Apple CEO Tim Cook probably just disappointed a lot of people who’ve been hoping to see his company unveil a new blockbuster product line such as an iWatch or Apple TV set. He teased the possibility in April when he said that “we have a lot more surprises in the works. … We have some really great stuff coming in the fall and across all of 2014.” But he just told analysts during a conference call that he didn’t necessarily mean a new product line. He simply meant new products. And “you’ve seen that,” he says with the recently refreshed line of iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Analysts also have been hoping for a new, low-priced iPhone that could expand Apple’s market share in developing countries.
Related: Apple Beats Fiscal Q4 Earnings Forecasts, But Shares Fall
Cook said he hopes to satisfy those consumers by continuing to offer the iPhone 4s “as the entry offer” versus the pricier new 5c and 5s models. “Some people were reading rumors that the 5c would be our entry phone,” he said. “That was never our intent.” While he doesn’t worry about flagging demand for his iPhones, Apple may find itself with an insufficient supply over the holidays. There’s already a “significant backlog” for the 5s. And it’s “unclear” whether the company will have enough iPad Minis. Cook had one bit of encouraging news for investors: The company’s disappointing profit margin forecast for the current quarter partly reflects its recent decision to give free iOS upgrades, and — for new product buyers — free copies of software including iMovie, iPhoto, and GarageBand. That led the company to defer about $900M in the revenue it expects to recognize this quarter. If you add that back in, Apple might see a profit margin of about 38.5% one analyst volunteered. The company disappointed investors with a projection that topped out at 37.5%.
Related: Carl Icahn Increases Pressure On Apple To Repurchase Shares
Apple‘s share price fell right after CEO Tim Cook closed today’s new product event without a major surprise such as an update to the Apple TV or an iWatch. We’ll see whether investors … Read More »
Steve Jobs never did it but today Apple’s current boss Tim Cook made his social media presence official. Right now let’s just say Rupert Murdoch doesn’t have to worry about the … Read More »
Investors were hoping that a low-priced iPhone would help Apple to expand in developing countries. But shares are -2.8% following a presentation where Apple CEO Tim Cook played up … Read More »
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn again took to Twitter to chat up Apple — just more than a week after he tweeted he has “a large position” in the computer giant, believes it to be “extremely undervalued” and … Read More »
It’s not just the earnings pushing the stock up about 4.3% in post market trading. Investors will be delighted by the higher-than-expected iPhone sales: 31.2M in the quarter vs expectations for about 27M. As for the core financials: … Read More »
Apple‘s Tim Cook faced the billion-dollar question right off the bat at the annual AllThingsD tech conference Tuesday night: “Is Apple in trouble?” The CEO threw out a few calculated bones: the unveiling of a new iOS and OS X refresh in June at its WWDC conference, the hire of ex-EPA head Lisa Jackson as the company’s new environmental czar. But, as he did last year, Cook again skirted the toughest topics in his second visit to the AllThingsD tech conference leaving Applewatchers frustrated. “We believe very much in the element of surprise,” he said. “We think customers love surprises.” (UPDATE: Check out the full conversation below.)
If shareholders are concerned over Apple’s dipping stock prices — down 36% since September — Cook appeared unfazed. “The beauty of being around for a while is you see a lot of cycles,” he said. “Our North Star is always on making the best products. So we always come back to that.” But for all the emphasis on quality of usage, e-commerce and customer satisfaction over the number of units sold in the smartphone arena, Cook didn’t offer new-product reveals or the kind of game-changers Apple needs to maintain the pace set by the late Steve Jobs. (He did reveal that Apple bought 9 companies in the past year but didn’t announce them all.) Pressed on why Apple doesn’t expand its iPhone line with larger screens, stylus tablets, or cheaper alternative models like its competitors do, Cook blamed the trade-offs involved in crafting variants in a line versus improving the same model. “Are we now at a point that we need to do that?” he asked. Read More »
UPDATE, 11:08 AM: Apple‘s part of today’s proceedings is over after Sen. Carl Levin finally drew blood. He hammered CEO Tim Cook and other Apple execs for creating business arrangements that ensured that the company’s “crown jewels” — economic rights to more than two-thirds of its worldwide profits — “are in three Irish companies that you control and don’t pay taxes.” Cook acknowledged that he has “no current plan” to bring that cash “home at the current tax rate.” Levin noted that this was entirely Apple’s choice: The arrangement in Ireland was signed by “three people working for Apple.” He also observed that the company repatriates profits from Latin America and Canada but not elsewhere. “We cannot continue a system where a multinational company as phenomenally successful as you can make a decision as to where the profits are going to flow. An American company where the R&D is 95% in the United States. You had R&D tax credits, all the benefits of living in this country, [including] protection of patents….You made a unilateral decision where these profits are going to be taxed or not taxed. Folks, that is not right.”
Related: Lawmakers Say Apple Exploits Loopholes To Avoid U.S. Taxes
PREVIOUS, 10:13 AM: Tim Cook seems to be in command so far in his appearance before the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to defend Apple against charges that it parks cash overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes. He began his testimony throwing down a gauntlet calling for “dramatic simplification” of U.S. corporate taxes. “Apple has always believed in the simple, not the complex,” he said adding that it should also apply to the tax code. He called for a revenue-neutral change that would lower corporate income tax rates and provide for “a reasonable tax”– which he said should be a single digit percentage — “that allows the free flow of capital back to the United States.” It would probably increase Apple’s U.S. taxes, he says, but “it would promote U.S. economic growth.” Read More »
The consumer electronics company has more than doubled its stock repurchase program with plans to buy $100B of its shares by the end of 2015. “This is the largest share buyback of any company in history,” Apple CFO … Read More »
UPDATE, 1:25 PM: Apple ended the day at $485.92, -3.2% — the stock’s lowest closing price since February 8, 2012. The performance stood in contrast to the slight rise in both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500. Investor concerns about how much and how quickly Apple can grow are sure to weigh on CEO Tim Cook as he prepares to talk with analysts on January 23, when the company releases its earnings for the last three months of 2012. Read More »
Wouldn’t it be swell if the studios and networks felt the same way about their own runaway production? Apple‘s chief Tim Cook took on his Bad Apple critics in interviews this week — one airing tonight on Rock Center With Brian Williams (see the video below) and the other with Bloomberg Businessweek. Now Cook is claiming a line of Apple’s Mac computers will be manufactured in the U.S. in 2013. Certainly the Cupertino company has met with terrible press recently on at least two fronts — those Chinese worker walkouts over allegations of oppressive Foxconn working conditions on the new iPhone 5, and The New York Times exposé about Apple using creative accounting and legal loopholes to deprive U.S. and California government coffers of billions in badly needed corporate tax dollars while the fiscal cliff looms. When Williams asked Cook why Apple isn’t Read More »
Apple reported disappointing Q4 results last week and shares were down about 9.5% over the last month as investors wondered whether the company can continue to fly high. On Monday, in its biggest management shake-up in … Read More »
This had to hurt. Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged this morning that his company’s Maps product — which replaced Google Maps in the new iPhone 5 and iOS 6 operating system — “fell short” of his company’s standards. “We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better,” he said in a public letter. Cook’s mea culpa follows widespread reports across the Internet from people who became lost after relying on the Apple app for travel directions. For example, New York Times writer David Pogue wrote this week that he used his iPhone to reach a speaking engagement, but “When the app told me that I had arrived, I was sitting in a random suburban cul-de-sac.” Cook says that “The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get.” But he added that, in the meantime, they can download map apps from competitors including Bing, MapQuest, Waze, Google, and Nokia.
Related: Will Apple Be Able To Keep Up With Demand For iPhone 5? Read More »
That has to be a real concern for the company today: Apple sold 5M units in the smartphone’s opening weekend in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK, it said today. That means demand for iPhone 5 already exceeds the supply. Some people who pre-ordered will have to wait until next month to receive them, Apple says. And production could slow after the phone’s manufacturer, Foxconn Technology Group, shut a factory today in China following fights that Bloomberg says involved as many as 2,000 workers with 40 people hospitalized. A Foxconn spokesman wouldn’t say whether the plant makes iPhone 5 parts. Meanwhile iPhone 5-mania is just beginning: The new smartphone will be offered in 22 additional countries beginning Friday, and will sell in more than 100 countries by year-end. Apple CEO Tim Cook says this morning that although “we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone.” Read More »
Apple fanatics may find it hard to believe that the company could disappoint anybody. But the company’s stock is down about 5% in after-market trading following the release of fiscal Q3 earnings that failed to impress. … Read More »
UPDATED: Apple gave its fans a lot of news to chew on — including features coming this fall on iOS 6, applications for the Siri voice recognition system, iPhone maps with turn-by-turn directions, and a light new MacBook Pro with a Retina display. But the company’s presentation at its Worldwide Developers Conference disappointed investors who had hoped to hear more — possibly the unveiling of a new iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. Apple’s share price began to drop once it became clear that CEO Tim Cook and his colleagues had a more modest agenda. Apple users probably will be less churlish about today’s hodge-podge of announcements. One of the most notable is a major upgrade to the maps app that will enhance the iPhone’s ability to act as a GPS. All of the cartography was done in-house. The system is integrated with the Siri voice recognition system and has turn-by-turn navigation. It also has real-time traffic info enabling the system to direct users around accidents and jams. There’s a Flyover view, giving users a 3D look at major cities. The maps app will continue to work from the lock screen, and will be included in the iOS 6.
Related: Apple Has Big Secret Surprises Coming Next Week – But CEO Tim Cook Won’t Detail Read More »
Problem is, Apple CEO Tim Cook won’t say what they are. He told the AllThingD conference tonight that he has never been so amazed as he is by “all the things I cannot talk about today.” In fact, Cook said the notoriously tight-lipped Apple would “double down on secrecy on products”. On the TV front, however, Cook made no secret of his enthusiasm for Steve Jobs’ pledge to change television with Apple TV like iTunes changed music. “We have a good relationship with the content owners,” Cook replied when asked about Apple and the Hollywood studios. “I’ve met with several of them recently; they were talking about what more we could do with them.” (Cook made a point of noting his respect for what Apple board member Bob Iger has accomplished at Disney.) Cook wouldn’t disclose what those discussions with Hollywood were about, except to say, “most people would say that TV is not an area of their life they are completely pleased with.” Read More »
UPDATE, 6:40 AM: Apple says the planned $2.65-a-share outlay will make the company one of the highest dividend payers in the U.S. The dividend will cost more than $10B in the first year while Apple spends $4B in the same period repurchasing shares, execs told analysts in a conference call. All told, it expects to return $45B from its domestic cash balance to shareholders over the plan’s three years. CEO Tim Cook says he wants the effort to attract new investors — without compromising the company’s ability to grow. “Innovation is the most important objective at Apple and we will not lose sight of that,” he says. For example, he says the company can still increase its investments in R&D, acquisitions, retail stores, and its infrastructure. Cook says Apple doesn’t plan to split the stock. That would lower the price of individual shares and attract investors who can’t afford to spend $585.57, Friday’s closing price. Still, he says, ”we are in a unique position at a unique point in time, so this is something we continue to look at.” Execs say that they are tapping their domestic cash holdings and grumbled that U.S. tax laws create an “economic disincentive” to repatriate cash Apple earns overseas. Cook declined to comment on other matters but did note that Apple had “a record weekend” for initial sales of its new iPad. “We’re thrilled with it.”
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UPDATE, 11:39 AM: The event is over to introduce what Apple CEO Tim Cook simply calls “the new iPad.” It will be available March 16. The Wi-Fi only version with 16 GB of memory will cost $499, same as the iPad2 — and models that accommodate its new 4G LTE capability on Verizon or AT&T will start at $629. Add $100 to each price to move up to 32 GB and another C-note for 64 GB of memory. No word on how much data plans will cost. The iPad2 will continue to be sold — and for $100 less (i.e. $399 with 16 GB of memory).
The battery on the new iPad will run 10 hours, but 9 hours on 4G. Users can dictate text and commands. The company says it will have a sharp Retina Display, with 3.1M pixels — more than an HDTV. It also will have more power than the current iPad: it will run on an A5X quad core graphics processor. Execs talked up the iPad’s new power to create and manipulate photos. It will have a 5 mega-pixel iSight camera on back, with auto exposure, auto-focus, and face detection. It also can record video in HD and will have software stabilization. The iMovie application gets an update: users can create trailers in addition to movies. New iPhoto application allows users to edit images and transmit them directly to other devices. It will accommodate photos up to 19 mega-pixels. With a new journal feature, users can mix photos with text, maps, and calendars. CEO Tim Cook says the company has sold 15.4M iPads. “We set out to create not just a new product, but a new category.”
He also said that the company will revamp its Apple TV with a new user interface. The updated device will be available next week and cost $99. Also, movies and TV shows in the iTunes store will be available in 1080P HD quality. Users can re-download content. Read More »