Apple’s Ahrendts to oversee slew of new China, Italy, U.S. stores as organizational restructuring planned

Seeking to enhance Apple’s retail store divison and bring the customer experience to higher levels, new Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts is planning a fundamental restructuring of Apple’s retail stores as she prepares a series of new store openings across the globe for the second half of 2014 and first half of 2015…

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Android migration means there’s more iPhone growth to come, suggests Cook

cook

With so many new iOS and OS X features being introduced in yesterday’s WWDC keynote, the numbers that kicked off the show perhaps didn’t get the attention they otherwise might have done.

While the Wall Street line is that the smartphone market is saturated and iPhone and iPad growth is done, Tim Cook clearly thinks otherwise. Business Insider highlighted Cook’s comment on the migration Apple is seeing from Android phones.

“Over 130 million customers who bought an iOS device in the past 12 months were buying their first Apple device,” said Cook before introducing iOS 8, the new software for the iPhone and iPad. “Many of these customers were switchers from Android. They had bought an Android phone — by mistake. Then had sought a better experience … And a better life. And decided to check out iPhone and iOS.”

He added, “Nearly half of our customers in China in the past six months switch from Android to iPhone. This is incredible.”

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WWDC ’14: Women in Technology and Apps for China events as most labs remain secret

Besides a slew of events focused squarely on the technical side of developing and designing applications for iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, Apple, this year, will be holding a pair of interesting events over the course of the first week of June at WWDC.

On Wednesday June 4th from 4:30 to 5:30 PM Pacific Time, an event called Women in Technology Get Together will take place. This important event will discuss “the increased participation of women in technology,” the schedule in the updated WWDC app reads. Apple is making a point to further involve women in the conference this year, even announcing that the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) will provide scholarships for women to attend WWDC:

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Analyst: Apple has reached deal with China UnionPay, could include NFC in iPhone 6

Image (1) iphonenfc.jpg for post 56678

According to Shanghai Mobile analyst Frank Hill, Apple has reached a deal with mobile payment provider China UnionPay that would enable the next iPhone to make purchases at millions of supported Chinese point-of-sale devices. This would work in conjunction with NFC hardware said to be included in the next iPhone model.

UnionPay works with many of China’s major banks, and is the only domestic mobile payment company operating in the country. Several banks have reportedly been invited by UnionPay to participate in the development of a new system that is compatible with iOS devices.

While rumors of NFC in the iPhone have been relatively rare compared to some previous upgrade cycles, this isn’t the first time this year we’ve seen mentions of the technology finally making its way into Apple’s smartphone. Last month a report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicated that we’d see near-field communication in the upcoming device.

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Strong iPhone 5s sales sees Apple gain market share in Japan, Australia, UK, France & Spain

kantar

Kantar data showed that Apple saw its smartphone market share rise in five out of nine countries surveyed “primarily due to the strong performance of the iPhone 5s.”

The iPhone gained market share in Japan, Australia, UK, France and Spain, with its strongest growth in Japan, where first quarter market share grew by 8.6 percent, from 49 percent in 2013 ro 57.6 percent in 2014. Apple’s success in the country followed a deal with Japan’s largest wireless carrier, DoCoMo.

Japan’s love affair with Apple shows no sign of fading. Even though the iPhone has now been available on Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, for a number of months Apple still accounts for more than 40% of sales on the network. The success of the iPhone is also filtering through to the iPad, with almost a quarter of Japanese iPhone owners also owning an iPad. With smartphone penetration in Japan lagging well behind Europe and the US, Japan will remain a key growth market for Apple …

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Analysts respond to AAPL earnings, rating the stock a strong buy

Photo: USA Today

Photo: USA Today

Early overnight reports collated by Fortune unsurprisingly show analysts pleased by the higher-than-expected iPhone numbers, with five out of five rating the stock a buy, their price targets ranging from $75 to $252 above yesterday’s closing value. Apple reported iPhone sales of 43.7B against expectations of 38B, and revenue of $45.6B against the consensus estimate of $43.5B.

  • Katy Huberty, Morgen Stanley: Price target $630

  • Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray: Price target $640

  • Brian Marshall, ISI: Price target $600

  • Brian White, Cantor Fitzgerald: Price target $777

  • Peter Misek, Jefferies: Price target $625  …

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Next-gen iPad Air front panel with integrated display reportedly shown in leaked photos

OMT-ipad

New photos that reportedly show the front panel of a next-generation iPad Air have surfaced. Originally shared by One More Thing, the front panel appears to have an integrated display. This notable change could result in an even thinner iPad Air, or leave room for Apple to rework the hardware and add additional components.

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China Mobile sold over 1M iPhones last month, chairman non-committal about the numbers

A man holds a new Apple iPhone 5S next to his iPhone 5 at an Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district

Photo: readwrite.com

China Mobile announced that it sold 1.34M 4G handsets in February and that “most of them” were iPhones. China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua was relatively non-committal on the numbers.

It’s just been getting started for one or two months. So far it’s hard to tell how that will affect our business [...]

We are happy with the progress as we are still building our 4G network and the coverage is only available in some major cities.

Analyst estimates of likely sales had varied widely. Most had predicted at least 15-17M sales a year in China as a whole, however, suggesting that 1M in a month on what is by far the country’s largest carrier may be somewhat lower than anticipated …  Read more

iPhone market share continues to fall, but it’s Samsung feeling the pressure

share

While Android reaching almost 70 percent of smartphone sales across 12 key markets is the headline, with iOS falling to just under 24 percent, it is Samsung feeling the pressure, says Kantar, reporting sales figures for the final quarter of 2013.

After years of accelerated growth, Samsung is now coming under real pressure in most regions, with European share down by 2.2 percentage points to 40.3% and in China its share ended the year flat at 23.7% [...]

Apple has lost share in most countries compared with this time last year, but importantly it has held strong shares in key markets including 43.9% in USA, 29.9% in Great Britain and 19.0% in China …  Read more

China Mobile iPhone launch could lead to subsidy wars, say analysts

Image: thenextweb.com

Image: thenextweb.com

Analysts say that the official launch of the iPhone on China Mobile could lead to subsidy wars as Chinese carriers compete to attract buyers. The predictions, quoted by Business Insider, follow price cuts by rival carriers China Unicom and China Telecom as China Mobile reports 1.2 million pre-orders.

China Mobile is currently offering the iPhone 5s free with a 24-month contract costing the equivalent of $98 a month. A 30-month contract on China Unicom costs $63 a month.

I do think you’re going to see a subsidy war coming,” said Michael Clendenin, managing director of Shanghai-based RedTech Advisors. “China Mobile, if they’re not making their targets on sales for these phones, they’re going to increase the subsidies [...] It’s like airlines: the other guys will fall like dominoes, so China Unicom will do it and China Telecom will do it” …  Read more