Jul 07

We voted to leave. The pound falls against the dollar by 12%, more than anyone expected and is now at a 30 year low.

Guess what? The super smart team at Citigroup predict that this will hurt sales of Apple, Dell and other US tech firms that price in $.

Citigroup Global Markets analyst Jim Suva has predicted that economic uncertainty in the UK following the referendum decision to leave the EU will hurt Apple sales. Business Insider reports that Citigroup has lowered its estimates for iPhone sales across two quarters.

We are lowering our estimates for June and September quarters given potential for lower demand from macro uncertainty (Brexit related), currency volatility and lengthening replacement cycles.

The reduction isn’t a major one – just 700k down on the previous estimate – but does give some indication that the economic consequences of Brexit will extend beyond the UK.

As an indication of how other tech companies are responding, Dell has confirmed that it has raised its wholesale prices by 10% in the UK in response to a 12.4% reduction in the value of the pound against the dollar, and it’s been suggested that HP is likely to follow suit.

A spokeswoman at HP Inc said:

HP is carefully assessing the Brexit situation to better understand its business and economic impact. In the meantime, we continue to actively move forward with day-to-day operations supporting employees, customers and partners.

Apple currently appears to be adopting a wait-and-see approach, it seems likely that it too will raise its UK prices at some point.

Jan 06

All you need to know about the new MAC Pro.

Long and detailed review of the latest professional computer from Apple. YouTube video by Apple Fan Michael Kukielka – Includes un-boxing letting you see the exquisite packaging and design of the computer and box.

Defiantly a unique design. Look for more black circular boxes to appear on the market.

 

Dec 19

Good news for all you power-hungry Apple users. The new cylinder / trash can is now available to order. Prices in the UK start at £2,500 and go considerably higher. The base unit is already as powerful as most users will need / want and comes with: Intel Quad Core Xeon E5 CPU, 12GB of fast memory, 256GB of Flash Drive and Dual AMD FirePro D300 Graphic Cards.

Units can be configured with the crazy 12 Core Xeon E5, 6 GB of Memory, 1TB of Flash and Dual AMD FirePro D700 Graphics Cards. Expect to pay close to £8,000. Keyboard, Monitor and Mouse extra.

Sweet looking units. To be delivered in January 2014.

We plan to build our MAC Pro equivalent over the Holidays based on the QUO mother board. Our first version will be based on Intel i7 with 16 GM RAM and 250 GM Flash drive. Components have started to land and building will commence soon. Stay tuned.

Apple MAC Pro specs:

mac-pro-cover off

Quad-Core and Dual GPU 6-Core and Dual GPU
3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor
12GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory 16GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory
Dual AMD FirePro D300
with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM each
Dual AMD FirePro D500
with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each
256GB PCIe-based flash storage1 256GB PCIe-based flash storage1
Dispatched:
January
Dispatched:
January
Free Delivery Free Delivery
£2,499.00 Includes VAT of approx. £417.00.* £3,299.00 Includes VAT of approx. £550.00.*
Jan 02

It look as if the Apple iPad Mini is eclipsing the Retina iPad, according to NPD DisplaySearch.

ipad-mini image care of intomobileApple had originally expected to sell 6 million iPad Minis in 2012. But that’s turning out to be a laughably low forecast, according to DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh.

Now, Apple is asking display panel makers to “ship more than 12 million” iPad Mini displays in the fourth quarter, Hsieh said in a research note.

“The iPad Mini apparently is selling better” than the new iPad 4, Hsieh said in response to an e-mail query. “It seems people especially like the size…[it’s] lighter, slimmer and easier to carry.”

And that’s despite having a relatively low-resolution non-Retina display and older silicon than the iPad 4. So, it appears that price, starting at £269, and the chic, lightweight design are driving demand.

And in 2013, the iPad Mini could account for half of all iPad shipments, which DisplaySearch says should reach 100 million.

“In 2013, it is likely that Apple will adjust its product portfolio to meet the strong demand for the iPad Mini. We believe that Apple is targeting total iPad shipments of 100 million in 2013, half accounted for by the iPad Mini,” Hsieh wrote.

The iPad Mini’s 7.85-inch display is being made by AUO and LG Display, which have struggled mightily to keep up with demand. If Apple wants to meet demand in 2013 for the Mini things will have to change.

“If the iPad Mini volume is anything near 50 million units, Apple will need to find other panel suppliers in addition to AUO and LG Display,” Hsieh said.

Dec 20

Exceptional strong demand sees Apple increase the number of iPad Mini displays on order from 6 million to 12 million.

Apple misjudged how popular the iPad Mini would be, according to NPD DisplaySearch. The company initially asked its suppliers to provide it with 6 million of the 7.85-inch display panels used by the iPad Mini. That figure is proving to be woefully short. Apple is stepping up the number of orders to 12 million in order to meet the high demand for its smaller tablet.

ipad mini imageThe iPad Mini has been in short supply since its November 2 launch. Just recently, shipping times for the device improved to one week. It was previously shipping in two to three weeks. It is still scarce at retail outlets. Apparently some didn’t think it was going to play out this way.

“When Apple unveiled the iPad Mini in October many criticized its $329 price as too expensive for a 7[-inch] segment tablet PC, given competition from other 7-inch tablet PCs, including Amazon Kindle Fire, Google Nexus, ASUS and many private labels,” wrote NPD’s David Hsieh. Many of these competing devices cost $199 or less.

“However, there is always a strong base of customers who only want Apple products; recently, the iPad Mini was voted one of the hottest consumer products of 2012 in Japan,” said Hsieh.

The popularity of the iPad Mini is forcing Apple’s suppliers to go into overdrive. The company has placed orders for 70 million iPad display panels this year, with 23 million slated for the iPad 2 and 47 million slated for the latest full-size iPad, released in October alongside the iPad Mini. However, the iPad 2 has remained a consistently strong seller thanks to its $399 (£269 UK) price tag. Apple has downgraded orders for the larger iPad’s screen, and boosted the number for the older iPad 2, which remains for sale. The current UK lead time is still two weeks.

The newest full-size iPad has a 9.7-inch Retina Display, with 2048 x 1536 pixels. The iPad 2 has a 9.7-inch display with 1024 x 768 pixels. The iPad Mini has a 7.85-inch display with 1024 x 768 pixels.

For 2013, NPD believes the iPad Mini may outsell the Retina Display iPad.

“In 2013, it is likely that Apple will adjust its product portfolio to meet the strong demand for the iPad Mini,” noted Hsieh. “We believe that Apple is targeting total iPad shipments of 100 million in 2013, half accounted for by the iPad Mini, and 40 million new iPad and 10 million iPad 2, as production continues at least until the middle of 2013.”

Aside from the iPad Mini’s lower price point, it’s smaller size and easier portability have likely played a role in its popularity when compared to its larger iPad brothers. It is significantly lighter than the full-size iPads, and the reduced footprint makes it a snap to carry about.

Oct 18

BI reports that Apple has ordered 10 million iPad Minis from Asian suppliers for delivery in Q4, sources tell the WSJ’s Lorraine Luk.

ipad-mini image care of intomobileLuk says that is twice as many orders as Amazon made for its low-priced tablet, the Kindle Fire.

Apple shareholders have to love seeing the company so confident about a new product.

Apple hasn’t launched a new product line since it began selling the iPad in 2010.

In the interim, Amazon and Google both entered the market with lower-priced, smaller tablets that critics don’t hate.

10 million units is a lot, but it’s not an earth-moving number for Apple, which sold 5 million iPhone 5s during its first few days on the market.

Jul 16

Today the New York Times reports on the battle of the Small Device aka the 7″ iPad.

Tablets from NYTJust to recap we have the new Google Nexus 7 about to ship after being announced at their developers conference and in the wings we have the Microsoft Surface. These devices are both 7″ in size allowing on assumes a lower price point that the iPad with its 9.7 inch larger display. Amazon also has shipped a reasonable number of Kindle Fire tablets.

The NYT claim: ” The company is developing a new tablet with a 7.85-inch screen that is likely to sell for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad, with its 9.7-inch display, according to several people with knowledge of the project who declined to be named discussing confidential plans. The product is expected to be announced this year.

Natalie Kerris, an Apple spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Apple’s plan for a tablet with a smaller screen is part of a textbook business strategy: to lure customers who want different sizes of tablets into the iPad product family, say analysts and technology industry executives. ”

If this is true we could be in for a thrilling time with Microsoft and Google having to compete with Apple in the small iPad space. The Nexus 7 has a price of  $199 will sell well to consumers who can’t or won’t pony up  $399 for the 2nd generation iPad let alone $499 for the latest and greatest iPad 3 with Retina Display. If Apple do come in with a 7″ device and price it at $199 it will make the Nexus a much tougther sell.

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 21

News from Reuters: Feb 21:

china-telecom-logoChina Telecom Corp. will become the nation’s second wireless operator to offer Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4S, two months after “staggering” demand prompted the U.S. company to suspend sales at its own stores.

From March 9, Chinese users who commit to a two-year contract can get a free 16-gigabyte handset with a service plan costing 389 yuan ($62) a month, the state-owned parent of China Telecom, the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier, said in a statement today. A three-year plan cuts the monthly minimum to 289 yuan.

For Apple, adding China Telecom as a distributor in the world’s largest mobile-phone market almost doubles the number of potential iPhone buyers who can get a subsidized handset from a service operator. That may alleviate some of the supply bottleneck that led to Apple’s main Beijing store being pelted with eggs when it didn’t open for the first day of iPhone 4S sales in January.

“This is definitely going to give a plus to Apple shipments,” said Sandy Shen, a Shanghai-based analyst at research company Gartner Inc. “On the other hand, China Telecom is still the country’s smallest mobile operator, so the extent to which it can help Apple may be limited.”

China Unicom

China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd., the nation’s first carrier to offer the iPhone with a service contract in October 2009, began selling the 4S in January. China Unicom had 43 million subscribers to its high-speed, third-generation network at the end of January. China Telecom had 38.7 million 3G subscribers at the end of last month.

Apple was the fifth-largest smartphone vendor in China in the fourth quarter, with shipments of 2.08 million handsets, or 7.5 percent of the total, according to Gartner data. Samsung Electronics Co. was the market leader with 24 percent, followed by Nokia Oyj, Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp., according to Gartner.

China Telecom will make an “appropriate increase in marketing initiatives” in connection with iPhone sales, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange today. Expenses to market the phone will mean “short-term pressure on its profitability,” it said, without providing figures.

Earnings Estimates

“The iPhone will be positive for China Telecom’s subscriber growth, but it will be negative for earnings growth in the first year,” Lisa Soh, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd., said in a phone interview today. “Earnings estimates will have to come down because of higher subsidies for the iPhone.”

Soh said she hadn’t updated her earnings estimates yet to account for iPhone sales. China Telecom’s earnings growth could be cut roughly in half to about 5 percent, said Jim Tang, an analyst at Shenyin Wanguo Securities Co. in Shanghai. Higher iPhone subsidies will force the company to cut subsidies for cheaper models that have been the main driver of user growth, Tang said.

China Telecom shares gained 1.1 percent to HK$4.47 at 11:51 a.m. in Hong Kong trading.

Cupertino, California-based Apple had underestimated the “staggering” demand for the iPhone 4S when it started sales in China, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said last month.

“We thought we were betting bold,” Cook said on a Jan. 24 conference call. “We didn’t bet high enough.”

Pelted With Eggs

Apple’s oldest store in China was pelted with eggs from a crowd of customers on Jan. 13 when the shop, in Beijing’s Sanlitun district, failed to open on the first day of sales for the iPhone 4S. After police sealed off the area to remove more than 500 people, Apple said it would suspend sales of iPhones at all its stores.

Currently, iPhones are available in China through Apple’s online store, resellers and China Unicom.

“IPhone 4S has been an incredible hit with customers around the world,” Carolyn Wu, a Beijing-based spokeswoman for Apple, said by phone. The company “can’t wait to get it into the hands of even more customers in China,” she said.

China Mobile Ltd., the world’s largest carrier by customers, is now the only Chinese wireless company not offering the iPhone with a service contract. The iPhone doesn’t support the provider’s third-generation network, based on a China- developed technology.

 

 

Feb 16

Very big news from Nokia – In summary they are putting all their eggs into the Microsoft camp with the decision to move to the Windows Phone platform and dump Symbian. The new CEO, who is ex-Microsoft has signed up with the boys from Redmond to make Windows phone 7 the platform for Nokia smart phones. They had little choice – Apple and Android have stolen the high end market, leaving Nokia to fight at the low end with the Chinese mass production clones,who now make a good handset for a very decent price.

The fight is about market share and profits. While Nokia has a respectable 30% share of the mobile market it’s profit has been well and truly squeezed by Apple. This graph from the Economist shows share and profits. She how Nokia have lost the plot.

So the question will be when can Nokia get their Win 7 Phone out. Will that help or hinder their market share. We all know that Microsoft has had a dismal record with phones sales and strategy.

This time next year we expect that Nokia will be a Microsoft subsidiary.

Jul 05

O2 logo and iPhoneThere are many stories about the limit or lack of regarding the availability of he 3G puppy. All we know is that it goes on sale on Friday at 7:02 (joke). If you punt for the £45 per month contract you can score a free 8Gb unit.

It will be available in 22 countries at launch and another 25 a few weeks later. That’s going to be a lot of units. We could see 10M by year end.

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