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Apple roundup: Board additions, iPhone battery, sapphire

  • Tim Cook is "actively seeking new directors" for Apple's (AAPL +2.1%) board, the WSJ reports. The paper notes the 8-person board currently has 6 directors aged 63 or older, and is "known for its loyalty" to Steve Jobs.
  • The WSJ also highlights the differences between Cook and Jobs' management styles - One ex-employee: "The only thing that Steve cared about was creating great products ... Tim is much more worried about everything at the company." - and recent moves that point to strategy shifts, such as allowing Beats to keep its brand and significantly expanding what developers are allowed to do with iOS/Mac OS.
  • It also airs concerns among current/former employees Apple is spreading itself too thin. "It was Steve's job to say no," says one of them. "Tim is not as comfortable doing that."
  • Chinese site IT168 reports the 4.7" and 5.5" iPhone 6 models will respectively have 1800mAh and 2,500mAh batteries - considerably larger than the iPhone 5S' 1560mAh battery - thanks to their extra real estate.
  • Larger batteries are generally the norm for bigger phones - the Galaxy S5 has a 2800mAH battery. The report comes as Google gets set to roll out Android L, which promises a big improvement in Android's oft-criticized battery life.
  • Sonny Dickson has leaked a video said to show a 4.7" iPhone 6 front panel sporting sapphire cover glass. GT Advanced (GTAT) has been busy ramping sapphire production for Apple this year. A June report from the hit-and-miss Economic Daily News stated only the 5.5" iPhone 6 will have sapphire cover glass, due to production limits.
Comments (37)
  • same123
    , contributor
    Comments (92) | Send Message
     
    will take any iPhone with sapphire at this time.
    7 Jul, 04:48 PM Reply Like
  • davidwisdom39@yahoo.com
    , contributor
    Comments (52) | Send Message
     
    Some people at Apple are worried Apple is spreading itself too thin? Really?!!! Compare it too Google, which is going all over the place! That company might indeed be risking that—but not Apple! If anything, Apple's not expanding from its core and base in imaginative enough ways!
    7 Jul, 05:03 PM Reply Like
  • ReligiousWacko
    , contributor
    Comments (884) | Send Message
     
    or amazon ..
    7 Jul, 05:09 PM Reply Like
  • nautor42
    , contributor
    Comments (155) | Send Message
     
    For those in the know, is sapphire that much of an upgrade over Gorilla? I'm long Gtat based on the Apple deal and took a big hit today.
    7 Jul, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • John Court
    , contributor
    Comments (123) | Send Message
     
    If it breaks less often than Gorilla glass, yes, it'll be a major plus. We already know sapphire is virtually scratch resistant, and that too is a major plus.

     

    The problem for investors in GTAT is how much sapphire will be introduced this year. If it's an option, expect a fair amount of adoption. But keep in mind that adoption of sapphire as a standard will not be delayed for show and tell day if all goes well. It'll probably come on at anytime Apple is ready.

     

    Unless Apple is 100% sure sapphire will outperform glass in every respect, it would be wise to dribble it out and see how it performs. Why risk massive returns?
    7 Jul, 05:28 PM Reply Like
  • Aequivocus
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Apple's the company that didn't include 4G compatibility until iPhone 5 because of battery life/usability concerns. Apple doesn't seem to be the company to do "options" with iPhone, outside of capacity. I would wager they were 100% sure about sapphire's performance before they entered into the agreement with GTAT last year.

     

    They do what they want when they're ready. The 4G example clearly demonstrates that. They were the first to get rid of the 3.5" floppy drive, and when they did, it was across the board... as each Mac was refreshed. While it was panned at first, the industry quietly followed. If they aren't sure, I don't think you'll see sapphire screens at all.

     

    If they weren't sure, they wouldn't have inked the agreement with GTAT.
    7 Jul, 09:41 PM Reply Like
  • Davidoff
    , contributor
    Comments (291) | Send Message
     
    Sapphire screen is simply amazing! I had the opportunity to use a Vertu phone for a couple of days and I was simply impressed. To be honest, I would have never imagined that any company would be crazy enough to introduce it on a high scale product. First of all, the phone was 1.5 years old and the screen seemed brand new, there wasn't even one tiny micro scratch on it. Moreover, it was dropped once on a stone floor and it didn't break without any bumper. And secondly the sapphire screen seemed much more clean than a glass screen. The touch screen had barely any fingerprint spots, while after I was calling the screen seemed much cleaner than with glass screens (I'm talking about these disturbing ear spots). However, I'm pretty much sure that Vertu's sapphire screen should still have a much higher quality than iPhone 6, so I'm not completely sure that they could be compared.
    7 Jul, 09:56 PM Reply Like
  • brent_vossler
    , contributor
    Comments (46) | Send Message
     
    I'm available to be a board member!!!!
    7 Jul, 05:10 PM Reply Like
  • juneedmoney
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    This looks good to grab some shares of GTAT for significantly cheaper than the approaching $20.00. They also have their hands deeply rooted in the Solar Panel game and may return to the $20.00 mark without the Apple deal, although the Apple deal would definitely help!
    7 Jul, 05:47 PM Reply Like
  • bobhartin
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Right on, juneed! I made my first of many intended moves on dips for GTAT today, and plan to ramp it up as a secondary position to core AAPL, BIDU, and TSLA shares.
    7 Jul, 09:18 PM Reply Like
  • bjnflicks
    , contributor
    Comments (2001) | Send Message
     
    GTAT was attacked by two dishonest analysts today trying to cash in on short positions, and or to pick up cheap shares. We saw some unusual short selling last week into this. This kind of thing should be against the law. When two analysts gang up on a smallish company like this which has a strict confidentality agreement with Apple and cannot comment, it is pure robbery. Especially since none of the analyst reasons were relevant or could possibly be verified.

     

    One analyst said his excuse was that May was a slow quarter. Big deal. May is a prep month not a sales month for the Apple roll-out. The second analyst claimed to have 3D vision into the future where he saw not all iPhones being sapphire-faced. Though he has no way of knowing that, and a fully sapphire faced roll-out isn't priced into the stock anyway. So both bogus excuses for the downgrade, or at least possible to know or verify unless they have insider info and are trading on it.

     

    All we know is that Apple invested 500+ million in GTAT to vastly expand its capacity and Apple has been keenly focused on sapphire and liquid metal for this year's roll out. COmmon sense then tells us millions of Apple products will have sapphire faces.

     

    Certainly at least iWatches and finger-print scammers will be sapphire faced, and almost certain the more expensive iPhone (the one they are trying to raise prices on) will have it too. That leaves the cheaper of the two new iPhones as the question mark. But this analyst doesn't know and nobody outside the inner circle of Apple secrets knows.

     

    So for this, the stock gets taken down 15% today. Sheer dishonest manipulation and over-reaction. I bought more at 17 and again and 16.50 and will buy more if it goes down anymore. Why? Because Apple does not throw away 500 million for nothing. Plus,l it is too late to change their plans for sapphire. Production is underway now as we speak. And at least the iWatches and many millions of iPhones will have sapphire faces, and that is more than enough for this company to be valued at a much higher market cap than it is now. PLus, if the news turns out to be even better, this is a 100% double your money gainer, or more.
    7 Jul, 05:21 PM Reply Like
  • laguna_b
    , contributor
    Comments (288) | Send Message
     
    GTAT had a hic-cup in May that caused Apple to re-assess the level of commitment, I believe. This may mean less than 100% sapphire in the first releases...
    7 Jul, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • herrmajj
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    Do you have a link that you can share to support your comment?
    7 Jul, 05:29 PM Reply Like
  • santosh_ps
    , contributor
    Comments (68) | Send Message
     
    totally agree.... these 2 (specifically Canacord is very dishonest...know from experience on other stocks).
    One Business unit in Apple doesn't know what the other does, how come these 2 know. they just did this for buying cheap shares for clients
    loaded more at 17...go long on GTAT
    7 Jul, 05:47 PM Reply Like
  • Cybercash28
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    They are dishonest. It should be an upgrade for GTAT, not downgrade.
    7 Jul, 05:52 PM Reply Like
  • thestockbroker
    , contributor
    Comments (343) | Send Message
     
    OMG bjn, still doing the dishonest analysts thing, you just don't stop, I am going to stop responding to your posts, you're like a kid who says something, is told by adults that what you're saying isn't correct, so you go elsewhere you think the adults won't hear you and spread the same incorrect statements. Unless you would say the analysts are dishonest if they raised the stock $3 than you're not being honest with yourself
    7 Jul, 08:02 PM Reply Like
  • Aequivocus
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    GTAT is not the world's sole provider of sapphire glass, so Apple has other places to turn should it need secondary suppliers. I don't think Apple will make sapphire "optional" - the phones will either launch with sapphire and constrained supply (if there really is a problem) or they will not include sapphire beyond Touch ID/camera cover. With the exception of truly differing models a la the 5s/5c, Apple doesn't launch iPhone X v1 and iPhone X v2.

     

    Corning already provides millions of Gorilla Glass screens to Apple, and many more to other vendors in sizes similar to 4.7" and even 5.5". Because of this, if Apple were to be required to bail on sapphire, I don't believe it's "too late" as Corning could probably ramp production for them quickly, and they could have begun redesigning the unit for GGlass screens - with which they're already intimately familiar - as soon as sapphire issues became apparent. The devices may launch in more limited quantities, but it wouldn't take long for Corning to catch up.

     

    Of course, I don't believe it would take GTAT long to catch up if there was a hiccup at the plant in Mesa, either. It doesn't help that one analyst cited a "target miss" for May, but does not elaborate on what the target was or how narrow/wide a miss it was. SA articles, one cited below, have previously alleged that sapphire furnaces began arriving in December, 2013, some were turned on and operational by the end of January, 2014 (the count has only been growing since then), and the total capacity of the Mesa facility could be in excess of 200m screens per year. The question becomes: "How big of a hiccup are we talking?" Also, if there's a problem in Arizona, why would GTAT convert and dedicate a 2nd facility to sapphire production (in Salem, MA)? What crosses my mind is this - only a couple months ago, GTAT announced a larger, 200-ish (210, I think)Kg boule furnace. What if the slow down - if there is one - were tied to upgrading the existing furnaces in Arizona to the larger capacity? The "miss" in May could lead to significant expansion of capacity (about 30% increase from the previous 165Kg furnaces).

     

    ref: http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    Another reason cited for the analyst downgrade was a failure to confirm the 4th and final prepayment from Apple to GTAT, but that information may not be made publicly available until GTAT's quarterly results are revealed for the quarter ended June 30. It could conceivably take longer if the buildout was not 100% complete by then. The article referenced above (link) speculates that the furnace installation is more massive than other analysts believe, and may therefore take longer than expected.

     

    It remains entirely possible that there was or is an issue that has set GTAT back, but I feel a month or 6 week delay in sapphire production will not deter Apple - they've had many products released with constrained supply (the Mac Pro they recently redesigned had wait times of several weeks when it was launched) and sapphire could be a significant differentiator in the market. If the issue is more severe, then it doesn't seem to me that they would convert another facility to production before having it ironed out... or at least a plan to do so.

     

    A final thought... what if the Mesa plant's alleged hiccup necessitated the Salem facility's conversion in order to achieve the minimum capacity required by the Apple/GTAT agreement? Could easily explain the absence of the final prepayment as it would have taken longer for GTAT to fulfill their end of the deal.
    7 Jul, 09:40 PM Reply Like
  • gatlingg
    , contributor
    Comments (302) | Send Message
     
    Salem has always been a sapphire manufacturer. It is believed to have provided Apple with their home button & camera lens in 2013; it likely provided Vertu with its sapphire screen. It is reported to have been running 3 shifts for the past year solely to provide Apple with something.
    8 Jul, 09:03 AM Reply Like
  • Antonio Pamplona
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    GTAT is worth $10 if the iPhone 6 has gorilla glass instead of sapphire. I still believe there's a major strategic shift towards sapphire at Cupertino, but if that's not the case or if fails to materialize this year, prepare for a wild haircut on GTAT share price, as estimates that justify the present valuations are tied to iPhone 6 sapphire related business. Maybe that's the reason GTAT CEO sold some of his shares back in May...
    7 Jul, 05:44 PM Reply Like
  • ronfab1
    , contributor
    Comments (72) | Send Message
     
    Agreed, herrmajj. Please, laguna_b. If you are going to devils advocate against Apple putting out what they seem to be hoping to put out, with this giant plant, monies spent and by reports from at least one person, Matt M., doing incredible sleuthing about possible s.o.t.a. round the clock production of sapphire never seen before, please be specific? This is no time to generalize. Why do you "believe" that to be true? Again, honest question. This is a GTAT friendly contingent and I would hope the goal would be for no one to lose a bleep load of money. Actually the opposite….people here, incredibly impressed with GTAT, making a bleep load of money. I am in considerably, doubling my position today after this incredible out-of-the-blue $3.05 price drop, dropping me to $17.59 basis.
    7 Jul, 05:56 PM Reply Like
  • a alto
    , contributor
    Comments (128) | Send Message
     
    bjnflicks nailed it ! GTAT is gonna scream with or without Apple . I loaded up at 9.00 and will buy a bunch more tomorrow .
    7 Jul, 06:28 PM Reply Like
  • JEEZ LOUISE
    , contributor
    Comments (30) | Send Message
     
    I want to see what hiccup in May GTAT had. From all the reports I have read over the last few months GTAT has had to ramp up production significantly, and if they didn't meet Apple's demand then it could only mean one thing; demand is greater than supply at certain price point (the price point at with GTAT is producing sapphire currently).
    In their quarter 1 conference call in MAY they said they would have 1000 fulltime employees. 2 weeks ago or so, they stated they currently have 1100, not including any part-time, employees. So what, is GTAT paying there employees to twiddle their thumbs.
    A significant announcement was made today about Merlin being demonstrated in San Fran tomorrow for the first time. This is a monumental accomplishment for GTAT and the Solar industry in general. Game changing, innovation is all they know how to do. Great job to GTAT and all of its employees!
    7 Jul, 06:31 PM Reply Like
  • laguna_b
    , contributor
    Comments (288) | Send Message
     
    I will be at InterSolar and check out Merlin. HOWEVER....GTAT is NOT listed as a vendor at InterSolar from what I could see. So I assume they are there with a partner.
    I am long GTAT though will likely sell off some until a much lower lever, not because I think the company is bad but because SHORT term there is much uncertainty and doubt. I am totally GTAT friendly. Ronfab and others must accept that protecting sources is critical. Matt M. has done an excellent job and I follow him as well. You imperil your money catching a falling knife. Two months ago GTAT fell like a free falling safe for no good reason except loss of momentum. Now there ARE some reasons to be short term cautious. Further, those who bought September should be especially worried as one report now has the iPhone release at September 25....5 days after expiration.
    Other than Apple, ALL major business unit revenues for GTAT will occur 2015, 16, 17. Yes, for those with patience you WILL be rewarded. In the short term I think we are in for some hurt. You guys need to stop being cheer leaders and sober up before the drop sobers you up. We are in for a short term significant drop then slower growth IMHO.
    Want more reasons? Apple has not yet sent them the last $100+M payment.... perhaps they missed a goal.
    7 Jul, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • bjnflicks
    , contributor
    Comments (2001) | Send Message
     
    You do not know if Apple paid GTAT or not. It is a not something Apple would want known. Quit giving credence to those pump and dump artists who downgraded GTAT today. Just six weeks ago they upgraded it. It was a classic shameless pump and dump and their reasons for the downgrade make no sense except to fool the market into making them fast profits. In and out like thieves.

     

    The iPhone sapphire is not priced into GTAT yet, at least not both models. Everyone is waiting. There is nothing wrong or to be scared about.

     

    Apple paid GTAT 500 million a short time ago to expand production, so obviously this is a big fat deal for GTAT with Apple and we are talking tens and tens of millions of units. Nothing to sneeze at.

     

    In fact these analysts knew they had such weak points that they colluded to do it together. One firm having been indicted and fined for stock manipulation in Canada, and the other filled with ole boys who helped bring us down in 2008 and were in bed with Enron. Who do you trust? Apple's 500 million or these white collar criminals.

     

    Whenever you hear a conservative talk about deregulation, remember what they are really after, the opportunity to cheat or pollute or even kill tons of people and never be punished. I mention this only because the Texas Enron boy Phil Gramm's company is behind this downgrade. Mr Bank and Securities Industry deregulation. I have reported them to the SEC and you should too. And oh, I doubled my position in GTAT today. Why not? This is strictly a hit an run job. Upgrade a small stock then downgrade it six weeks later without cause, and have all your bets in in advance. Just a swindle. Wolves of Wall St in action. Who will next skeedaddle with your money if you get conned by them and sell. And many people did today. Hoodwinked by slicksters from two sketchy brokerage houses. A real shame. But maybe we will get our revenge very soon. Stay tuned.
    8 Jul, 12:25 AM Reply Like
  • quena
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
     
    Sapphyre is supposed to be more prompt to cracks than gorilla, but less to scratches... So apple is apparently testing hybrids, thin sapphyre and some gorilla.
    7 Jul, 06:59 PM Reply Like
  • quena
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
     
    Source: http://bit.ly/1j9GNIV
    7 Jul, 07:09 PM Reply Like
  • a alto
    , contributor
    Comments (128) | Send Message
     
    Apple signed the agreement with Gtat in Nov. of 2013 for over 500 million . It's only 8 months later and it's silly to think the sky is falling with Gtat , just because an analyst can't or can confirm sapphire will not be used in the I phone 6 screens . Apple would not have invested that kind of money unless it was going to increase sapphire integration into Apples products . Selling Gtat now would be a huge mistake , buying on this dip would be pure genius .
    7 Jul, 10:15 PM Reply Like
  • laguna_b
    , contributor
    Comments (288) | Send Message
     
    Why not sell on rallies and buy one the confirmed bottom?
    7 Jul, 11:04 PM Reply Like
  • IncomeYield
    , contributor
    Comments (1476) | Send Message
     
    laguna,

     

    Ring the bell at the bottom for us. :)
    7 Jul, 11:54 PM Reply Like
  • bjnflicks
    , contributor
    Comments (2001) | Send Message
     
    There is never a confirmed bottom in smaller stocks that can be manipulated. Once the Apple news finally comes out GTAT will be much less vulnerable to swindlers like these two analysts. It was like raping a kid who they think can't defend itself. But let's see now if GTAT fights back. I know I would if I was running GTAT. One positive PR statement and the stock goes right back up.
    8 Jul, 12:27 AM Reply Like
  • worlds worst investor
    , contributor
    Comments (33) | Send Message
     
    like raping a kid? little extreme there buddy...

     

    but I would like to see GTAT comment on this and try to ease nerves.
    8 Jul, 12:30 AM Reply Like
  • laguna_b
    , contributor
    Comments (288) | Send Message
     
    Watch for a momentum switch and a double bottom...no, you won't get the absolute bottom. You may know once it has happened...look back a little more than a year ago to see last time it happened.
    8 Jul, 12:51 AM Reply Like
  • thestockbroker
    , contributor
    Comments (343) | Send Message
     
    Yeah, bjn is a bit melodramatic, not to mention a huge conspiracy theorist, believes every broker is out to make money at his expense, everyone screw bjn and nobody else. LOL
    8 Jul, 01:29 AM Reply Like
  • JEEZ LOUISE
    , contributor
    Comments (30) | Send Message
     
    Laguna B, if you are going to be at the InterSolar today please report back on Merlin. Yesterday the market corrected GTAT on no news. Nothing fundamental was said or done. Your argument seems kind of empty. Last time GTAT reported the had received an Apple payment was on an earnings conference call, a couple months after they received the payment.
    8 Jul, 08:37 AM Reply Like
  • JEEZ LOUISE
    , contributor
    Comments (30) | Send Message
     
    Laguna B,

     

    Here is the info, and GTAT is only a presenter, not a vendor.

     

    9:05am-9:30am

     

    Innovative Cell Metallization and Interconnect Technology for Improved Module Performance and Lower Installed System Cost
    Tuesday, July 8, 2014
    Crystalline Silicon PV
    InterContinental Hotel, Level 3, Grand Ballroom B
    8 Jul, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • laguna_b
    , contributor
    Comments (288) | Send Message
     
    @Jeez - I did make it up to the show and in 2 minutes met the new VP Sales for the Merlin product. This was his second day so he was in learning mode I think. He seems like a great guy. I asked about Merlin with a few of the solars there but none of the ppl I talked to knew anything about it. That said, the key ppl I needed to talk to about it in development, were busy and hope to catch them today. In any case, I don't think Merlin has bubbled up to the surface yet....will find out more today. I saw your posting too late to make it to the presentation which would have been excellent timing to see response.
    9 Jul, 10:51 AM Reply Like
  • chief1048
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    All of you "experts" should keep your eyes and ears open and SHUT your "crystal ball" predicting mouths. If any of you knew what you were talking about you would be sitting on the beach somewhere in the Caribbean sippin a Martini and already have a ton of money in your portfolio regardless of what happens with GTAT. So stop talking and acting like you know something that no one else knows and just watch the situation play out. Unfortunately my crystal ball is out for repair or I could jump on the "prediction wagon" like the rest of you. The Whole world will find out at the same time when Apple unveils the new I-6 phone and possible a New I-Pad. Until then invest wisely, with caution and consideration. Do your own research and don't ever rely on the "crystal ball" predictions of the experts. Make up your own mind based on "YOUR" own knowledge. All of the above is the BEST tip you will ever need. I say go ALL IN. Chief is outta here.
    11 Jul, 07:21 AM Reply Like
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