Analyst Shaw Wu expects “vintage conservative” guidance from Apple ahead of their quarterly earnings report this Thursday. While he still expects Apple to have a big holiday quarter, he believes that Apple will partially absorb quality control costs associated with the iPhone 5.
Beyond the iPhone 5, Wu believes that Apple’s margins will also be pushed lower by the anticipated launch of a smaller 7.85-inch iPad. He expects Apple will sell its so-called “iPad mini” at lower margins than the full-size iPad, at least initially, allowing the company to achieve a lower price point and take on competitors like the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7
Wu expects Apple to sell 25-26 million iPhones, 16.5 million iPads, and 4.8 million Macs. Wu believes Apple’s near-term gross margins will be between 40.5 percent and 41.5 percent, slightly lower than Wallstreet’s estimate.
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Photos purportedly depicting a rear shell for the iPad mini have surfaced online, reports Apple.pro. Notably, the shell does not feature a camera hole and its authenticity cannot be verified; however, we’ve posted them for discussion.
Earlier today the Apple vs. Samsung trial revealed that by January 2011, Steve Jobs was ‘very receptive‘ to the idea of a 7-inch tablet.
With the New York Times, the WSJ and Bloomberg all ‘confirming‘ that Apple will announce an iPad mini this year we should start seeing leaked parts soon.
Read More [via MacRumors]
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The much rumored iPad mini will be produced in Brazil; although, testing to collect data for the cutting machine has already been done in China, reports Macotakara.
Citing a ‘reliable source’ the production phase for the new iPad will begin in September and the tablet will ship in time for the holidays. The iPad mini appears to have a 3G model; however, their sources says not all carriers are found in the list of resellers.
This source, who seems to look a prototype, told that new tablet (iPad mini?) had same height with Nexus 7 and slight larger width. Even though front projection size is larger than rivals, thickness of that new tablet is considered to be thinner than current most thinnest tablet Kindle Fire, and to be similar with iPod touch (4th generation) by this source.
Both the WSJ and Bloomberg have also reported that Apple intends to launch an iPad mini this year.
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Goldman Sachs’ analyst Bill Shope values Apple’s iPhone and iPad customer base at $295 billion based on the results of a two part study.
Shope began by calculating the cost of switching from iOS to a competing platform and then he conducted a survey of 1,000 iPhone and iPad customers to find out how much of a discount a competitor would have to offer them to switch.
FORTUNE outlines the key takeaways:
● iOS users are a loyal bunch. 94% are likely or highly likely to stick with Apple for their next smartphone or tablet. More than one in five said there isn’t a discount high enough to persuade them to switch.
● It costs a lot to switch. The explicit switching cost (to replace music, apps, etc.) comes to an average of $122 to $301 per device. The implicit switching costs (the “pain in the neck factor,” losing Apple’s better-than-average customer service, etc.) make the platform even stickier.
● Installed base matters. Shope estimates that by Saturday (when Apple’s third fiscal quarter ends), the installed base of iOS units will exceed 281 million, up 72% from the same quarter last year. Using a blended average selling price reduced by Apple’s gross margin, platform erosion etc., he calculates that the lifetime value to Apple of each iOS customer is $1,053.
● Apple’s greatest value is its customer base. Multiplying 281 million by $1,053, Shope gets a value for Apple’s installed base of roughly $295 billion. That’s about 55% of Apple’s current market capitalization. And that, he adds, “is before taking into consideration Apple’s $110 billion cash balance, the rapid growth of the installed base, the value of the Macintosh and traditional iPod businesses, and the related content, services and peripherals streams.”
Goldman Sachs has a 12-month target on Apple of $850.
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Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster asked an iPhone 1,600 questions, 800 on the busy streets of Minneapolis, 800 in a quiet room, in order to compare the performance of Google vs. Siri, reports FORTUNE.
Analyzing the results, Munster estimated that Siri is more than two years behind Google giving it a grade D compared to B+ for Google.
Notably, Siri uses Google to answer 60% of its queries. The rest of the answers are divided as follows: 20% of from Yelp, 14% from WolframAlpha, 4% from Yahoo and 2% from Wikipedia.
“Breaking down Siri’s reliance further,” Munster writes, “Google provides 100% of navigation results, 61% of information results, 48% of commerce results and 42% of local results. Among other result aggregators, Yelp provided the most local results (51%) and commerce results (51%), while WolframAlpha provided 34% of information results.”
● Google understands 100% of the questions (not surprisingly, since they are keyed in)
● Google replies accurately 86% of the time
● Siri comprehends 83% of queries in noisy conditions, 89% in a quiet room
● Siri answers accurately 62% of the time on the street and 68% in a quiet room.
COMMON SIRI MISTAKES:
● What team does Peyton Manning play for? Responded with the answer to the previous query. This was the most common error.
● Where is Elvis buried? Responded I can’t answer that for you. It thought the persons name was Elvis Buried.
● Where am I? Pin dropped in the wrong place.
● When did the movie Cinderella come out? Responded with a movie theater search on Yelp.
● How do I get from Boston to New York? Responded I can only give directions from your current location. I cant give you directions to a place you are not in.
● What spices are in Lasagna? Responded with a Yelp search with lasagna on the menu.
● When is the next Haley’s comment? Responded “You have no meetings matching Haley’s”
● I want to go to Lake Superior? Responded with directions to the company Lake Superior X-Ray.
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Facebook has reportedly hired more than half a dozen former Apple software and hardware engineers to help it build a smartphone, according to the New York Times.
The smartphone will be Facebook’s third attempt at a mobile device, says the report.
“In 2010, the blog TechCrunch reported that Facebook was working on a smartphone. The project crumbled after the company realized the difficulties involved, according to people who had worked on it. The Web site AllThingsD reported last year that Facebook and HTC had entered a partnership to create a smartphone, code-named “Buffy,” which is still in the works.”
Facebook is said to be expanding the ‘Buffy’ project by bringing in hardware engineers who have experience building a device.
One engineer who formerly worked at Apple and worked on the iPhone said he met with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, who then peppered him with questions about the inner workings of smartphones. It did not sound like idle intellectual curiosity, the engineer said; Mr. Zuckerberg asked about intricate details, including the types of chips used, he said. Another former Apple hardware engineer was recruited by a Facebook executive and was told about the company’s hardware explorations.
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Google and Motorola have been ordered to provide Apple with data about the development of the Android operating system by a U.S. judge, reports Bloomberg.
The two companies are also ordered to provide Apple with information about the pending acquisition of Motorola by Google.
U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner in Chicago made the ruling as part of a patent lawsuit filed in 2010 by Apple against Motorola.
“Motorola shall be expected to obtain full and immediate compliance by Google with Apple’s liability discovery demands,” the judge said
Motorola argued that “Google’s employees and documents are not within the ‘possession, custody, or control’ of Motorola, and Motorola cannot force Google to produce documents or witnesses over Google’s objections.” However, Apple maintained that “the Android/Motorola acquisition discovery is highly relevant to Apple’s claims and defenses.”
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It was in July 2010, the United States government ruled that the jailbreaking and unlocking of Apple iPhones, as well as the rooting of Android devices was to be deemed a legal act, as long as the process wasn’t being carried out with the intention of circumventing copyright. We ran with an article directly after the ruling was made which outlined the full details of the new DMCA legislation which once and for all set to rest the misconceptions surrounding the legalities of jailbreaking a device
Obviously, the court’s decision to rule the act of jailbreaking as entirely legal was a major blow for Apple, considering they have invested so much time and money into making their devices and operating systems as secure as possible, and have always been public advocates for making jailbreaking an unlawful act. Apple understandably remained tight lipped on the situation at the time, choosing to make a short statement, which drew attention to the fact that jailbreaking, whilst officially legal, would still void any official Apple warranties:
Apple’s goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience. As we’ve said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.
It seems like yesterday when we were mulling all over the court’s decision, and reading the updated DMCA ruling which allowed millions of jailbreak fans to rest easy that they weren’t law breakers. But it seems as if that time is coming around again, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) lobbying for users to add their electronic voice to a petition which aims to ask the United States government to declare once again that jailbreaking an iPhone does not violate the DMCA. The EFF are also asking for this initial exemption, which is set to expire, to be extended to cover tablet devices as the Apple’s iPad is not currently covered in the original ruling.
Well known iOS developer, Charlie Miller, is an advocate for this change and has been alerting his Twitter followers to the petition, directing them to the EFF website to add their voice. A recent tweet by Miller makes a public plea for users to head on over to the online petition:
Judging by his follow up tweet, it would appear that a number of his followers believe that the previous ruling is permanent, and that no further action is needed to be taken, but Miller has been quick to point out that this simply isn’t the case. So just why should people care whether or not the exemption was inserted into Digital Millennium Copyright Act expires or not? Well, first of all, the recent download and usage statistics which relate to the new Absinthe jailbreak tool clearly show that jailbreaking is not only still popular, but is a thriving and expanding community. Not only do we need to think about the end users who pay a large premium for the device and should ultimately have the freedom to do whatever they want with it, within the realms of the law, but a growing number of developers actually make their living from the software and tweaks which they sell on Cydia.
To allow this exemption to expire, and cast the world of jailbreaking back into the dark days would not only be a huge regressive step, but would also play a huge part in killing off innovation and development talent which we have seen flourish in the last eighteen months.
To make your voice heard, you can head on over to the Electronic Frontier Foundation website and send your comments to the Copyright Office using the links provided. All comments must be received by February 10th at 5PM Eastern Time.
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After an unruly crowd disrupted the release of Apple’s iPhone 4S at its flagship location in Beijing, Apple has decided to postpone the sale of its best-selling handset at its official retail locations in China, though the device will still be available through its carrier partner and authorized resellers [updated].
Update: Apple has confirmed in a statement to AllThingsD that it will delay sales of the iPhone 4S at retail locations in Beijing and Shanghai.
“The demand for iPhone 4S has been incredible, and our stores in China have already sold out,” an Apple spokesperson told the publication. “Unfortunately we were unable to open our store at Sanlitun due to the large crowd, and to ensure the safety of our customers and employees, iPhone will not available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being. Customers can still order iPhone through the Apple Online Store, or buy at China Unicom and other authorized resellers.”
Apple retail staff at the Sanlitun Apple Store in Beijing put signs out Friday afternoon with a note saying, “This store will not be selling the iPhone in the recent future.”
Apple had previously announced that the iPhone 4S would go on sale at its Sanlitun retail store in Beijing at 7AM local time (6PM Eastern), but altercations between scalpers and line-waiters have allegedly delayed the launch. As of 8AM, the store had yet to open.
The imminent launch of Apple’s latest handset in China had attracted thousands of customers outside the company’s five stores throughout the country. Security barricades had originally been set up to manage the crowd at the Sanlitun store earlier in the week, but they were taken down sometime on Thursday night or Friday morning.
One journalist on location in Beijing claimed that Apple had canceled the launch because fights had broken out during the night, while some crowd members claimed Apple would take orders for the iPhone 4S at the store on Friday without distributing the devices.
Groups of professional line-waiters and scalpers could be seen congregating outside the store early Friday. As the 7AM launch time came and went without Apple opening its doors, a number of them became disgruntled. Shouts of “Open the door!” rang periodically rang throughout the crowd. At one point, a group of unhappy line-waiters left shouting profanities at Apple. Several individuals were forcefully escorted away by security officials, though it was not immediately clear why they were being removed.
Bloomberg reported on Friday that some angry customers pelted the Apple Store with eggs after it was revealed that the device would not go on sale. According to the publication, the Apple Store in the Pudong district of Shanghai opened an hour early and has begun selling the iPhone 4S.
The 16GB iPhone 4S is selling for 4,988RMB ($790) on Apple China’s online store, while the 32GB and 64GB models sell for 5,888RMB and 6,788RMB, respectively. Estimated shipping time is currently two weeks. China Unicom is also offering iPhone 4S for free with a multi-year contract on plans starting at 286RMB ($45).
The well-organized secondary market in Beijing has led to conflicts at the Sanlitun store in the past. Last year, the release of the iPad 2 and white iPhone 4 was marred by an incident that resulted in a broken glass door and several injuries.
In addition to China, Apple is scheduled to launch the iPhone 4S in 21 more countries on Friday
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