Apple’s rumored HomePod mini is set to be unveiled during the “Hi, Speed” event next week, according to a pair of early morning reports on Friday. The HomePod mini will reportedly be available for $99 and announced during the event, but availability won’t begin until November.
Today’s report from Kang follows earlier reporting from L0vetodream, who said that a HomePod mini was coming this year but that we should not expect a followup to the full-size HomePod in 2020. Kang is a reliable leaker who shares information on Weibo, with an excellent track record at over 97% accuracy.
Kang reports that the HomePod mini will cost just $99 and measure in at 3.3-inches. It is said to be powered by Apple’s S5 processor, which is the same processor that powers the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 5. For comparison’s sake, the current full-size HomePod is powered by Apple’s A8 processor and measures in 6.8-inches tall.
While the HomePod mini will be announced at next week’s event, Kang reports that it will not be available for pre-order until Friday, November 6 will full availability on November 16/17. Jon Prosser has also corroborated that HomePod mini is coming at next week’s event.
On the flip side, Apple is not quite ready to unveil its new AirPods Studio over-ear headphones, according to Prosser. While AirPods Studio mass production is said to have started, Apple is reportedly not planning to announce the headphones during its October 13 event.
Prosser goes on to say that AirPods Studio will be available in two variants: a “sport-like” variant that will cost $350 and a “luxury variant” made of “leather/metal” for a whopping $599.
To recap, today’s reporting says that next week’s event will be focused on the HomePod mini alongside the iPhone 12 lineup. At $99, the HomePod mini seems like a clear competitor to Amazon’s Echo lineup, which is likely part of Apple’s strategy of expanding Siri to a wider user base. What do you think of this? Let us know down in the comments!
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Jittery Investors Sell Apple Stock, but Bulls Advise Buying Ahead of Supercycle – Barron's
shares are taking it on the chin Friday one day after the company reported a strong September quarter, but one which triggered just enough questions to give investors pause after the stock’s big 2020 run.
For the quarter, Apple (ticker: AAPL) reported revenue of $64.7 billion, up about 1% from a year ago and slightly ahead of the Wall Street consensus of $64.2 billion. Profits were 73 cents a share, two pennies ahead of consensus.
It was a down quarter for iPhone sales, as demand slowed ahead of the iPhone 12 launch, but Apple had substantial growth in almost every other category. Mac sales were $9 billion, up 29%. iPad sales were $6.8 billion, up 46%. Wearables increased 20.8%, to $7.9 billion. Services revenue was $14.5 billion, up 16.3%.
There are multiple factors weighing on the stock. For one, the 21% drop in iPhone sales, while not a big surprise, was a little worse than some analysts had modeled. Two, the 29% drop in Greater China sales was a little shocking and a reflection of the company’s lagging position in 5G phones in a key market. And three, Apple declined to give guidance for the third straight quarter, which really shouldn’t have surprised anyone but seemed to rattle some investors.
On the post-announcement call with investors, the company responded to all of those concerns. Without providing detail, it said iPhone 12 sales are off to a strong start—but it just started shipping the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, and won’t even start taking orders on the low-end iPhone 12 Mini or high end iPhone 12 Pro Max until next week.
On China, the company said it was hurt more there than other markets by the lack of 5G phones in the quarter, but a rebound is expected in the December quarter, and early demand for the new phones is promising.
As for guidance, Apple didn’t provide detail, but did say that iPhone sales would be up year over year in the holiday quarter despite only a partial quarter of iPhone 12 sales—and it expects double-digit growth in services and in all non-iPhone hardware categories in the quarter.
Citigroup’s Jim Suva adds two other logs onto the worry pile—a modest decline in gross margin and worries about potential regulatory oversight. On the guidance issue, he writes that he was “a bit surprised” that Apple didn’t give an outlook. On China, he writes that “China has a more advanced 5G network compared to many countries and simply put consumers want a 5G phone rather than a 4G phone.” On margins, he says the issue is mostly one of mix, with Macs and iPads carrying lower margins than iPhones and services. (It was a spectacular quarter for both Macs and iPads, remember.) And as for regulation, he sees headline risk, but no risk to fundamentals for at least the next 12 months.
Bottom line: He keeps his Buy rating and $125 target price.
Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, who keeps a Market Perform rating on Apple shares, writes that the quarter was “solid, but not spectacular.” He finds it noteworthy that Apple didn’t provide explicit guidance. “The upshot is that we doubt that consensus EPS forecasts are likely to change materially, which we view as a likely disappointment given high investor expectations,” he writes.
Sacconaghi agrees that the key from here is iPhone 12 demand. “So how do we interpret Apple’s Q1 guidance/commentary, and what does it say about the iPhone 5 cycle?” he asks. “Unfortunately, it is likely too early to tell—and Apple itself legitimately does not appear to know, given very limited selling days and the unique timing of the iPhone launch. But the punchline is simple: iPhone revenues have to grow double digits year-over-year in fiscal Q1, or March needs to be dramatically stronger than seasonal for this cycle to have a shot of being the super cycle buyside investors appear to be anticipating.”
Katy Huberty came away from the call more bullish than ever. “All signs point to a supercycle,” she writes in a research note, repeating her Overweight rating and $136 price target. “We continue to see upside to fiscal 2021 estimates after Apple grew revenue double-digits across all products including iPhone after normalizing for [the iPhone] product cycle. iPhone growth will accelerate further on extended replacement cycles, more new [models] and aggressive subsidies.”
Huberty adds that her “confidence in Apple’s ability to retain existing users, attract new users and accelerate growth and profitability has never been higher as Apple enters fiscal 2021 with its strongest product and services portfolio in years and several tailwinds at its back, including the growing proliferation of 5G technology; work, learn and play from home demand; and rising adoption and monetization of digital services.”
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives likewise is undeterred in his bullish view. “Last night…the Street and the overall market was hoping for blow out results from FAANG tech stalwarts with Apple and
leading the way and ultimately came away disappointed with tech stocks selling off this morning on the news,” he writes. “Taking a step back, we believe Apple is on the cusp of its largest iPhone product cycle since iPhone 6 in 2014 and we would be buyers on any weakness.” He keeps his Outperform rating and $150 target.
Apple was off 4.9%, at $109.70, in recent trading. The
was down 1.3%.
Write to Eric J. Savitz at firstname.lastname@example.org
Samsung regains top smartphone vendor spot as Xiaomi overtakes Apple – The Verge
Samsung is back on top as the world’s biggest smartphone vendor one quarter after losing its spot to Huawei, according to reports from IDC, Counterpoint, and Canalys. The news comes just as Samsung posted its highest quarterly revenue figures ever, which the company said was helped by a boost in demand for smartphones.
Huawei became the number one vendor for the first time three months ago, benefiting from strong sales in China while much of the rest of the world was operating under constrained retail conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Huawei’s shipments fell 7 percent quarter-on-quarter and 24 percent year-on-year, according to Counterpoint, while Samsung’s shipments increased by 47 percent over the last quarter.
Xiaomi was able to regain the number three spot for the first time in several years, overtaking Apple for the first time with year-on-year growth of 46 percent. Apple’s shipments fell 7 percent year-on-year in the July-September quarter, no doubt affected by the fact that its new iPhones this year slipped until October and November release dates.
The fifth, sixth, and seventh spots go to BBK brands Oppo, Vivo, and Realme. Counterpoint has Oppo at number five, while IDC and Canalys give that spot to Vivo, but all three firms agree the numbers are close. If the three independent brands’ third-quarter shipments were combined, they would be closer to Samsung in first place than Huawei in second place.
MagSafe Wallet for iPhone 12 Now Available for Pickup at Select Apple Stores Internationally – MacRumors
Apple’s new Leather Wallet with MagSafe for iPhone 12 models is available for pickup today or tomorrow at select Apple Stores in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. We’ve yet to see any pickup availability in the United States or Canada, but we’ll update this story if that changes.
A few customers have started sharing photos of the Leather Wallet on Twitter after completing a pickup at an Apple Store today.
Photo shared by Leonard on Twitter
As noted by 9to5Mac, it also appears that some customers are beginning to see their online orders marked as shipped earlier than expected. Many of these customers are seeing an estimated delivery range of November 2-9.
Priced at $59 in the United States, the MagSafe Wallet is designed to magnetically attach to the back of iPhone 12 models, allowing customers to carry a few credit cards or IDs with their device. The wallet is designed with tanned European leather and is offered in four colors: Baltic Blue, California Poppy, Saddle Brown, and Black.
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