On average, analysts expect iPad sales to be flat, but no consensus

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Someone once said that if you put three analysts in a room and ask them a question, you’ll get four different opinions. This certainly appears to be the case today, with Fortune finding no more consensus on iPad sales than it did on iPhone numbers.

Asked to predict how many iPad sales Apple will announce in next week’s Q3 earnings announcement, the overall average suggested year-on-year sales would be flat at 14.35M. However, no consensus view emerged …  Read more

Analyst forecasts suggest iPad sales have peaked, expect YOY decline this quarter despite 13% holiday growth

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As highlighted by Fortune, analysts’ consensus on iPad sales for last quarter suggest that iPad sales will actually decline year-over-year by about 0.7%. Although the expected decline is small, this would represent a big shift in iPad momentum, especially since Apple saw a strong increase in sales for the holiday quarter, going from 22.9M units in the previous year to 26M this year.

If iPad sales have fallen, it wouldn’t be because of different market conditions to last year. Apple introduced the iPad Air at the end of 2014 around a year from the introduction of the iPad 4 at the end of 2012. Last year, Apple dropped the price of the iPad Mini a modest $30 while also introducing the highly anticipated retina iPad Mini. In 2012, it introduced the iPad mini. The product cycles are similar, so the decline isn’t due to any artificial inflation of sales last year.

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AAPL returns to growth, predict analysts, as we await quarterly earnings call

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When Apple reports its quarterly earnings later today, the news will be good, according to the consensus view of 47 Apple analysts compiled by Fortune.

Analysts are expecting the company to report earnings of $58.1B for the final quarter of last year (Apple’s fiscal quarter 1), representing 4 percent earnings growth over the same quarter last year. This would be right at the top end of Apple’s guidance of $55-58B, and the first time in a year that Apple would have reported year-on-year growth …  Read more

Apple’s new head of retail Angela Ahrendts is Fortune’s #4 Businessperson of the Year

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Fortune is out today with its annual Businessperson of the Year list and this time around a couple notable Apple connections have made the list. Coming in at #4 behind #1Elon Musk, activist investors, and Tencent CEO ‘Pony’ Ma Huateng, is Apple’s recently hired Head of Retail, Burberry CEO Angela AhrendtsRead more

Like iPhone, analysts expecting big drop in YOY growth for iPad sales in Q3

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With Apple’s Q3 2013 financial call set to take place later this month on July 23rd and Wall Street expecting near zero revenue growth, today we get a look at what analysts are expecting for iPad sales. With no major product announcements since the  introduction of iPad mini and iPad 4 last fall (and only a minor upgrade with the 128GB iPad 4 in January), it’s not all that surprising the consensus from 48 analysts polled by Fortune is that Apple will experience a big drop in growth year-over-year for iPad during the June quarter.

The average estimate of 18.1 million iPad units during Q3 works out to around 6.2% growth compared to 183% and 84% in Q3 2011 and Q2 2012, which some might still consider significant due to the lack of new product announcements and competition from Android tablets: Read more

Pegatron CEO says Bloomberg reporter made up report of ‘falling iPad mini demand’

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Yesterday we decided not to run with a story published by Bloomberg that Pegatron’s forecasted 25 percent to 30 percent drop for second-quarter revenue was due to “falling iPad mini demand.” It seemed a little far fetched that an Apple supplier would be giving up specific information on product demand, something we know suppliers in Apple’s circle typically remain tight-lipped on. Today CEO of Pegatron Jason Cheng has confirmed our suspicions in an email to Fortune claiming that Bloomberg reporter Tim Culpan made the iPad mini angle up.

While quoting an analyst’s expectations for iPad mini demand in Q2, Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan offered the following quote from Pegatron Chief Executive Officer Jason Cheng as proof:

A decline in revenue from the iPad Mini “is more on demand, while price has been stable. Not just tablets, also e-books and games consoles, almost every item is moving in a negative direction.”

Pegatron chief Jason Cheng says he wasn’t referring to iPad mini specifically, but rather all of its products including all tablets and game consoles, while noting that “clearly refused” to answer Culpan’s questions related to specific products. Here’s what he had to say about the Bloomberg piece: Read more

Apple jumps 11 places to land at #6 in Fortune 500, first time in top 10

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Apple-Fortune-500-2013-No-6Fortune is out today with its annual FORTUNE 500 list ranking the largest corporations in the U.S. by revenue for fiscal 2012 (before expenditures). This year Apple, for the first time, has finally cracked the top 10 of Fortune’s list rising from its 17th place position last year to No. 6 on this year’s list. It’s still well behind Wal-Mart at No.1, as well as Exxon Mobil, which Apple happened to briefly surpass Apple’s market cap back in January to become the world’s most valuable company.

As for tech companies on the list, Facebook just barely made the Fortune 500 for the time this year coming it at number 482, while others include AT&T at No. 11, HP at No. 15, Verizon at No. 16, Microsoft at No. 35, and Amazon at No. 49.

Head below for the top 10 list and check out the full Fortune 500 hereRead more

Apple’s iOS chief Scott Forstall cashes in shares worth $38.7M

Following Apple’s CEO Tim Cook selling off approximately 20,000 shares of company stock in March, new filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange commission discovered by Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt show iOS chief Scott Forstall recently sold 64,151 shares worth roughly $38.7 million:

The shares were the remains of a 120,000-share retention bonus that was granted in 2008, vested last month and reduced by 55,849 shares on March 24 to pay taxes. Forstall still holds 2,988 Apple shares worth, at Friday’s closing price, $1.8 million.

Many reported the over 64k shares sold by Forstall represent 95 percent of his current holdings in Apple Inc. However, that is not entirely true, because two new retention bonuses are coming his way in in the years ahead. Those shares could be worth over quarter billion dollars—if Apple continues increasing closer to the $1,000 per share target that many analysts are expecting.

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‘Inside Apple’ author Adam Lashinsky discusses Apple secret-keeping and corporate life [video 50 mins]

Fortune’s Phillip Elmer-DeWitt pointed us to an hour long interview and Q&A session at LinkedIn headquarters with “Inside Apple” author Adam Lashinsky.

The interview is conducted by our former boss and current LinkedIn Executive Editor Dan Roth.  As PED noted, one of the more notable exchanges is with a former Apple employee who thought CEO Tim Cook is charismatic enough to be the United States President.  See the clip below (plus another interview this week at Davos).

Interestingly, the former Apple Engineer discusses how his friends at Apple were put on dummy projects until they could be trusted.

Buy the book at Amazon here or free at Audible. Read more

Lengthy excerpt from ‘Inside Apple’ offers fascinating insight into secrecy at Apple

Fortune just published a long, fascinating excerpt from an upcoming book about Apple called “Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired and Secretive Company Really Works by author Adam Lashinsky, Fortune’s senior editor-at-large. It reveals how far the company is willing to go to ensure its secretive culture. It also tells a tale of Apple’s organizational structure and what makes them tick. Interestingly, Lashinsky writes that Apple’s design guru Jonathan Ive is among the “untouchables,” corroborating claims laid out in the official Jobs biography book by Walter Isaacson. Apple’s late CEO told his biographer that he made sure nobody can touch his “spiritual partner” Ive at Apple. “That’s the way I set it up,” he told Isaacson. Speaking of Apple’s famous culture of secrecy and lack of corporate transparency (at Apple, everything is a secret!), Lashinsky writes it takes two basic forms —external and internal. Needles to say, many employees can hardly stomach security policies focused on preserving internal secrets:

Apple employees know something big is afoot when the carpenters appear in their office building. New walls are quickly erected. Doors are added and new security protocols put into place. Windows that once were transparent are now frosted. Other rooms have no windows at all. They are called lockdown rooms: No information goes in or out without a reason.

As you could imagine, this is “disconcerting” for employees. Organization charts are nowhere to be seen at Apple. There are no open doors as folks use badges to access areas that sometimes even their boss cannot. Only few people at Apple are allowed into Jonathan Ive’s industrial design bunker. People working on hot projects are required to sign “extra-special agreements acknowledging that you were working on a super-secret project and you wouldn’t talk about it to anyone – not your wife, not your kids.” Even former employees do not talk to press and some were reprimanded for talking too much. Apple goes to great lengths to prevent secrets from leaking and maintain discipline culminates with carefully orchestrated media events akin to a blockbuster Hollywood movie-opening weekend.

People working on launch events will be given watermarked paper copies of a booklet called Rules of the Road that details every milestone leading up to launch day. In the booklet is a legal statement whose message is clear: If this copy ends up in the wrong hands, the responsible party will be fired.

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