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Photo: Dan Frommer, Business Insider
AAPL Wavers In Recovering Market
The market wavered this morning on escalating oil prices that hit $100 a barrel, but the stocks are recovering on better-than-expected jobs growth for February. Shares of Apple are trading sideways ahead of the iPad 2 announcement this afternoon. Upcoming catalysts for the stock include today’s launch of the next generation iPad; news regarding Steve Jobs‘ healthy return; monthly NPD data to gauge Mac / iPod businesses; iPhone sales updates on new carrier Verizon as well as the launch of the iPhone 5 anticipated this summer; new revenue streams such as video, books / publishing and social (Ping); moving iTunes into the cloud; and the continued evolution and adoption of Apple TV. Shares of Apple trade at 13x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow (incl. long-term marketable securities).LIVE Discussion Of The Next Generation iPad Launch (Business Insider)
Please join Silicon Alley Insider for live coverage, discussion and analysis of today’s event.
What To Expect From Today’s iPad 2 Launch (All Things Digital)
According to the rumour mill, it will likely run on a 1.2GHz, dual-core, ARM Cortex-A9 chip and Imagination’s SGX543 GPU architecture-a big improvement over the SGX535 Apple uses today. The star of the show might be iOS 5 preview which will likely showcase new voice navigation features with Siri’s AI, perhaps a new maps application and certainly Cloud / MobileMe / iWork / iLife integration. And of course, the biggest question: will Steve Jobs make an appearance? Some are also saying that the iPad 3 is the one to get excited about.
- Faster Ramp For iPad 2 According To Supply Chain Contacts (Barron’s): FBR Capital semiconductor analyst Craig Berger says that his supply chain contacts are projecting a faster ramp for the iPad 2. Apple has allegedly increased its total production of iPads in the current quarter to 5.5 million units, from a prior projection of 5.1 million with the iPad 2 expected to account for about 2 million of those units. Second quarter production may be 7.2 million units, almost all of it iPad 2.
- Thin Display Production Issues Could Limit Initial iPad 2 Supply (AppleInsider): Conversely, Goldman Sachs analyst Bill Shope believes the the new ultra-thin glass screen set to be unveiled as part of the iPad 2 has “yield issues” that could result in a limited supply at launch. Apple’s overseas supply chain sources have indicated that the iPad 2 may be affected by production difficulties. While Apple may experience an initial production bottleneck, Shope also reaffirmed that the company is not expected to experience delays in launching the iPad 2. So it will launch, there will just be 5 available. Great.
- iPad 2 Crucial For Apple To Differentiate From The Flood Of Tablets Hitting The Market (AppleInsider): With over a hundred tablets expected to come to market this year looking to take on the iPad, Apple’s unveiling of its second-generation will be a critical moment for the company, says Brian White at Ticonderoga Securities. Apple needs to make a convincing case for why the iPad 2 is better than the plethora of competitors coming to market while also persuading first generation iPad owners to upgrade.
Tim Cook Drops A Few Gems At Analyst Meeting (Various via iDygest)
During a meeting with Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, Apple COO Tim Cook referred to the iPhone as “the mother of all halos” because of its ability to expand sales of other core products. Cook also strongly suggest that Apple would be releasing a cheaper iPhone in the not-so-distant future and also indicated that he believes the tablet market will eventually out-grow the entire consumer PC market. Apple, of course, retaining their lead because of innovation and year-long head start.
The FAA Approves iPad For Pilots’ Charts (Wired)
After three months of testing, the Federal Aviation Administration has authorised an airline charter company, Executive Jet Management, to use the iPad and the app Mobile TC as an approved alternative to paper charts. The approval took three months of rigorous testing and the carrier will be required to have a second approved electronic device in the event of a system or software crash (no pun intended). Another business case for the iPad.
rumour Has It One Million Units Of The Verizon iPhone Were Sold On Opening Weekend (The Street)
According to The Street’s Scott Moritz, despite mild lines for the CDMA iPhone 4, Verizon and Apple have cleared the one million unit mark during opening weekend. He doesn’t, however, source this number and The Street isn’t exactly known for credibility. I’m just saying.