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.

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[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.

 

Apple Stock News: Apple Poised for Record Holiday Quarter

Apple Stock News

Apple appears to be poised for a record holiday quarter.  iPhone X production is improving.  Three million units are currently being produced each week, but that could increase to four million units in December.  According to Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang, Apple may have sold six million iPhone X units over the Black Friday weekend which would be an amazing feat.

Zhang is also saying that most consumers are buying the 256 GB model which carries a higher price tag.  He believes that Apple is selling twice as many 256 GB units as 64 GB units.  This would be fantastic news for Apple’s earnings and profit margin.  The 256 GB product costs $1,149 while the 64 GB product costs $999. Overall, Apple may have sold 15 million iPhone X units since it went on sale. Apple could end up selling 30 million iPhone X units during the current holiday quarter and 40 million units during the next quarter.

Consequently, Rosenblatt Securities’ December quarter iPhone X shipment estimates increased from 27-28 million to 30 million units.  However, due to the belief that normal seasonality will kick in after the inventory build, the March quarter iPhone X estimates decreased from 45 million to 40 million units.  The main takeaway is the holiday quarter should be exceptional, but then sales should pullback a bit as seen by the net decrease in sales estimates of 2-3 million iPhone X units sold for the next two quarters.

In Other News

Apple filed a countersuit against Qualcomm alleging that it is infringing on at least eight patents related to battery life.  The countersuit is in response to Qualcomm’s patent infringement suit filed in July relating to six of its own patents.  Apple is reportedly seeking unspecified damages in order to add pressure to settle the suit.  However, that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen soon.  The tech giant, meanwhile, appears to be accelerating its shift toward Intel modems in response.

Apple also recently revealed a new self-driving car system that can detect pedestrians, cyclists, and other 3D objects.  Apple’s ambition in this space has shifted from building their own self-driving cars to building the software that helps power them.  Company researchers claim the new system “outperforms the state-of-the-art detection methods by a large margin.”  However, the research is still in an early phase.

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

Apple Stock News: Which New iPhone Has Higher Margins?

Apple Stock News: Which New iPhone Has Higher Margins?

October 4, 2017

Apple Stock News

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $154.48 per share on October 3rd, 2017. Its share price increased 0.44% from its previous close on October 2nd, 2017, when it closed at $153.81 per share.

Image Source: Apple

An interesting question is starting to be asked.  Which new iPhone is more profitable-the iPhone 8 or the iPhone X?  The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are similar to the iPhone 7 in terms of manufacturing cost.  Even so, Apple bumped up the price of these phones compared to the iPhone 7 due to the higher storage capacity of 64 GB.  There is also the option to upgrade to 256 GB storage for $150 which applies to all 2017 models.  These facts indicate a healthy margin for the iPhone 8.  But everyone knows the X starts at $1,000 so shouldn’t it have a higher margin?

$$ for Samsung

Maybe or maybe not.  The X model is believed to cost significantly more to manufacture due to the radical redesign.  An example being the new OLED screens supplied by Samsung as well as the more advanced cameras.  Samsung is estimated to earn at least $110 from each iPhone X model sold which could amount to $4B over the first 20 months after the X model ships according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research.  These new screens cost significantly more than the screens in previous models.  The price of $1,000 might not be enough to make up for the additional new costs and could lead to a lower margin compared to the 8 models.

However, this assumption could get muddled because more than half of the iPhone X consumers are gravitating towards the 256 GB model which costs $150 more than the base model.  That would add to its profitability.  For the iPhone 8, less than half of the customers are expected to buy the 256 GB model.

The iPhone 8  demand is seen as being subpar because consumers are waiting for the release of the iPhone X.  Obviously, Apple and its investors would want to sell more of its most profitable model.  Right now, that model is a mystery.  That being said, with higher prices all around, the iPhone average selling price (ASP) should see a noticeable jump.

In Other News

According to a survey reported to the Financial Times, less than 25% of Chinese consumers who plan to buy a new smartphone would buy an iPhone.  More than 30% would rather buy a Huawei smartphone.  The reasoning is that most of the market growth is going to the mid-market space, not the premium space where Apple operates.

The Trump administration’s proposed tax framework could have a significant effect on Apple.  The framework mentions “rules to protect the U.S. tax base by taxing at a reduced rate and on a global basis the foreign profits of multinational corporations.”  The rate and formula weren’t listed, but this one sentence can have multi-billion dollar implications for multinationals like Apple.  One positive takeaway from the framework is that it would allow Apple to repatriate many years’ worth of foreign earnings at a reduced tax rate which is expected to be in the 10-15% range.

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

Apple Stock News: Qualcomm CEO Reports Possible Settlement in Sight

Apple Stock News

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $149.56 on, July 17th, 2017. It had a gain of 0.35% from its previous close on July 16th, 2017, at $149.04 per share.

Apple Stock News

Apple and Qualcomm continue on with their messy legal battle that began in early 2017. However, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf is optimistic that the companies will reach an out of court settlement soon. “There’s not really anything new going on,” Mollenkopf explained. “Those things tend to get to resolved out of court and there’s no reason why I wouldn’t expect that to be the case here.”

Nonetheless, Mollenkopf explained that he has no inside information about a deal being imminent. He made similar comments back in February, but that was long before the court battle escalated to its current level.

The fight between Apple and Qualcomm started in January, after the FTC complained that Qualcomm had engaged in shady patent licensing deals. Apple sued Qualcomm for over $1 billion dollars, alleging Qualcomm charged Apple for royalties on technology it did not create, and refusing to pay quarterly rebates. Qualcomm reportedly overcharged Apple by billions of dollars by double charging patent licensing agreements. On the other hand, Qualcomm stated that it believes the royalties are fair and its innovations are essential to the iPhone.

Qualcomm countersued Apple in April, accusing the company of libel and encouraging attacks on Qualcomm. Afterwards, Apple stopped making all royalty payments to Qualcomm until a court ruling.
Apple recently expanded its lawsuit against Qualcomm, and at the beginning of July, Qualcomm filed a separate patent lawsuit against Apple and asked the ITC to block imports of some Apple products.

It would serve both companies well to end this legal battle, and Mollenkopf hopes they can resolve their issues quickly.

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

Apple Stock News: New Data Centre and Renewed Positioning

Apple Stock News

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $149.05 per share on, July 14th, 2017. It generated a return of 0.87% from its previous close on July 13th, 2017, when it closed at $147.76 per share.

On July 13th, 2017, Apple announced that it has plans to build its first data center in China. This will be in partnership with a Chinese data management company. Thus making Apple join the ranks of other tech giants who have made similar moves, including Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM.

From a product functionality standpoint, this data centre and any future data centres are predicted to rapidly improve the various iOS services that are present with the iPhone.

This new data centre is expected to allow Apple to operate at a much more competitive level with local Chinese smartphone producers. These companies have generally offered smartphone products noticeably cheaper than Apple’s iPhone. Unfortunately, this phenomenon has cost Apple dearly in China.

It is therefore a strong signal that Apple is taking the appropriate and necessary steps to close the gap that exists between it and local players. Together, these measures are believed to become a positive boost to the sales and profitability of the American tech giant.

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

Apple Stock News: Apple Set to Open New Data Center in Denmark

Apple Stock News

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $145.06 on, July 10th, 2017. It had a gain of 0.61% from its previous close on July 9th, 2017, at $144.18 per share.

Apple Stock News

Apple (AAPL) announced the establishment of one of the world’s largest data Centers in Aabenraa, Denmark. The new data center will run entirely on renewable energy and will feature surplus-heating recycling. This would be the company’s second “green” data center in Denmark. The reported investment for this new, state of the art building is of 6 billion Danish crowns ($921 million).

Apple has increased its eco-friendliness since the United States pulled out of the Paris Accords. They pledged to back the accords regardless of the government’s opinion and issued a $1 billion green bond.

Since the moment of the announcement until the markets closed, Apple’s stock steadily increased. They closed the trading session gaining 0.88 or 0.61%. Experts and investors appear to have faith in Apple’s stock, as there have been several articles expressing their confidence in the company. Citing both the investment for the Data Center and the coming release of the iPhone 8 as the main reason for optimism.  I Know First’s bullish forecast for Apple is in line with these authored predictions.

In addition, the general public has expressed their gratitude towards Apple and its values via Social Media. It is safe to say that the world’s most valuable brand just became even more valuable.

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

Apple Stock Price Prediction Based on a Self-learning Algorithm: Return of 53.14% in 1 Year

Apple Stock Price Prediction

This Hedge Fund Stocks Package is designed for investors and analysts who need predictions of the best-performing stocks according to I Know First’s stock market algorithm. It includes 20 stocks with bullish and bearish signals and indicates the best stocks to long and short based on artificial intelligence trading strategies:

  • Top 10 Hedge Fund stocks for the long position
  • Top 10 Hedge Fund stocks for the short position

hedgefunds
Package Name: Hedge Fund Stocks
Recommended Positions: Long
Forecast Length: 1 Year (07/05/2016 – 07/05/2017)
I Know First Average: 41.58%
Systematic Trading

This Hedge Fund Stocks Package forecast had correctly predicted 9 out of 10 stock movements. The top performing prediction from this package was CSX with a return of 114.20%. URI, and AAPL had notable returns of 71.63% and 53.14%. The package’s overall average return was 41.58%, providing investors with a 25.91% premium over the S&P 500’s return of 15.67% during the same period.

CSX Corporation, (CSX), together with its subsidiaries, provides rail-based transportation services in the United States and Canada. The company offers rail services, as well as transports intermodal containers and trailers.

Algorithmic traders utilize these daily forecasts by the I Know First market prediction system as a tool to enhance portfolio performance, verify their own analysis and act on market opportunities faster. This forecast was sent to current I Know First subscribers.

How to interpret this diagram

Please note-for trading decisions use the most recent forecast. Get today’s forecast and Top stock picks.

Apple Stock News: Apple and Health Gorilla Create Strategic Partnership

Apple Stock News

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $146.34 on Monday, June 19th, 2017. It had gained 2.86% from its previous close of $142.27 per share.

Apple Stock News

It appears that Apple is working in tandem with medical start-up Health Gorilla, according to CNBC. Health Gorilla, according to two sources, is explicitly helping Apple incorporate medical diagnostic data into the iPhone. Health Gorilla focuses on giving doctors a full picture of a patient’s medical history through having medical information available on a cloud. Blood work, hospital tests, and lab tests are a few of the items currently being integrated.

Apple is attempting to solve a major issue in the medical field. Doctors often do not have full information on patients before and during treatment. If Apple can gather and securely maintain medical information on its devices, doctors would be able to easily access complete patient information. Apple plans on working with hospitals, labs, and imaging centers to help safely transfer information.

Patients will also benefit from this partnership between Apple and Health Gorilla. They will be able to view and share their lab results, allergy lists, and other medical information.

Apple and Health Gorilla have so far declined to comment on the partnership.

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

Apple Stock News: Apple Creates New Positions For Video Programming

Apple Stock News

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $142.27 on Friday, June 16th, 2017. It had a loss of 1.40% from its previous close of $144.29 per share.

 

 

Apple is making its best efforts to maintain high margins, as it continually adds features to their products. Sales of the current model are flat. Although it’s not all bleak, with expected demand for the next iPhone higher than ever before. A new survey released shows big things are expected from the new iPhone as Apple approach the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.

In an attempt to up its game, Apple has gone and “pouched” current Sony (SNE) employees Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg. Jamie and Zack will fill newly created positions, overseeing all facets of video programming. Their contracts with Sony expire in August and that’s when they’ll start their tenures.

Revenues are not expected to increase from Apple’s line of Mac’s, as the Apple OS X operating system has fallen. The decline looks to be due to strategy rather than competitiveness in the software.

With the next earnings report due in July, it’s expected the stock will fluctuate heavily between now and then.

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

 

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