Apple Stock Outlook: Google’s Money Is Helping Finance Apple’s Research On Self-Driving Cars and Augmented Reality

motek 1The article was written by Motek Moyen Research Seeking Alpha’s #1 Writer on Long Ideas and #2 in Technology  – Senior Analyst at I Know First

Apple Stock Outlook

Summary:

  • Bernstein analyst A.M. Sacconaghi Jr. estimated that Google paid Apple $3 billion to remain the default search engine on the iPhone/iPad.
  • This is triple the annual $1 billion payment that Google used to pay Apple three years ago to keep its default search engine status on the iPhone/iPad.
  • Google’s willingness to pay triple validated just how important Apple’s mobile ecosystem is to advertising-dependent companies. Apple’s iOS ecosystem is indispensable to Google.
  • The estimated $3 billion payment from Google helps pay for the estimated $3 billion that Apple is spending annually on self-driving cars and Augmented Reality research.
  • In spite posting a new high last week, AAPL still has a bullish one-year algorithmic forecast. This stock could still post a new 52-week within the next 12 months.

An analyst from Bernstein reported earlier this month that Apple (AAPL) could have gotten $3 billion  from Google (GOOG) in FY 2017. This reported $3 billion payment is in exchange for Google retaining its right to be the default search engine on Apple’s smartphones and tablets. The $3 billion estimated annual payment from Google helps finance the estimated $3 billion that Apple is spending on Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality research.

It was revealed  in 2014 that Google paid $1 billion per year to Apple but the previous deal expired in early 2015.

Google obviously offered more money to Apple to beat Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bing. Google will continue to monetize mobile search engine queries of iPhone/iPad users for many years to come. Yes, Apple doesn’t have a search engine or a robust mobile advertising services platform, but it still is a beneficiary of the $22.18 billion/year U.S. mobile search advertising industry.

apple stock predictions

Source: https://www.invespcro.com

Apple’s has obvious long-term economic benefits because Google’s search engine accounts for 95% of the U.S. paid search advertising on smartphones.

Why Investors Should Really Care

In the U.S., 75% of Google’s search engine advertising revenue is generated from iOS devices. It is only fair that Apple is now reportedly getting $3 billion per year from Google. Getting a larger share of the mobile search advertising revenue from Google is a small but important tailwind for AAPL. Google’s long-term advertising success has trickle down benefits to Apple.

apple stock predictions

Source: https://www.invespcro.com

The deal between Google and Apple might also be pro-rated based on Google’s total annual mobile search advertising revenue on the iOS platform. In short, Apple’s annual payment from Google could also grow larger than $3 billion in the coming years. Google gained $11.45 billion in U.S. mobile search advertising last year. Its estimated revenue will grow to $13.74 billion this year. I believe Apple will accordingly get a higher annual payment from Google for the next succeeding years.

Google’s willingness to pay $3 billion+++ per year to keep its default search engine status fortified the importance of the iOS ecosystem to the mobile advertising industry. Apple’s hundreds of millions of iPhone/iPad users belong, more often than not, to the middle-class and upper-class sectors of consumers. Google therefore has very compelling reasons to keep paying Apple big money to retain its default search engine status on mobile Safari.

$3 Billion Is A Lot Of R&D Money

Apple has decided to postpone indefinitely its ambition to build its consumer-grade self-driving cars. However, the company is still intent on researching and developing software and the cloud platform for autonomous driving cars. The $3 billion search engine-related payment from Google is a lot of money to finance development of this venture.

Going forward, Apple needs to spend big money on R&D to accelerate its software-based and Artificial Intelligence-enhanced self-driving car technologies to keep up with Google, Nvidia (NVDA), and Baidu (BIDU). The more money and manpower it can pour on this segment, the faster it could catch up with the leaders. Intel (INTC) paid more than $16 billioin for Mobileye just to boost its footprint in self-driving cars.

The autonomous vehicle business is definitely a new fashionable tech growth industry that Apple must get involved in quickly. The $3 billion/year from Google could also help Apple fund more third-party acquisitions to improve its car-related Artificial Intelligence efforts.

Apple will also probably have to research car-specific processors and sensors to complement its software for self-driving vehicles. Nvidia, Mobileye, and Qualcomm (QCOM) are years ahead when it comes to car-centric processors. I do not think Apple can build its proprietary software/cloud platform for self-driving cars without its own proprietary processors/sensors.

Conclusion

Getting $3 billion/year from Google is not going to move Apple’s stock. However, it could accelerate Apple’s research on Augmented Reality and self-driving car technologies. These two developing are future diversification areas for Apple. Apple cannot forever rely on its iPhone revenue to propel its future growth. It needs to get involved on the new tech fad, self-driving cars and AR. Riding on what’s popular helps motivate investors to remain bullish on AAPL.

AAPL already posted a new record high of $162.51 last week.  However, next month could deliver the iPhone 8 that everybody dreamed about. Apple coming up with a real major upgrade to the iPhone 7 next month could propel the stock to a new 52-week high. It could even hit $170 if Tim Cook announces there would be enough global supply for the iPhone 8 before September ends.

AAPL remains a buy. It has outperformed Google’s YTD return. AAPL’s YTD gain could hit +42% after 2017 ends. I will remain long AAPL as long as Warren Buffett remains long AAPL.

apple stock predictions

(Source: Morningstar)

My bullish outlook for Apple is complemented by the very positive one-year algorithmic forecast from I Know First. Staying long or buying more AAPL shares (and keeping them for one year or more)  could turn out to be rewarding for patient investors.

apple stock predictions

Past I Know First Forecast Success with AAPL

I Know First’s algorithm has made accurate predictions on AAPL in the past, such as its bullish forecast published on January 17, 2017. In the article, it explains that despite the critics and the tough competition Apple had to deal with, the company succeeds to impose its brand as a key player in its field. The bullish signal identified by the algorithm is strengthened by different facts. Since the forecast’s release, the stock has increased by 34.22%.Apple Stock Predictions

I Know First Algorithm Heatmap Explanation

The sign of the signal tells in which direction the asset price is expected to go (positive = to go up = Long, negative = to drop = Short position), the signal strength is related to the magnitude of the expected return and is used for ranking purposes of the investment opportunities.

Predictability is the actual fitness function being optimized every day, and can be simplified explained as the correlation based quality measure of the signal. This is a unique indicator of the I Know First algorithm. This allows users to separate and focus on the most predictable assets according to the algorithm. Ranging between -1 and 1, one should focus on predictability levels significantly above 0 in order to fill confident about/trust the signal.

apple stock predictions


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