Posts Tagged ‘WWDC14’

As the Obscure Analyst I always dig up information.  Tonight while checking out the latest news and coverage on tomorrow’s WWDC I stumbled across a very interesting post from TK Tech News.  TK Tech News is reporting that Apple will reveal the iPhone 6 tomorrow during Monday’s WWDC due to a large number of iPhone 6 devices that have gone missing and a reported rogue demo of the iPhone 6 that could be released at any time.  The video commentary related to the iPhone 6 release at tomorrow’s WWDC can be found here

 

Reported by TK Tech News: Well Well Well, Looks like Apple is going to announce the iPhone 6 at WWDC alongside the iWatch, This may be because Apple recently had a problem in one of their Foxconn plants in China. Reportedly some 40 actual devices were lost, leaked, sold, who knows, But it looks like Apple is trying to get out in front of the leaks and release the phone much earlier then they intended, Guess they dont want to be the next samsung which we saw pretty much everything they wanted to release on June 12th get leaked this week. Will apple beat the leakers and announce the device before a hands on video can be shown, It will be interesting to find out.

 

I went through the website and found out that TK Tech News has recently leaked several new smartphone hardware devices prior to the official manufacturer announcements.  TK Tech News published a demo video of the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active on May 23rd that was filmed on May 20th.  The actual Samsung Galaxy S5 Active was announced by Samsung on May 29th.

 

 

Disclosure:  I have no idea if the claims made by TK Tech News are valid.  In the spirit of sharing information I felt it was my responsibility to share the post and video for others to decide for themselves. 

 

 

Full Disclosure: I have no position in AAPL but I am long Apple’s newest sapphire supplier GTAT.

Reminder: My PTT Research Forensics Newsletter that is scheduled to be published on Thursday June 5th at 3pm EST.

My Forensics Newsletter pricing is now available and a special 20% launch discount (for the first 48 hours) will be available when my Forensics Newsletter subscription goes on sale on Monday June 2nd at 12pm EST.

If you were wondering what my next pick will be. Here is my sneak peek summary:

My next pick is a company that is built on top of a strong foundation of intellectual property. My analysis of the company’s data and public comments indicate that a “major ramp” in future sales is just getting underway. The company’s C-suite is in the process of scaling up the business and preparing to manage a much larger and more complex company. The company has quietly created an integrated eco-system comprised of software and hardware that continues to extend its competitive edge over its largest competitors. The industry that the company primarily supports is in the early stages of what is expected to be an explosive and long-term growth cycle.

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Apple’s keynote WWDC delivery from CEO Tim Cook is just over 24 hours away. The iPhone 6 is still likely a month or more away from making it’s well anticipated arrival. Foxconn is expected to begin assembling the iPhone 6 in July, which means the earliest the device may arrive in customer hands is July at this point.

Apple has made some waves recently regarding the company’s pipeline of products. Apple VP Eddie Cue recently said that, “later this year, we’ve got the best product pipeline that I’ve seen in my 25 years at Apple”. The center of Apple’s product pipeline is Apple’s iPhone 6, which boasted sales of over 150m units in 2013. However, Apple iPhone sales in 2013 failed to keep up with the smartphone industry growth rate. IDC reported that in 2013, “Apple had the lowest year-on-year increase of all the leading vendors,” yes even LG had a larger year-on-year increase than Apple!

Although, Apple’s iPhone 6 may not be ready for distribution until July at the earliest I believe 2014 is the year Apple needs to show off the device whether or not it will be ready for sale in just 2 weeks. Apple historically introduces its next generation iPhone and then follows it up with a product launch within 2 weeks.

Apple’s smartphone market share is well under 20% and even though introducing a new iPhone 6 a month or more ahead of it’s expected sale date may hurt Apple sales, it’s the right thing to do. If Apple wants to gain additional market share they need to demonstrate that the company’s iPhone 6 is awesome enough for Samsung loyalists to switch over to Apple. Samsung just officially announced the Galaxy S5 Active on Thursday with mobile carrier AT&T. LG just announced its latest LG G3 smartphone, which will be launching in various countries over the next several weeks.

Conclusion

The best way for Apple to rain on Samsung and LG’s smartphone sales parade is by showcasing the iPhone 6 on Monday during the WWDC. If Apple’s 2014 product pipeline is truly the “best pipeline the company has had over the last 25 years,” then it is time for Apple put up or shut up on Monday. If Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 is “truly epic” it should create a the perfect storm to rain on Samsung and LG’s product launch sales parade even if the iPhone 6 won’t show up in consumer hands for another month or more.

Apple can win significant smartphone market share right now by forcing consumers to rethink what is cool and what is innovative in the smartphone marketplace. If Apple delivers an “epic” iPhone 6 product during Monday’s WWDC, it may hurt iPhone 5s/5c sales, but at the same time it would deliver a tremendous amount of damage to the other 80% of the smartphone handset marketplace.

A preemptive strike by Apple on Monday during the WWDC would be more rewarding for Apple in the long term versus being predictable and announcing the iPhone 6 just weeks before the product launches, which is consistent with every previous iPhone launch cycle. Apple needs to disrupt consumer behavior and force the remaining 80%+ of smartphone consumers to delay their smartphone purchases and wait for Apple’s iPhone 6 device to go on sale. The only way to disrupt consumer behavior and significantly increase smartphone market share is by way of an “epic” iPhone 6 announcement during tomorrow’s WWDC keynote speech scheduled for 1pm EST.

Full Disclosure: I have no position in AAPL but I am long Apple’s newest sapphire supplier GTAT.

Reminder: My PTT Research Forensics Newsletter that is scheduled to be published on Thursday June 5th at 3pm EST.

My Forensics Newsletter pricing is now available and a special 20% launch discount (for the first 48 hours) will be available when my Forensics Newsletter subscription goes on sale on Monday June 2nd at 12pm EST.

If you were wondering what my next pick will be. Here is my sneak peek summary:

My next pick is a company that is built on top of a strong foundation of intellectual property. My analysis of the company’s data and public comments indicate that a “major ramp” in future sales is just getting underway. The company’s C-suite is in the process of scaling up the business and preparing to manage a much larger and more complex company. The company has quietly created an integrated eco-system comprised of software and hardware that continues to extend its competitive edge over its largest competitors. The industry that the company primarily supports is in the early stages of what is expected to be an explosive and long-term growth cycle.

 

 

Update: Video proven likely to be a clever prank. The good news is less than 48 hours until the opening up the WWDC14 to find out what is really on tap from Apple.

Apple’s WWDC is set to kickoff on Monday June 2nd at 1pm EST and nowhereelse.fr just published a video that captures what appears to be a practice run of the WWDC14 slide show inside the Moscone Center in San Francisco.  I grabbed the 3 images that were available from the slide show video presentation and it certainly looks like the iPhone 6.

 

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The rear of the device from the slide show video looks nearly identical to images of the rear shell that were released from http://www.macfixit.com.au just 2 days ago.

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Monday’s WWDC may just be a bit more exciting than most people thought if Apple is going to surprise nearly everyone with the release of the iPhone 6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The city is Mesa is set to delegate the operational rights of the Mesa sapphire plant sub zone to GTAT on Monday. Up to this point the city of a Mesa has acted as the grantee of the Mesa sapphire sub zone operations under approval that was granted in March 2014. According to the FTZ, the grantee (city of Mesa) has maintained the greatest direct control over the sapphire plant zone operations. The grantee also directly bears responsibility and Customs liability for the Zone’s operation.

GT as soon as Monday June 2nd may take direct control over the sapphire plant zone operations as well as direct responsibility for FTZ Customs liability. On May 20th GT posted a new job titled “Foreign Trade Zone administrator” to “Provide FTZ and import/export compliance training for all personnel working within the zone and at certain other locations”.

GT’s November SEC filing indicated that the company expected to receive the final prepayment in April. Stephen Chin of UBS, in his recent report published earlier this week indicated that the delayed receipt of the final Apple prepayment might be due to significantly more furnaces being installed at the Mesa facility versus his original estimates.

We believe one of the reasons that GT has not received its 4th prepayment from Apple yet (originally estimated the 4th and final would be paid by end of last month) is that there could be around 2,000 furnaces being installed (about 30% more than we originally estimated)

The transfer of the sub zone operations from the grantee (city of Mesa) to GT Advanced Technology on Monday June 2nd might be the final hurdle required before Apple releases the final prepayment of $138 million to GT Advanced. The final prepayment from Apple could be received as early as next week. The Mesa plant is expected to be completed in June.

Next week is setting up to be a very interesting week for GT Advanced Technologies.

Apple’s WWDC begins on Monday June 2nd.

GT is expected to be granted operator status over the Mesa sapphire operations sub zone on June 2nd.

GT’s annual stockholder meeting is scheduled on June 4th.

The final prepayment of $138 million from Apple could be received by GT as soon as next week.

Selecting an Operator (FTZ Website)

For businesses to use the Zone, save money, and expand or keep their operations in the community, the Zone must be fully operational.

Upon a grant of authority, the Grantee must address the processes of administration and operation of the Zone.

Some Foreign-Trade Zone Grantees elect to operate their General Purpose Zone themselves. In doing so, the Grantee maintains the greatest direct control over Zone operations, yet also directly bears responsibility and Customs liability for the Zone’s operation.

Disclosure: I am long GTAT

 

Reminder: My PTT Research Forensics Newsletter that is scheduled to be published on Thursday June 5th at 3pm EST.

My Forensics Newsletter pricing is now available and a special 20% launch discount (for the first 48 hours) will be available when my Forensics Newsletter subscription goes on sale on Monday June 2nd at 12pm EST.

If you were wondering what my next pick will be. Here is my sneak peek summary:

My next pick is a company that is built on top of a strong foundation of intellectual property. My analysis of the company’s data and public comments indicate that a “major ramp” in future sales is just getting underway. The company’s C-suite is in the process of scaling up the business and preparing to manage a much larger and more complex company. The company has quietly created an integrated eco-system comprised of software and hardware that continues to extend its competitive edge over its largest competitors. The industry that the company primarily supports is in the early stages of what is expected to be an explosive and long-term growth cycle.

 

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Brian Blair of Rosenblatt Securities May 27th report on the Asia supply chain spotted iWatch models with sapphire screens. Blair also indicated that TPK will make the touch panel for the iWatch. If Blair is correct that TPK will make the touch panel is it nearly a guaranteed lock that the iWatch will feature sapphire cover glass, which will serve as another catalyst for shares of GT Advanced Technology (GTAT).

TPK as it is the major supplier of the touch-on-lens (TOL) process that is required to work with sapphire-based cover glass. Apple’s WWDC begins on Monday June 2 and if Apple wants to introduce the iWatch you can expect GTAT and sapphire cover glass to be a major part of it.

 

Disclosure: I am long GTAT

 

Reminder: My PTT Research Forensics Newsletter that is scheduled to be published on Thursday June 5th at 3pm EST.

My Forensics Newsletter pricing is now available and a special 20% launch discount (for the first 48 hours) will be available when my Forensics Newsletter subscription goes on sale on Monday June 2nd at 12pm EST.

If you were wondering what my next pick will be. Here is my sneak peek summary:

My next pick is a company that is built on top of a strong foundation of intellectual property. My analysis of the company’s data and public comments indicate that a “major ramp” in future sales is just getting underway. The company’s C-suite is in the process of scaling up the business and preparing to manage a much larger and more complex company. The company has quietly created an integrated eco-system comprised of software and hardware that continues to extend its competitive edge over its largest competitors. The industry that the company primarily supports is in the early stages of what is expected to be an explosive and long-term growth cycle.

 

by Matt Margolis

 

The release date of Apple’s next generation iPhone 6 is a mystery and each analyst and blogger has their own opinion of when it’s coming out.  I found one interesting rumor related to the iPhone 6 launch date that goes back to February 2013.   I found it interesting that the iPhone rumors began over a year before the product is set to arrive.  It also seems apparent that Apple’s 5s/5c launch were just table setters for what is likely to be a blowout product.  Apple appears set to launch a 4.7″ along side a 5.5″ iPhone 6 sometime between June 2014 and September 2014 and right now I’m leaning towards the earlier of the two dates.

The oldest iPhone 6 release date rumor I could find was based on a research report issued to clients by Jefferies analyst, Peter Misek in February 2013.  According to Appleinsider, analyst Misek believes Apple made an unsuccessful attempt to bump up the iPhone 6 launch into the back half of 2013 amid increased competition.

We believe a summer CY14 launch was originally planned, but Apple tried to accelerate it to stem its market share losses. The earliest Apple could have launched a 4.8” phone would have been this fall (with a target of Oct); however, our checks indicate that Apple’s suppliers are running into difficulties trying to scale the screen size from 4” to 4.8”.

Misek said scaling the in-cell screens from 4″ to 4.8″ has resulted in poor yields — meaning a significant number of display components from each batch being manufactured are not passing the company’s quality assurance tests. As such, Apple is unlikely to be able to manufacture enough of the larger 4.8″ displays to facilitate a full-blown launch of the handset until next spring.

In October 2013, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White indicated that a new big screen iPhone would arrive in 2014 as early as Q2 2014.

“Our meeting with a tech supply chain vendor highlighted a bigger iPhone is in the works, and our contact expects a launch in the 2Q:14/3Q:14 time frame,” White said in an investors note released on Thursday. “Nearly a year ago, our research in Asia uncovered early stage work on a larger iPhone, and we indicated in our Apple initiation report dated 9/4/13 that ‘a larger screen size on the iPhone is possible in 2014 that could approach 5 inches.’ Given today’s meeting, we are confident that a larger iPhone (approximately five inches) will become a reality in 2014.”

In November 2013, Susquehanna International Group Analyst Chris Caso shared the same opinion as Misek, specifically that the iPhone 6 would arrive in June, some three months ahead of the 5s/5c launch.  Caso also indicated that Apple might increase the price due to the bigger screen display that will be packed in the iPhone 6.

Caso also predicted that iPhone 6 may be more expensive than the current iPhone 5S. The company may start increasing the prices of its devices next year instead of lowering it as it will put new technologies to be further ahead in the market. The analyst said the increase in price is due to the bigger screen display that will be packed in the iPhone 6. Thus, iPhone 6 price may start from more than $199.

Rumors claimed aside from a larger screen, iPhone 6 will have a sturdier display with the aid of Sapphire glass, which was used to cover iPhone 5S’ TouchID fingerprint sensor. The Sapphire glass is claimed to be twice stronger than Gorilla glass by Corning used in most Android smartphones. Also, iPhone 6 may come with wireless charging feature just like the Google Nexus 5 but with the use of solar panels.

In February 2014, International Business Times (IBT) cited analyst Sun Changxu, who felt a June launch of the iPhone 6 along with a WWDC announcement seemed likely.

Chinese Web site QQ Tech reported an analysis from analyst Sun Changxu. According to the report, the analyst predicts Apple’s production to start soon as May. It is likely that Apple will introduce iPhone 6 during the WWDC.

Recent reports claimed Apple may release the iPhone 6 around June 20.  Reported features include sapphire screen, new mobile payment and a possibility of solar charging

The report also noted features such as a 4.7-inch screen and 1136 x 640 pixel display. Part of the prediction is a 5.7-inch phablet to follow the smartphone.

iPhone 6 June Launch date Fact Check Followup

  • Analyst Chris Caso indicated in November 2013 that Apple would not only release the iPhone 6 in June but also raise the price of the phone.  Followup: In April analyst Peter Misek reported that Apple has been working with carriers to charge and additional $100 for the iPhone 6.
  • Analyst Sun Changxu back in February indicated that Apple’s iPhone 6 production would start as soon as May and would likely introduce the iPhone 6 during the WWDC.  Followup: Various component makers have ramped up production beginning in Q2.  Additionally, iPhone 6 manufacturer Pegatron embarked on hiring spree in March and is expected to ramp up production of the iPhone 6 in Q2.
  • Nearly 3 weeks ago I reviewed Apple’s supply chain management and I noted that all of the activity occurring within Apple’s iPhone 6 supply chain are 3 months ahead of last year’s pace.   The accelerated supply chain activity included; significant price reductions of Apple’s current flagship phone (5s) occurring in March 2014 versus June 2013, component makers ramping production in April/May 2014 versus July/Aug 2013, leaked images of the iPhone 6 are surfacing months earlier  and one of Apple’s iPhone 6 manufacturing partners began hiring months earlier in the year compared to the hiring activity that occurred in 2013 just months before the iPhone 5s/5c launched in September.

Analysts have been forecasting the iPhone 6 to arrive in June for quite some time.  The flurry of recent news and leaks i.e.  (production activities, price cuts, manufacturing activity, leaked images, Apple/Carrier price increase discussions and Apple trade-in program) all are signalling an imminent arrival of the iPhone 6.  Apple’s 2014 WWDC  is just 3 weeks away and it might just be the perfect stage for Tim Cook and company to shock most, but not all of the analysts with an iPhone 6 product launch announcement.

 

Full Disclosure: I am long GTAT, Apple’s newest sapphire supplier

 

 

by Matt Margolis

I have been closing tracking various activity in 2014 and comparing it to previous years’ activities to determine the likely launch date of the iPhone 6. I did a review of the news regarding production activity surrounding Apple’s supply chain almost 3 weeks ago and the resounding answer was pointing towards a June iPhone 6 launch date. All of the 2014 production activity, hiring, leaked images, carrier discounts are all tracking 3 months ahead of last year’s September iPhone 5s/5c launch.

Yesterday, 9to5mac’s Mark Gurman reported that, Apple plans on launching an “enormous” iPhone upgrade even this week to boost sales. The “enormous” trade-in event will help clear Apple’s shelves much like the program launched last September to clear out inventory of the iPhone 5 just weeks ahead of the iPhone 5s/5c launch. Apple’s trade-in program is designed to boost sales of soon to be legacy devices and more importantly to remove excess inventory ahead of the next flagship iPhone product launch. The 2014 trade-in program is just another confirmation that the iPhone 6 is just weeks away from launch.

Mark Gurman’s Comments from August 26th, 2013

Apple is beginning final preparations to launch an iPhone trade-in program in its retail stores by next month, according to sources with knowledge of the initiative. This trade-in program will allow customers that own earlier versions of the iPhone, such as the iPhone 4S, to bring the phone into an Apple Store and exchange it for a new iPhone model, like the iPhone 5, at a discounted price…

Apple is said to have originally planned to launch the iPhone trade-in program during the last week of July, but the program’s launch was pushed back for unspecified reasons.

Mark Gurman’s Comments from May 5th, 2014

This program blends nicely with Apple’s Apple Store-based iPhone hardware trade-in program, which allows customers to turn-in older iPhone models to purchase a new model at a discounted price. Apple, in recent weeks, has increased the buyback prices for iPhones in its trade-in-program, according to a source.

This event will be held in multiple states across the United States, and Apple is said to be preparing for an influx of visitors to its stores on the levels of traffic driven to stores for new product debuts. Apple will brief Apple Retail management on the initiative tomorrow, according to the source. Additionally, Apple is said to be readying various other new marketing and sales initiatives to improve the sales of the iPhone in its retail stores.

Conclusion:

All of the data points I have examined indicate that the iPhone 6 launch is just weeks away and line up very nicely with the 2014 WWDC that is scheduled on June 2 through June 6 in San Francisco, CA. The recent announcement of Apple’s 2014 trade-in program just adds more fuel to what is already expected to be a very exciting iPhone 6 launch party.

Full Disclosure: I am long GTAT (Apple’s newest sapphire supplier)