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AAPL Up Strong Despite Consumer Spending Flatline
Flat consumer spending represents yet another sign of a sluggish economic recovery. As such the markets were mixed modestly in early morning trading, but quickly recovered and are currently in the positive to offset last week’s losses. Shares of AAPL are up strong on upbeat quarterly sentiment (see below). Catalysts include fiscal third quarter results released the third week of July (TBA); the next iPhone(s) launch this fall (see below); smartphone push into China and emerging markets; iCloud rollout and adoption (see below); 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 To Release Two New iPhones In September, Says Analyst (Business Insider)
Apple will be releasing two new iPhones this September, says Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore. The company will release the iPhone 5, and the iPhone 4S, a “mid-range” prepaid smartphone priced at $350. He believes that “with Nokia and Research In Motion struggling, the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid-range smartphone market.” This would confirm a lot of rumours circulating this year around the iPhone.
Amateurs Who Consistently Outperform The Professionals Peg Apple Revenue $2 Billion Higher (Fortune)
The consensus of professional Apple analysts is that Apple will report earnings of $5.63 on sales of $24.52 billion for its fiscal third quarter, up 60% and 52%, respectively from last year. “Amateur” analyst (bloggers, analytic companies, etc.) consensus however calls for earnings of $6.64 on sales of $26.6 billion, up nearly 90% and 70%, respectively. If you’re wondering whom to put your chips on, the amateurs as a group have outperformed the pros every quarter for the past 10 quarters.
Apple Could Ship 8 Million New MacBook Airs This Summer (Ars Technica)
Adding to the latest Apple rumours, the new MacBook Air could launch alongside (or immediately following) the release of OS X Lion. Supply chain companies indicate that production will increase in July approximately 17% over June, and could increase as much as 100% for the third quarter of this year, or 8 million new MacBook Air systems in the summer.
AT&T Roadmap Points To LTE iPad Next Year (Electronista)
A pair of findings gave indirect clues as to the prospects of LTE-based Apple devices. As part of a late November and early December speed test schedule, the AT&T is listing tests that would involve “iPad new activations HLS using the new rate plan.” The testing led speculators to suggest that LTE iPads wouldn’t reach customers’ hands until early 2012, lining up with Apple’s one-year update cycle. A mention of the iPhone wasn’t as clear, but “Phase 2” (whatever that means) is supposed to take place in September (see above article).
iCloud Won’t Stream Music Because Of AT&T And Verizon (Wired)
Why won’t Apple stream music from iCloud, when every other music locker does? According to Eliot Van Buskirk at Wired, it’s because of three things that affect the carriers themselves:
- People would hit their bandwidth limits faster, degrading the perceived value of their expensive wireless plans.
- AT&T and Verizon would suffer significant slowdowns from all that music streaming.
- AT&T and Verizon would be forced to spend even more money than they already do on new cellular towers and increasing the overall through puts of their networks.
As such, Apple must keep its partners’ businesses in mind when rolling out new features.
Apple Stores Can Now Sell Unlocked AT&T iPhones At Full Price (9To5Mac)
That’s an expensive phone. Apple Stores can now unlock and sell the AT&T version of the iPhone. Basically, if a respective Apple Store is running low of the unlocked GSM SKUs of iPhone 4, they can pull out an AT&T SKU and the system can choose to unlock it. This only works for non-subsidized phones, so customers are looking at $650-$749 per phone. With this new route, customers can use international carriers or cut up their SIM to work with T-Mobile (now carrying over a million iPhone users in the U.S.).
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