Thu, Jan. 29, 6:00 AM
- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) overtook Hermes International (OTCPK:HESAF, OTCPK:HESAY) as #1 luxury gifting spot in China.
- Apple posted a 70% rise in sales in China in the last three months of 2014.
- Overall, spending on gift-giving fell 5% Y/Y, following a 25% drop in 2013. Beijing has been cracking down on corruption and luxury spending among public officials.
Wed, Jan. 28, 1:03 PM
- Himax (HIMX +6.7%), QuickLogic (QUIK +7.4%), and Pixelworks (PXLW +5.4%) are posting big gains on a day that has seen many mobile chipmakers rally in the wake of Apple's strong FQ1 iPhone sales print.
- Himax's LCD driver ICs and QuickLogic's sensor hubs go into Android devices rather than Apple's mobile hardware. Pixelworks counts Apple as a client, but details about the business relationship are limited. Many think an SoC being developed by Pixelworks for large-screen applications (through a "co-development partnership") is meant for Apple.
- Possibly helping Pixelworks' cause: Tim Cook stated on Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) CC (transcript) 25M Apple TV units have now been cumulatively shipped, up from 20M last April, and that the product is one which Apple "[continues] to look at and work on and find a way that we can make even greater contribution than what we’re doing."
- QuickLogic reports on Feb. 4, Pixelworks on Feb. 5, and Himax on Feb. 12.
Wed, Jan. 28, 10:36 AM
- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has seen at least ten target hikes after soundly beating FQ1 estimates on the back of a big iPhone sales print. Shares are less than $2.50 away from a high of $119.75.
- UBS' Steve Milunovich: "The 74.5mn unit iPhone figure deserves all the adjectives analysts can muster, especially given that (1) supply/demand balance was not achieved until Jan, and (2) 49% sell-thru growth bettered the sell-in increase of 46% ... our guess that iPhone 6+ was 30% of total iPhone units likely was near the mark." He sees an 18% iPad unit decline and "flattish" iTunes revenue as the only negatives.
- BTIG' Walter Piecyk: "The strongest criticism you may hear today is that Apple created too difficult a comp for the December 2015 quarter based on an unsupported assumption that ‘everyone upgraded their phone in 2014.’ We believe that assumption is wrong."
- Citi believes new smartphone upgrade/installment plan options from carriers are providing a lift, as is interest in 64GB models. It adds shares are still only trading at 13x forward EPS (10.4x exc. cash).
- On SA, Orange Peel Investments sees room for shares to run to $150 (18x forward earnings), aided by smartphone and PC share gains and China growth. Paulo Santos offers a contrarian take, arguing the improving quality of cheap Android phones is a threat.
- Prior Apple earnings coverage
- Update (12:45PM): Carl Icahn has chimed in on CNBC. He now asserts Apple is worth $215/share (above a prior $203 target), and reiterates his call for bigger buybacks.
Wed, Jan. 28, 9:14 AM
Tue, Jan. 27, 5:47 PM
- Tim Cook has provided a more concrete timetable for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) smartwatch launch on the FQ1 CC. 9to5 Mac previously reported hearing the Watch would launch by the end of March; Apple had before only said it would ship in "early 2015." (live blogs: WSJ, BI)
- CFO Luca Maestri notes forex headwinds had a 4% impact on revenue growth (plenty of other tech giants can relate), with the yen and ruble the biggest culprits. He suggests the impact going forward will be around 5%; more favorable component costs will partly offset.
- Maestri adds iPhone channel inventory fell by 200K Q/Q, and that supply only met up with demand in January. iPad inventory rose by 1M.
- Other details: 1) iPhone sales more than doubled Y/Y in mainland China and Brazil. 2) App Store revenue rose 41% Y/Y. iTunes/media revenue rose by $200M to $2.6B. 3) Apple now has 447 retail stores (182 outside the U.S.).
- AAPL +4.9% AH. FQ1 results, details.
Tue, Jan. 27, 4:57 PM
- Thanks to a stronger-than-expected iPhone mix, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) had an FQ1 gross margin of 39.9%, up 200 bps Y/Y and above guidance of 37.5%-38.5%. FQ2 GM guidance is at 38.5%-39.5%.
- Product line performance: iPhone revenue (69% of total revenue) +57% Y/Y to $51.2B; units +46%. iPad -22% to $9B; units -18%. Mac +9% to $6.9B; units +14%. Services (iTunes, App Store, Apple Pay, etc.) +9% to $4.8B. Other products (iPod, Apple TV, Beats, accessories, etc.) -5% to $2.7B.
- Regional performance: Americas revenue +23% to $30.6B. Europe +20% to $17.2B. Greater China +70% to $16.1B (pent-up demand for bigger iPhones). Japan +8% to $5.4B. Rest of Asia-Pac +33% to $5.2B. International sales were 65% of revenue.
- With the 6 Plus providing a boost, iPhone ASP rose to $687 from $603 in FQ4 and $561 in FQ3. iPad ASP fell to $419 from $432 and $443. Mac ASP rose to $1,258 from $1,200 and $1,255.
- SG&A spend rose 18% Y/Y to $3.6B, and R&D spend 43% to $1.9B.
- $5B was spent on buybacks. Apple ended FQ1 with over $177B in cash/investments, and over $36B in debt.
- AAPL +5.3% AH to $114.90. FQ1 results, PR.
Tue, Jan. 27, 4:33 PM| 245 Comments
Tue, Jan. 27, 4:33 PM
Tue, Jan. 27, 3:51 PM
- Payment-processing/telemetry services provider USA Technologies (USAT +7.3%) says it will support Apple Pay (NASDAQ:AAPL) on ~200K "wireless acceptance points," by bringing the NFC-based payment platform to "owners and operators of coffee brewers, vending machines, kiosks, laundry equipment, parking pay stations and other self-serve appliances.."
- NFC reader maker On Track (OTIV +3.1%) is also rallying. Three months ago, On Track issued a PR declaring its Saturn 6500 NFC readers support Apple Pay when used with USA Technologies' ePort wireless payment services.
Mon, Jan. 26, 5:35 PM
Mon, Jan. 26, 2:56 AM
- According to sources in the semiconductor industry, Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) will be the main supplier of processors powering Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) next handset model, Maeil Business Newspaper reports.
- The newspaper did not say how much the contract is worth, but Samsung will likely supply 75% of the chip production for the iPhone 7.
- Samsung was the company behind the A7 that powered the iPhone 5S, although it was ditched in favor of TSMC (NYSE:TSM) for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Thu, Jan. 22, 6:55 PM
- In the proxy materials for its 2015 annual meeting (set for March 10), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) discloses Tim Cook's 2014 compensation totaled $9.22M, up from 2013's $4.25M. Cook's package included a $1.75M salary and $6.7M in non-equity incentive compensation.
- Also disclosed: J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler, a board member since 1999, is retiring following the annual meeting. The board, which has seven other members, hasn't yet nominated a replacement.
- 9to5 Mac reports Apple is targeting 2.5 hours of Apple Watch battery life under "heavy" application use (such as CPU-intensive gameplay), 3.5 hours under standard app use, and close to 4 hours when its fitness tracking software is engaged. In standby or low-power modes, 2-3 days of battery life is reportedly likely. Tim Cook has previously suggested Watch users will end up charging the device daily.
- Though the carrier didn't break out iPhone sales, some Apple bulls are taking heart in Verizon's Q4 numbers. Verizon saw a 34% Y/Y increase in postpaid device activations to 15.3M, and a 38% increase in postpaid smartphone sales.
- A Q4 CIRP survey indicates the "weighted average no-contract retail price" for U.S. iPhone sales rose 13% Q/Q and 9% Y/Y, reports UBS. The firm forecasts 67M FQ1 iPhone sales at a high ASP of $685. Meanwhile, mobile ad firm AppLovin reports seeing a 60:40 split between the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in China.
- Apple rose 2.6% in regular trading, aided by a 1.8% gain for the Nasdaq. FQ1 results arrive on Tuesday.
Thu, Jan. 15, 2:12 PM
- With the Nasdaq off 1.2% and Mizuho's Abhey Lamba having downgraded to Neutral, Apple (AAPL -2.5%) is posting a sizable decline. 42.5M shares have been traded thus far vs. a 3-month daily average of 51M.
- Following Asian supply chain checks, Lamba thinks Apple could report 70M+ FQ1 iPhone sales on Jan. 27, with "a healthy mix of iPhone 6 Plus." He also expects "management to report significant backlog and inventory below normal levels."
- However, he believes there's "limited upside" to an FQ2 iPhone consensus of ~50M, and more broadly expects slowing iPhone sales momentum going forward due to growing penetration rates and "likely saturation of smartphones at the upper end of the market."
- Meanwhile, Pac Crest's Andy Hargreaves, who downgraded following the September iPhone 6/Watch launch event, is out with another cautious note (previous), stating the FQ2 consensus is "at the high end of what Apple is likely to guide to." He sees "particular risk around Apple Watch unit volume, iPad unit volume and sales and marketing expenses."
- Rosenblatt's Brian Blair is more bullish: He forecasts 72M FQ1 iPhone sales, and reports a supply/demand imbalance still existed in nearly all of the iPhone 6's 110+ markets at the end of December. Blair expects calendar 2015 iPhone sales to rise 16% to 220M. On Tuesday, Canaccord reported seeing tight supplies for some iPhone 6 models at U.S. carrier stores.
Wed, Jan. 14, 2:49 PM
- Apple (AAPL -0.9%) has sued Ericsson (ERIC +0.2%) over 4G patents the mobile infrastructure giant is trying to collect royalties on, arguing Ericsson's royalty demands are excessive and that the patents aren't standards-essential. Apple also claims Ericsson wants a royalty based on the entire sales price of a 4G phone or tablet, and that it should only be based on the price of the device's baseband processor.
- In 2008, Apple and Ericsson struck a licensing deal covering many of the patents now under dispute. A WSJ source says that agreement will expire shortly.
- Ericsson has responded to Apple's suit filing a complaint against the company with a U.S. district court, stating Apple's existing license had expired and that two years of negotiations have failed. Ericsson wants the court's help to determine if its offer is fair.
- Last year, Samsung agreed to pay Ericsson $650M to settle a long-running patent dispute, as well as pay royalties on future hardware sales. More recently, Ericsson scored an Indian injunction against Xiaomi. Lawsuits against several Indian OEMs remain outstanding.
- Ericsson's 2013 IP licensing revenue, which included a lump-sum payment from Apple, totaled $1.3B. Q4 results arrive on Jan. 27.
Wed, Jan. 14, 10:41 AM
- JMP's Alex Gauna: "We have reviewed U.S. Patent 8934045 in its entirety, and reached the conclusion that it represents minimal, if any, change to the GoPro (GPRO +2.7%) risk profile, as to us it hints more at a smartphone and smartwatch use case, and the mention of waterproofing and mounts are contextual rather than central to the application."
- Gauna doubts Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will compete head-on against GoPro, and states CES featured "a good number of GoPro imitators but none that were able to match the brand energy, performance, use cases, and/or software and social networking value proposition of the Hero lineup."
- Wedbush's Michael Pachter: "I don’t think these patents imply that they’ll issue a standalone device. Rather, they’re going to figure out a way to bolt a phone to your head or put it at the end of the stick and the patents are for the remote control and how it works for the camera."
- AppleInsider observes Apple's patent was effectively acquired from Kodak in 2012. "A side-by-side comparison of the application as assigned to Kodak and the patent as granted to Apple shows only minor changes."
- Shares are still down 10% from Monday's close.
- Yesterday: GoPro tumbles after Apple camera patent published
Tue, Jan. 13, 12:05 PM
- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been granted a patent (application filed in 2012) for a sports camera system that can be controlled using a phone or watch.
- The camera can be mounted on/secured to various devices, such as a bike helmet, motorcycle handlebar, or surfboard. It would also feature a "mounted mode" that adjusts for vibrations.
- Volatile GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) has sold off hard following the patent's publication. Dougherty, however, suggests taking the news in stride. "For starters, we note that Apple patents many, many inventions and some small percentage tend to see the light of day as an actual product. More than anything, we see a scenario in which Apple will want to have a way for users to record from their iPhones and iPads remotely using the Apple Watch as a remote."
- GoPro's mobile apps support remote camera control. The company's product line also includes its $80 Wi-Fi-based Smart Remote.
- Update (1:24PM ET): GoPro is now down 10%.
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Apple Inc designs, manufactures, & markets mobile communication & media devices, personal computers, & portable digital music players, & sells a variety of related software, services, accessories, networking solutions, & third-party digital content.
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