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Analyst Says iPhone 6s Will Have A Luxe Rose Gold Option

rose-gold-iphone6 Apple’s next iPhone (likely the ‘iPhone 6s’ if it keeps with recent naming conventions) could come in a luxury rose gold finish, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via AppleInsider). The analyst, who has a good track record of calling Apple product plans ahead of their official announcement, shared info about the rose gold option in a research note today, and… Read More

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Darrell Etherington

May 12th




Best Apple analyst posts AAPL Q1-Q2 estimates: Macs shine, iPads disappoint, iPhone has peaked, 3.8M Watches


KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the few analysts we feel credible, has his Apple numbers ready for Q1 2015. The analyst projects iPhone, iPad, and Mac shipments to be 58.2 million, 10.1 million, and 4.5 million respectively. He also estimates that Apple Watch shipments are currently at 631,000 units.

Kuo believes that iPhone shipments have peaked and that Apple will see a quarter over quarter decline of 21.8 percent in Q1 and an 11.6 percent quarter over quarter decline in Q2 for shipments of 51.4 million, which would still represent a record quarter for the company. The morale of the story here is that Apple is still selling a lot of phones and there’s no need to worry yet.

iPhone shipments have peaked. We estimate iPhone shipments to decline 21.8% QoQ to 58.2mn units in 1Q15, milder than the seasonal pattern. While we look for QoQ decline of 11.6% to 51.4mn units for 2Q15, still better than seasonality, we believe shipments doesn’t just mean market demand but also partly represents pulled-in 3Q15 orders from Apple. Coupled with slowing shipments from the peak, we are neutral on iPhone supply chain shares.

Next, Kuo anticipates that iPad shipments will decline 52.7 percent quarter over quarter to 10.1 million units un Q1, while shipments in Q2 2015 will decline 28.5 percent quarter over quarter to 7.2 million units. Kuo attributes these “lackluster” numbers more to industry structural challenges than to slow seasonability. Earlier this year, we broke down 10 reasons why Apple is to blame for the decline in iPad sales. Those reasons seem more poignant now than ever.

Regarding the Mac, Kuo says it will be an area of significant growth for Apple. For Q1, Kuo estimates shipments of 4.5 million units, which is a quarter over quarter decline of 17.5 percent. Heading into Q2, however, the analyst predicts a 21.5 percent increase to 5.5 million thanks to the new 12-inch MacBook and back to school demand.

We see a positive outlook for Mac. We look for QoQ decline of 17.5% to 4.5mn units for Mac shipments in 1Q15 and 21.5% QoQ growth to 5.5mn units in 2Q15 on new product attraction and back-to-school demand. We are positive on Mac supply chain shares on stronger shipments momentum than the PC sector average.

Finally, Kuo echoes his sentiments from earlier this month, saying that it’s too early to tell if the Apple Watch will be a success. He believes that, at this point, most of the buyers are hardcore Apple fans, not the average consumer. Kuo estimates shipments at 631,000 units so far, which is far less than the expected 2-3 million units. Kuo cites labor shortages and inadequate production of the haptic feedback vibrator and AMOLED display. For Q2, Kuo estimates 3.8 million Apple Watch shipments.

Apple is set to hold its quarterly earnings call on April 27th.

Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, iOS Devices, Mac Tagged: analyst, Apple watch, iPad, iPhone, KGI, Mac, sales

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Chance Miller

April 26th



Analyst Gene Munster guesses Watch pricing, thinks only 10,000 Editions will be sold in the first year

Apple Watch Price Guessing

Spotted: Analyst guessing Apple Watch pricing.

Analyst Gene Muster, from Piper Jaffray, has today posted a report with his predictions about Apple Watch pricing. Munster believes that Apple will improve overall margins through the sale of bands. This makes a lot of sense, especially considering Apple Retail SVP Angela Ahrendts is calling out ‘accessories’ as a key area for retail in the coming months.

Munster believes that the Apple Watch Sport will cost $349 (no surprises there). He says the Apple Watch — the one made out of stainless steel with a sapphire crystal screen — will cost around $500 with additional bands pushing the average selling price up to $650, which happens to be the current ASP of Apple’s iPhone units. Munster also estimates the Edition will start at $4999, despite general consensus sitting closer to $10,000. Munster is relatively bearish on Apple Watch Edition sales, suggesting that Apple will only sell 10,000 units in the first year to take only a small fraction of the expensive watch market.

Obviously, these numbers are little more than educated guesswork. Almost like throwing a dart at a dartboard.

We’ll find out for certain on March 9th whether Munster happens to be right. As we discussed earlier, there is also the slim possibility Munster’s claims about a revamped Apple TV offering may finally come true as well.

Filed under: Apple Watch, iOS Devices Tagged: analyst, Apple watch, dartboard, edition, Gene Munster, guesswork, pricing

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Benjamin Mayo

March 3rd



Unlikely scenario: Analyst Peter Misek says Apple wants to raise iPhone 6 prices by as much as $100


Analyst Peter Misek, via StreetInsider, is saying that Apple is looking to raise iPhone 6 prices by as much as $100. Misek claims that Apple has been actively negotiating the increase with carrier partners.

Misek says that Apple can leverage the iPhone 6′s market power to force carrier’s hands. He says that carriers believe the iPhone 6 will be the only headline-worthy phone this year and that carriers need the iPhone to retain subscribers.

But we think this general lack of differentiation could be the reason why Apple may be able to get a price increase. Carriers realize that the iPhone 6 will likely be the only headline-worthy high-end phone launched this year and that they will lose subs if they do not offer it.”

Misek says that a $50 increase in average selling prices for the next-generation iPhone could increase Apple’s EPS by 11%.

An ASP increase could offset iPhone 6 gross margin headwind, according to Misek. “Our prelim iPhone 6 BOM est indicates GM could be up to 450bp lower than the 5s (pricier display/AP partially offset by general 5%-10% price concessions),” he notes. “Our current estimates assume a 430bp decline, which we feel is conservative unless some of the components run into yield issues. We estimate a $50 ASP increase on the iPhone 6 would raise GM by 375bp and $100 by 700bp so a $50 ASP increase would offset most of the iPhone 6 COGS pressure.”

Misek said a $50 iPhone 6 ASP increase would raise revenues EPS by 2%/11% and a $100 increase by 6%/24%.

Whilst it is true that the iPhone has staggering market power, it is hard to believe that Apple will up prices away from the norms they have established over the past seven years. In fact, the trend recently has been that Apple needs to lower prices for iPhones, not raise them, as demonstrated by Apple’s introduction of the iPhone 5c last year.

As StreetInsider notes, raising prices will likely hurt sales of unlocked iPhones — a purchase method that is steadily increasing in popularity.

Misek’s track record with Apple predictions is also not great by any measure. The analyst has claimed multiple times that the iTV is on the horizon. More recently, he said that the iPhone 5s will come in eight different colours, feature NFC and launch in June.

With the possible introduction of two iPhone 6 models (both 4.7inch and a 5.5inch variants) it is possible that the larger iPhone may come with a higher price point to match. However, at this point it is really hard to believe that Apple will budge from the base $99/$199 price points it has instated for the last several years.

Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: analyst, EPS, iPhone 6, iPhone prices, iTV, NFC, Peter Misek, StreetInsider

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Benjamin Mayo

April 14th



Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects A7-based Apple TV in 2014, television set in 2015-2016

Ever since hearing that Steve Jobs had “cracked” the TV industry, Apple fans have been waiting for the day the company would release an actual television set. For now, Apple has given us the Apple TV set-top box, but some analysts now believe that Apple is gearing up to deliver an actual television in the next few years. Ming-Chi Kuo today noted that an updated Apple TV box running on Apple’s new A7 processor is expected in 2014, with an actual television set to follow in 2015 or 2016. The prediction also includes a warning that Apple TV sales will be limited unless Apple can find a way to integrate new TV services and content.

We expect Apple to launch a new version of the Apple TV with an A7 processor in 2014, and we forecast 2014 shipments to total 8.2mn units. Shipment growth will be limited unless Apple is able to integrate more TV content, services and its App Store, in our view.
We believe the slowdown in Apple TV shipments suggests Apple faces challenges in integrating TV content and services. If Apple wants to launch iTV, the challenges of integrating content and service are more difficult considering the different TV content ecosystems (e.g. cable operators) in various countries. Moreover, establishing an iTV supply chain is very costly. Thus we believe iTV launch will be delayed to end-2015 or early 2016 at the earliest.

Gene Munster said today that he also believes we will see an Apple-created television set soon, though his estimate puts the release in 2014. Other analysts have previously said that 2014 will be the year of wearable devices and that the “iTV” has been pushed back to accommodate that change in direction.

For 2014, an updated set-top box with faster hardware seems much more likely. 9to5Mac previously reported that such an update is already in development. That’s not to say that Apple isn’t exploring a television set. Last year the company was granted a patent for a TV navigation system and DVR. Before that they were rumored to be investigating voice-controlled systems for controlling a TV with an iCloud-powered recorder, which they later patented.

All of these developments seem to corroborate the idea that Apple is indeed working on a television set, but don’t expect to see anything next year. Ming-Chi Kuo’s prediction of a 2015-2016 release seems like a much more likely timeline.

Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: analyst, Apple TV, iTV, Munster, television

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Mike Beasley

November 13th



Are iPhone 5c sales low or supplies high?

Image: abcnews.com

Image: abcnews.com

KGI’s Mingchi Kuo, an analyst with a solid track-record, and the man who came closest (almost) to calling opening weekend sales of the iPhone, now believes Apple shipped ‘just’ 11.4M iPhone 5c handsets in September, rather than the 17M he had earlier forecast, reports Business Insider.

Kuo is now estimating Apple shipped 11.4 million 5Cs in the September quarter, a 33% drop from his original estimate. He also says he expects 5C sales to be just 10.4 million units for the December quarter, a 10% sequential drop.

This makes some sense of the rampant discounting seen on the 5C (which actually started at Walmart before launch), but doesn’t necessarily mean that iPhone sales as a whole are down … 

While it seems clear that Apple and other outlets over-estimated early demand for the 5c despite limiting TV advertising to the cheaper of the two models, continuing stock shortages of the 5s suggest that this has been balanced by Apple under-estimating demand for the more expensive handset.

Apple is not expected to announce the breakdown of sales between the 5C and 5S but we’ll find out whether momentum from the record-breaking start has been maintained when Apple reports its Q4 earnings on 28th October.

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Ben Lovejoy

October 11th



KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo provides details on new iPads coming in Q4

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Ben Lovejoy

September 5th



More reports claim next iPhone to include fingerprint tech, could lead to launch delays

Fingerprint-scannerBrian White, Topeka Capital’s Apple analyst that previously gave some quite out there predictions for an Apple TV with “iRing”, today is saying that his recent checks with suppliers in Asia indicate Apple will include fingerprint sensor tech in the next iPhone. For what it’s worth, White says it could be the flagship feature of the 5S like Siri was with iPhone 4S. That’s something we predicted earlier in our “S” iPhone piece (via BusinessInsider):

White says, “we believe fingerprint identification technology will be part of the iPhone 5S and this is likely to be the major new feature used to market the iPhone 5S, similar to what Siri was to the iPhone 4S.”

I know… It’s a rumor that we’ve heard many times before, but now another analyst that often has accurate information is saying that same fingerprint tech could be the source of delays for the next-gen iPhone.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has changed his previous predictions regarding product launches for iPhone, iPad, iPod citing a number of challenges with suppliers and the development of new features including the implementation of fingerprint technology in iPhone (via MacRumors):

Earlier we estimated that shipments of the new iPhone would begin in July (FDD version) and September (TDD version), while iPad mini 2 would hit the market in August. Currently, market consensus for shipments of iPhone 5S, low-cost iPhone and iPad mini 2 is July, July, and August, respectively. But in light of publicly available information and our knowledge of technological trends, we now think all three products will begin shipments later than our previous expectation and market consensus.

While Kuo, who previously laid out his roadmap for 2013, doesn’t provide new estimates for when the devices might ship, he does say that apple is facing challenges with finding the right color coatings that work with the fingerprint sensor rumored to be included in the next iPhone, and “technical challenges” related to the manufacturing of a Retina display for a second generation iPad mini. Needlessly to say we’ll be checking back in this summer to see how accurate these analysts reports have been.

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Jordan Kahn

April 12th



App Store race sees Google leading downloads while Apple wins revenues


New data from tech analysts Canalys (via TechCrunch) shows Google leading downloads, with Google Play accounting for 51 percent of the market against Apple’s 40 percent, but Apple well ahead in monetisation, taking 74 percent against “close to 20 percent” for Google.

Q1 2013 app store downloads across the four main players (Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store and Blackberry World) grew 11% over on the previous quarter to hit 13.3 billion, while sales revenues grew 9% to reach $2.2 billion.

‘Apple’s App Store and Google Play remain the heavyweights in the app store world. In comparison, BlackBerry World and the Windows Phone Store remain distant challengers today, though they still should not be ignored,’ said Tim Shepherd, Canalys Senior Analyst.

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Ben Lovejoy

April 9th




Analyst: Apple HDTV coming this year with ‘iRing’ motion controller & ‘mini iTV’ second screen experience


iRing concept by Victor Soto (via YankoDesign)

We’ve seen predictions for an Apple HDTV and a revamped Apple TV experience come and go over the last couple of years. Analysts have predicted several times since as far back as 2011 that we’d see Apple introduce its own full-fledged TV set by the end of the year, and the most vocal analyst, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, was still calling for a full HDTV by the end of the year with an innovative new remote control last we checked in. Today, in a note that sounds like it should have been scheduled for an April 1 release, another analyst has backed Munster’s claims that Apple will launch a full TV set (not a set-top box) in the second half of 2013.

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White issued a note to clients today, following checks with supply chain sources in Asia (via BGR), claiming Apple’s “iTV” project will launch this year in 50- to 60-inch variants and come with a ring-shaped motion controller dubbed, get this, “iRing”:

The “iTV” ecosystem represents a major innovation for the $100 billion LCD TV industry that will revolutionize the TV experience forever, in our view. First of all, we believe “iTV” will be 60-inches in size (but could also include 50-55 inch options). Secondly, we believe Apple will release a miniature device called “iRing” that will be placed on a user’s finger and act as a navigation pointer for “iTV”, enhancing the motion detection experience and negating some of the functionality found in a remote.

White continued by saying Apple will include a “mini iTV” with iTV that will allow users to have a second-screen experience on a smaller, iPad-sized display:

Thirdly, “iTV” will come with a “mini iTV” screen that will seamlessly allow users to view content on this smaller, 9.7-inch screen, while also opening up use cases around home security, phone calls, video conferencing and other areas. As part of this experience, Siri and FaceTime will be important. Essentially, we believe the “mini iTV” screens will be able to capture content from the 60-inch “iTV” across a distance of up to 200 meters, allowing a user to view “iTV” content in the kitchen, washroom, garage, bedroom, backyard, etc.

The one “mini iTV” display, which sounds like a scaled-back iPad hardware of sorts, will apparently come bundled with the iTV, but customers will be able to pay extra to upgrade up to four screens. White noted “the capabilities and features will be very basic and thus not an iPad replacement,” so it’s unclear what that means for the “mini iTV” in terms of functioning as a standalone tablet, but we’re not exactly buying it.

White’s last prediction: iWatch will play an “important role” in the new platform (surprise). Customers will also have to hand over between $1,500 and $2,500 for the iTV, but he claimed there is a possibility the device could be subsidized:

Furthermore, we believe “iWatch” will be an important part of the “iTV” ecosystem, tapping into “iTV” services in a much more mobile friendly manner, complementing the “iRing”. The interaction between “iTV” and making phone calls will be an important feature of this experience, while the “iWatch” and “iRing” will provide increased mobility around the home, supplanting the need to carry a smartphone around the house. Finally, we believe consumers will pay approximately $1,500 to $2,500 for the “iTV” package. The price will be based on the number of “mini iTV” screens in the package and the screen size of the “iTV”. Also, we are being told that “iTV” could be subsidized by certain service providers to expand the market opportunity.

Most of White’s intel today seems to line up with past predictions from analysts, including mentions that the next iPhone will include fingerprint sensor tech. Previous reports claimed components in the 46- to 55-inch range were currently in testing, while the price and motion controller predictions have also been discussed previously.

One interesting aspect of White’s note is the second-screen experience. It’s unclear if these devices would be scaled-back iPad hardware or simply iPads bundled with the iTV alongside dedicated apps, but we definitely expect the second screen/Airplay experience for iPhone and iPad users to play a big role in Apple’s new TV platform. As for whether an Apple HDTV with iRing will really launch later this year, your guess is about as good as White’s.

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Jordan Kahn

April 3rd


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