Today, 11:40 AM
- UBS' Jinjin Wang notes that devices perceived as comparable in quality and functionality to Apple's iPhone are cutting into sales of the iPhone 7 in the country. Does, however, point out the higher-margin 7 Plus is selling better than the 7.
- Among Chinese smartphone makers – Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo
- The observation contrasts with the positive momentum some other Apple (AAPL -0.3%) analysts have discerned to be underway within the country.
- Previously (October 12): Apple opening R&D center in Shenzhen, China
Today, 10:07 AM
- Google's (GOOG, GOOGL) getting more involved in the art of physically displaying and demonstrating hardware products, setting up shop in its own space in SoHo and within specially-designed areas at select Best Buy Canada (BBY +0.8%) stores as of today.
- Although Google doesn't span the globe with well-designed physical locations as does its target rival (NASDAQ:AAPL), these initial moves to showcase its new hardware portfolio could mark a sign of others to come.
- Made by Google (96 Spring Street), Pixel
- Earlier in the week: Google Pixel reviews overall positive ahead of release
Yesterday, 5:40 PM| Yesterday, 5:40 PM | 36 Comments
Yesterday, 11:35 AM
- The focus on Apple's (AAPL -0.2%) influence in the automobile sector has shifted away from straight manufacturing to ways the tech company could integrate software, information systems, or automated driving capabilities into next-gen models.
- The recent developments with Project Titan also raise the stakes on which automakers strike a significant partnership with Apple if the venture makes it past 2017 (the reported AAPL deadline).
- While many auto industry watchers think major automakers won't convert to the Apple ecosystem across their portfolio, high-end "Applefied" models are seen as a realistic possibility.
- "A luxury automobile with 'Apple Inside'? That could be hit, and a profitable one yet," writes Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik.
- SA contributor Bret Kenwell also dug into the Project Titan issue earlier this week.
- Related stocks: GM, FCAU, F, TM, HMC, OTCPK:NSANY, OTCPK:VLKAY, OTCPK:BMWYY, OTCPK:DDAIF, TSLA, OTCPK:MZDAY, TSLA, OTC:HYMLF, OTCPK:FUJHY, RACE, TTM, MBLY.
- Previously: Bloomberg: Apple scales down automotive strategy, plans to build car postponed (Oct. 17)
Tue, Oct. 18, 5:49 PM
- At an event to reportedly be held in Cupertino.
- Though refreshes across Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Mac lineup are entirely possible, a long-awaited overhaul of the MacBook Pro will be most closely watched for.
- Previously (August 2016) – Bloomberg: Apple hardware pipeline includes upgraded iMacs, MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs and new 5K monitor
Tue, Oct. 18, 1:29 PM
- While initial reviews of Google's (GOOG, GOOGL) Pixel device are mostly favorable ( "home run", "first rate"), a broad theme to develop across the write-ups is the perception that the offering is mainly good relative to prior and existing Android smartphones.
- Though consideration as "the best Android phone" is nonetheless positive, Google is hoping to not only challenge Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) with the Pixel, but compete with Apple (AAPL +0.5%) and position itself as a major player in the market where its products can be viewed as a top option across all ecosystems.
- Still in the early stage of a hardware strategy redirection, Google will release the Pixel onto the market this Thursday with consumer reception, eventual sales figures and other factors to detail more comprehensive impact of the device in coming time.
- Further reviews: Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, WIRED, CNET, Engadget, VentureBeat, Gizmodo
Tue, Oct. 18, 11:44 AM
- Stifel analyst Aaron Rakers raises expected iPhone shipments for Q4 to 47M from 42.2M (consensus – 44.6M) and revenue, EPS to $47.7B, $1.69 up from $45.6B, $1.57 (consensus – $46.9B, $1.66). For Q1 2017, models iPhone units at 76.6M, up from 69.9M prior, and revenue and EPS at $74.3B, $3.17, up from $70.05B, $3.01 (consensus – $74.4B, $3.19). Raises price target from $120 to $130 (current price $117.85) and maintains a Buy rating.
- Deutsche Bank analyst Sherri Scribner, rating Apple (AAPL +0.4%) at Hold, nonetheless raises her price target from $105 to $108 and iPhone unit forecasts to 46M for the September-ended quarter and 75M for Q1 2017.
- Previously (October 14): CLSA models iPhone 7 average selling price above estimates
Mon, Oct. 17, 2:49 PM
- Russ Salakhutdinov will join Apple in the new role while continuing work on statistical machine learning as a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.
- Apple (AAPL -0.4%) has reportedly had trouble recruiting top talent in the AI space due to the disconnect between the company's preference for secrecy and the publication of findings generally characteristic of high-level research conducted in the field.
- Nevertheless, Apple's looking to continue making headway in an area where peers like Google, Microsoft, Amazon and others are already highly focused.
- Salakhutdinov's full CV
- Previously (August 2016): Apple acquires machine-learning company Turi
- Further: Apple CEO says iPhone's future is in AI
Mon, Oct. 17, 9:19 AM
- Project Titan (NASDAQ:AAPL) had previously been noted as heading in a new direction, with software now constituting main focus of the program on the near-term.
- Hundreds of the division's members are said to have been assigned new roles, laid off or to have voluntarily departed.
- A late-2017 deadline to determine feasibility of an autonomous driving system and final direction has reportedly been set with flexibility to partner with existing carmakers or return to in-house car development at some point in the future further suggested.
- Previously (July 2016) – Bloomberg: Apple adds former BlackBerry software executive to car project
- Previously (July 2016) – WSJ: Apple appoints Bob Mansfield to automobile program
- Previously (September 2016) – Google's self-driving car project claimed too ambitious
Mon, Oct. 17, 7:31 AM
- "Apple Prime" on the way?
- To combat plateauing smartphone sales, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) should launch a subscription bundle modeled after Amazon's Prime service, says the Goldman team of Simona Jankowski and Drew Borst.
- The company, they say, has the power to "turn the razor/blade model upside down," in part because it can afford to be very aggressive in content by paying premiums for must-have material and/or pricing services below competitors.
- An "Apple Prime" subscription bundle at $50 per month - including the iPhone, Apple Music, Apple TV, original content, and even live sports - could be EPS accretive by more than 10% by 2021, they argue.
- They retain their Buy rating on the stock.
Sun, Oct. 16, 9:49 AM
- "Value investing works like clockwork, but sometimes your clock has to be very slow," says Joel Greenblatt, asked in a Barron's interview about the recent underperformance of some of his funds. The man behind the classic "You Can Be A Stock Market Genius" also published a barely-read "The Big Secret For The Small Investor" five years ago, noting, among other things, that average investors tend to dump good strategies at precisely the wrong time.
- Favorite longs in his long/short portfolio now include Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), with double-digit cash flow yields vs. the S&P 500 at less than half of that. "People worry that it’s effectively a hardware company that will crash and burn. But it’s also an ecosystem of products that play with one another and a brand people like."
- He owns not just Apple, he says, but a "bucket" of Apples - companies with gushing cash flow, huge returns on capital, and nice market niches. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and CVS fit the bill.
- On the short side is Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) at 218x pretax earnings and 7x sales. Even if optimistic earnings estimates prove true, it's still selling for 50x. Others include Costco (NASDAQ:COST) - a great retailer, but still a retailer - at 28x earnings, but not growing and also competing with Amazon. Another is Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), which has fans thanks to its 3.5% yield, but doesn't earn enough to pay that dividend.
- Gotham funds: GENIX, GARIX, GONIX, GINDX
Fri, Oct. 14, 1:02 PM
- Ahead of schedule, an early 2017 timeframe was previously anticipated.
- Similarly to what Apple (AAPL +0.5%) hopes to accomplish with its just announced R&D center in Shenzen, China and other recently disclosed plans for Beijing, this Japan facility looks to be an effort to deepen integration between partners and that country's overall community. The specific work of each center, however, is declared by Tim Cook to be "very different."
Fri, Oct. 14, 11:35 AM
- For the December-ended quarter, analyst Avi Silver projects $686 vs. consensus of $655. Attributes to an estimated higher percentage of iPhone 7 Plus units in total device mix (40%-50% vs. 30%-40% prior). Further considers iPhone SE to be excessively factored into consensus figure and remains upwardly biased on December-quarter revenue and EPS estimates.
- Rates Apple (AAPL +0.3%) at Buy with a $130 target ($117.53).
- In Apple's Q3, iPhone ASP came in at $595, though as noted in that quarter's conference call, is expected to improve.
Thu, Oct. 13, 1:11 PM
- TSMC (NYSE:TSM) recorded 22.5% Y/Y, 17.4% Q/Q revenue (NT $260.41B) growth and 28.4% Y/Y, 33.4% Q/Q growth in net income (NT$96.76B).
- Gross margin came in at 50.7%, operating margin 40.8% and net profit margin 37.2%.
- 16/20-nanometer shipments comprised 31% of wafer revenue, 28-nanometer process technology accounted for 24% (28nm combined with other advanced technologies represented 55%).
- TSMC SVP and CFO Lora Ho: "Despite a less favorable exchange rate than our forecast, third quarter revenue surpassed the high-end of our guidance given three months ago, mainly due to strong demand in overall smartphone market."
- Projections for Q4 – Revenue of NT$255B-NT$258B (11%-12% growth vs. 5%-10% previously guided), gross profit margin of 50.5%-52.5%, operating profit margin of 40%-42% and capital budget of $9.5B.
- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is considered to be the exclusive manufacturer of A10 chips used in Apple's (AAPL -0.6%) iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and although a supplier to other smartphone makers, the results appear to indicate positively for those devices.
- On upcoming inventory reduction level concern sparked during the company's conference call, however, TSMC shares are lower today by 4%. Co-CEO Mark Liu: "The previously anticipated inventory reduction at the end of Q4 will be mild. The end of this year will be more peaceful than in previous years. We see end-market demand is still healthy."
- Earnings slides
- Financial statements
- Management report
- Conference call
- Press release
Wed, Oct. 12, 1:24 PM
- In a segment on CNBC, Sacconaghi indicates Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) anticipated selling 25M Galaxy Note 7s this year and despite these users now being on the open market, offers a "wild guesstimate" of 20% (5M incremental units) of them potentially defecting to Apple.
- Further considers broader Samsung brand damage and the possible impact it could have on the company's other smartphone lines (50M-60M total sold per year in $500 range), adding this could contribute to further incremental iPhone buyers should defection occur across these as well.
- Though suspecting a moving away from Samsung devices (highlights Google Pixel, which exists in Android ecosystem), he nonetheless points out it is still too early to discern concrete outcomes of the situation.
- Maintains Apple (AAPL +1.2%) at Outperform and a $125 target (current price $117.50).
- Yesterday: Drexel Hamilton projects 8M iPhone unit gain for Apple resulting from Galaxy Note 7 demise
Wed, Oct. 12, 11:41 AM
- Another forthcoming facility in the country has already been set to open in Beijing.
- Apple on Shenzen: "We are excited to be opening a new Research and Development center here next year so our engineering team can work even more closely and collaboratively with our manufacturing partners. The Shenzhen center, along with the Beijing center, is also aimed at strengthening relationships with local partners and universities as we work to support talent development across the country."
- With Tim Cook pledging expanded investment in China back in August, reports of a possible retail location in South Korea and today's continued R&D developments, it appears clear the Asia market is of magnified interest to Apple (AAPL +1.1%).
- Yesterday – The Information: Apple had obtained board seat at Didi Chuxing