Acer lowers Q1 guidance as iPad 2 rocks PC industry

By on March 29, 2011 at 10:42 AM.

Acer lowers Q1 guidance as iPad 2 rocks PC industry

Shares of Acer stock were down nearly 7% on the Taiwan Stock Exchange Tuesday on news that the PC manufacturer had unexpectedly and significantly lowered it’s first-quarter sales estimates. The PC maker had previously estimated its first-quarter PC sales would grow 3% from the previous quarter. Now, Acer has adjusted its forecast, saying it expects sales to drop 10% compared to the prior quarter. Asustek, an Acer competitor, is also struggling with similar sales declines in the first quarter. Acer cites weakened demand in the U.S. and Western Europe for the drop off in sales. The emerging tablet market lead by Apple’s iPad and iPad 2 devices is also seen as largely contributing to the decline in PC sales. Acer expects its net profit margin to drop below 2% in the first quarter from 2.93% in the previous quarter, though it predicts that second-quarter PC shipments will reverse the downward trend, growing by 10% over first-quarter sales. More →

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RIM reports Q4 earnings; revenue misses estimates despite record shipments

By on March 24, 2011 at 4:35 PM.

RIM reports Q4 earnings; revenue misses estimates despite record shipments

Shares of Research in Motion stock declined over 12% after hours on Thursday as the company reported its fourth-quarter earnings for its 2011 fiscal year. RIM reported revenue that missed Wall Street’s consensus on device shipments that exceeded expectations by 200,000 units. Fourth-quarter revenue came in at $5.6 billion, just below the $5.64 billion analysts expected. Device shipments for the quarter totalled 14.9 million units, beating estimates of 14.7 million units, and full-year shipments were a record 52.3 million units — a 43% improvement over the year prior. Full-year revenue of $19.9 billion grew 33% over the 2010 fiscal year and net income was up 47% year-over-year to $3.4 billion. “We are pleased to report record shipments and financial performance in fiscal 2011,” said RIM’s Co-CEO Jim Balsillie in a statement. “As we enter fiscal 2012, RIM is in an excellent position to benefit from the continuing convergence of the mobile communications and mobile computing markets. We are laying a strong foundation for RIM’s expanding market opportunity through focused investments and we are extremely excited about our smartphone, tablet and platform roadmaps.” Hit the break for the full press release. More →

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HTC Flyer tablet production to exceed 1 million units in initial run

By on March 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM.

HTC Flyer tablet production to exceed 1 million units in initial run

Citing industry sources, Taiwan Economic News reports that HTC has high hopes for its debut tablet, the HTC Flyer. Announced at Mobile World Congress last month, the HTC Flyer is an Android 2.4-powered slate with a 7-inch touchscreen display, a 1.5GHz processor, 32GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calling. Despite a tremendous amount of competition expected this year, HTC has reportedly placed an initial order with manufacturers for over 1 million units of its Flyer tablet. This seems like a massive first order for HTC, which is also expected to launch two more Android tablets in the first half or 2011 according to the report. Taiwan Economic News states that the 3G-enabled Flyer will retail for approximately $600 off contract, which would make it over $100 less expensive than the 32GB iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G model from Apple. More →

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Apple sold nearly 1 million iPad 2 tablets over weekend, analysts claim

By on March 14, 2011 at 10:00 AM.

Apple sold nearly 1 million iPad 2 tablets over weekend, analysts claim

Some analysts believe Apple may have sold close to 1 million iPad 2 units during the tablet’s debut weekend. Leading up to launch day, opening weekend sales estimates ranged from 300,000 to 600,000 units. Following nationwide sell outs, however, some analysts have upped their estimates significantly. “We would not be surprised to see Apple sell closer to 1 million iPad2s in the opening weekend,” Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland told Reuters. Apple Store locations and third-party retail partners across the country ran out of iPad 2 inventory quickly following the tablet’s 5:00 p.m. launch on Friday. Some Best Buy locations claim to have sold out of iPad 2 units and accessories within 10 minutes of making the tablet available to customers. Regarding buyer breakdown, Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry believes 60% of iPad 2 buyers were upgrading from last year’s model and the remaining 40% were first-time iPad buyers — and he believes 100% of iPad 2 buyers own at least one other Apple product. Chowdhry also thinks people preferred AT&T’s 3G model over Verizon Wireless’ iPad 2 because AT&T has better customer service. More →

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Honeycomb is ‘by the geeks, for the geeks, and of the geeks,’ analyst writes

By on March 10, 2011 at 10:11 AM.

Honeycomb is ‘by the geeks, for the geeks, and of the geeks,’ analyst writes

Android 3.0 — or “Honeycomb,” as Google lovingly calls it — is not fit for mass consumption. This according to analyst Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research, who calls Google’s tablet-friendly operating system “by the geeks, for the geeks, and of the geeks,” and says it has little chance of mass adoption. In a note to investors on Wednesday, Chowdhry lambasted Honeycomb and said it would fail. In a bizarre twist, however, the analyst also said the failure wouldn’t matter because “Honeycomb is insignificant to Google revenues.” As an ocean of consumer electronics OEMs bet the bank on tablets and Honeycomb (along with future Android builds that will be based on Honeycomb) quickly becomes the platform of choice, we’re pretty sure Google stands to make a buck or two off of the Google services all these potential users will have tossed on their laps. But Chowdry thinks Google should stick to the Web, where consumers won’t complain about buggy products because they’re free. When an $800 Motorola XOOM crashes repeatedly, however, “the consumer is unforgiving.” More →

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Apple shipped 1.1 million MacBook Air laptops last quarter, analyst claims

By on March 7, 2011 at 8:01 PM.

Apple shipped 1.1 million MacBook Air laptops last quarter, analyst claims

Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed on Saturday that Apple shipped a total of 1.1 million MacBook Air units over the course of the refreshed laptop’s first quarter of availability. Though the firm’s figure is most certainly not confirmed by Apple, Ming-Chi cites channel checks in Asia in revealing shipment numbers, which would make the new MacBook Air one of the fastest-selling Mac computers in Apple’s history. Ming-Chi notes that sales have likely begun to slow in the first quarter of 2011, and Concord estimates that Apple will ship approximately 700,000 units this quarter. Shipments of Apple’s newly refreshed MacBook Pro computers are expected to make up for the slowing Air sales, however, and Concord notes that demand for the new Pro line will help offset slowed MacBook Air shipments. More →

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Apple to ship 10-12 million iPad 2 units in Q2, report claims

By on March 4, 2011 at 9:22 AM.

Apple to ship 10-12 million iPad 2 units in Q2, report claims

Industry watcher DigiTimes on Friday reports that Apple is still on track to have roughly 40 million iPad tablets built and shipped in 2011. The site stated yesterday that Apple plans to ship up to 6.5 million iPad tablets in the first quarter of this year, and now it’s on record as saying second-quarter production will be ramped up to a staggering 10-12 million units. According to the report, Apple ordered approximately 2 million first-generation iPads in January before kicking off iPad 2 production. Shipments of the iPad 2 are expected to come in around 3 million units this quarter. The second quarter will see between 10 and 12 million units built as noted, and DigiTimes’ sources suggest Apple’s manufacturing partners will ship between 21.5 and 24 million units in the second half of the year. The report does not speculate on whether or not second-half shipments might include the iPad 3, which could launch ahead of the holidays this year according to rumors. More →

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RBC: 185 million tablets sold by end of 2014, Android to dominate long-term

By on March 3, 2011 at 12:46 PM.

RBC: 185 million tablets sold by end of 2014, Android to dominate long-term

In a note to investors on Thursday, RBC Capital Markets General Manager Mike Abramsky reiterates the firm’s belief that the tablet market is poised to explode over the coming years. RBC forecasts a rise in global tablet revenue from $11 billion in 2010 to $70 billion in 2014, noting that leadership will be achieved through a differentiated user experience, innovation, value and the surrounding software ecosystem, among other things. Abramsky views Apple’s iPad as the clear leader in the space right now, though he notes that the iOS tablet’s dominance will likely be short lived. “While Apple’s iPad may continue to set the bar high for experience, we expect Android to dominate (40% share Tablets by 2014), given its broader support from OEMs and carriers and expected budget-priced Android Tablets from Asia,” Abramsky writes. But he also notes that several Android tablet makers will exit the market along the way. “Too many vendors entering the market sets up for a pending shakeout.”

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Rough news for RIM: Apple’s iPad 2 will launch a month before the PlayBook

By on March 2, 2011 at 3:35 PM.

Rough news for RIM: Apple’s iPad 2 will launch a month before the PlayBook

Though not entirely unexpected, it turns out Apple’s second-generation iPad tablet will be released before the BlackBerry PlayBook hits store shelves in April. This could be a crushing blow to RIM and its PlayBook, which has already fallen under heavy scrutiny for not measuring up to Apple’s iOS offering according to bloggers, analysts and members of the press who have spent time with the tablet. Apple on Wednesday announced that its new iPad 2 will become available in stores and online beginning March 11th, a full month before the PlayBook is expected to launch on April 10th. The iPad, which already owns the consumer market, is quickly gaining ground in enterprise as well, so RIM’s plan to target businesses could easily be thwarted right out of the gate. More →

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Tablet market to hit $35 billion by 2012, JP Morgan says

By on February 28, 2011 at 7:01 PM.

Tablet market to hit $35 billion by 2012, JP Morgan says

If you’re tired of hearing about tablets, we have some bad news for you… they’re not going away any time soon. While repeated failed attempts will undoubtedly trim the number of entrants in the tablet market over the coming months and years, the market itself is poised to explode. JP Morgan said in a note on Monday that it estimates the global tablet market to reach $35 billion next year. More specifically, the firm revised its 2011 tablet revenue forecast from $24.9 billion up to $26.1 billion on sales of 47.9 million units, and its 2012 estimate has been raised to $35.2 billion on sales of 79.6 million units from $34.1 billion. JP Morgan also noted that the tablet market will likely have a negative impact on sales of laptop computers. “We expect tablets to have an increasingly negative impact on PC shipments,” JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz wrote. “More than 35 percent of tablets sold in 2012 will be cannibalistic, particularly as relates to netbooks and notebooks.” More →

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Apple iPad 2 sales to hit 30 million units, RBC forecasts

By on February 23, 2011 at 7:51 PM.

Apple iPad 2 sales to hit 30 million units, RBC forecasts

In a note to investors on Wednesday, RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky reiterated the firm’s confidence in Apple’s upcoming next-generation iPad. RBC predicts that Apple will sell 30 million iPad 2 units between April 2011 and March 2012. Apple will unveil the iPad 2 at a media event next week, and the tablet is expected to launch in late March or early April. Abramsky discusses expected hardware specifications for the iPad 2 in his note, which include a faster 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, a rear camera, a front-facing camera for FaceTime video chat and a thinner, lighter case. He also notes that initial supply may be constrained due to component availability, however, which jibes with our earlier report.

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HP reports Q1 2011 earnings, lowers full-year guidance

By on February 22, 2011 at 10:03 PM.

HP reports Q1 2011 earnings, lowers full-year guidance

Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday reported its earnings for the first quarter of the company’s 2011 fiscal year, which ended on January 31st. Revenue missed Wall Street’s expectations slightly, coming in at $32.3 billion versus the Street’s projected revenue of between $32.75 and $33.59 billion. Earnings per share was up an impressive 26% year-over-year to $1.17, but it still missed the Street’s expectation of between $1.26 and $1.32 per share. Cash flow from operations was up 28% year-over-year, however, and profit was up 16% to $2.6 billion. “I’m pleased with our EPS and margin expansion during the quarter. Going forward, we have the opportunity to further capitalize on our customers’ demands for higher value-added solutions,” said HP’s CEO Léo Apotheker in a statement. “HP has a powerful portfolio, including exciting, recently announced cloud and connectivity offerings. We are focused on leveraging these strengths to extend our leadership and accelerate growth.” HP lowered its full-year revenue forecast from between $131.5 and $133.5 billion to between $130 and $131.5 billion. Hit the break for HP’s full press release. More →

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NPD: Apple computer sales up 20% in January, iPod sales down 10%

By on February 22, 2011 at 7:26 PM.

NPD: Apple computer sales up 20% in January, iPod sales down 10%

Apple watcher Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray on Tuesday revealed NPD Group data showing estimated Apple computer shipments in the U.S. for the first month of the company’s 2011 fiscal year. According to NPD Group’s numbers, Mac sales were up 20% year-over-year in January and shipments are on pace to reach 3.6 million units in the quarter. Wall Street is expecting global Mac sales to grow 22% year-over-year, and Munster believes Apple will meet expectations. Conversely, NPD shows that U.S. iPod sales declined 10% in January compared to the same month last year. Apple is expected to unveil a refreshed MacBook Pro line very soon, and strong demand for its popular MacBook Air laptop line should result in strong sales for the remainder of the quarter. More →

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