Apple Aims To Better iPhone Performance and Price

“If there’s a way to do it better – find it”- Thomas Edison

(Source: Flickr)

As fall approaches, so do the rumors of the brand new iPhone. This year Apple is planning to do something that everyone can rally behind: cut iPhone prices. Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s most prominent insider, has stated that new iPhone prices could be fewer than $300 their current price.

There will be three phones revealed this year: a cheaper iPhone X at $600, iPhone X at $800, and iPhone X Plus at $900. The upcoming iPhone X is clocking in 10% faster than past single core performance and an increase of ram from 3gb to 4gb. Although not as big of a performance upgrade as any other iPhone release, Apple is putting most of the improvements in iOS 12 to increase speed and fluidity.

New iPhone Renders (Source: Macworld)

 

The upcoming iPhone is also rumored to be incorporating a USB-C to Lightning Cable with purchase. The company seeks to have compatibility within all Apple devices, since the new MacBooks don’t support the current USB-A charger. The new charger would give up to 18W, allowing fast charging, which charges an iPhone to 50% in under 30 minutes.

USB-C to Lightning (Source: Apple)

Apple’s stock has been volatile the past week.

AAPL (Source: Yahoo Finance)

Apple May Take a Hit From Escalating Trade War

You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change”- Tim Cook

(Source: Wikipedia)

The Building Trade War

On Monday morning, President Trump ordered the United States Trade Representatives to find $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to tariff. China responded by putting a tariff on $50 billion worth of U.S. goods. Trump has since threatened to enact yet another tariff on the country. Such escalation is sparking fear of a “trade war”.

A trade war spells trouble for Apple, a company headquartered in California and who manufactures mostly in China. The United State’s biggest import from China is smartphones, totaling $70.4 billion in 2017. JP Morgan has stated that “A substantial portion of China’s exports are western products manufactured locally — [such as] Apple (AAPL) iPhones.” Almost 20% of Apple’s revenue comes from China, as the company shipped over 41 million phones there. Although Apple has received reassurance from President Trump that they would not be on the list of items subjected for the tariff, the tech company still may be affected.

(Source: Wall Street Journal)

Will Tariffs Take a Bite out of Apple?

Apple has been increasing its inventory by 3.3 billion in preparation for possible repercussions. The company has many rightful worries on when and how they may be affected. Tariffs may affect Apple’s suppliers, causing major delays or a rise in costs. Fear also spawns over the possibility of a repeat of 2016: Apple services being banned by China. In doing so, China could make a huge push for citizens to use Chinese smartphones over American ones. Also, if China were to tax iPhones, prices would rise and Apple would be driven out of the market.

How the Market Reacted

Apple’s stock has slumped since the announcement of the additional tariffs.

(Source: YCharts)

Apple Stock Forecast: Why Project Marzipan Is Important To Apple’s Future

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

Apple Stock Forecast:

Summary:

  • Apple is gradually losing the K-12 education PC market due to Google’s Chromebooks.
  • Chromebooks are now even more attractive because they can run Android apps/games.
  • It is no surprise that Apple is also intent on letting x86 Intel Macs run iOS games and apps.
  • Project Marzipan is Apple’s in-development solution to allow iPad/iPhone apps run on macOS X computers.
  • Thanks to the Virtualization Technology of Intel’s x86 processors, Apple will likely deliver the promise of Project Marzipan.

Apple (AAPL) wants to make its Mac computers more attractive and useful. Its upcoming Project Marzipan solution will allow macOS computers to run iOS apps. Apple is merely trying to replicate Google’s (GOOG) successful implementation of running Android apps on Chrome OS computers. Apple is losing the K-12 education market to Chromebooks. I am confident that more college/high school IT administrators will consider buying macOS computers again if they can run iOS apps.

Mac OS X computers now only account for 3.5% of the K-12 mobile computing shipments. However, I suspect that Macs are still the preferred computers of college students. The lack of built-in keyboards of iPads makes them a hassle to use for long-form writing/typing. Giving Macs the ability to run any iOS application makes them more useful to students and business professionals.

Sad but true, the neglected state of the Mac App Store means there’s limited availability of education/business applications. By bringing iOS apps and games to macOS computers, Apple’s PC products can compete better against Chromebooks and Chrome OS desktop computers. There are now 2.1 million iOS apps/games available from iTunes. Some of them are likely useful for students, home users, and business users.

Apple sold 19.25 million Macs last year. By making future Macs compatible with iOS software, Apple could attract more buyers. My 3-year forecast is that Apple could hit the 25 million units sold milestone. The bigger screen sizes of the MacBook and iMac makes them suitable for hardcore mobile gamers. Continuous gaming on the iPhone/iPad also causes overheating which reduces their device lifetime.

Project Marzipan Is Coming Soon

Project Marzipan is supposedly going be implemented this year. This is realistic. Intel (INTC) processors have Virtualization Technology. All Macs now use Intel x86 processors. Current Mac computers are capable of running emulated iOS apps. The process is similar to how easy it was for third-party developers to create so many Android OS emulators for Windows and macOS computers.

It is actually possible to run iOS apps now on Mac even without Project Marzipan. Problem is you have to download and install Apple’s software development IDE, Xcode. All iOS developers use the powerful iOS simulator tool of Xcode to test their games/apps. However, downloading Xcode requires you to sign-up as a software developer.

My guess is that Apple will update macOS High Sierra to include an integrated iOS emulator that anyone can use. Since Apple itself is creating the emulator, I expect macOS computers to run iOS apps at near-native speed. Apple has expanded support for its own Metal API for the Mac. Playing advanced 3D iOS games on the Mac should not be a problem.

Why Apple Cannot Afford To Lose The Education PC Market

Winning back the education market is very important to Apple’s future. The students of today are going to be the workers, managers, and leaders of tomorrow. If Apple lets Google continue its dominance in the K-12 and college PC markets, students will be trained in Google’s productivity/collaboration software and Chrome OS ecosystem.

Going forward, Google-trained students means they will be the employees who will require Chrome OS and Android devices. The said future scenario is bad for Apple and its shareholders. Yes, Apple currently has tens of millions of loyal fans. However, Apple needs to retain a strong presence in the education market to keep its brand alive among young people.

The future of Apple will depend on how appealing/useful its products will be to the future citizens of the world.

Conclusion

The app ecosystem dictates the long-term success of computing platforms. The Mac App Store cannot match the software diversity and size of the iOS app store. Apple, therefore, is correct to implement emulation of iOS apps on the Mac. Project Marzipan can revive the flailing Mac App Store platforms with the massive ecosystem of 2.1 million iOS apps/games to the Mac platform.

A larger app ecosystem for the Mac makes it more useful. Consequently, its future sales could improve after Project Marzipan is finally implemented this year. Better sales performance from its Mac computers can help Apple offset further weaknesses in iPhone/iPad sales.

The Mac business accounts for 7.81% of Apple’s quarterly revenue. This figure could rise after Macs become iOS apps-friendly.

(Source: I Know First)

Past I Know First Forecast Success with AAPL

I Know First’s algorithm has made accurate predictions on AAPL in the past, such as my bullish article published on July 5th, 2017.  In the article, it outlines Apple’s many won accolades. For some people, Apple has the best smartwatch, headphones, smartphone, tablet, computer, and app store. Tim Cook’s reign also saw Apple’s ascendance as the most valuable company in the world. Apple sells luxury-priced consumer electronic products and is making tons of money doing it. At the time, Apple dethroned Wal-mart (WMT) to become the second-biggest online retailer in America, according to eMarketer’s trailing 12 month period ending last March 2017. Apple did e-commerce sales of $16.8 billion in the U.S., beating Wal-mart’s $14.3 billion. Additionally, the article mentions Tim Cook should be commended for making Apple an exemplary model for e-commerce. Unlike Amazon which specializes in thin-margin products, Apple sells pricey products online.

Since then, AAPL shares have risen 18% in line with the I Know First algorithm’s forecast. See chart below.

[Source: MorningStar, April 10th, 2018]

I Know First has positive 3-month and 1-year algorithmic forecasts for AAPL. I am therefore endorsing Apple’s stock as a buy. Based on the high predictability scores (0.7 and 0.82), I Know First has a long history of accurate predictions for AAPL’s 3-month and 1-year market movement.

Furthermore, my buy rating for AAPL is in line with its bullish monthly technical indicators and moving averages.

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.

Amazon Stock Predictions


Netflix stock predictions

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.

 

Stock Market Forecasting Based on Machine Learning: Returns up to 75.13% in 1 Year

Stock Market Forecasting

The Computer Industry Stocks Package is designed for investors and analysts who need predictions of the best-performing stocks for the whole Computer Industry. It includes 20 stocks with bullish and bearish signals and indicates the best stocks to buy in the computer industry:

  • Top 10 Computer Industry stocks for the long position
  • Top 10 Computer Industry stocks for the short position

Computer Industry
Package Name: Computer Industry Stocks
Recommended Positions: Long
Forecast Length: 1 Year (01/08/2017 – 01/08/2018)
I Know First Average: 32.69%

 

Stock Market Forecasting

8 out of 10 stock prices in this forecast for the Computer Industry Stocks Package moved as predicted by the algorithm. CDNS was our best stock pick this week a return of 75.13%. AAPL and HPQ followed with returns of 50.26% and 49.81% for the 1 Year period. The package saw an overall yield of 32.69% versus the S&P 500’s return of 20.67% implying a market premium of 12.02%.

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. provides electronic design automation software, emulation and prototyping hardware, system interconnect, and analysis worldwide. It offers functional verification, including emulation and prototyping hardware. Additionally, it offers services related to methodology, education, and hosted design solutions, as well as technical support and maintenance services. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

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: The Race to be the First Trillion Dollar Company May Depend on China

Apple Stock News

The race to get the title of first trillion dollar market cap is getting closer to the finish line.  Apple is sitting pretty with an $868B market cap.  Alphabet Inc. (Google) is in second place at $712B.  Amazon is in third at $556B.  Facebook is in fourth at $512B.  But Apple hasn’t always been in the lead.  It was temporarily overtaken by Alphabet Inc. in 2016.

What makes Apple the favorite in this horserace?  It’s not valuation.  Since Apple’s biggest driver is the iPhone, they are priced more like a hardware company.  That’s why Apple’s PE is 18 whereas Alphabet’s is 37, Amazon’s is 294, and Facebook’s is 34.  Although, Apple is investing heavily in its high growth Services business which could help to increase Apple’s P/E multiple in the future.

The main reason Apple is in first place is the tech giant generates so much darn profit.  They earn the vast majority of the profits of the entire smartphone space.  One significant differentiating factor that has helped them do this is their success in China.  Out of the four tech behemoths mentioned above, Apple is the only one that has truly flourished in the People’s Republic.  China is too big to ignore with 20% of the globe’s population.  In Apple’s 2017 fiscal year, they generated $44.8B in revenue from Greater China.  Even though that number decreased 8% YoY, it still amounted to 20% of Apple’s total revenue.  That 20% figure is much higher than the Chinese revenue generated from the other three tech titans.

Facebook doesn’t operate in China.  Alphabet does operate there, but many of its core services are severely restricted.  Amazon operates there as well, but is not even close to becoming a major player.

The Middle Kingdom’s significance to Apple has definitely incentivized them to keep the Chinese regulators happy.  This results in Apple removing hundreds of VPN apps from the Chinese App Store as well as building a data center in China to house Chinese users’ data.  Apple may not always like the Chinese regulations, but they certainly aren’t pulling out of China anytime soon.

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $169.01 per share on December 6th, 2017. It generated losses of 0.37% from its previous close on December 5th, 2017, when it closed at $169.64 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: A Stumble with the HomePod

Apple Stock News

Apple Stock News: Apple announced on Friday, November 17th, that it would be delaying the launch of its new home speaker based on Siri until next year.  As of now, no release date has been given.  The HomePod was initially announced in June with a December launch date, and was largely viewed as Apple’s response to Google Home and Alexa (Home assistants from Google and Amazon) that are seen as some of the greatest recent technological advances. These home devices are used for everything, from listening to music, to asking questions about the weather, your schedule and general curiosity, and are even used to make purchases as needed.

On its own, a delay of a launch of a specific product wouldn’t be so bad.  After all, the HomePod may be missing out on a holiday season, but Apple is more than able to make up for these sale losses in the long term. The problem is what Apple appears to be signaling to the market with this delay following the problems with the release of the iPhone X (shortage of components and problems with suppliers), the iPhone 7 (with Apple misjudging the demand for the Plus model, leading to a shortage of products) and the Air Pods (with Apple simply stating that it believes the Air Pods needed some more perfecting before they were ready to be launched). Apple is apparently having trouble coordinating with its suppliers, not being able to follow up with launches as promised, or not being able to supply the quantity needed.

Despite these obstacles, Apple still continues to grow, having presented growth in iMac, iPhone and Services sales. Additionally, the company has a positive view for sales next year, including for the HomePod, when it finally launches. As such, the perspective for Apple stock is positive, with several analysts setting the target price for the stock as being between $180 to $200 per share, well above its current price at $170.15.

With this data, it is advisable to wait before buying Apple stock, as it should decrease in price in the short term with this quantity of bad news, but should still present a growth story in the long term.

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: Positive Reviews for iPhone X leads to Positive Outlook for Apple Stock

Apple Stock News

 

A little more than a week after the iPhone X launch, reviews have begun to surface for the new smartphone, and they have been good so far. With many complementing it´s advances and stating the new iPhone is a huge leap forward in terms of the technology and components used.

Nevertheless, iPhone seems to have a problem functioning in extreme temperatures (from approximately 2ºC to approximately 35ºC), a fact which may represent a problem with winter fast approaching. Apple acknowledged this problem, stating it will soon release an update for the software, allowing the iPhone to work even at the extreme temperatures.

Despite the few problems it has been presenting, and a small depreciation in its stock prices on Friday, Apple prices are expected to grow significantly in the short and long term. The market is very optimistic about the demand for the new iPhone X and the impact it should have on Apple’s revenue. That coupled with the fact that Apple surprised the estimates for its Q4, should signify a good future for Apple stock.

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $174.67 per share on November 10th, 2017. It generated a loss  of 0.33% from its previous close on November 9rd, 2017, when it closed at $175.25 per share.

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 Beats Estimates for Fiscal Q4

Apple Stock News

Apple stock rose to a record high this past week due to strong fiscal Q4 results and guidance.  The market capitalization nearly breached $900B as it added $32B to its total stock value.  The positive outlook also quelled any concerns surrounding the iPhone X.  There certainly doesn’t appear to be any lack of enthusiasm for the premium product which went on sale this past Friday.  Long lines of shoppers were flocking to get their hands on the device which is in short supply.

The great quarter from Apple led many analysts to increase their price targets for the stock.  Good news could be found everywhere.  Revenue was $52.58B, an increase of 12% YoY, which handily beat the consensus estimate of $50.69B.  GAAP EPS was $2.07 which also beat the consensus estimate of $1.87.

The exceptional results were driven in large part by growth in many non-iPhone segments.  This goes to show that Apple is not just a smartphone company.  Revenue from non-iPhone segments rose 24% to $23.1B.  iPad revenue grew 14% to $4.8B.  Mac revenue grew 25% to $7.2B.  Other Products (Apple Watch, headphones, tv, etc.) grew 36% to $3.2B.  The Apple Watch unit sales even rose over 50%.  Services revenue (App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay) grew 24% to $8.5B.  The big jump in Services revenue was also aided by a $640M revenue accounting adjustment that is rumored to be a payment from Google relating to a mobile ad partnership.  Apple also looks to have righted the ship in the Greater China market as revenue there broke a trend of declines and rose 12% to $9.8B.  Overall Emerging Market revenue was also up over 20%.

Holiday Quarter Guidance

For the upcoming holiday quarter, Apple gave guidance of $84-$87B, with the midpoint being slightly above the analyst consensus of $85.16B.  CEO Tim Cook stated on the conference call that the 8 and 8+ have been Apple’s best-selling models since they launched.  This countered the general opinion that sales have been lackluster.  He even said that the 8+ has “gotten off to the fastest start of any Plus model.”  Regarding the iPhone X, he implied that demand is extremely strong and the amount they sell in the future will be limited only by supply issues, certainly not by a lack of demand.  Apple will also be able to produce more iPhone X units this quarter than previously estimated.  Current estimates are for 30M units this quarter, a big upgrade from the previous estimate of 20M units, which was itself a past downgrade from 40M units.

The only non-spectacular news from the announcement was that Apple guided a 38-38.5% gross margin for the December quarter compared to the year-ago 38.5% GM (37.9% in September quarter).  Most analysts have been expecting an increase in margins due to the high prices of the new iPhone models.  CFO Maestri’s stated reason for the lower than expected guidance was high initial costs for new products, most likely a reference to the X model, as well as a headwind from higher memory chip prices.

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $172.50 per share on November 3rd, 2017. It generated a gain of 2.61% from its previous close on November 2nd, 2017, when it closed at $168.11 per share.

 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: iPhone X: Short Supply for High Demand

Apple Stock News

The pre-order for the iPhone X started this weekend on a high note, with the new device selling out minutes after being put on sale. The demand for the new phone was very high (as I Know First had previously predicted), and the limited quantities available, are the main reasons specialists are pointing out as explanations as to how the new device sold out so quickly. 

Shortly after the pre-order sold out, resellers began appearing on Ebay, charging anywhere from $1500 to $60,000 for the simpler version of the iPhone, with a markup from the official price practiced by apple that is $999. Resellers are hoping to receive money for the phones by guaranteeing the delivery will be made by the official launch date.

Meanwhile, Apple continues to struggle to produce the quantity needed to meet the demand.Pre-order sales made by October 28th should be delivered to customers only in December (well after the launch date on November 3). With some experts predicting that before the end of the pre-order period, Apple will sell about 40 million units of the new iPhone, a quantity that the company will only be able to deliver in April or May of the next year.

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $163.05 per share on October 27th, 2017. It generated a profit of 3.58% from its previous close on October 26th, 2017, when it closed at $157.41 per share.

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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