple is expected to have hit $1B in revenue in India in the financial year ended on 31st March – up 42% year-on-year, and a tripling of revenue over the past three years. India is one of the so-called BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China) where Apple is expecting to see a large chunk of its future growth.

It had previously been reported that Apple sold half a million iPhones in the final calendar quarter of 2014, and Cybermedia Research estimates that it sold 1.3M phones in the full financial year. If true, “over $1B revenue is inevitable,” says the report …  Read more

App Store revenue likely to double by 2018, generating $20B – IDC/App Annie

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Data from IDC and App Annie suggested that both Apple and Google are likely to see their app store revenues doubling within the next four years, reports Re/code. Based on Apple’s 2014 total revenue of $10B, this would suggest that Apple is likely to hit total revenue of $20B in 2018, with developers seeing $14B of it.

“I would consider this projection conservative,” App Annie CEO Bertrand Schmitt said in an interview, noting that the company has consistently been revising its forecasts up over the past two years as revenue has exceeded expectations.

The study also suggested that the trend toward freemium apps, which derive their income from in-app purchases, will continue–though this model is more common on Android than iOS …  Read more

Apple building funky-looking R&D center in Yokohama, Japan, opening next year

yokohama

This render provides our first look at Apple’s plan to build a sizeable new R&D center in Japan. We first heard that Apple would be building a facility “on par with Apple’s biggest R&D centers in Asia” from the Japanese Prime Minister late last year.

Japanese news site NHK reports that the center will be built on the outskirts of Yokohama, the second biggest city in Japan after nearby Tokyo. The city’s mayor announced in a news conference that Apple had purchased the remains of a Panasonic factory on the site, and would be building a 25,000 square meter facility over four floors. The scale of the building would suggest that it could accommodate around several hundred employees, though Apple may of course be allowing for future expansion. Read more