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AAPL Up Strong Vs. Sideways Market
Stocks are falling in early trading as investors wait to hear what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says about the economic recovery. Shares of AAPL are up strong versus a down tech tape on rumours of the company entering the TV market (see below). Catalysts include second quarter results released in July; the next iPhone launch this fall (see below); smartphone push into China and emerging markets; iCloud rollout and adoption; the continued evolution and next generation of Apple TV; and new platforms such as books / publishing and social (Ping). Shares of Apple trade at 10.5x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow (including long-term marketable securities), low versus historical standards.Apple Television Is Coming, Just Not This Year (Barron’s)
Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster tells Tiernan Ray at Barron’s that he does believe an Apple television set is coming, and he’s written about it extensively in past. This comes following speculation yesterday by Jason Mick of DailyTech that such a thing might appear as soon as the fourth calendar quarter of this year. For the record, Munster’s conversations with supply-chain folks, such as component makers, have for a while now suggested to him that Apple will, indeed, make a television set. However, he thinks it’s more likely to come toward the end of next year, not this year.
Apple’s Cloud Service To Rival User Numbers Of Gmail And Twitter (AppleInsider)
Mike Abramsky, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, revealed the results of a proprietary survey of 1,500 iPhone users that indicates the iCloud service could gain 150 million users (versus 200 million Gmail users and 300 million Twitter users), while nearly as many are also interested in using iMessage; 76% said they are “very” or “somewhat” likely to use Apple’s iCloud service while 73% indicated they are “very” or “somewhat” likely to use iMessage. 30 per cent were also interested in testing the company’s new iTunes Match ability.
Android Will Continue To Lose Smartphone Share Gains (Electronista)
The smartphone market is continuing to grow, and Apple is well-poised to continue stealing share from its rivals; including Google. According to Needham and Company technology analyst Charlie Wolf, Android had 36.2% of worldwide smartphone market share in March, but its month-to-month gain was just 3-percentage points, down from a 7.5-percentage-point gain in the December quarter, and a 9.5-percentage-point gain in the September quarter. He predicts that Android’s recent decline will continue to fall as Apple introduces its new iPhone this fall.
Delayed iPhone Launch And Android Strength Overseas A Threat To Apple (Barron’s)
Oppenheimer & Co analyst Ittai Kidron expressed a note of caution for Apple shares, reiterating his Outperform rating on the stock but cutting his price target to $420 (still $100 upside, people). Kidron sees a risk to a September quarter iPhone estimates, given that Apple may not have a full month of sales in September for the next iPhone model. Hence, he cut his estimate to 19 million units. He also sees strong demand outside the U.S. for mid-tier/value smartphones, which suggests Android-based smartphones would be a more direct beneficiary.
Next iPhone To Have Case Redesign And Come In August (BGR)
The next-generation iPhone is now rumoured to be more than a minor hardware refresh and to launch earlier than September. That is, unless Apple is planning two release (iPhone nano perhaps). The smartphone is now suggested to have a major refresh with a thinner design and an updated Home button, capable of doubling as “gesture area.” The delay (past the usual summer debut) is said to be the result of waiting for iOS 5 to launch. Whatever it is, it can’t come quick enough.
iCloud Manager Leaves Apple For Online Health Company (HealthTeacher)
A senior iOS product manager at Apple, John Herbold, has left the company to become a product VP at a company called HealthTeacher. Herbold played a major role in developing and launching iCloud, and led efforts in developing and marketing iCloud’s Photo Stream image sync technology. With iCloud pretty much done at this point, it makes sense for him to leave before jumping into something new at Apple. But Apple’s brain drain is starting.
Apple Putting The Squeeze On Component Manufacturers (Digitimes)
Not surprising because it can. Apple is putting the squeeze on its suppliers of PCBs, optical components, battery modules and touch panels, asking parts makers for a 10% price cut in light of huge demand for the iPad. Even deeper cuts are expected to be required for the next financial quarter, when Apple will likely increase shipments. Analysts are expecting a 70% growth in the second quarter, a significant windfall for Apple’s suppliers.
Smartphone Users Now Spend More Time On Apps Than Desktops (Flurry)
Mobile app analytics firm Flurry released a report that indicates U.S. smartphone users now spend more time with mobile applications per day than people do using the desktop and mobile Web. Consumers are spending 81 minutes per day using mobile apps, compared to 74 minutes of web surfing. This growth in mobile app usage clocks in at a 91% increase year-over-year and has come primarily from more sessions per user per day as opposed to growth in average session length.
So Long Cameras, iPhone Now Biggest Photo-Taker On Flickr (Flickr)
Sometime in the past few days, the iPhone 4 became the most popularly used camera on Flickr. The Nikon D90 now holds the second spot, although its share of users has remained constant whilst the iPhone 4 has surged to the front. Not surprisingly, the iPhone 4 also dominates in the camera phone category with its closest competitor, the iPhone 3G, a distant second.
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