Apple in Focus This Week

apOn Tuesday Apple will announce their third quarter fiscal earnings which comes on the heels of already disappointing corporate earnings announced last week from Google and Microsoft that failed to meet analysts’ estimates.

Apple is one of the worst stock performers in the S&P 500 which is up 18 percent this year. Apple’s stock price has declined 23 percent this year to date, leading many Apple investors to question whether the tech giant can successfully launch a new round of innovative products beyond its iPhone and iPad that could  work to restore the image of the tech company and drive positive momentum back to this one time darling Wall St. stock.

Earlier this year, Apple agreed to double its dividend to its shareholders, raising it to 100 billion through 2015.

Today Bloomberg reported in a new article that Apple’s revenue growth and profit margins will be negatively impacted by a slowdown in the high end smartphone market, citing a report from IDC that shows the average price of a smartphone has declined to $375 from $450 since the beginning of 2012, largely due to the emergence of lower cost Chinese smartphone makers such as Huawei.

Saturation in the high end smartphone market combined with a 9 percent yearly decline in Americans upgrading their phones has left investors questioning whether Apple’s next iPhone, believed to be called iPhone 5S and released in September 2013, will carry enough of the bells and whistles to lure more consumers to pay for an upgraded iPhone that is rumored to have a fingerprint sensor as a security feature.

In July 2012, Apple acquired Authen Tec, a designer of security products for mobile devices such as fingerprint sensors.

The US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application on July 18, 2013 from Apple that unveils the technology behind their new fingerprint sensors for their iPhone and possible other Apple products.

Last week, Apple confirmed to All Things Digital that they acquired Toronto-based Locationary, a new tech company that organizes updated real time data on local businesses to enhance and improve the quality of its own mapping app which is perceived as being less reliable than Google Maps, the most downloaded app in Apple’s own app store.

Some of the other technology innovations that Apple is believed to be developing includes a stylish new iWatch wristwatch whose new casing may be made of liquidmetal, a promising liquid alloy.

Apple has reportedly hired 100 product designers to work on its new iWatch that will compete directly against a host of other tech companies with their own versions of web-connected wristwatches that will do far more than simply display the time.

A Financial Times story reported that Apple’s new iWatch won’t likely be launched until late 2014 even though some other news sources have reported earlier this year that Apple could launch the iWatch as early as 2013.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities also claims that Apple’s new iWatch may not be launched until late 2014.

Apple is also believed to be launching iTunes Radio later this fall to better compete with Pandora, Rdio, and Spotify in the online music subscription business. iTunes Radio will be part of iOS 7.

Apple’s new streaming service won’t offer full access to entire albums like the other subscriber companies currently offer.

Apple T.V.

Last week, Jessica Lessin from the Wall St. Journal reported that Apple is attempting to work on a new service that would allow owners of Apple T.V. to skip advertisements with Apple picking up the costs of revenue loss for the networks.

The Verge carried a story last week that was first reported in Israeli Calcalist and claims Apple is willing to spend $280 million to acquire Israeli based Primesense, a 3D semiconductor company that provides sensory technology that is imbedded in numerous technology products, including Microsoft’s Kinect for its Xbox 360.

Apple will be facing new competition from Google in the drive to penetrate the T.V. market for an online streaming audience.

The Wall St. Journal reported a story last week using an anonymous source that claims Google plans to launch an online T.V. subscription type of service, joining the likes of Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu in the T.V. streaming market.

Google has reportedly approached media companies about licensing their content for an online audience. Intel and Sony are also reportedly working on a similar type of video over the internet service.


About Johnathan Schweitzer 1619 Articles
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