Apple Snags Media Giant Oprah Winfrey For Their Streaming Service

“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”- Oprah Winfrey

(Source: Flickr)

On June 15th, Apple formed a multi-year production partnership with Oprah Winfrey, the media tycoon. The two are joining forces to collaborate on content for Apple’s upcoming subscription based streaming service. It is currently unknown what Oprah will be producing, but Apple stated that, “Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.”

This partnership is a huge win for Apple because Oprah brings to the table her dedicated fan base. This phenomenon goes by the name of the “Oprah Effect”. The Oprah Effect is when any product associated or endorsed by Oprah Winfrey see a huge boost in sales. For instance, after Oprah Winfrey bought 10% of Weight Watcher stock, more than 600,000 members joined the program. Apple looks to carry over this trend to their new service with hopes that Oprah’s huge audience will start watching the new streaming service.

Oprah’s partnership is a drop in the bucket compared to Apple’s approximately one billion dollar investment into its streaming service. With decreasing iPhone sales, Apple hopes that this streaming service will be a home run for them. However, it is going to be competing against companies putting in more than triple the amount of investment into their streaming services, such as Netflix who just acquired former President Obama.

Following the announcement, Apple’s stock gained.

(Source: YCharts)

Apple Takes Action to Protect Users’ Privacy

“Privacy to us is a human right.”- Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

(Source: Flickr)

Apple’s core goal is to create excellent the best product possible while respecting the privacy of those who use their software. Privacy is a huge concern for Apple in a time in where it seems that our lives are public for all to see. Thus, Apple is taking a huge step forward to try and protect it’s valued customers from immoral data apps and law enforcement.

On June 12th, Apple updated its App Store policy to restrict all apps from harvesting the data of other apps and contacts that iPhone users have. This is direct attack on Facebook who collects data for marketing and acquisition opportunities through their VPN app, Onavo. This App Store update comes after Facebook was involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where millions of users data was taken from Facebook unbeknownst to them.

(Source: Pixabay)

Last year, Apple took a lot of flack for not giving the FBI access to a terror suspect’s iPhone data. The news was so big that the President of the United States switched to an Android over Apple’s refusal. However, the FBI went to a third party and got the phone unlocked through them, a data breach that Apple found worrisome.

The company will now go forward with a brand new update which gives iOS devices that are prone to the hack a new software called “USB Restriction Mode”. This mode stops hackers by restricting data from being transferable after an iOS device has been locked for an hour.

Law enforcement are astonished by this update and ridicules Apple for it. They feel as if American citizen’s safety is in danger if they cannot access suspects personal data. To Apple, this isn’t just a law enforcement problem, but a problem for any criminal willing to bypass the iOS encryption. So, they are satisfied with this update as privacy is fundamental to them.

Apple’s stock price has decreased from June 12th to June 13th by .82% and volume increased by 26.83%. 

On June 13th, the S&P 500 was also down due to anticipation and the eventual exercise of the Fed hiking interest rates to 2% occurred

(Source: YCharts)

(Source YCharts)

 

As Always Apple Tops Expectations and Stays Different – WWDC 2018

“You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change”

– Timothy d. Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc.

[Image Source: T3.com]

As a follow up to last week’s article, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) kicked off on June 4, 2018 and many of the highlights that were to expect took place in the event.

The yearly event was entirely software-based this year, despite early expectations to see more hardware-related announcements. The event included all of the latest updates to Apple’s platforms- iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, along with some improvements to Siri and bigger plans focused on strengthening privacy and security and reducing technology addiction. These enhancements to Apple’s platforms were designed to optimize the overall Apple user experience.

So… What’s NEW?

[Image Source: cultofmac.com]

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, explained over and over how iOS 12 is all about making things faster and more reliable for new and older devices like the iPhone 6 Plus, which would see apps open up to 40% faster and the camera would launch up to 70% quicker. This is the ‘No iPhone Left Behind’ update with every device capable of running iOS 11 being ready to run iOS 12 when it arrives. In addition, the iOS 12 will also include a new feature called Group FaceTime. The video chat service that right now only connects pairs of people will enable up to 32 to chat online together. The change is significant and useful for friends jumping online together, family member chatting and business meetings with distant coworkers.

This inclusivity did not include Apple Watch users who have the first-generation watches launched in April, 2015 and were still available for porches 20 months ago. The WatchOS 5 capabilities go from competitive Activity Rings to enhanced web page interaction.It is part of Apple’s goal towards a solid, reliable experience with minimal bugs and no battery-throttling or hidden activities scandals bubbling up. Apple was reasonably upfront that it couldn’t deliver the experience it wanted with the first Watch’s hardware.

With Emphasis on privacy was paramount, Apple discussed how it was building on the features from last year which prevented cross-site tracking, to make adverts follow you around less.

The new MacOS software goes further. It will be possible not to be tracked on sites where there are Like or Share buttons from social networks. Intelligent Tracking Prevention, helps block social media ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ buttons and comment widgets from tracking users without permission.

The new tvOS 12 aerial screensaver features on Apple TV 4K, includes aerials shot from space by NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Siri update includes making suggestions based on the things the user does regularly, like ordering a soy latte from Starbucks every morning or ordering sushi on Sundays.

 

[Image Source: zdnet.com]

Apple also announced a new Shortcuts app as part of iOS 12 that lets the users tie together multiple steps into a single Siri request. Another new feature called Shortcuts works with third-party apps. For example, the phrase “Siri, I lost my keys” can pull up the Tile app, showing you where you left them. Shortcuts also work on the HomePod and Apple Watch if that’s where you talk to Siri.

Apple’s latest software-based updates satisfy expectations and follow with an increase of 3.2% in AAPL stock in past 5 days. Stock price jumped from $189.98 to $193.51 per share since WWDC 2018 event.

[Image Source: Yahoo Finance]

Following the above, APPL stock grows every year with WWDC announcements. With Apple’s new and improved software, AAPL stock is expected to continue growing in the long-term estimation, as long as it remains updated and innovative.

What to Expect – Apple WWDC 2018

[Image Source: T3.com]

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off on June 4, 2018 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif. The primary focus of the event is contenting pros, and decision makers for technical sessions and brainstorming over the direction of Apple’s software universe in the coming year.

In contrast to last year, Apple is expected to introduce new software, with some hardware announced. In addition, Apple is also expected to update operating systems for Mac computers, the Apple Watch and Apple TV.

What to Expect?

As of last year, Apple used the event as a launch pad not just for OS updates- macOS High Sierra, Apple iOS 11, but also for major hardware moves – MacBook Air, new iMacs.

This year Apple is expected to update its mobile iOS and computing-centric macOS operating systems. The software update for existing iPhones and iPads is expected to be called iOS12 while the next version of macOS is still under wraps. Naturally, you can expect stability and performance improvements with the new operating systems.

Apple’s Siri is expected to get smarter as Apple’s offering has fallen woefully behind competitors like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant in recent years.

WWDC is a developer’s event, but that hasn’t stopped Apple from introducing new hardware products in the past. For this year’s event the chances that Apple will introduce new products are slim, but if they do, users should expect updated MacBook, improved Airpods and maybe a new Apple Watch.

OLED is a new display technology, used to create thin, power efficient and bright display. In the 2017 iPhone X, Apple started adopting OLEDs and it is expected to introduce new OLED modules in its 2018 WWDC. As OLEDs provide a better image quality, and are also thinner, lighter, flexible and more efficient than LCDs, it is only a matter of time until Apple will switch to OLEDs with all its iPhones and mobile device.

Investors’ expectations for new and improved software and hardware follow with an increase of 1.59% in AAPL stock in 3 days. Stock price jumped from $187.11 to $190.15 per share.

[Image Source: Yahoo Finance]

Following the above, APPL stock grows every year with WWDC announcements. With Apple’s new and improved software hardware expected this year AAPL stock is expected to continue growing in the long-term estimation, as long as it remains updated and innovative.

Apple Stock News: Privacy is a fundamental human right


[Image Source: engadget.com]

For the latest Apple news and with response to the new EU law, called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Apple is promoting powerful privacy tools for iPhone, iPad, and Mac Users. Apple didn’t need to make any big changes in order to meet the stringent GDPR requirements thanks to its good privacy hygiene that its existing precautions already passed the new obligations. However, as the new privacy page reveals on the Apple website, Apple took the opportunity to rethink its privacy standards.

For each Apple pay transaction, Apple doesn’t track who the customer is paying and what they are paying for.  FaceTime conversations, iMessages and so on are end-to-end encrypted.  In Addition, every journey made on Apple Maps are also encrypted so that nobody getting hold of information could work out where you go.

Apple has made it easy to find out exactly what data of the customer is on its servers, from purchase history to photos on iCloud to emails and so on. It also has a recognizable page which warns the user when data is being collected. Apple’s response to GDPR is motivating and sets some standard which others must strive to meet.

On May 23, 2018, Apple’s new privacy site went live. It provides many privacy policies and tools, which range from useful to fascinating, all as easy to understand and use as possible. Since that day, AAPL stock went up by 1.22%, with stock price increase from $186.24 to $188.73 per share.

[Image Source: Yahoo Finance]

Following the above and like in many other domains, Apple’s market gain maintains also with their good privacy obligations that were adjusted and improved even before GDPR came into force. With that said, AAPL stock is expected to continue growing in the long-term estimation, as long as it remains updated and innovative in the privacy segments.

Apple’s leading Innovation Breakthrough followed by outstanding Q2 Fiscal Financial Results of 2018

“If you’re going to make connections which are innovative… you have to not have the same bag of experiences as everyone else does.” – Steve Jobs

Highlights:

  • Apple on the way to a breakthrough – carbon-free aluminum smelting
  • Financial Results for fiscal Q2 of 2018
  • Q3 Financial Guidance
  • Industrial comparison 

[Image Source: Fossbytes.com]

Apple on the way to a breakthrough – carbon-free aluminum smelting method

Aluminum is a key material in many of Apple’s most popular products, and for more than 130 years, it’s been produced the same way. Aluminum giants Alcoa Corporation and Rio Tinto Aluminum announced a joint project to commercialize original technology that eliminates direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process. This is a key step in aluminum production that if fully developed and implemented, will strengthen the closely integrated Canada-United States aluminum and manufacturing industries.

As part of Apple’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its products through innovation, the company helped accelerate the development of this technology. Apple has partnered with both aluminum companies, and the Governments of Canada and Quebec, to collectively invest a combined $144 million to future R&D.  “Apple is committed to advancing technologies that are good for the planet and help protect it for generations to come,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

This follows Apple’s announcement last month that all of its facilities are now powered with 100 percent clean energy and 23 of its suppliers have committed to do the same.

 

[Image Source: GlobalMediaIT]

Q2 Financial Results of 2018

On May 1st, 2018, Apple announces its financial Q2 results of 2018. Apple achieved a quarterly revenue of $61.1 billion, 16% increase from Q2 of 2017, quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.73, up 30%, and generated over $15 billion in operating cash flow. International sales accounted for 65% of the quarter’s revenue. In Q2, iPhone X was sold more than any other iPhone each week and the company’s revenue in all geographic segments grew, with over 20% growth in Greater China and Japan. As for this financial Q2 report, Apple’s board has approved a new $100 billion share repurchase authorization and a 16% increase in their quarterly dividend. Reflecting the approved increase, the board has also declared a cash dividend of $0.73 per share of Apple’s common stock.

Apple is expected to continue to net-share-settle vesting restricted stock units. From the inception of its capital return program in August 2012 through March 2018, Apple has returned $275 billion to shareholders, including $200 billion in share repurchases.

The Company will complete the execution of the previous $210 billion share repurchase authorization during Q3.

Q3 of 2018 Financial Guidance

  • Revenue between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion
  • Gross Margin between 38% and 38.5%
  • Operating Expenses between $7.7 billion and $7.8 billion
  • Other Income/(Expense) of $400 million
  • Tax Rate of approximately 14.5%

Following the above AAPL stock increased by 12% and my assumption is that it will continue to grow given the high revenues and increasing sales with each quarter of 2018.

[Image source: Yahoo Finance]

Industrial Comparison

Apple Q2 of 2018 Electronics Industry Q1 of 2018
Revenue Quarterly Growth 16% 11.2%
Gross margin 13.75% 58.12%
Operating Income 12.75% 22.59%
Net income 25.33% -45.77%

Presented above is the industrial average growth comparison with Apple’s Q2 growth results of 2018. As shown, one can see that Apple is above the industry average growth in Revenue quarterly growth by about 5% and in Net income Apple is up 71% compared to the industry average.

Today, in my point of view, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide all-in-one experiences with all Apple devices and inspire people with advanced services such as App Store, Apple Music, iCloud etc. Therefore, based on Apple’s advancing technology techniques and growing results I believe AAPL stock will go up in the long term and increase a “buy”, priority over its competitors.

[Image Source: truonghocdautu.com]

My long-term estimation for AAPL is supported by an optimistic one-year forecast from I Know First. The 1-year forecast illustrates a signal of 52.89 and a predictability of 0.7. The 0.7 predictability score for AAPL is saying I Know First’s self-learning Artificial Intelligence has a long history of correctly predicting the one-year market performance of AAPL.

Past I Know First forecast success with Apple

I Know First has made accurate prediction on Apple on August 3, 2017

AAPL is with 21.5% gain since this bullish forecast.

This bullish forecast for AAPL sent to the current I Know First subscribers on August 3, 2017

 

[Image Source: Yahoo Finance]

I Know First Algorithm Heat-map Explanation

This indicator represents the predicted movement direction/trend. The signal strength indicates how much the current price deviates from what the system considers a balance or “fair” price.

The signal strength is the absolute value of the current prediction of the system. The signal can have a positive (increase), or negative (drop) sign. The heat map is arranged according to the signal strength with strongest up signals at the top. The table colors are indicative of the signal. Green indicates to the positive signal and red indicates a negative signal. A deeper color means a stronger signal and a lighter color equals a weaker signal. 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), the signal strength is related to the magnitude of the expected return and is used for ranking purposes of the investment opportunities.

Predictability measures the importance of the signal. The predictability is the historical relationship between the prediction and the actual market movement for that particular market. For each asset this indicator is recalculated daily. Theoretically the predictability ranges from minus one to plus one. The higher this number is the more predictable the particular asset is. In comparison to different time ranges, predictability will be higher for longer time. This means that longer-range signals are more accurate.

Predictability is a unique indicator of the I Know First algorithm which allows users to focus on the most predictable assets according to the algorithm. One should focus on predictability levels significantly above 0 in order to trust the signal, when ranging between -1 and 1.

Apple – Creating a healthier planet through innovation

“We’re committed to leaving the world better than we found it. After years of hard work, we’re proud to have reached this significant milestone,”

-said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

Highlights

  • Nine More Apple suppliers commit to 100 percent clean energy production
  • Apple’s renewable energy projects
  • Appel’s New Robot, Daisy, Disassembles iPhone to Reclaim Precious Materials
  • 2018 Q1 results and Q2 outlook

[Image Source: Pixabay]

As part of its commitment to combat climate change and create a healthier environment, Apple announced on April 9, 2018 its global facilities are powered with 100 percent clean energy. This achievement includes retail stores, offices, data centers and co-located facilities in 43 countries – including the United States, the United Kingdom, China and India. The company also announced nine additional manufacturing partners have committed to power all of their Apple production with 100 percent clean energy, bringing the total number of supplier commitments to 23. In addition, over 85 suppliers have registered for Apple’s Clean Energy Portal, an online platform that Apple developed to help suppliers identify commercially viable renewable energy solutions in regions around the world.

Apple and its partners are building new renewable energy projects around the world, improving the energy options for local communities, states and even entire countries. Apple creates or develops, with utilities, new regional renewable energy projects that would not otherwise exist. These projects represent a diverse range of energy sources, including solar arrays and wind farms as well as emerging technologies like biogas fuel cells, micro-hydro generation systems and energy storage technologies.

A few of Apple’s renewable energy projects:

  • Apple Park, Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, is now the largest LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-certified office building in North America. It is powered by 100 percent renewable energy from multiple sources, including a 17-megawatt onsite rooftop solar installation and four megawatts of biogas fuel cells, and controlled by a microgrid with battery storage. It also gives clean energy back to the public grid during periods of low occupancy.
  • In Prineville, Oregon, the company signed a 200-megawatt power purchase agreement for an Oregon wind farm, the Montague Wind Power Project, set to come online by the end of 2019.
  • In Japan, Apple is partnering with local solar company Daini Denryoku to install over 300 rooftop solar systems that will generate 18,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy every year, enough to power more than 3,000 Japanese homes.
  • Apple is currently constructing two new data centres in Denmark that will run on 100 percent renewable energy from day one.

Appel’s New Robot “Daisy

As part of its ongoing recycling effort, Apple announced on April 19, 2018 that it debuted Daisy, their newest robot that can more efficiently disassemble iPhone to recover valuable materials. Created through years of R&D, Daisy incorporates revolutionary technology based on Apple’s learnings from its first disassembly robot, Liam, launched in 2016. Daisy is made from some of Liam’s parts and is capable of disassembling nine versions of iPhone and sorting their high-quality components for recycling. Daisy can take apart up to 200 iPhone devices per hour, removing and sorting components, so that Apple can recover materials that traditional recyclers can’t and at a higher quality.

Apple “GiveBack”

Apple’s recycling program where people can trade in their device for a store credit. If the device is not eligible for credit Apple will recycle it for free. No matter the model or condition, Apple will turn it into something good for the customer and good for the planet.

Both Apple “GiveBack” and Daisy support Apple’s commitment to create a healthier planet through innovation and help the company move a step closer to its goal of making its products using only recycled or renewable materials.

[Image Source: Pixabay]

Apple announced on February 1, 2018 financial results for its fiscal 2018 first quarter. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $88.3 billion, a 13% increase from the year-ago quarter and an all-time record, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $3.89, up 16%, also an all-time record.

International sales accounted for 65% of the quarter’s revenue.

“We’re thrilled to report the biggest quarter in Apple’s history…” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

Apple’s outlook for its fiscal 2018 second quarter:

  • revenue between $60 billion and $62 billion
  • gross margin between 38% and 38.5%
  • operating expenses between $7.6 billion and $7.7 billion
  • other income/(expense) of $300 million
  • tax rate of approximately 15%

Although Apple’s first quarter revenue for 2018 is based on the recent iPhone X release I believe that their revenue growth and stock growth will continue and increase in 2018 on the scent of Apple’s environment commitment. Following Apple’s environment progress report of the past year and the beginning of 2018 one can see that they invested many resources in R&D with the aim to create a healthier planet through innovation.

The report shows how perhaps the Energy Use and Emissions at Apple’s Colocation Facilities may have increased in the past years. Percent Renewable Energy started at 0% in 2011 and got to 99% in 2017. The growth between the years of 2014 to 2017 was 18% (from 81% to 99%) and I assume that by the end of 2018 Apple will reach 100%. By achieving 100% of Renewable Energy Apple will inflame an environment revolution.

In accordance with Apple’s new robot “Daisy” that was announced on April 19, 2018 there were a few more highlights at that time that may affect Apple stock for the following year. Project Marzipan is Apple’s in-development solution to allow macOS computers to run iOS apps and make its Mac computers more attractive and useful. As a result, I believe that more college/high school  administrators will consider buying the macOS computers again if they can run iOS apps. Future sales could improve after Project Marzipan is finally implemented this year. The Mac business accounts for 7.81% of Apple’s quarterly revenue which could rise and help Apple with further weaknesses in iPhone/iPad sales. My bullish stance on AAPL in long term resonates with this bullish I Know First long term  forecast  for AAPL.

Past I Know First forecast success with Apple

I Know First has made accurate prediction on Apple on September 8, 2017

AAPL is with 14% gain since this bullish forecast.

This bullish forecast for AAPL sent to the current I Know First subscribers on September 8, 2017 

I Know First Algorithm Heat-map Explanation

This indicator represents the predicted movement direction/trend. The signal strength indicates how much the current price deviates from what the system considers a balance or “fair” price.

The signal strength is the absolute value of the current prediction of the system. The signal can have a positive (increase), or negative (drop) sign. The heat map is arranged according to the signal strength with strongest up signals at the top. The table colors are indicative of the signal. Green indicates to the positive signal and red indicates a negative signal. A deeper color means a stronger signal and a lighter color equals a weaker signal. 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), the signal strength is related to the magnitude of the expected return and is used for ranking purposes of the investment opportunities.

Predictability measures the importance of the signal. The predictability is the historical relationship between the prediction and the actual market movement for that particular market. For each asset this indicator is recalculated daily. Theoretically the predictability ranges from minus one to plus one. The higher this number is the more predictable the particular asset is. In comparison to different time ranges, predictability will be higher for longer time. This means that longer-range signals are more accurate.

Predictability is a unique indicator of the I Know First algorithm which allows users to focus on the most predictable assets according to the algorithm. One should focus on predictability levels significantly above 0 in order to trust the signal, when ranging between -1 and 1.

Apple Stock Forecast: The $299 Apple iPad 2018 Is A Killer Gaming/Enterprise-Level Tablet

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

Summary:

  • The new 9.7-inch iPad 2018 is not only intended for the education market. It can also appeal to home and business/enterprise users.
  • Apple equipping the $299/$329 iPad with A10 Fusion CPU/GPU also makes it the best gaming tablet.
  • The 6-core PowerVR GPU of the quad-core A10 Fusion SoC is almost as good as the A11 Bionic’s Apple-made GPU.
  • Apple is taking a risk. The $299/$329 9.7-inch iPad might cannibalize future sales of premium $649++ iPad Pro models.
  • On the other hand, Apple could likely increase the total addressable market of its tablets by catering to price-conscious customers.

Apple (AAPL) ended 2017 as the top vendor of tablets with more than 26% of global market share. I expect it to remain the leader in tablet shipments for many years to come. Apple’s decision to offer its latest sixth-generation 9.7-inch iPad for just $299 to students/schools (and $329 to regular customers) can help it sell 13 million+++ tablets quarterly.

The future impact of Apple’s event yesterday goes beyond the education market. I expect this latest budget tablet to appeal not only to students/schools but also to gamers and home/office users.  By making this latest iPad compatible with the Apple Pencil stylus, small and medium business (who couldn’t afford $649++ 10.5-inch iPad Pros) might likely become new customers. The enterprise/business market for tablets is obviously much larger than the K-12/college education market.

The image below illustrates why corporate employees and business owners should consider buying a $329 iPad.  It’s a semi-iPad Pro!

(Source: Apple)

Apple Is Not Afraid of Taking Risks

Yes, there is some risk that a $329 iPad can cannibalize future sales of much more expensive iPad Pro models. However, companies who do not take risks are inept. The bright side of this new move is that Apple is betting it could increase its total addressable market by selling an affordable enterprise-level iPad. Apple now offers an enterprise-level tablet for less than $350.

Apple selling a budget tablet can help attract small/medium enterprise customers away from sub-$300 Windows 10 laptops, Chromebooks, and Android tablets. The A10 Fusion SoC-equipped $329 iPad 2018 can function like the premium iPad Pros (equipped with A10X SoC) in the office, on the road, and at home. The single-core processor compute performance of the A10X Fusion is just 14% faster than the A10 Fusion.

The 2018 iPad is compatible with the $99 ($89 for students/schools) Apple Pencil or other third-party brand of stylus. Furthermore, Apple has made new updates to its free iWork productivity suite to make it Pencil/stylus-compatible.  Apple might also extend the free 200GB iCloud storage to non-student users of the $329 iPad 2018. An improved iWork office suite coupled with free large cloud storage per user is an attractive proposition for small and large enterprise buyers.

The lower hardware margin on the 2018 iPad can be offset through sales of Apple Pencil and iTunes purchases. Some digital artists, employees, students, and teachers will eventually buy iOS apps/games, e-books, streaming TV/Music/movie subscriptions through their company or school-issued iPads.

Mobile Gamers Will Also Appreciate This Cheap iPad 

Many K-12/college students/teachers are gamers. They will certainly appreciate Apple’s use of the A10 Fusion SoC (System-on-Chip) on the $299 iPad 2018. The integrated 6-core PowerVR-based GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) n the A10 Fusion SoC is as good as Apple’s own integrated GPU for the A11 Bionic SoC.

Based on the Arena of Valor (Ultra Graphics Settings) test of Notebook Check, the A11 Bionic’s GPU is only 2% better than the PowerVR GPU of the A10. That’s a negligible difference. Due to its affordability, the iPad 2018 can become the best tablet for casual and hardcore mobile gamers.

(Source: Notebook Check)

The advent of console/PC-quality iOS games like Arena of Valor and Fortnite is boosting the mobile platform as the growth driver for video games. It makes perfect sense for Apple to sell a $299/$329 gaming tablet that can outperform Android tablets with Nvidia (NVDA) Tegra K1 GPUs. Keeping its number one status in global tablet shipments requires Apple to cater to mobile gamers.

Selling a budget iPad increases the number of iOS gamers. The more iOS gamers there are, the better it is for Apple’s 30% commission rate from iTunes App Store purchases.

Final Thoughts

Apple’s move to release a budget iPad that can be used for enterprise productivity and high-end mobile gaming is commendable. It is another good reason to stay long AAPL. The management of this company is ready to take risks which could lead to better long-term iPad sales.

I Know First has a very bullish one-year market trend forecast score (more than 200) for AAPL. I am therefore endorsing this stock as a buy.

The monthly technical indicators/moving averages of AAPL also supports my buy rating for AAPL.

Past I Know First Success With AAPL

Apple_forecast20180218

On February 18, 2018, I Know First published a premium article saying that it’s time to buy Apple’s stock as it would likely be growing in price in 2018. I Know First has been bullish on Apple’s stock on 1, 3 months and 1 year time horizon. As the time went by we expected that Apple’s stock would likely to significantly rise, especially in 3 month and 1 year perspective and hit the level of $170-$180 per share which has already happened. We suggested to buy it at that time and not to lose the increasing momentum. From the below graph one can see that on 1 month horizon the algorithm successfully predicted the movement of the AAPL stock price which is rise by 5.31%.

(Source: Yahoo Finance)

This bullish forecast for AAPL was sent to I Know First subscribers on On February 18, 2018.

To subscribe today click here.

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.

autodesk stock forecast


autodesk stock forecast

 

 

 

 

Apple Stock Forecast: Bullish Rally Goes On With Expansion To Austria And Leaks Of New Water-Resistant Lightining

Gleb ZInkovskii_photo

 

 

The article was written by Gleb Zinkovskii, a Financial Analyst at I Know First.

 

 

“Older people sit down and ask, ‘What is it?’ but the boy asks, ‘What can I do with it?’.”
-Steve Jobs

Highlights:

  • Apple has ideas for water-resistant Lightning connectors
  • Apple opens its first store in Austria
  • Apple’s Unusual Pursuit of Cobalt

Apple has ideas for water-resistant Lightning connectors

Apple is known for patenting concepts way before their introduction to the products. Recently, US patent bureau received applications from Apple regarding new moist and water resistant Lighting connectors for the iPhone chargers. As far as the latest phones produced by Apple can withstand inadvertent trips into puddles, sinks and toilets, it seems a reasonable step to make the most important iPhone accessory to be a water resistant as well.

Apple_stock_news_14032018_pic1

[Image Source: USPTO. See more details here]

The other Lightning cable design presents a deformable rubber or plastic O-ring to seal a cable connection against moisture.

Besides the new concepts described in the patent application filed on Thursday March 8th it contains the similar approach to protecting USB-C connectors, too. “A liquid-tight seal is formed between the accessory and the electronic device,” the application says, making them “… useful in moist, wet and/or dirty environments.”

As far as the competitors flagship devices from Samsung are already waterproof and have wireless charging abilities, it becomes crucial for Apple’s devices to keep up with this pace and have the ability to withstand hard treatments, especially when you consider that an iPhone X costs more than $1,000. But as countless shattered screens and a thriving smartphone case market show, true ruggedness remains elusive.

Apple’s ideas include a tapered Lightning connector that stuffs into its port and a rubber gasket that squeezes tightly to seal a port when a cable is inserted.

This Apple design shows a USB-C connector — found on Macs and some Android phones — that offers a water seal.

It isn’t clear whether Apple ever plans to ditch its proprietary Lightning connector for the increasingly common USB-C ports sprouting on Android phones and Apple laptops. But USB-C fans can take heart that Apple has an idea for sealing that connector, too.

Apple opens its first store in Austria, expanding its worldwide presence to 19 countries

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[Image Source: via Wikimedia Commons]

It has been less than a month since Apple opened its first official store in Seoul, expanding its presence to 18th country – South Korea. Now, Apple makes move to Austria and shifts its presence to 19th country by opening its store just in the heart of Vienna – between St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Vienna State Opera. According to the latest data from www.statcounter.com, the current share of Apple vs Samsung is 30.34% and 41.88% respectively.

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[Image Source: www.statcounter.com]

At the same time, as per Statista data, it is projected that the smartphone penetration in Austria should increase from 62.32% in 2016 to 72.4% in 2022 of the total population. Effectively, one can consider it as a proxy to identify the potential growth of the smartphone market in Austria for the next 4 years.

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[Image Source: www.statista.com]

This 10% potential market growth is a plum that both Samsung and Apple, as well as their Chinese rival – Huawei, are willing to get the first. Samsung had already opened its stores in Austria way before 2017 and Huawei opened its store in December 2017, Apple’s move to follow their example seems not just logical, but a required measure to keep up with the market competition. “We can’t wait to join the bustling city of Vienna, a European crossroads so rich in history and culture,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail. Eventually, it became a priority for Apple to reach the existing and potential clients as soon as possible using Apple’s original store approach – Apple store is the place for Apple community rather than just commerce. The press release that followed the store opening states that “Visitors can participate in free Today at Apple sessions every day focused on photography, coding and app development, music, art and design, and more in The Forum. The diverse programs include Quick Start and How To sessions, Music Labs and Studio Hours, all led by Apple Creatives, the store’s experts in liberal arts. Interactive Photo Walks and Sketch Walks take participants outside the store to explore nearby sites in the city while learning new skills.” There is no need to add anything more to see that primarily this expansion has more marketing and promo role rather than just an official selling point. At the end of the day following this approach has great chances to improve the Apple’s position in the market by showing the personalized attitude to the user audience and the overall experience they receive from using of Apple’s products.

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[Image Source: By Tiger7253 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons]

Apple’s Unusual Pursuit of Cobalt

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Smartphone production comprises about 25% of the worldwide demand for cobalt. The element is one of the most important chemicals that gives significant increase to performance of the Lithium-ion batteries of every single modern smartphone that we got used to in our everyday lives. As far as the requirements for smartphones’ performance increase power consumption perspective wise, the smartphones’ manufacturers increase their demand for batteries. The challenge is that Apple and its rivals are not the only consumers in the cobalt and batteries market and the price fluctuations for cobalt may significantly affect the cost for iPhone and Mac production and decrease the margin received by the company. Recently, it became known that Apple is in direct discussions with cobalt suppliers, i.e. miner companies, to secure the supply of cobalt to Apple’s contractors which provide Apple with batteries for their products. Although it is not something that investors may have expected from Apple, it may be a smart and strategic move for a company that is ultimately responsible for the design and sale of a device and which should be best aware of the potential demand for batteries and respective costs planning. The result will be much more sustainable and stable delivery of Apple’s devices to the customers and, as a result, stable cash flow to be ultimately delivered to its investors. It is not clear what is the stage of those discussions, but taking into account increasing price of iPhones from generation to generation it may become crucial to secure the costs by Apple itself alongside the whole cost chain so as to be sure that it will stay competitive comparing to Samsung, for instance, which actually manufactures their devices rather than outsourcing it to Foxconn. The other side of such move is that Apple enters competition for cobalt supply with electric cars manufacturers like Tesla and traditional automotive groups such as Daimler.

I Know First Forecast on Apple

We see that Apple goes nose to nose with its competitors both on local and global scales. On local level it results in rapid expansion on a country-by-country basis through opening of official retail stores to 19th country and it is known that the expansion will continue to India, Thailand and even Saudi Arabia. From global perspective we see that Apple continues its good tradition of patenting every single technological development that may or may not be implemented in its products and even starts to strengthen it competitive advantage from the very bottom of the supply chain through new approach of taking control over the input supplies for its own suppliers. All that gives strong sense to me that the management focuses not only on tactical short term marketing and software measures for promoting new features of existing products, but elaborates on more long term strategy of achieving opportunity for stable products production costs and resulting prices that serve best interests of Apple’s clients and investors. I Know First forecast supports my opinion that Apple’s stock is going to become even more bullish over 1 month, 3 months and 1 year time with the signal and corresponding predictability increasing over those periods.

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Past I Know First Forecast with Apple

[Image source: Yahoo Finance]

On March 23rd, 2017 I Know First published an article by Motek Moyen, Senior Financial Analyst at I Know First, about cheaper new iPads that can shore up Apple’s waning tablet unit sales. We expected bullish behavior on 1 year horizon which almost passed since the forecast publication date and the shares went up by 27.26% shares since then. The bullish endorsement for Apple was backed by the positive algorithmic forecasts from I Know First.

Apple Stock Forecast

Current I Know First subscribers received this bullish forecast for AAPL on March 23rd, 2017

To subscribe today click here.

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.

How_to_read_IKF_heatmap

To subscribe today and receive exclusive AI-based algorithmic predictions, click here.

[1] Includes sales of Apple TV, Apple Watch, Beats products, iPod touch and Apple-branded and third-party accessories [Source: Apple Inc. Q1 2018 Unaudited Summary Data, Official Apple Inc. Press Release on February 1, 2018]

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Apple Stock News: Despite fall in IPhone sales, Apple profits up in last 3 months of 2017

Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2018 first quarter ended December 30, 2017. The tech company has reported a record-breaking income for the last 3 months quarter increased by 12% year on year to $20 billion, despite a drop in iPhone sales.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), despite iPhone sales dropped by 1 million devices to 77.3 million smartphones, the giant became leader of the quarter in smartphones market with 19,2% of share. Samsung has 18,4%, Huawei 10,2%, Xiaomi 7%, Oppo 6,8%. The global smartphone decreased by 6.3% in comparison to the same period of 2016.

“We’re thrilled to report the biggest quarter in Apple’s history, with broad-based growth that included the highest revenue ever from a new iPhone lineup. IPhone X surpassed our expectations and has been our top-selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve also achieved a significant milestone with our active installed base of devices reaching 1.3 billion in January. That’s an increase of 30 percent in just two years, which is a testament to the popularity of our products and the loyalty and satisfaction of our customers.”

Apple also is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2018 second quarter:

  • revenue between $60 billion and $62 billion
  • gross margin between 38 percent and 38.5 percent
  • operating expenses between $7.6 billion and $7.7 billion
  • other income/(expense) of $300 million
  • tax rate of approximately 15 percent

On March, 9 2017 I Know First issued a bullish 1 year forecast for Apple. The forecast illustrated a signal of 102.08 and a predictability of 0.57 (explanation on signal and predicability indicators can be found here). In accordance with the forecast, AAPL’s stocks increased during the year by 14.82%.

This bullish forecast for AAPL sent to current I Know First subscribers on March 9th.

 

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