Expected Positive Performance for 2021Q1
Top Apple Stock News: According to Reuters, Apple’s supplier Foxconn is expecting first-quarter revenue to rise more than 15% from a year earlier, boosted by strong iPhone sales and robust demand for electronics during lockdowns worldwide to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. Revenues primarily include contributions from its consumer electronics business, comprising smartphones and smartwatches.
The world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer has previously forecasted strong demand for the new iPhone 12, saying its business will be supported by “stronger than expected” sales for smartphones and telecommuting devices amid a coronavirus-induced work-from-home trend.
Foxconn’s performance can be considered a leading indicator for iPhone demand, and therefore its positive outlook for the first quarter bodes well for Apple. Apple is expected to report a high revenue quarter following a strong showing in its seasonally strong December quarter.
Leading Position In The Global Smartwatch Market
Global smartwatch market had an overall decline in shipments compared to the last year due to the ongoing global health crisis. However, according to Counterpoint, Apple increased shipments by 19% YoY and its market share by 6%. The Apple Watch Series 6 and SE did well, shipping 12.9 million units and accounting for 40% market share in Q4 2020.
Apple’s market share consolidation can be attributed to the new Watch SE’s success, the mid-range Apple Watch option. The Apple Watch Series 6 and SE shipped 12.9 million units and accounting for 40% market share in Q4 2020. Apple released the SE model alongside its flagship Series 6 at a lower $279 price point, with some caveats such as the lack of an always-on display, ECG functionality, and the faster S6 processor.
Counterpoint Senior Analyst Sujeong Lim said that average selling prices will continue to rise over the next two to three years. On the other hand, Apple’s success with its Watch SE model will likely spur others like Samsung to release similar variants, moving closer to the mass market.
Apple Stock News – Apple Goes After 3rd Party Devices with Find My App
Upcoming iPhone updates will broaden the function of the “Find My” which is currently used to locate Apple’s own devices. After the update users can locate «non-Apple products» such as bags or keys.
According to MacRumors, the feature is enabled in the iOS 14.5 beta that was recently pushed out to developers. Apple’s iOS 14.5 update includes support for tracking third-party Bluetooth devices in the My app using a new «Items» tab, which takes advantage of the same My protocol used for the Mac app.
Other companies as Beats and Belkin have allowed their product to be found by the app, meaning that people should more easily be able to locate their missing headphones. Probably, this is only a preview of Apple’s “AirTags” that can be attached to any item to be tracked by the iPhone.
The patent suggests AirTags could be used as beacons to pop up information like maps on iPhones when entering a new location or for augmented reality apps and games. According to MacRumors, there is no word on what Apple’s AirTags will cost at this point in time, but similar products from companies like Tile are priced in the range of $25 to $35 for a single Bluetooth tracker. Accessory makers are not provided with advanced knowledge of the AirTags, but have already created mockups of AirTags accessories that they plan to produce.
Apple and Antitrust Investigations
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), an antitrust arm of the U.K. government, has launched an investigation into Apple’s business practices with the App Store. As the CMA pointed out App Store is the only way for developers to distribute third-party apps on Apple devices. It is also the only platform for Apple customers to access them. The complaints from developers focus on the term that there is no other way to distribute their apps to iPhones and iPads except App Store. Also, certain developers who offer “in-app” features, add-ons or upgrades are required to use Apple’s payment system. Apple charges a commission of up 30% of all App Store sales and reaps fees for in-app purchases made by users.
Apple’s App Store is a core growth area for the company. According to an analysis by CNBC the App Store grossed more than $64 billion in 2020 revenue. That’s up from an estimated $50 billion in 2019 and $48.5 billion in 2018, according to the same analysis, suggesting that App Store sales growth accelerated strongly during the Covid-19 pandemic, as people sheltered at home and spent more time and money on apps and games.
According to Reuters, Apple can also face an EU antitrust charge sheet in the coming weeks after a complaint by rival Spotify that it unfairly pushed its own music streaming service. In addition to the Spotify case, the Commission is also investigating Apple’s App Stores rules for all competing apps, for e-books and audio books as well as its terms and conditions for its mobile payment service Apple Pay.
According to Yahoo Finance, The Arizona House of Representatives has voted to pass legislation that will prevent operators of app stores from forcing app developers to use a particular in-app payment system as the exclusive mode of payment. The app store operators will now be required to offer alternative payment processors to app developers. However, for the legislation to become law, it still needs to be passed by the Arizona Senate before being sent to Arizona Governor. The legislation would apply to companies and users in Arizona.