Now is a great time to bet on Apple, says Goldman Sachs

Stocks have been getting crushed all year, but according to Goldman Sachs, now is the perfect time to starting betting on Apple options. Goldman Sachs’ options team has pointed out that Apple options prices are especially low right now compared to the the S&P 500, making it a great target for purchasing a ‘straddle’, which […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Now is a great time to bet on Apple, says Goldman Sachs

Can TAG Heuer help Android Wear defeat Apple Watch?

When it comes to smartwatch sales, Apple Watch has well and truly embarrassed the entire Android Wear ecosystem, even though it hasn’t spent anywhere near as long on the market. But with Google’s platform getting a high-profile supporter this week, is it time for change? TAG Heuer’s new Connected is the first smartwatch from a luxury […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Can TAG Heuer help Android Wear defeat Apple Watch?

Apple Expanding R&D Center in Sweden to Work on ‘Advanced Mapping Technology’

A new report today from Swedish news service Rapidus (via Tech.eu) claims that Apple has been quietly increasing its presence in Lund, Sweden with a focus on an „advanced mapping technology“ that aims to further improve Apple Maps . The company is reportedly working out of a new R&D center in the city said to have launched last November.

Now, a report from news agency Rapidus claims Apple has been quietly ramping up its operations in Lund, a city near Malmö in Sweden, where it is apparently working on ‘advanced mapping technology’. Reports that Apple had set up a relatively secretive R&D center in Lund first surfaced in November last year, but it’s always been unclear what was being worked on over there.

The news today points toward continued improvements for Apple Maps, which is currently seeing a significant amount of investment from Apple. The company has in recent months expanded its fleet of vans surveying streets around the United States and other countries with a variety of sensors. Apple confirmed over the summer that the data collected from the vehicles will be used to improve Apple Maps in the future, likely with street-level imagery similar to Google’s Street View.



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Apple Expanding R&D Center in Sweden to Work on ‘Advanced Mapping Technology’

Apple Appears to Have Ditched Plans for 4-Inch ‘iPhone 6c’ in 2015

While several reports since last December claimed that Apple was planning to release a new 4-inch „iPhone 6c“ as a low-cost option alongside the so-called „iPhone 6s“ and „iPhone 6s Plus“ later this year, Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri recently told investors that supply chain evidence of the rumored smartphone has seemingly disappeared since around March.

Arcuri, in a research note obtained by Business Insider, speculates that Apple may have delayed or dropped plans to release the „iPhone 6c“ due to concerns that the budget smartphone would cannibalize the iPhone 6, which has experienced record-breaking sales and could continue to be a hot product for Apple if given a price reduction alongside the „iPhone 6s“ and „iPhone 6s Plus“ in September.

„I think one of the reasons is because the iPhone 6 has sold so well,“ Arcuri said. „And they said, ‘Look, why would we want to cannibalize? If we came out with an iPhone 6C, we would essentially cannibalize a price-reduced iPhone 6.'“

Arcuri believed that the „iPhone 6c“ would essentially be iPhone 6 hardware shrunken down to the size of an iPhone 5s, including an all-metal unibody that would differentiate itself from the plastic iPhone 5c released in 2013. Investment banking firm Jefferies predicted in late June that a 4-inch metal „iPhone 6c“ will be released in early 2016, but that timing appears questionable.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a note to investors in April that claimed a new 4-inch iPhone was unlikely in 2015, and a few weeks later said that Apple is instead likely to release a new 4-inch iPhone with Apple Pay compatibility in 2016. Kuo said that Foxconn will be the primary manufacturer of the low-cost handset, but Apple’s product roadmap could have changed since that time.

Apple frequently tests new products and services internally that are never released, so it is entirely possible that the company never planned to make the „iPhone 6c“ available to the public. Sketchy rumors and leaked images of the purported „iPhone 6c“ shell – notably plastic – began picking up in December, but few concrete details about the rumored smartphone have surfaced since that time.



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Apple Appears to Have Ditched Plans for 4-Inch ‘iPhone 6c’ in 2015

Apple Predicted to Beat Expectations in Third Quarter on Strong iPhone Sales and Growth in China

Less than one week before Apple’s third quarter fiscal results are released on July 21 at 2:00 PM Pacific, multiple research firms and analysts have released earnings previews for the three-month period ending June 30. The consensus is that Apple will report another quarterly earnings beat based on stronger than expected iPhone sales and continued year-over-year growth in China.

Apple provided third quarter guidance of revenue between $46 billion and $48 billion, gross margin between 38.5% and 39.5%, operating expenses between $5.65 billion and $5.75 billion and other expenses of $350 million, while the consensus among analysts was an EPS of $1.79. Apple is expected to beat both that guidance, which is purposefully conservative, and street expectations.

Wall Street and Silicon Valley analyst Neil Cybart published his 3Q15 earnings preview on Above Avalon, predicting Apple earned $50.9 billion revenue, with a gross margin of 40.9% and $1.97 earnings per share (EPS), based on sales of 49.3 million iPhones, 10.1 million iPads, 4.9 million Macs, 4.3 million Apple Watches and $9.3 billion from other products and services.

Creative Strategies principal analyst Ben Bajarin estimates that Apple Watch worldwide sales were 4.7 million during the June quarter, topping the roughly 1.1 million iPhones and 3.3 million iPads sold in their respective launch quarters. Bajarin’s estimate is based on supply chain output tracked by his market research firm, and is 400,000 units higher than Above Avalon’s estimate.

Apple has not publicly disclosed any official Apple Watch sales figures to date, and will be grouping the wrist-worn device under its „Other Products“ category in quarterly earnings reports. The combined category includes sales of iPod, Apple TV, Beats Electronics and Apple-branded and third-party accessories, which will inevitably lead to predictions about how many Apple Watches make up the total units sold.

Investment banking company UBS also forecasts that Apple will have above-consensus earnings results based on a higher iPhone average selling price (ASP) estimate of $660 vs $636. The firm predicts Apple will report $52.5 billion revenue, with a gross margin of 40.9% and $2.00 EPS, based on sales of 51 million iPhones, 10.6 million iPads and 3 million Apple Watches.

RBC Capital Markets is more conservative with its estimates, expecting that Apple will report $49.3 billion revenue, with a gross margin of 39.3% and $1.78 EPS, based on sales of 46.5 million iPhones, 11.3 million iPads and 4.6 million Macs. The firm did not estimate Apple Watch sales and expects scrutiny from investors in regards to Apple’s iPhone unit sales globally, but particularly in China.

MacRumors will provide live coverage of Apple’s third quarter results on July 21.



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Apple Predicted to Beat Expectations in Third Quarter on Strong iPhone Sales and Growth in China