Following recent reports from Nikkei and The Wall Street Journal that suggested Apple (AAPL) slashed iPhone 5 component orders in half due to weak demand, the company’s stock fell significantly and opened below $500 for the first time in nearly a year. The reports have been called into question, however, with many believing they do not represent true consumer interest. Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday, per Apple Insider, that his supply chain checks have indicated that demand for the iPhone 5 “remains robust.” The analyst believes the recent reports are a result of improved yield rates and possibly Apple’s recent supplier changes. More →
Shares of Apple (AAPL) have been hit hard over the last few days. Investors continue to worry about the company’s profit margins, demand for its popular line of smartphones and tablets, and its future endeavors. With upcoming competition from Research in Motion (RIMM) and Microsoft (MSFT), and an ongoing battle with Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system, analysts fear that Apple’s mobile dominance may be a thing of the past. While we won’t officially know anything until the company reports its holiday earnings on January 23rd, a small German company has painted a calming picture for Apple shareholders. More →
Apple (AAPL) sold a record-breaking 5 million iPhone 5 handsets during the device’s debut weekend but despite a strong start, the sleek new smartphone has become Wall Street’s whipping boy in recent weeks. Following reports that Apple slashed iPhone 5 component orders in half due to weak demand, numerous institutions have cut their estimates on Apple’s performance in fiscal 2013 and 2014, often citing their own iPhone 5 checks when relaying the news to clients. Is this a case of stock manipulation as a number of Apple bloggers have suggested, or is there now enough smoke to assume there really is a fire? More →
Investors were sent into a panic on Monday, again, as reports from Nikkei and The Wall Street Journal suggested Apple (AAPL) slashed iPhone 5 component orders in half due to weak demand. According to both reports, Apple recently trimmed its iPhone 5 display panel orders from 65 million to around half that figure. BGR pulled the report apart on Monday, and now NPD DisplaySearch analyst Paul Semenza says his sources paint a much different picture of Apple’s recent order cuts. More →
A study released Monday by Arieso found that for the first time ever, smartphones consistently used more data than tablets in Europe. The “hungriest” mobile devices in 2011 were the iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and original iPad. In 2012, however, the hungriest devices were all smartphones — iPhone 5, Galaxy S III and Sensation XL. It was discovered that iPhone 5 users consumed four times as much data as iPhone 3G users and 50% more than iPhone 4S users, while Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 users demanded 20% more data than iPad users. The firm, which specializes in mobile network optimization, notes that the study’s results can be applied to carriers around the world and not just Europe because “relative consumption between device users remains constant between geographies.”
The Sunday evening Wall Street Journal article claiming that Apple (AAPL) had cut its iPhone 5 display orders drastically for the March quarter made quite a splash. The WSJ piece seemed to support the original Nikkei claim about Apple cutting its iPhone 5 display orders in half from the originally planned order of 65 million units. This would be a massive adjustment. But Apple uses the same new display type for both iPhone 5 and the latest iPod touch. Neither WSJ nor Nikkei addressed this, however — both seem to be referring to just iPhone 5 displays. More →
Still wondering why Apple (AAPL) is reportedly developing a cheaper iPhone? A number of industry analysts have theorized for months that the high-end smartphone market will face a difficult year in 2013, and new reports from both The Wall Street Journal and Nikkei on Monday morning suggest Apple is already feeling the crunch. Nikkei first reported the rumor, claiming that Apple cut iPhone 5 display orders in half last month in anticipation of a much slower March quarter than it had previously expected. The Journal then followed with a similar claim, citing multiple unnamed sources of its own. Both reports state that Apple has also trimmed component orders beyond just display panels. Apple shares are down more than 3.75% in pre-market trading on the reports.
Shortly after AT&T (T) revealed that it sold 10 million smartphones in the holiday quarter, Verizon Wireless (VZ) on Wednesday reported its own fourth quarter estimates. The nation’s largest carrier said that it activated a record 9.8 million smartphones in the quarter, driven largely by sales of Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone. The company said in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it saw a “higher mix of Apple smartphones” sold in the quarter, likely due to the release of the 4G LTE-equipped iPhone 5. Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead said in the filing that the company added an estimated 2.1 million retail postpaid subscribers during the quarter, however he expects the company’s EBITDA to be down year-over-year. Verizon is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter earnings on January 22nd.
Walmart (WMT) announced this week that beginning January 11th, Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 is available alongside $45-per-month unlimited service from Straight Talk Wireless. Two purchasing options are available to Straight Talk subscribers and neither involves signing a service contract of any kind. The iPhone 5 can either be purchased outright for $649 (16GB) or Walmart credit card holders can finance the handset for just $25 per month. Straight Talk’s $45 monthly plan requires no contract and includes unlimited calling, messaging and data. Unlimited international calling to select destinations can be added for an additional $15 per month. Walmart’s full press release follows below. More →
Apple’s (AAPL) smartphone market share has surpassed 50% in the U.S. for the first time ever, according to Kantar Worldpanel. The launch of the iPhone 5 boosted iOS sales over a 12 week period ending on November 25th, giving iOS a 53.3% share of the market. During the same period, Android sales were said to have declined 10.9 percentage points to 41.9%. The research firm found that consumers have continued to shun Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Phone platform, which totaled a mere 2.7% of smartphone sales in the November period. More →
Consumer Reports has a history of being tough on Apple products. After dragging the iPhone 4 through the mud a few years ago, the non-profit buyer’s guide warmed up to the iPhone 4S when Apple (AAPL) resolved its famous “Antennagate” issues. When the iPhone 5 was released, Consumer Reports gushed over the device and called it “the best iPhone yet.” Apparently the best iPhone yet still isn’t as good as top Android smartphones, however, as the magazine’s new ratings place the iPhone behind several Google (GOOG)-powered handsets. More →
The Chinese wireless market is seeing impressive growth. According to a recent report, smartphone sales in the world’s most populous nation — which is home to more than one billion mobile subscribers — are estimated to have increased 137% in 2012 to 189 million units. Demand for EDGE and 3G models is said to be exploding and helping local Chinese brands corner the market with an estimated 61% share, an increase from 29% earlier this year. More →
In the eyes of outspoken entrepreneur Mark Cuban, the battle for smartphone supremacy has been fought and won… by Nokia (NOK). While hosting an AMA session on Reddit — a series of posts where the original poster instructs Reddit users to “Ask Me Anything” — Cuban, who famously sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo (YHOO) for around $5 billion at the height of the dot-com boom, was asked what kind of laptop he uses. “I have a MacBook Air, but am trying the new Acer with Windows 8 [laptop],” wrote Cuban. “I really, really like Windows 8 on my phone. I have [two] phones. First is Samsung (005930) the [second] was an iPhone 5. The new Nokia with windows replaced my iPhone 5.” When asked to elaborate, Cuban said that the Lumia 920 “crushes the iPhone 5. Not even close.”