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


  • 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.


[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


[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, the current share of Apple vs Samsung is 30.34% and 41.88% respectively.


[Image Source:]

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.


[Image Source:]

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.


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

Apple’s Unusual Pursuit of Cobalt


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.


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.


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]



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.


Apple Stock News: App Store Presented Record-Breaking Holiday Season

Apple Stock News

App Store presented record-breaking holiday season. New Year’s Day 2018 set record with $300 million in purchases in apps and games. Starting on Christmas Eve, over $890 million were spent during the week on purchases or downloaded apps from App Store.

The tech giant senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing stated that Apple is “thrilled with the reaction to the new App Store and to see to many customers discovering and enjoying new apps and games.”

According to him, iOS developers earned in 2017 $26.5 billion. It is a 30% increase over the previous year. Among the most popular downloads Pokémon GO was leading the list.

IOS developers have earned over $86 billion since the App Store launch in July 2008.

On December 15th, 2016, I Know First issued a bullish long term forecast for Apple. Since then, Apple stock price went up 55.41% in accordance with the I Know First forecast sent to subscribers.

Current I Know First subscribers received this AAPL forecast on December 15th, 2016

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $177.09 per share on January 12th, 2018. It generated profits of 1.01% from its previous close on January 11th, 2018, when it closed at $175.28 per share.

Keep checking back for more news regarding AAPL. For full AAPL daily forecasts and investment advice by our state-of-the-art algorithm click here.

Apple Stock News: Senator John Thune Is Asking Apple For Transparency

Apple Stock News

Senator John Thune, a Republican lawmaker who chairs a key congressional committee that oversees tech issues, has sent a letter to Apple questioning the iPhone maker about the slow down of older iPhone models.

Apple is facing many lawsuits after the company slowed down the performance of the older iPhones. In response, the company started to offer discounted battery replacements for $29.

The Chair of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is asking for transparency. Thune wants to know how Apple came to the conclusion to replace batteries for $29 or if the company ever considered making battery replacements free. He also wants to know if Apple considered offering rebates for customers who paid full price for replacing their batteries.

On the letter, Thune said that “the large volume of consumer criticism leveled against the company in light of its admission suggests that there should have been better transparency.”

Apple should answer Senator Thune by January 23.

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $174.29 per share on January 10th, 2018. It generated losses of 0.02% from its previous close on January 9th, 2018, when it closed at $174.33 per share.

Keep checking back for more news regarding AAPL. For full AAPL daily forecasts and investment advice by our state-of-the-art algorithm click here.

Apple Stock News: Apple Releases Updates Against Microchip Security Flaw Spectre

Apple Stock News

Apple releases security updates for iOS, MacOS, and Safari to protect users from a computer chip vulnerability. Called Spectre, the microchip security flaw, which left computing devices vulnerable to hackers, affected chips from Intel, AMD and Arm. Spectre affected nearly all computer chips made in the last decade.

Less than a week after news stated that Intel, Arm and AMD chips contained the flaw, Apple released the update. The hacking attack could reveal secret information on these devices. For the attack to work, hackers need to install malicious software onto the device in order to make sensitive information, such as passwords and encryption keys, easier to steal.

According to Apple, almost all of its devices are affected by this flaw. Despite the risk that it could expose billions of people’s personal data to cyber criminals, the tech giant affirmed that there were no known instances of hackers taking advantage of the flaw.

The operating system software update is available for Macs, iPhones, iPads and Apple TV. Spectre did not affect Apple Watch.

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $174.35 per share on January 8th, 2018. It generated losses of 0.37% from its previous close on January 5th, 2018, when it closed at $175 per share.

Keep checking back for more news regarding AAPL. For full AAPL daily forecasts and investment advice by our state-of-the-art algorithm click here.

Apple Stock News: Apple’s Fall 2018 iPhone Lineup Most Comprehensive to Date

Apple Stock News

According to sources such as respected technology analyst TrendForce, as well as respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Ku of KGI Securities, there will be three new iPhones released in 2018.  The most noticeable change will be the size of the devices.  The next generation of the iPhone X will come in two model ranges, standard and plus.  The standard handset will remain at 5.8-inches.  The plus version will have a display of 6.2-6.5-inches.  This giant of a smartphone will test the limits of premium smartphone pricing with a likely sales price of $1,099 to $1,149.  Both next generation iPhone X’s will use the second generation of Face ID technology which is expected to result in an increased screen-to-body ratio and possibly an increased memory configuration.

The third new iPhone should take the place of the iPhone 8 and 8+.  It will have a LCD display and is rumored to be an upgrade to the iPhone SE with the display size growing from 4-inches to 6.1-inches.  It is also rumored that the 2018 iPhones will rely on both Qualcomm and Intel 4G modems and they will all support Gigabit LTE transmission speeds.  Only the 2017 iPhones that had Qualcomm modems could support these speeds before.  This expanded iPhone lineup should be the most comprehensive to date due to the various options in terms of pricing and form.  Apple also seems to have learned from its iPhone X production mistakes because according to Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson, 3D sensing suppliers “are being told to generate volume for the Fall 2018 launch that is three times what was made for the iPhone X this past year.”

In Other News

It’s believed that the iPad Pro lineup will get some of the new technologies now in the iPhone X.  The new iPad Pro will have no home button, will feature a slimmer bezel, and it will support Face ID which would yield a larger display size.  The tablets should still have LCD displays.  Per Digitimes, Apple will also launch a new 9.7-inch iPad at a price of $259.  This price is $70 less than the price of the popular iPad launched in March 2017.

According to Citi, there’s a 40% chance Apple will buy Netflix.  It will be easier due to Apple having access to its repatriated cash soon.  Apple has never done large acquisitions before, but Netflix is the clear leader in the streaming space and Apple is keen on succeeding in this market.

On September 8th, 2017, I Know First sent to subscribers a bullish forecast for AAPL. Since then, Apple’s stock has increased 8% in accordance with the forecast.

Current I Know First subscribers received this AAPL forecast on September 8th, 2017.

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $172.26 per share on January 2nd, 2018. It increased 1.79% from its previous close on December 29th, 2017, when it closed at $169.23 per share.

Keep checking back for more news regarding AAPL. For full AAPL daily forecasts and investment advice by our state-of-the-art algorithm click here.

Apple Stock News: Apple Is Offering $29 Battery Replacement After Slowing Down Oldest IPhones

Apple Stock News

After facing a few lawsuits for slowing down oldest versions of iPhones, Apple is offering cheaper battery replacements for a year. The price of batteries for the affected iPhones was reduced from $79 to $29.

Moreover, Apple also published a letter of apologize for their customers. According to this letter, everything was a misunderstanding. On the message, Apple stated that it never had the intention to shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.

Furthermore, Apple will issue an iOS software update in early 2018 with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery.

The $50 discount on battery replacements is already available for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone SE.

On September 8th, 2017, I Know First sent to subscribers a bullish forecast for AAPL. Since then, Apple Stock increased 4.94% in accordance with the forecast.

Current I Know First subscribers received this AAPL forecast on September 8th, 2017

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $169.23 per share on December 29th, 2017. It generated losses of 1.08% from its previous close on December 28th, 2017, when it closed at $171.08 per share.

Keep checking back for more news regarding AAPL. For full AAPL daily forecasts and investment advice by our state-of-the-art algorithm click here.

Apple Stock News: Apple’s AI Respects User Privacy

Apple Stock News

During this past year, Apple has been sending a message that AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is the future and that Apple will be a part of that future.  Apple’s AI is already visible with Siri, the voice assistant, but that is only a small part of Apple’s AI.  What Apple excels at is “offline AI.”  Due to Apple’s emphasis on user privacy, the company has focused on “on-device computing” which has the AI capabilities on the device itself and not on the cloud, allowing it to use AI offline.  This differs from Google, Amazon, and Microsoft with their use of the more prevalent “online AI.”  With online AI, user data is aggregated in the cloud which has led to AI systems that learn quickly as a result of the steady inflow of new data.  Apple’s offline AI uses a technique called differential privacy which is capable of identifying trends without transmitting personal data.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone X both employ this offline AI technology with the help of Apple’s A11 Bionic Chip with its own built-in neural engine which Apple described as “the most powerful and smartest chip ever in a smartphone.”  The chip was designed specifically for machine learning AI algorithms.  After Apple’s release of the Core ML iOS 11 software update, even developers now have access to the A11 chip for certain AI applications which they can integrate into their apps without the data ever leaving the phone.  As data and privacy rights become increasingly important globally, it is reassuring to know that Apple is on the side of user privacy.

Currently, Apple is still primarily a maker of premium hardware with a focus on customer experience, but their AI technology could expand their reach in so many ways.  For example, their AI could be used to help diagnose complex health problems before the user is even aware that they’re at risk.  Wearables such as the Apple Watch would help to gather this data and analyze it for patterns.  Apple’s AI will also be employed in software for self-driving cars as well as in augmented-reality applications.

In Other News

Apple devices accounted for 44% of smartphone and tablet activations globally during the holiday season with the leading Apple devices being the iPhone 7, iPhone 6, and iPhone X.

It is also being reported that Apple is in licensing discussions with Riyadh on investing in Saudi Arabia.  Apple currently sells its products via third parties, but they yet to establish a direct presence.  About 70% of the Saudi population is under 30 and they are heavy users of smartphones and social media.

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $171.08 per share on December 28th, 2017. It increased 0.28% from its previous close on December 27th, 2017, when it closed at $170.60 per share.

Keep checking back for more news regarding AAPL. For full AAPL daily forecasts and investment advice by our state-of-the-art algorithm click here.

Apple Stock News: Apple Is Facing Lawsuit For Causing IPhone Slow Down

Apple Stock News

Apple is being sued after causing iPhone slow down. Class action lawsuits were filed in United States (New York, California and Illinois) and Israel. The Israeli class action filed in Tel Aviv is charging the tech giant $125 million. In United States the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million.

Apple is being accused of not disclosing that software updates would slow the performance of the older iPhone models. Claimers are stating that the degrading in the performance was done without their consent. Moreover, they also believe that this action was taken to force users to upgrade to newer iPhone devices.

AAPL admitted slowing the performance of old iPhone versions. The company declared that this measure was taken in order to protect and prolong battery life of these devices and in any way to force customers to buy new iPhone models.

Apple stated “Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices.”

According to owners of old iPhone models, they never had the option to choose whether they would like to have their devices slowed down or risk damaging their batteries.

On March 9th, 2017, I Know First has sent to subscribers a bullish forecast for AAPL. Since then, Apple Stock increased 25.91% in accordance with the forecast.

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $175.01 per share on December 22nd, 2017. It did not generate any profits or losses from its previous close on December 21st, 2017, when it also closed at $175.01 per share.

Keep checking back for more news regarding AAPL. For full AAPL daily forecasts and investment advice by our state-of-the-art algorithm click here.

Apple Stock News: Tax Reform Bill a Mixed Bag for Apple

Apple Stock News

The good news from the tax reform bill is that Apple’s corporate tax rate will decline by 40%, from the current 35% to 21%.  But that’s not all.  The bill would create a cash repatriation holiday where companies would pay a one-time tax of 15.5% on the overseas cash they bring back to the U.S.  After the repatriation holiday is over, companies would pay at least 10.5% on repatriated cash, but would be able to deduct foreign taxes already paid on the income.  This would effectively lower the repatriation rate to zero in the future.  Apple holds more than $250B in foreign subsidiaries.  It is believed that Apple will repatriate anywhere from half to nearly all of its overseas cash.  Apple would likely use the repatriated cash to pay down its $97B in long term debt as well as to fund stock buybacks and dividends.

Now for the bad news.  There is a key provision in the bill that affects Apple’s decades long practice of holding IP in foreign subsidiaries.  This practice has allowed Apple to significantly reduce its overall tax rate.  What happens is Apple attributes a large portion of the value of its products to IP such as patents and trademarks.  This IP is then left in countries with low tax rates such as Ireland.  The foreign subsidiaries holding the IP then receive substantial patent royalties and licensing fees based on all of Apple’s sales.  These fees and royalties are then taxed at a very low rate.

The key provision in the new tax bill creates a minimum tax of 13% on foreign patent income while creating a tax break on domestic patent income from 21% to 13.1%.  It is meant to discourage companies from holding their patents overseas as the tax benefit is basically eliminated.  The problem is the bill doesn’t include a way for companies to bring back foreign-held patents to the U.S. without being taxed.  However, the truly bad news for Apple is that there’s a very good chance that the 13% tax rate is still notably higher than Apple’s non-U.S. tax rate which could mean Apple’s taxes might actually increase.

In Other News

Apple is reportedly working on a smartwatch heart-monitoring feature.  It is part of Apple’s strategy to turn the Apple Watch into a medical device.  The tech giant also filed a patent for a self-driving navigation system that would anticipate routes via sensors and processors in the vehicle rather than rely on static information like maps.  Health technology and self-driving technology are two potentially huge markets that could help drive Apple’s growth in the future.

Apple acquired popular music discovery app Shazam for an estimated $400M.  Apple will possibly want to integrate the software into Apple Music as well as the HomePod.  Shazam also has Augmented Reality services, an area that Apple is growing in.

Lastly, iPhone owners from multiple states have brought a suit against Apple for not disclosing sooner that it issued software updates deliberately slowing older model phones so aging batteries could last longer.  The silence on Apple’s part led these owners to mistakenly believe that their only option was to buy a newer and more expensive iPhone.  Instead, it is now known that they could have just replaced their batteries to speed up the phones.  The suit alleges that Apple violated consumer fraud laws.  The lawsuit seeks class-action status to represent the thousands of iPhone users across the U.S.  The phones involved are the iPhone 6s, iPhone SE, and the iPhone 7.

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $175.01 per share on December 22nd, 2017. It had no change from its previous close on December 21st, 2017, when it closed at $175.01 per share.

Keep checking back for more news regarding AAPL. For full AAPL daily forecasts and investment advice by our state-of-the-art algorithm click here.