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.

Apple Stock Forecast: Bullish Long Drive Goes On In 2018 – Apple’s All Time Records In Q1

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

 

“I think the artistry is in having an insight into what one sees around them. Generally putting things together in a way no one else has before and finding a way to express that to other people who don’t have that insight…”

– Steve Jobs, Smithsonian Institution Oral and Video Histories, April 20, 1995

Highlights:

  • iOS 11.3 preview release – New AR experiences with ARKit 1.5, Health Records – collaboration of Apple with hospitals and clinics
  • Apple opens first official store in Seoul, South Korea expanding its worldwide presence to 18 countries
  • Apple introduced new product in an effort to stay competitive with Google Home and Amazon Echo – HomePod
  • Q1 2018 results are released – all-time records from all perspectives

Apple iphone x

[Source: Flickr.com]

iOS 11.3 release preview: another small step forward for company – big user experience jump

Apple presented its flagship iPhone X device on September 12, 2017 which provided the hardware basis for iOS 11 and empowered it to bring incredible new user experiences like Augmented Reality (AR) and complex face recognition solution for unlocking device and animating Emojis in real-time. Since then the features of the iOS were multiply challenged by many industry experts and the public in respect of the value being brought to customers for the price of iPhone X. Although, real-time animated Emojis are actually a powerful and fun tools to sell the device to Apple fans, the true capabilities horizon of the hardware and software is clearly not utilized so far. The preview of the new iOS version brings new perspectives on future user experience and applications with the updated ARKit, enabling developers to create applications that support AR not just in horizontal but vertical planes. Although it may sound vague from first perspective, actually is an enormous jump into the world of interactive surfaces like walls, posters, paintings, ads, etc. As a result, the potential value of such technology arriving at your palm may result in completely different approach for targeted advertisement and entertainment.

Another highly anticipated by the public feature which was mentioned in the preview and had its own separate press release is Apple Health Records. “Our goal is to help consumers live a better day. We’ve worked closely with the health community to create an experience everyone has wanted for years — to view medical records easily and securely right on your iPhone,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO. “By empowering customers to see their overall health, we hope to help consumers better understand their health and help them lead healthier lives.” Some experts compare this functionality to Apple Pay or Siri with respect to the impact scale on our lifestyle and the way we do our routine and for sure Apple is the company which is capable of taking the lead in such initiative. Another story is for investors to estimate the impact of such technologies’ introduction onto Apple’s value and for sure it will buzz the investor community for some time. Also, investors should consider that the same way Apple Pay stimulated new evolutionary step in online cashless payments, the same way Apple Health Records may become an environment for both offline and online medical care services which has extremely wide market reach and where they will be able to unify around patient’s needs and deliver care in extremely time-efficient and affordable manner. As for the Apple’s investors it is not clear how it will drive the company’s value in short term, but it is to be said that so far technologies which Apple introduces take some time for public to absorb and realize their true potential but when it happens the value sometimes exceeds even most optimistic analyst’s expectations.

Based on the above and the fact that not all of the Apple devices support AR and functionality yet even if they have iOS 11 installed, the hype around the mentioned technologies is capable to significantly drive the demand for the latest devices (iPhone X and iPhone 8). The latest sales results for Q1 2018 (published on February 1, 2018) support this statement as the number of iPhone X units sold rose by 66% and corresponding 113% increase in revenue comparing to Q4 2017 contributing to the overall rise in company’s sales. Additionally, one should reasonably expect intensified demand for the actual services to be provided based on those technologies which will drive additional revenues both directly to Apple and indirectly through third-party developers.

Apple opens first official store in Seoul, South Korea expanding its worldwide presence to 18 countries

Everybody knows what an Apple store is. Everybody knows that Asian market is constantly seeking for new trends, technologies and products. Apple is not an exception and that’s why the first official apple store opened in Gangnam area in Seoul. Although the penetration to the South Korean market is a hard thing to do for a foreign company as the dominance there lies with Samsung and LG, the expansion to this market sends a clear message. “We’re thrilled to open a new home for our customers in the vibrant city of Seoul and we look forward to continuing to grow in Korea,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail. “Our stores are gathering places for the community where everyone is welcome to connect, learn and create.” As ambitious as it sounds, it literally shows strong intention of the company not just to sell its products, but also expand its Apple culture influence to this market being close by it Korean current and future fans. The concept of an official Apple store is also important from marketing and sales perspective, because the new products and services are always start to sell first at official stores rather than at distributors. Therefore, it will give Apple the required means to effectively compete with Samsung and LG and take its piece of cake from this table. This statement is completely in line with the sales statistics being recently published by Apple – the sales growth in Asia Pacific region (excluding Greater China and Japan) in Q1 2018 was 144% and 17% comparing it to Q4 and Q1 in 2017 respectively.

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Share of smartphone models sold in South Korea during the month of July 2017, by model [Source: Statista]

Apple introduced new product in an effort to stay competitive with Google Home and Amazon Echo – HomePod

It has been more than 2 and 1 years, respectively, since the release date of Amazon Echo and Google Home. The success of both devices is sometimes questionable and depends on the geography where the associated services are available for both devices. The idea of a smart home and devices which actually assist you in managing your household became not just a buzz but a practical set of tasks to be done by them. However, if you have certain restrictions for services to be utilized by those robots you cannot guarantee the success for such environments among the general public worldwide. Apple did not get into this competition for a while and seems to learn the mistakes done by Amazon and google. As a result, the new product – HomePod – orders on which were opened on February 9, is positioned as “Breakthrough Wireless Speaker that Brings Audio Technologies Into Any Home for an Incredible Listening Experience”. If we chop this motto into pieces it may seem that the competition is not going to be with Amazon or Google, but with audio giants like Bose or JBL. However, in the context of the sales statistics for the home assistant devices and home and portable audio speakers it is clear that the last ones were true success stories and insanely profitable market worldwide. From investor perspective it also seems as a good idea for Apple to compete with this new product in audio industry which is close to the cornerstone products and services like Apple Music, iPod and iPhone. Apple definitely shows a nice strategic approach to this new product, although it does not forget about the Siri – that assistant which became part of the Apple fans’ lives and sometimes a subject for jokes. Official press release says: “With support for HomeKit, HomePod can control hundreds of home accessories or set scenes like, “Hey Siri, I’m home,” to control a number of different accessories at the same time.” It makes clear that the experience gained by the public so far shaped the demand for a specific home assistant functionality which is more of a control hub for already exiting devices scattered around your house, and it is more of a nice touch to have for a more desired primary need – set up a nice mood by turning up good musical vibes. It seems to be a nice entrance point to this market for Apple as a sovereign player and it seems a good move from strategic perspective which investors expect from the Apple management team.

Conclusion – Q1 2018 results released

Based on the press release of the results for the Q1 2018 one should be totally amazed by financials – revenue of $88.3 billion, an increase of 13 percent from the year-ago quarter and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $3.89, up 16 percent. However, if we look up closely to the summary data for the quarter we will see that the most contributing to the overall growth item from the products range is not the newest iPhone X, but “Other Products”[1] section – 36% growth in Q1 2018 comparing to Q1 2017. At the same time we can see that although sequential revenue growth of 68% from Q4 2017 to Q1 2018 is significant it achieved by 113% growth produced by iPhone X and 70% growth produced by Other Products”. iPad and Mac products demonstrated insignificant changes in revenues ranging from -4% to 21% and from -5% to 18% for quarterly sequential and Year-year comparables. Such performance does not seem bad for general public as the market for tablets and laptops are not that dynamic nowadays, but from a strategic perspective it could become a worrying sign of the main revenue drivers’ convergence to just smartphones and accessories like Apple Watch. However, this worrying signs are smoothed out by the introduction of HomePod which may contribute significantly to the Apple environment value proposition to current and potential customers, but also by the fact that Apple became one of the biggest beneficiaries of the current US tax reform. The fact that Apple decided to repatriate extreme amount of cash from overseas which becomes available for reinvestment on US soil and, potentially, for dividends payout accompanied by the company’s stock buy-back program gives strong potential for further freedom to spend it on R&D and M&A activities. The best way to give sense of how much cash became available to Apple belongs to Luca Maestri, Apple CFO: “We have plenty of financial flexibility, of course” and from the published financial statements we can understand that it literally means almost $285 billion. In overall, Apple’s stock performance over Q1 2018 and the period until the press release of the financial statements was above industry benchmarks, but started dropping starting from the middle of January with a slight spike up around the date of the press release.

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[Source: Yahoo Finance]

I Know First Forecast on Apple

As far as we have the release of the first quarter fiscal 2018 results of Apple at our disposal, I do believe that the company will continue to show increasing sales of the new iPhone X. However, there is a certain ambiguity around the other revenue drivers and the extent of dividends to be paid to the shareholders. As Tim Cook, Apple CEO mentioned at the annual shareholders meeting held on February 13, although the company has lots of available cash, but it is unlikely that all the amount will be spent in a form of special dividend. As far as it represents the strategic vision of the board on the activities of the company being aimed at investment into R&D and potentially M&A, one should not expect some quick win from the status of Apple shareholder. In my view, as of today the most of the value which shareholders needs to be expected within the long time horizon and we should expect the improvements due to conceptually new products, services and features being proposed as a result of the company’s investments. The I Know First forecast supports my opinion that in short term of 1 month the stock will be rather bullish than neutral with relatively significant predictability and is going to become even more bullish over 3 month 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

In May 22nd, 2016 Motek Moyen, a Senior Financial Analyst at I Know First, published an article about Berkshire Hathaway investing $1 billion into Apple Inc. shares just afterwards of Carl Icahn exit from the number of Apple’s shareholders. As per the reports of Berkshire Hathaway at that time it increased its holdings in Apple and went long on it with 23.3% shares. Motek’s bullish endorsement for Apple was backed by the positive algorithmic forecasts from I Know First. The 1 month, 3-month and 12-month algorithmic forecasts for AAPL were all positive.

Current I Know First subscribers received this bullish forecast of AAPL on May 22 nd, 2016.  

To subscribe today click here.

Since then, in accordance with the above I Know First forecast Apple’s stock price gained more than 70% in 1 year and continues to grow further as shown on the below graph:

Apple_1year[Source: Yahoo Finance]

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: 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 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.

 

Apple Stock News: AAPL Working Together with President Trump

Apple Stock News

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $120.08 on Monday, January 23, 2017 with a 0.07% gain, or $0.08 from its previous close of $120.00 per share.

Apple Stock News

(Source: https://goo.gl/F16dQF)

Apple is looking into an investment in the United States after President Trump’s message, “Buy American, Sell American,” is continuously emphasized. Apple Inc. CEO, Tim Cook, continued to show interest after meeting with the President, in which they discussed jobs and incentives. Included in their offer is lower corporate taxes and a discount for repatriation from overseas.

If Apple were to follow through on the plans, they would invest roughly $7 billion with their supplier Foxconn Technology Group to build a liquid crystal display (LCD) manufacturing plant in the United States. The Taiwanese manufacturer, Foxconn, is the biggest contract maker of electronics whose most popular customer is Apple, contributing to 50% of their sales. According to Nikkei Asian Review, Foxconn CEO, Terry Gou, has considered moving production to the U.S. due to improvements in information technology and productivity, and lower energy costs in the states. The panel display facility is expected to create up to 50,000 jobs for Americans which is likely to please President Trump. And to Apple’s benefit, the plant would allow them to update their apple products, including their Macs, iPads, and iMac desktops. The plant could also be forward thinking from Apple to build the next generation of smartphone screens. The United States is the second largest T.V. market, yet has no display factories, posing a huge opportunity for the technology duo.

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: Is Apple Inc. still Worth Investing In?

Apple Stock News

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $117.65 on Monday, October 24th, with a 0.90% increase, or $1.05 from its previous close of$116.60 per share.

Apple sales are on the decline for the last three quarters and is expected to continue declining in the fourth quarter. Sales have essentially slowed down since the release of the iPhone 7 in September. Apple, however; predicts that in 2017 with the release of the iPhone 8, sales will pick back up again. Apple is also taking advantage of the recent Galaxy Note 7 recall recently.

Apple Stock News

Although these predictions seem lackluster, Apple is not just a phone company. This week there are rumors that Apple will release a new MacBook Pro as well as a new iMac, both of which could increase sales tremendously. This will raise the attractiveness of Apple stock. Apple is one of the most innovative companies in the tech industry as we have seen for years. There is no end in sight so it may behoove investors to keep Apple stock in their portfolios.

Apple Stock News: IBM Favoring Macs Over PC

Apple Stock News

For the latest Apple Stock News, AAPL closed at $116.60 on Friday, October 21st, with a 0.39% loss, or $0.46 from its previous close of $117.06 per share.

Apple stock’s decreased after news of an iPhone 7 caught on fire late last week.  Hoping not to repeat Samsung’s dilemma of recalling 1.9 million Note 7, Apple is launching an investigation.

Apple Stock News

Multinational technology company, IBM is undergoing a cost savings plan.  IBM will transition its work force to use more Mac computers than PCs.  IBM vice-president, Fletcher Previn, reveals Apple products cost less to support compared to PCs.  In a span of 4 years, a PC could cost IBM up to $535 per device compared to $270 for a Mac.  Among IBM’s 90,000 out of 604,000 laptops are Macs.  IBM found only 5% of Apple users contacting its support team, compared to 40% of PC users.  This means Apple appears to be more user friendly and IBM is forced employ a larger support team for PC users.  If IBM transitions its workforce to use more user friendly Apple products, it would reduce cost.  As a result, IBM is currently adding 1,300 Macs per week to undergo the transition.  Apple is also growing in popularity among IBM employees in mobile devices.  A majority of IBM’s mobile devices are run by iOS.  The employees preference and cost benefit for IBM using Apple products will benefit Apple’s position in increasing market 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: Trade-In Program Expanded

Apple Stock News

Apple has now officially expanded its trade-in program to include non-Apple devices, as rumors hinted at months earlier. The company will now let customers trade in Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone smartphones in exchange for credit towards an iPhone. The trade-in program is limited to several smartphone models made by Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, Blackberry, and Nokia.

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The Reuse and Recycling Program allows customers to receive credit towards the immediate purchase of an iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, or iPhone 6 Plus, and the credit value depends on the age and condition of the device traded in. Customers are also now able to trade in their PC for credit towards a new Mac. The credit cannot be used for an Apple Watch, however. Consumers can begin the process either online or in one of Apple’s first-party retail stores.

The trade-in program is the latest in a series of steps Apple has taken to lure Android users in recent months. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus drove the highest Android switch rate of any iPhone launch in the last three years. The timing of this program happens to coincide with the launch of Samsung’s new flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. These phones will launch around the world on April 10th, and Apple is hoping to get users to upgrade to the new iPhone from the Galaxy S5 instead of to the new Samsung device.

AAPL Stock News: Should Apple lower its prices to keep its top-spot?

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AAPL Stock News

Many analysts are concerned with Apple’s future: since iPhones and iPads are its top-selling products, what would happen if people stopped buying them because of their prices ? Indeed, Android’s products are way cheaper than Apple’s devices when they offer the same quality and user-experience: Android’s prices are generally at least 50% cheaper than Apple’s.

As the smartphone market is evoluting toward less expensive devices, some are starting to wonder how long will it take for people to stop buying iPhones ? 84.6% of Apple’s worldwide smartphones shipments during the second quarter of 2014 were above $200, whereas 61.4% of Microsoft’s shipments were below $200 in the same period according to IDC. 

Yet, if you take a look at Mac sales, you can see that higher prices don’t necessarily mean lower sales. Mac computers have been outperforming Apple’s PC competitors for years now, even though they are more expensive. In fact, Mac’s shipments are still growing, they’re up 18% on a year-over-year basis for the last quarter. Mac sales are overall the best indicator of both the iPhone and the iPad’s pricing strategy.

 

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