Carl Icahn publishes open letter to Tim Cook, requests Apple increase buyback through tender offer (U: Apple statement)

Tim Cook

High-profile investor and Apple shareholder Carl Icahn has published an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook urging him to once again increase its share repurchase program for stock holders. Citing strong iPhone 6 sales and predicting the larger devices will help Apple gain marketshare from Android, Icahn is requesting Cook and Apple’s board make a tender offer to increase its current rate of share repurchases. Icahn said he thinks Apple remains “dramatically undervalued in today’s market,” but didn’t suggest a specific number for the increased buybacks: Read more

Europe’s best-selling computer magazine Bild gets Apple PR accreditation revoked after #bendgate video

Computer Bild, Europe’s best-selling computer magazine, has had its PR accreditation pulled after posting a video of one of its journalists bending an iPhone 6 Plus.

The german PR department of the company reacts in a disturbing way: Instead of answering the questions about why the iPhone 6 Plus is so sensitive, a manager called Computer Bild and told us, that Computer Bild will not get any testing devices and no invites to official events any more …

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Apple’s Irish tax arrangements explained as company denies special treatment

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Two days after the Financial Times reported that the European Commission was about to come down hard on Apple’s alleged deal with the Irish government to reduce its tax liabilities, Apple has made a statement to Business Insider claiming that it has received “no selective treatment.”

Apple is proud of its long history in Ireland and the 4,000 people we employ in Cork. They serve our customers through manufacturing, tech support and other important functions. Our success in Europe and around the world is the result of hard work and innovation by our employees, not any special arrangements with the government. Apple has received no selective treatment from Irish officials over the years. We’re subject to the same tax laws as the countless other companies who do business in Ireland.

Since the iPhone launched in 2007, our tax payments in Ireland and around the world have increased tenfold. To continue that growth and the benefits it brings to the communities where we work and live, we believe comprehensive corporate tax reform is badly needed …

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Apple halfway to solving regulatory holdup delaying iPhone 6 launch in China

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Reuters is reporting that Apple has now received one of the two licences needed to allow it to sell the iPhone 6 in China. There is no word yet on the second licence required before the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus can be launched in this hugely important market.

Apple Inc’s iPhone 6 received regulatory approval for use on domestic frequencies but still requires one more critical licence before it may be sold in the country, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday […]

Apple still needs to obtain a critical network access licence for the iPhone, after which sales may begin, Xinhua said …

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Credit Suisse estimates iPhone 6 earns lowest ever margins but predicts 14 percent revenue growth

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Credit Suisse analysts have estimated that Apple is making a smaller margin on the iPhone 6 than on any previous model – but predicts that the impact will be offset by year-on-year revenue growth of 14 percent, reports Quartz.

The iPhone 6 costs Apple $350.60 to produce, all in. Apple typically receives $599 on the retail price of $649, leaving it with $248.40 in gross profit. That’s 41.5%. Still very healthy, but not at the levels of previous models.

In contrast, the iPhone 5s left Apple with $274.30, giving it a 45.8% margin. The two-year-old iPhone 5 gave Apple $293.70 per unit, or 49% …

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iPhone 6 production by the numbers: 100 production lines, 200k workers, 540k phones a day

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The WSJ revealed some iPhone 6 production numbers as Foxconn struggles to meet demand from pre-orders: the company is operating around 100 production lines around the clock, has 200,000 workers dedicated to production of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – and is manufacturing 540,000 units a day.

“We have been churning out 140,000 iPhone 6 Plus and 400,000 iPhone 6 every day, the highest daily output ever, but the volume is still not enough to meet the preorders,” said a person familiar with the matter …

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Major Chinese business paper claims iPhone 6 won’t go on sale in China this year – reliability unclear

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Bloomberg is quoting a report from the major Chinese business paper 21st Century Business Herald that the iPhone 6 may not go on sale in China this year due to regulatory delays. Apple was unable to confirm a launch date in the country.

Apple may have to wait until next year to get approval for new iPhones in China after failing to reach agreement with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology this month, the 21st Century Business Herald reported today, citing an unidentified person close to Apple.

Carolyn Wu, a Beijing-based spokeswoman for Apple, said she couldn’t provide a date for the China release. “China is a key market for us and we will get here as soon as possible,” Wu said in an e-mail today …

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Apple Pay may mean the end of physical bank cards within 2-3 years, argues Moven CEO

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While we’d all expected plastic bank cards to be replaced by apps eventually, the CEO of mobile banking startup Moven is suggesting that Apple’s backing could mean the end of physical bank cards within 2-3 years.

The additional sweetners here are three fold. Firstly, tokenization will avoid much of the type of breaches we’ve seen at Target and Home Depot because the token is only a one-time use thing. Secondly, the move to tokens and the combination of biometrics, etc allow for the emergence of a ‘cardholder present’ approach to interchange rates that will potentially give mobile payments a competitive merchant rate. Lastly, the US might effectively jump straight from magstripe to mobile, especially if issuers can figure out how to reduce the cost of card replacement by moving straight to mobile SE and tokens …

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Most analysts satisfied with Apple’s announcements, think AAPL stock will climb

Tim Cook

Big-name analysts seemed satisfied with what they saw and heard during Apple’s launch of the iPhone 6, Apple Watch and Apple Pay, reports Forbes. Summarising investor notes from a dozen major companies, Chuck Jones found the general feeling was that Apple had delivered what was expected.

The overall average of AAPL stock price targets was $109, against the current price of just over $100. Analysts pointed to a range of factors in forming their views, among them …  Read more

The eight reasons Morgan Stanley thinks it’s time to buy AAPL

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Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty is advising investors that now is the time to buy AAPL shares – and not just because the iPhone 6 is on the way.

Huberty gives eight reasons (via BusinessInsider) for believing that the price of AAPL stock is likely to increase. None of them are new, but the combined effect is persuasive, she argues …  Read more

Opinion: Is the case for Apple ending its patent battles with Samsung stronger than ever?

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with Samsung S3 and Samsung S4 smartphones in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica

Steve Jobs famously declared back in 2010 that Android was a stolen product, and he was willing to “go thermonuclear war” in order to “destroy” it.

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Back in April, I suggested three reasons it might be time for Apple to settle its Android disputes and move on. The relatively small damages award in the most recent case (and which now looks set to be further reduced) provided a fourth reason not long after I wrote that piece. But I think the case today is even more compelling …  Read more

Chinese government’s war on Apple escalates as it bans govt purchases

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After a Chinese state-run TV channel last month described the iPhone as a “national security concern” (a claim Apple denied), Bloomberg reports that the Chinese government has stepped up its war on Apple by removing the company’s products from its procurement lists.

Ten Apple products — including the iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro — were omitted from a final government procurement list distributed in July, according to officials who read it and asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The models were on a June version of the list drafted by the National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Finance, the officials said …

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