A new report suggests Apple’s manufacturing partners are preparing to begin assembling the next-generation iPhone some time between the middle and end of August. This time frame suggests that a launch might not occur until the second half of September at the earliest. Following a series of meetings in Taiwan, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty issued the new production timeline in a note to investors on Sunday. “Apple’s next iPhone will begin production in mid to late August and ramp aggressively,” the analyst wrote. Her meetings yielded no information about a new prepaid iPhone that might launch as a complimentary model in September, however. Huberty also reaffirmed reports that Apple is working on a branded television product that could open the door to a massive new revenue stream. “We also believe Apple is in the early design stages for a TV, which could add $19 billion and $4.50 of annual revenue and EPS longer-term,” she wrote in the same note on Sunday. Huberty sees Apple stock as a great purchase for investors in spite of its recent downward trend, and most analysts seem to agree, though the stock continues to drop despite countless favorable ratings from analysts. More →
Following first-quarter earnings that sent investors and the media into a tizzy, analyst coverage of RIM has been fairly monotone. The consensus? The company is doomed. Sure, there’s been an odd half-hearted vote of confidence here and there, but the majority of analyst coverage we’ve seen has been negative and investors are exiting en masse. In a 45-page report published last Tuesday, however, analysts at Macquarie Capital Markets paint a different picture of RIM’s business. Despite product delays and declining market share, the firm issued an Outperform rating and set a 12-month target on shares of RIM stock at $40. Read on to find out why. More →
“We no longer anticipate Research in Motion recovering to participate in the mainstream of smartphone industry growth.” Those are the words of Matthew Robison, an analyst with Wunderlich Securities, which recently downgraded RIM’s stock. Robison argues that RIM is going to lose the consumer interest that it has built over the last few years. “Our long-term forecast anticipates a role supplying business-oriented devices, both mid-range and high end, as well as cloud-based services via the BlackBerry Network.,” Robison said. “We expect the consumer mix gained over the past two years to churn off, and that earnings will decline after 2013 and eventually grow again on demand that is largely associated with business users.” Robison said the PlayBook is selling well relative to other tablets, “other than the iPad,” but that “there’s little indication that the PlayBook has registered with consumers outside the loyal BlackBerry installed base.” We’ve leaked and had hands-on time with most of RIM’s 2011 lineup, and while there’s a definite spec boost across the board, the phones lack the appealing features of more robust iOS and Android devices. Worse yet, the company only revealed one new device during its annual BlackBerry World 2011 conference, and even that offered very little in the way of innovation that might attract the consumer market. More →
According to Business Insider, a report from FBR analyst Craig Berger claims that Apple’s goal of producing 40-45 million iPads is “out of reach.” Apple’s current second-quarter production target is 6.2 million iPad units, but that may not be possible due to production issues with Hon Hai, Berger said. As a result, actual iPad production could drop to 5.2 million units during the third quarter. Similarly, Berger argues that Apple may face production issues from the March earthquake in Japan, particularly in relation to touchscreen displays. Berger’s report is on a par with a recent DigiTimes article that suggested Apple would have a hard time manufacturing enough iPhone 4 and iPad 2 units to meet demand due to material and labor shortages at Foxconn. More →
According to a new report issued by Canalys today, the global PC market grew 7% during the first quarter of this year – largely fueled by tablets. There were 88.6 million PC shipments during the quarter, up from 82.8 million during the same quarter last year. HP had a 66% share of the shipments, followed by Acer (12.8%), Dell (11.3%), Apple (9.5%), Lenovo (9.2%), and others (40.6%). “Apple set the standard in the pad market, mainly at the expense of notebook and netbook shipments, as pads competed for a share of consumer IT spend,” Canalys said, noting that Apple’s iPad products accounted for 74% of the 6.4 million tablets shipped globally in Q1. “The [tablet] represents a real threat to PC and consumer electronics vendors, as it is capable of replacing devices in a range of other categories,” Tim Coulling, a Canalys analyst, said. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Asymco’s Horace Dediu has a long history of pegging Apple earnings, and on Monday morning the analyst issued his revenue and EPS estimates for Apple’s third fiscal quarter of 2011. Dediu expects Apple to outpace its guidance, as usual, which the company set at 47% revenue growth and 43% EPS growth last week. Based on significant year-over-year growth projected in every key segment other than its iPod business, Dediu expects revenue growth of 65% to $25.8 billion and EPS growth of 72% to $6.02. Regarding product lines, the analyst sees Apple’s third-quarter breaking down as follows:
- iPhone units: 14.7 million (75%)
- Macs: 4.3 million (25%)
- iPads: 9.8 million (200%)
- iPods: 10.1 million (-15%)
- Music (incl. app) rev. growth: 25%
- Peripherals rev. growth: 25%
- Software rev. growth: 25%
Apple sold just 4.69 million iPads last quarter, falling short of analyst estimates ranging from 6 to 8 million. It is widely believed that the low sales were due to supply constraints, and Dediu believes that Apple will iron out these issues. The iPad 2 will also launch in several new countries this quarter, and coupled with supply that might finally come closer to meeting demand, Dediu sees third-quarter iPad sales ballooning 200% year-over-year to 9.8 million units. More →
The proverbial — and literal — stock of Apple, Inc. is sky high at the moment, which could be clouding the better judgement of some analysts. And this next prediction may fall into that category: 45 million iPads to be sold in 2011. The prognostication comes courtesy of intel acquired by Ticonderoga Securities from various component suppliers in China and Taiwan. “During our visit to Asia last fall, we indicated that our checks were pointing to expectations for up to 45 million iPad unit sales by Apple,” writes Brian White, an analyst with Ticonderoga. “At the time, this number was difficult for many investors and some in the media to get their heads around. However, this week’s meetings are again pointing to expectations for iPad unit sales of 40 million to 45 million units in CY11, well above our estimate of 30.9 million.” Digital Daily‘s John Paczkowski writes that the estimates do seem “a tad optimistic,” and notes that we should have a better gauge on 2011 iPad sales next week when the company reports its second-quarter earnings.
Apple may be expanding its portfolio beyond just Apple TV to an actual “Smart TV,” according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. “Checks in Asia suggest Apple is working on a Smart TV prototype,” Huberty said in a note to investors on Friday. She also suggested that such a TV could help create a whole new Smart TV category. While there are already connected TVs that some manufacturer’s advertise as being “smart,” Huberty thinks Apple’s could include “TV/Video content, gaming, DVR as well as other features like apps and FaceTime.” By 2013, such a device could earn Apple roughly $4 billion for every 1% of the TV market it grabs, Huberty said. We think a cooler option might be for Apple to take the ATRIX 4G path and create a TV dock that would allow your phone to power services — and render them properly — on your home TV. It would certainly be a cheaper option. Either way, Infinity Blade rendered on the big screen? Count us in.
According one analyst, Apple’s revenues could grow 50% through the next two years, driven by the demand for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch apps. Forrester Research founder George Colony told Bloomberg that he believes Apple will soon be a $200 billion revenue company. “They’ll be bigger than IBM next year, and they’ll be bigger than HP the year after that,” Colony said. Bloomberg surveyed a number of analysts and the average prediction is that Apple’s sales will jump 54% this fiscal year to $100.3 billion, but Apple’s sales growth could fall to 18% in 2012. Colony believes Apple could face some roadblocks if Steve Jobs leaves his position as CEO, but also argues that Apple probably has enough products planned to last three or four years if Jobs does depart from his role. After that time, it may be hard for Apple to continue to update its product portfolio as often as it does. “Without Steve Jobs as the CEO, I think it will be much harder for them to do that,” Colony said. “That would be a massive, massive hit to the valuation.” More →
Research In Motion announced this week that its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will finally launch next month, thus lighting a fire under several analysts excited to resume their PlayBook bashing. Among them was Stifel analyst Doug Reid, who issued a research note on Wednesday suggesting RIM’s first tablet offering will not deliver on the hype. “First, PlayBook’s lack of basic e-mail and calendar functionality (standalone) immediately gates the device’s addressable market to BlackBerry users, a market of only 55 million,” Reid wrote. He also points to the PlayBook’s lack of a substantial app ecosystem as a barrier, but we already know RIM is working on that. In the end, all of the analyst’s points echoed the countless complaints we’re been hearing for months: the need to tether, the small screen size, the app ecosystem, the fact that it’s late to market, and so on. In the end, we still won’t know until we know — though the PlayBook will certainly shock the majority of analysts and pundits if it sees even the slightest modicum of success at this point. More →
In a note to investors on Friday morning, an analyst from investment firm Morgan Keegan & Company claimed in-store sales of Motorola’s XOOM tablet are crawling. Morgan Keegan analysts reportedly spoke with roughly 80 Verizon Wireless retail locations, and the tablet is selling at a rate of two units per day on average in each location. While this purported sell-through rate is less than impressive, the firm notes that at its current pace, the XOOM would reach sales estimates of 300,000 units in the quarter. We reviewed the Motorola XOOM tablet last month and said it packed a serious punch. We also said there is plenty of room for improvement with Google’s Honeycomb operating system, however, and that it lacks innovation in its current state. More →
Four new arrests were made Thursday as the Securities and Exchange Commission and other U.S. government agencies continue to crack down on “channel checks” and other related practices. The defendants – identified as Walter Shimoon (VP of Business Development at Flextronics), Mark Longoria (supply chain manager at AMD), Manosha Karunatilaka (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd) and James Fleishman (sales manager at an “expert networking” firm) — have been charged with various crimes surrounding alleged insider trading. Court filings indicate that Shimoon, Longoria and Karunatilaka were hired as consultants by Fleishman’s expert networking firm. The men allegedly passed along corporate secrets about Apple, AMD and other companies to two unnamed hedge funds. Court filings also indicate that Shimoon was paid to leak non-public details surrounding the iPhone 4 and iPad ahead of Apple’s public announcements.
“Today’s charges allege that a corrupt network of insiders at some of the world’s leading technology companies served as so-called ‘consultants’ who sold out their employers by stealing and then peddling their valuable inside information,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “Over the next many months and beyond, we will continue to enforce the law, police the market, and protect honest businesses and their shareholders by working methodically with the FBI and SEC to root out corporate corruption and insider trading.” More →
Sprint is slated to announce its Q2 2010 earnings on Wednesday and analysts are weighing in on the expected performance of the nation’s #3 wireless carrier. Though it is still losing customers to its competition, Sprint is expected to show improvement year over year in the important postpaid category, with the carrier losing approximately 425,000 customers in Q2 2010 as compared to the 991,000 loss reported in the same quarter last year. Analyst Brett Feldman of Deutsche Bank notes that part of this improved performance can be attributed to sales of the HTC EVO 4G, which lowered subscriber loss by 100,000 and potentially kept this important financial figure under the half million mark. These numbers would have been better had Sprint been able to meet customer demand for the EVO 4G, but constant shortages have plagued this 4G handset. With the Samsung EPIC 4G slated to drop later this year and, hopefully, the EVO 4G back on the shelves, Sprint’s upcoming performance in the growing 4G postpaid market looks promising. Do you agree? More →