Reuters Stories October 27, 2015

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The consensus forecast among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for Apple’s Q4 earnings is $51.11B, up 21.3% year-on-year. This would be slightly above the top end of Apple’s guidance of $49-51B reportsRe/code. Analysts predict unadjusted net profit of $10.72 billion, or $1.88 per AAPL share – up from $1.42 per share last year …  expand full story

Reuters Stories March 6, 2015

Apple reportedly invests in new $1.4 billion Japan Display LCD plant

Reuters reports that Japan Display Inc, an Apple parts supplier, just announced plans to build a new $1.4 billion LCD plant that will reportedly help it become a primary supplier of smartphone displays to Apple.

The report also claims that Apple has invested in the plant, but didn’t disclose any financial details related to the investment:

The company did not name Apple, in line with its policy of not identifying clients. A person familiar with the matter said Apple would also invest an unspecified amount in the plant, which would further the Japanese screen maker’s aim of becoming the primary supplier of high-tech screens for iPhones.

The news follows reports last month that Apple was considering such an investment in the new factory somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.7 billion.

The new plant will reportedly start production in 2016 and increase Japan Display’s LCD capacity by 20 percent.

Reuters Stories February 4, 2015

Reuters TV app for iPhone launches w/ on-demand & live video content

Reuters is today releasing a new app for iPhone called Reuters TV that offers access to on-demand video content and live feeds of Reuters’ live coverage of certain events.

Reuters Stories November 18, 2014

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Analysts attending the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit in New York have suggested that Apple could eventually be valued at a trillion dollars.

Gains in shares of Apple Inc could take the world’s largest publicly traded company to a market capitalization of perhaps as high as $1 trillion, some of the country’s biggest investors said on Monday.

AAPL got two-thirds of the way there a few days ago, reaching $663B, since climbing further to $670B, and billionaire investor Carl Icahn suggested last month that the company should already be valued at a trillion dollars …  expand full story

Reuters Stories October 24, 2014

Former Apple retail head Ron Johnson raises $30M for intriguing online shopping startup

Ron Johnson, who headed up Apple’s retail operations for almost 12 years, has raised $30M in funding for an intriguing-sounding online shopping service due to launch next year, reports the WSJ.

The new company is called Enjoy, and Mr. Johnson says its goal is to change the way people buy and use the “things that matter” in a world in which consumers start their shopping online […]

Johnson is not giving much away about what Enjoy will offer, but said that it’s designed to help bridge the gap between offline and online shopping for more complex and expensive products.

Enjoy aims to help shoppers develop a connection with new products, in the way that Apple Stores let shoppers try its products. For example, Mr. Johnson said it is hard for customers to understand the capabilities of a new product like a GoPro camera from shopping online.

The Apple background doesn’t end with Johnson, who was SVP of Retail Operations from January 2000 to November 2011: he’s also brought on board Jerry McDougal, a former retail VP at Apple, and creative director Tom Suiter, who played a key role in the iMac campaigns and in-store graphics for Apple Stores.

Photo: Reuters

Reuters Stories September 18, 2014

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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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Reuters Stories September 16, 2014

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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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Reuters Stories August 22, 2014

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Reuters is reporting that iPhone 6 production was disrupted for part of June and July after Apple was forced to abandon its plans to use a thinner display backlighting system in the new handset.

Suppliers to Apple are scrambling to get enough screens ready for the new iPhone 6 smartphone as the need to redesign a key component disrupted panel production ahead of next month’s expected launch, supply chain sources said …

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Reuters Stories August 8, 2014

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The reported ban on national and local government departments purchasing Apple products was just a misunderstanding, according to statements by the Finance Ministry and Central Government Procurement Centre cited by Reuters.

The statements say that the procurement list referred to by Bloomberg was just one of many, and listed only “energy-saving products.” China claims that Apple products did not make this list despite qualifying because the necessary paperwork had not been completed …  expand full story

Reuters Stories June 19, 2014

One of many iWatch concepts.

Reuters is out with a report today that claims the iWatch is going into production this month for a launch in October. The device is reportedly expecting to hit 50 million units produced in its first year.

The source said Apple expects to ship 50 million units within the first year of the product’s release, although these types of initial estimates can be subject to change. The watch is currently in trial production at Quanta, which will be the main manufacturer, accounting for at least 70 percent of final assembly, the source said.

Seeing that Apple sold 71 million iPads in the entirety of 2013, 50 million units sounds aggressive. The site also shares some features that it has learned about the device:

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Reuters Stories May 5, 2014

Reuters is out today with a story headlined “Apple on medical tech hiring spree, a possible hint of iWatch plans.” The article is mostly a summary of nearly a year’s worth of our reporting here at 9to5Mac, but does add some fresh 3rd party analysis into Apple’s impact on the biomedical field. Starting from the beginning of the reporting’s details:

Reuters, today: 

Apple Inc is building a team of senior medical technology executives, raising hackles in the biotechnology community and offering a hint of what the iPhone maker may be planning for its widely expected iWatch and other wearable technology.

 iWatch’s novelty emerges as Apple taps sensor and fitness experts:

Apple has begun assembling a team of hardware and software engineering, medical sensor, manufacturing, and fitness experts, indicating the company is moving forward with a project to build a fitness-oriented, sensor-laden wearable computer, according to our sources.

Going point-by-point:

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Reuters Stories April 9, 2014

Rumor: Apple will launch 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in Sep, but 5.5-inch model later in the year

It seems to be the season for sketchy rumors, with Taiwan’s Industrial & Commercial Times (cited by EMSOne) claiming that the 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 will enter mass-production in July, suggesting the usual September/October launch date, while the 5.5-inch model will only do so in September, suggesting that it would go on sale close to the holidays.

It’s not the first rumor to this effect, with Reuters having suggested earlier this month that the 5.5-inch model would be released later in the year, saying that production difficulties with the larger screen were the reason, but with scant details from either report it’s difficult to ascribe too much credibility to the claim.

Consistent reports that Apple plans both a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6 each have been backed by internal slides from Apple. The phone is expected to be released running iOS 8 with a focus on health and fitness.

Reuters Stories April 4, 2014

Chinese smartphone vendors disappointed by 5s but eagerly awaiting iPhone 6, says analyst

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White, quoted in Business Insider, had both bad news and good for Apple in his talks with smartphone vendors during a tour of China and Taiwan, claiming disappointment with sales of the iPhone 5s but big hopes for the iPhone 6.

In the near term, we sensed disappointment around demand for the iPhone 5s.

That said, we heard great enthusiasm around the potential for Apple to introduce a larger iPhone form factor in China this year with the iPhone 6. In our view, the iPhone 6 with a larger screen (e.g., 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch) has the potential to meaningfully accelerate Apple’s growth trajectory in China during 2H:14. We have not heard this type of excitement in China around the iPhone in at least two years and thus we believe this could be a very special iPhone launch for Apple.

White doesn’t have the greatest record of reliability (he’s the guy who told us the Apple television set was launching last year, with an iRing controller), but lower than anticipated iPhone 5s sales does seem consistent with the rather muted comments made by China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua last month.

Reuters Stories February 10, 2014

Carl Icahn withdraws $50B buyback proposal as institutional advisory firms side with Apple [Updated]

Update: Carl Icahn has now withdrawn his proposal in the light of the ISS recommendation against it.

Prominent institutional advisors Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and smaller firm Egan-Jones have both advised shareholders to vote against billionaire investor Carl Icahn’s resolution calling for Apple to buy back an additional $50B of its own stock, reports Reuters.

“(The Apple board) has returned the bulk of its U.S.-generated cash to shareholders via aggressive stock buybacks and dividends payouts,” the ISS report said. “In light of these good-faith efforts and its past stewardship, the board’s latitude should not be constricted by a shareholder resolution that would micromanage the company’s capital allocation process.”

Carl Icahn has been buying large blocks of AAPL stock, with his current holding now totalling around $4.1B, giving him roughly a 1 percent stake in the company. He repeatedly called for increased stock buy-backs by Apple before submitting a formal proposal for a minimum $50B. Stockholders will vote on the proposal on 28th February.

Apple has argued that having large cash reserves gives it flexibility, noting in particular that it may at some stage wish to make a very large acquisition.

“You want to be able to adjust for the long-term interest of the shareholders, not for the short-term shareholder, not for the day trader,” Mr. Cook said. “We may see a huge company tomorrow that we want to acquire or something may happen in the stock market that’s unpredictable.”

ISS did, however, still describe the size of Apple’s cash reserves – which now stand at almost $160 billion – as an “excess,” and said that an urgent resolution was needed.

Apple recently repurchased $14B of its own stock, bringing it to a record $40B over the past year. Tim Cook has stated that it would discuss further buybacks in March/April.

Reuters Stories January 21, 2014

iBooks Mac iPad iPod

In what is quickly becoming the next big ongoing back and forth between Apple and [insert third party here] of 2014, a new development has unfolded in the antitrust dispute over Apple’s iBooks practices. Michael Bromwich, the external monitor assigned to ensure Apple complies to antitrust laws relating to its iBooks program, has been temporarily removed, Reuters reports, following an “administrative stay” granted to Apple following a recent complaint filed by the Cupertino tech company against the attorney.

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Reuters Stories January 13, 2014

Following Apple’s formal request last week that Michael Bromwich be removed from his role in ensuring the Cupertino company meets compliances set by the anti-trust ruling in last year’s ebooks trial, the Department of Justice has pushed back (via GigaOm) with a denial letter accusing Apple of ‘character assassination’.

Regrettably, it is now clear that Apple has chosen a campaign of character assassination over a culture of compliance. Apple could have been spending the past months working with the External Compliance Monitor with the ultimate goal of reforming its policies and training, and in the process change its corporate tone to one that reflects a commitment to abiding by the requirements of the antitrust laws. Instead, Apple has focused on personally attacking Mr. Bromwich, and thwarting him from performing even the most basic of his court-ordered functions. expand full story

Reuters Stories January 8, 2014

ebooks

After earlier complaining that the company was being overcharged by the court-appointed lawyer overseeing its compliance with the terms of the ebooks anti-trust ruling, Apple has now brought matters to a head by asking for Michael Bromwich to be removed from the role, reports Reuters.

An attorney for the consumer technology giant on Tuesday asked U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan to disqualify Michael Bromwich from serving as an external compliance monitor, arguing he had shown a personal bias against the company.

In a letter to Cote, Apple’s lawyer cited a “wholly inappropriate declaration” filed by Bromwich last month …  expand full story

Reuters Stories December 12, 2013

Court rejects Samsung’s attempt to ban Apple devices in South Korea over patent infringement

Reuters is reporting that Samsung’s lawsuit against Apple in South Korea, aiming to ban Apple phones and tablets, has been lost. The case dates back to the patent wars of 2011 where Apple and Samsung sued each for patent infringement other around the world.

Samsung’s claims revolved around messaging and content display. The judge said Apple’s devices do not violate the claims. The court threw out the possibility of a sales ban as well as rejecting damages totalling just under $100,000.

Samsung is currently deciding whether to appeal. Unsurprisingly, Apple was pleased with the decision.

“We are glad the Korean court joined others around the world in standing up for real innovation and rejecting Samsung’s ridiculous claims,” Apple Korea spokesman Steve Park said.

Reuters Stories November 28, 2013

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Reuters is reporting that Lucy Koh has today dismissed a data privacy lawsuit against Apple that dates back to 2011. The plaintiffs were suing on the basis that (in iOS 4.1) Apple collected WiFi hotspot and cell tower location data even though Location Services were disabled.

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Reuters Stories October 2, 2013

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Reuters is reporting that problems with the rumored retina display for the iPad Mini 2 mean that it will be available only in limited quantities when it launches this year, with full-scale production pushed into 2014.

Apple Inc will be unable to widely roll out a new version of the iPad Mini with a high-resolution “retina” display this month, people who work in the company’s supply chain said […]

Given the time required to ramp up screen production, a retina display-equipped iPad Mini would not be available in large volumes until early next year, the sources said.

The delays are said to be due to the display suppliers – believed to be Samsung, LG and Sharp – having difficulties meeting the strict power-saving specifications laid down by Apple …  expand full story

Reuters Stories October 1, 2013

Carl Icahn “pushed hard” for $150 billion buyback at Cook meeting, talks to continue in 3 weeks [Update: Video]

After taking an undisclosed “large position” in Apple last month, rumored to be in excess of $1B, prominent investor Carl Icahn said he thinks Apple and CEO Tim Cook should do a larger buyback. Now, following a scheduled meeting with Tim Cook in New York yesterday, Icahn says he “pushed hard for a 150 billion buyback” during a “cordial dinner”:

While Apple announced earlier this year that it would return around $100 billion to shareholders by the end of 2015 as part of its $60 billion buyback program and increased dividend, Icahn previously told Reuters he thinks Apple is capable of doing a $150 billion buyback by borrowing the money at 3 percent:

“If Apple does this now and earnings increase at only 10 percent, the stock – even keeping the same multiple currently – should trade at $700 a share,” Icahn said in a phone interview. Apple has “huge borrowing power, little relative debt and trades at a low multiple.”

As noted in his tweet above, Icahn says he will resume talks with Cook regarding the buyback in three weeks.

Update: we’ve embedded the CEO’s conversations on video to CNBC below:

Reuters Stories September 9, 2013

One of the bigger questions remaining about Apple’s event tomorrow is the price point of the iPhone 5C.  Some, including Reuters, have put the price point very low, in the $100 Android range. Others have put it higher at $500 and above. Assuming Apple goes with a 16GB base model, I’d personally guess about $450 or slightly lower. How about you?

Reuters Stories June 21, 2013

Blind Chinese dissident at NYU given iOS devices loaded with tracking software and spyware

not an iPad

Reuters has an interesting story on Chinese dissident/activist Chen Guangcheng who currently is at NYU on a Fellowship. Apparently he was given an iPhone and an iPad with tracking and spying software aboard.

The devices were screened by NYU technicians within a few days and were found to have been loaded with hidden spying software, said Cohen, who arranged the fellowship for Chen at NYU Law School, helping defuse a diplomatic crisis between the United States and China after Chen took refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

“These people supposedly were out to help him and they give him a kind of Trojan horse that would have enabled them to monitor his communications secretly,” said Cohen.

The iPad was eventually cleaned up and returned to Chen at his request, the second source said.

NYU is pointing the finger at Heidi Cai, the wife of activist Bob Fu who gave Chen the iOS devices (along with other electronics).

Among the first visitors in May 2012 to the New York apartment Chen had moved into with his family after a dramatic escape from house arrest in China was Heidi Cai, the wife of activist Bob Fu. She brought an iPad and iPhone as gifts.

In examining the iPad and the iPhone, [NYU] found software that allowed a third party to secretly connect to an inbuilt global positioning system, essentially turning a device into a tracking device, said the second source. The technicians also found hidden, password-protected software that backed up the contents to a remote server, the source added.

“It’s perfectly consistent with their desire to manipulate and control the situation and know whatever confidential advice he is getting,” [NYU’s] Cohen said.

Bob Fu is of course denying the accusations, saying that it is some sort of “007 thing”.

Asked about the gadgets, Fu told Reuters that his wife had given two Apple devices to Chen shortly after the dissident had settled in New York. Fu runs a Christian group called ChinaAid that supports underground churches in China and victims of forced abortions.

“This is the first time I’ve heard of spyware,” said Fu, who was in southeast Asia when his wife delivered the devices. He called the allegations “ridiculous” and “like a 007 thing.”

“We knew that the first thing after they arrived, they’d want to call their family members, so we wanted to provide communication devices, iPhone and iPad,” Fu said by telephone from Texas.

Chen is accusing NYU of forcing him out of his fellowship due to pressure from the Chinese government which is also allowing NYU to build a campus in Shanghai. So really, everyone is a suspect.

Reuters Stories May 29, 2013

Text-selectionBack in April we noted that the International Trade Commission had handed down a preliminary ruling that Samsung infringed an Apple patent related to a text-selection feature in a number of its Galaxy devices and other smartphones. Today, Reuters reports that an ITC trade panel will now reconsider the decision in a review of the previous ruling ahead of a final decision in the patent battle:

The International Trade Commission said late Tuesday it would take a second look at an ITC judge’s decision that Samsung had infringed one Apple patent for a text-selection feature in its smartphones and tablets.

Bloomberg adds that the panel is looking for “additional arguments on three of the four patents that Judge Thomas Pender said were infringed, and comments on how an import ban would affect the public.”

The panel will also reconsider a decision in the same case that Samsung didn’t infringe a different patent related to detecting when other devices are plugged into a microphone jack.

The ITC, which could impose an import ban on accused devices, is expected to deliver a ruling in Samsung’s case against Apple on May 31. A final decision in Apple’s case against Samsung is expected on August 1st.  expand full story

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