Apple’s gross margins are the key takeaway from yesterday’s results, say analysts

apple-margin-evans

While Wall Street may have been slightly disappointed by some of the numbers Apple reported yesterday, they should feel reassured by Apple stabilising and growing its gross margins, say Apple bulls – analysts who expect the stock price to rise.

Business Insider noted the above chart tweeted by Benedict Evans with the commentary:

Very stable long-term gross margins. Painful contrast to rest of the industry …

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Apple patent granted today shows dockable ‘iTime’ watch concept as well as conventional smartwatch

itime

A patent application filed by Apple three years ago and approved today illustrates a new twist on the iWatch concept: a sensor-packed strap acting as a dock which allows a range of interchangeable modules to be snapped into place.

9to5-image 2014-07-22 at 10.49.53 AMIt’s not anything we’re likely to see make it into production: the docking concept dates back to 2011, and was probably intended by Apple to house an iPod Nano, converting it into a smartwatch in a more sophisticated version of the watch-straps sold in Apple Stores since way back in 2010. But the patent does tell us two things …  Read more

Ecosystem and brand loyalty will see iWatch sales grow as fast as iPhone or iPad, says Morgan Stanley

iwatch

Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty is predicting that the iWatch could achieve sales of 30-60 million units in its first year as sales growth mimics that of the iPhone or iPad, reports Fortune.

While some analysts point to modest sales of existing smartwatches as evidence that the iWatch is likely to be a relatively minor new category for Apple, Huberty believes that they are using the wrong measure.

It’s that loyalty and the so-called “halo effect,” Huberty writes, not the current watch market, that will drive sales of the unannounced product that she (like everybody else) is calling the iWatch …

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Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple’s sapphire-covered ‘iWatch’ to enter mass production in November

One of many iWatch concepts.

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has provided relatively accurate information on future Apple product plans in the past (but frequent misses on timing), has issued a new report today indicating that the Apple smart watch will enter mass-production in November. Kuo’s previous estimate on production for the “iWatch” indicated that the device would enter mass-production rounds in September. “We have pushed back our estimated time of iWatch mass production from late-September to mid-/ late- November. We also lower our forecast of iWatch 2014 shipments by 40% to 3mn units,” Kuo wrote in today’s report. The analyst claims the push back is due to more complex hardware and software engineering in this first generation Apple product category.

Kuo also provides some tidbits as to what he is expecting the device to feature:

  • Flexible AMOLED display
  • Sapphire coated display cover
  • Higher waterproof standards
  • New system-on-a-chip components

Both a flexible AMOLED display and sapphire crystal display covers have been rumored in previous reports about the Apple smart watch, waterproofing technology makes sense in light of this being a fitness device that straps to a wrist, and we first reported in January that the iWatch will sport a new system on a chip to pack in numerous sensors that could track health data such as steps taken, calories burned, hydration, and sweat. The device, which will also include advanced mapping functionality per multiple sources, will integrate deeply with the iOS 8 operating system and its HealthKit software. We expect the device to be announced at a keynote address in October and launch by the 2014 holiday season.

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From fashion to fitness part II: Apple hires a pair of key Nike FuelBand engineers

Wearables

This is an update to a February post in which we rounded up all recent Apple hires pertinent to the development of the upcoming iWatch. This post includes the addition of several new hires and experts, including a pair of key Nike FuelBand hardware engineers, and the new hires are labeled with italics.

Apple has been developing a sensor-laden, fitness- and medical-focused wearable computer as indicated by several notable recent hires and information we have received from sources. The device will have a focus on both fashion and exercise as Apple has been testing the device with key professional athletes. We’re expecting the product to be announced in October of this year and ship by the holiday season. As the  launch of the “iWatch” approaches, we have compiled an up-to-date list (into categories of leadership, fashion, fitness, and health) of all known and pertinent recent Apple hires to provide a clearer picture of what Apple’s future wearable technologies could offer to consumers…

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iWatch “an opportunity for high-end watch brands” says analyst as Apple hires TAG Heuer exec

apple-iwatch-concept

CNBC reports that Apple has hired the sales director of luxury Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer for an iWatch marketing role. The hire was reportedly confirmed by the head of the parent company’s watch brands, Jean-Claude Biver.

Biver said the watchmaker’s sales director left as recently as last week, “to take a contract with Apple” in order to launch the iWatch. LVMH owns Swiss watchmakers TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith …

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