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

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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

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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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Decline of music downloads continues as on-demand streaming audio up 50 percent

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Apple’s presumed plans for an on-demand music service as part of its Beats acquisition is looking increasingly well-timed as Nielsen data shows that U.S. on-demand music consumption climbed 50.1 percent year-on-year, while music downloads fell by 12 percent in the same timeframe.

“With On-Demand streams surpassing 70 billion songs in the first six months of 2014, streaming continues to be an increasingly significant portion of the music industry,” says David Bakula, SVP Nielsen Entertainment …

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Declining iTunes sales underline need for Apple to launch a subscription music service

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Declining iTunes sales highlighted by Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty and reported by Fortune appear to underline the need for Apple to move beyond sales of music downloads and into the subscription music business. iTunes sales are down 24 percent year-on-year.

While the slack is being picked up by app sales – a trend previously noted by Asymco’s Horace Dediu – that falling blue line reflects the wider shift in consumer behaviour from purchasing downloads to subscribing to streaming services noted last year by Billboard magazine …  Read more

Wall Street predicts just two percent year-on-year growth in iPhone sales

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Fortune has its usual roundup of what the analysts are expecting Apple to report in iPhone sales next week, and the forecasts make worrying reading. The overall average is for quarterly sales of 38.2 million, which would represent year-on-year growth of just two percent.

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Adding to the concern, ten of the 32 analysts included in Fortune‘s poll predict a fall in sales when compared to the same quarter last year.

With the new iPhones having generated record sales in their opening weekend, and Apple having reported all-time quarterly high iPhone sales in Q1, the question is why the pessimism regarding Q2 … ?  Read more