AAPL (NASDAQ:AAPL) Up On Analyst Estimate Increases
Markets are higher after 23 European nations agreed to tie their economies closer in hopes of heading off any future debt crisis, but will it be enough? Shares of AAPL are up with the rest of technology as investors anticipate a monster quarter (see below). Catalysts include iPhone upgrade cycles and adoption; update to the iPad in early 2012 (see below); continued market share growth of the Mac business line; penetration in China and emerging markets; the evolution and potential re-conception of Apple TV; and platforms such as Siri, mobile advertising (iAd), books and publishing, gaming, mapping and social (Ping). Shares of Apple trade at 8.6x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow(including long-term marketable securities).
Yet Another Analyst To Up iPhone Unit And Sales Numbers (AppleInsider)
UBS analyst Maynard Um believes Apple will sell as many as 30 million iPhones in the December quarter, up from a previous estimate of 28 million. He joins a chorus of analysts in raising iPhone estimates this week on the apparent strength of sustained demand for Apple’s handset. As for iPads, Um kept his original estimate of 12 million units in the fourth quarter of calendar 2012. He maintains his Buy rating for Apple shares with a $510 12-month price-target.
Apple’s iPhone 3GS Is Plugging Right Along (DigiTimes)
Apple has been increasing its penetration into entry-level smartphone markets and the OEM production of iPhone 3GS has continued steadily with the volume likely to reach two million units in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 1.4-1.6 million units in the first quarter of 2012, according to industry sources. Meanwhile, the production of the CDMA version of iPhone 4 is expected to top 800K to one million units in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 500K-600K units in the following quarter. Not bad for a two and a half year old phone.
iTunes Match An Important Business, But Won’t Contribute Much To The Bottom Line (AppleInsider)
Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray believes the profitability of iTunes Match is similar to the iTunes Store, where Apple operates the business just above break-even. He thinks most of the $25-per-year subscription fee likely goes to music labels in the form of royalties, while the rest covers Apple’s storage and delivery costs. He does however wonder if the service would discourage users from buying higher-capacity devices. Hardware like the high-end 64GB iPhone carries a higher profit margin for Apple.
The New iPad Supposedly Launching In February (Business Insider)
Apple is ready to roll with a new iPad, says Citi analyst Richard Gardner. According to “several sources” the next iPad will launch in February, and it will sport a screen with double the resolution of the current model. Gardner says, “there do not appear to be any significant technical hurdles remaining” to prevent a launch of a high-resolution iPad, despite rumors to the contrary. For the December quarter, Gardner thinks Apple sells 12-13 million iPads.
Are Eric Schmidt’s Statements Regarding Android Beating iOS In The Next Months Viable? (TNW)
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt made some bold statements this week. But is the Android market improving as a viable place to sell apps for money? Sure. A bit. But you’re still facing a market where most people don’t want to pay for apps, not too mention a huge array of devices on various versions of the OS. There is really nothing that indicates that Android will suddenly become a better place than iOS to do business in the next six months. Schmidt’s statements appear to carry little weight beyond bluster at this point, unless Ice Cream Sandwich just blows the doors off of the market.
Apple Looking Into Kinect-Type Control Mechanism For The Mac (AppleInsider)
Apple has shown interest in an entirely new way for users to interact with and control their Mac, with a new system allowing users to perform gestures with their hands in a three-dimensional space. The solution would optically detect a user’s hands and fingertips and measure their movements. In this manner, users could use their hands to control a Mac without the need for a mouse or keyboard.
Chinese Company Seeking $1.5 Billion In Damages Over iPad Moniker (Reuters)
Apple lost a trademark suit in China after it attempted to sue a Chinese firm for infringing on its iPad trademark. The company filed a complaint against Proview Technology, which argued that it registered for the iPad trademark in 2000, long before Apple introduced the tablet. Proview Technology says it continues to use the iPad name in China and several other countries and is now seeking $1.5 billion in compensation from Apple. Here are Apple’s options in the trademark fight.
Heather Leonard is the Apple analyst at Business Insider.