Apple Watch Not Coming Until Spring 2015: Reports

apple-watchThe Apple Watch is arriving later than some expected and won’t be available until the spring of 2015, according to Angela Ahrendts, Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Sales, and first reported in 9to5Mac.

Arhendts disclosed the new timeline to company employees in a video message.

A transcript of the video message was obtained by 9to5Mac.

Ahrendts said that Apple Watch won’t be launched until after the Chinese New Year on February 19th.

When Apple Watch was first unveiled in September, it was reported that the Apple Watch would be shipped in early 2015.

Microsoft Band

Late last week Microsoft unveiled the new watch called Microsoft Band.

A longer post about Microsoft Band will appear on this site in the near future.

-Johnathan Schweitzer

Consumer Spending Slows in September; Bank Of Japan Increases Stimulus

spendingConsumer spending slowed in September due in part to lower oil costs, slower wage growth, and weaker automobile sales.

According to the Department of Commerce, personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased $19.0 billion, or 0.2 percent, slightly missing the forecast of 0.3 percent from briefing.com.

In August, personal income increased $50.7 billion, or 0.3 percent.

Private wages and salaries increased $12.6 billion in September, compared with an increase of $36.3 billion in August.

Bank of Japan

The Bank of Japan decided to jump start their monetary stimulus program on Friday to an annual pace of 80 trillion yen (an addition of 10-20 trillion yen). The Bank will also purchase exchange traded funds (ETF’s) and Japanese real estate trusts (J-Reit) so that their amount outstanding will increase at an annual pace of 3 trillion yen and about 90 billion yen.

-Johnathan Schweitzer

Federal Reserve Ends QE; Hawkish Remarks Signal Improved Economic Outlook

feddcThe U.S. dollar is strengthening against the Japanese yen and the yield on the 10 yr. Treasury is surging higher following a more hawkish outlook from the Federal Reserve yesterday as the central bank ends its monetary stimulus program through quantitative easing after signaling an improving labor market and stabilized inflation as reasons to pursue a less accommodative path for the U.S. economy.

Latest economic data released this morning confirms that the U.S. economy is in good shape after 3rd quarter GDP came in at 3.5 percent.

Yesterday the Federal Reserve Committee cited a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market since the inception of its current quantitative easing asset purchase program among the reasons to end its asset purchases through quantitative easing after increasing its balance sheet to over $4 trillion since 2008 purchasing monetary assets to help drive interest rates lower.

The Fed statement noted that the outlook has improved with the labor market and “a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources is gradually diminishing.”

Now that the Fed’s quantitative easing program is over, investors are paying close attention to any signals about when the Federal Reserve will begin to increase its federal funds rate which remains slightly above zero.

Based on the language in the Fed’s latest statement, inflation will be closely watched and used as a barometer to help determine when Fed Committee members should begin to hike interest rates at the central bank. Most economists believe that the Fed won’t begin to raise interest rates until mid to late 2015.

Here is an important paragraph from the Fed’s latest statement that addresses a future rate hike:

Notice that the “considerable time” phrase remains in their narrative, leaving the Federal Reserve with more room to gauge future economic data before deciding to hike rates.

“The Committee anticipates, based on its current assessment, that it likely will be appropriate to maintain the 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate for a considerable time following the end of its asset purchase program this month, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal, and provided that longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored. However, if incoming information indicates faster progress toward the Committee’s employment and inflation objectives than the Committee now expects, then increases in the target range for the federal funds rate are likely to occur sooner than currently anticipated. Conversely, if progress proves slower than expected, then increases in the target range are likely to occur later than currently anticipated.”

-Johnathan Schweitzer

 

Facebook To Increase Spending in 2015 As Shares Drop

FBFacebook shares slid 8.20 percent in after hours trading on Tuesday after the company’s 3rd quarter  2014 earnings report forecasted weaker revenue this next quarter along with increased spending plans in 2015 related to its newest acquisitions with Whatsup and Oculus VR.

Facebook acquired Oculus VR, a virtual reality wearable gaming technology, for $ 2 billion on March 25, 2014 although the company has yet to put a product on the market.

On February 19, 2014 Facebook purchased  five year old company Whatsup for a staggering $19 billion in an effort to dominate messaging on smartphones.

In 2014 Whatsup has already lost $138 million and generated only $10 million in revenue.

During the conference call on Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about Facebook’s long term investments with Whatsup, Instagram, Messenger, and Search.

“Over the next five years, our goals are around taking our next generation of services — Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Search — and helping them connect billions of people and become important businesses in their own right” Zuckerberg said.

Facebook CFO David Wehner said that in 2015 spending costs (non-GAAP) could increase approximately 50 to 70 percent compared to 2014 as the company invests in new products.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg assured investors that Facebook’s investments are large scale, long term, and will take some time to payoff.

“I want to emphasize that the investments we’re making in ad tech are long-term. These are large and strategic investments. The payoffs will take time, but we think they provide a necessary foundation for the advertising industry to make the shift to mobile and for Facebook’s long-term growth” said Sandberg.

Facebook continues to dominate in mobile each month with 864 million daily active users on average for September 2014, up 136 million from last year,  an increase of 19 percent year-over-year.

There are 703 million people  using Facebook each day, 40 percent higher year over year, and 1.12 billion people are now using Facebook each month.

“This has been a good quarter with strong results,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO.

For the quarter, advertising revenue was $2.96 billion and grew 64 percent year over year.

Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 66 percent of advertising revenue for the third quarter, up from approximately 49 percent of advertising revenue in the third quarter of 2013.

Total revenue for the third quarter of 2014 totaled $3.20 billion, an increase of 59 percent, compared with $2.02 billion in the third quarter of 2013. Net income was $806 million, up 90 percent compared to $425 million for the third quarter of 2013.

Facebook CFO Dave Wehner spoke about growing 2014 expenses during the conference call.

“We expect our full-year 2014 total GAAP expenses, including cost of revenue stock compensation and the amortization of intangibles, will grow approximately 45 percent to 50 percent versus the full year 2013,” Wehner said.

“This increase from our prior range of 30 to 35 percent is primarily due to the impact of the WhatsApp acquisition on stock-based compensation charges in the fourth quarter” Wehner added.

Wehner said that he expects total revenue in the fourth quarter to grow in the range of 40 to 47 percent range versus the same quarter of last year, down from 59 percent in third quarter of 2014.

Wehner gave no guidance on 2015 revenue.

-Johnathan Schweitzer

* I added a page for Schweitz Finance on Facebook. If you like the page, you will get updated posts on your news feed for your convenience.

My Twitter page is active but I just started adding content. I will start using both social media sites more in the future. My email: schweitz31@gmail.com

Johnathan1Johnathan Schweitzer is a Seattle based writer covering stories in tech, finance, and politics

 

 

Poll Reveals Low Rating For Congress As Americans Prepare To Vote In Midterm Elections

midtermMidterm elections are a little over a week away in America and latest poll numbers are unnerving for both political parties, showing job approval for Congress sliding to multi-year lows heading into the upcoming  elections.

According to an ABC/Washington Post poll released yesterday, Congress overall has a 20 percent job approval rating, one of the worst heading into a midterm election since 1974.

Disapproval for Democrats in Congress reached a 20 year high with a 67 percent disapproval rating.

The disapproval rating for Republicans climbed even higher to 72 percent, close to their all-time disapproval rating of 75 percent that occurred in January 2012.

The ABC/Washington Post poll results pointed out some slightly good news: Congress’ approval rating is up 8 points from its 40 year low during the partial U.S. government shutdown that occurred a year ago.

Although 50 percent of Americans “strongly” disapprove of the way that Congress does its job, it is still lower than the 70 percent rating that occurred after the partial shutdown a year ago.

During the midterm election on November 4th, all 435 seats in the  U.S. House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate will be contested with winners serving six-year terms from January 3, 2015 to January 3, 2021.

Special elections will be held to fill vacancies that occur for the 113th United States Congress.

There are 36 Senate seats to be voted on November 4th,  21 of those now held by Democrats and 15 by Republicans.

For Republicans to take the Senate, they need to take 6 seats currently held by Democrats and retain the 15 seats currently held by Republicans.

President Obama’s 2nd term agenda on key issues such as minimum wage, transportation, immigration, and tax reform all hang in the balance.

Republicans are seeking to gain Senate control and impose their own conservative agenda on the country while obstructing the president’s political ambitions which comes at a time when he has faced some recent foreign policy challenges in Ukraine,  Iraq, and Syria.

Latest Gallup poll results show President Obama with a 41 percent approval rating as of Oct. 6-12 2014, slightly above his all-time low of 38 percent on Sept. 2-4 2014.

Despite the president’s low approval ratings and a variety of political pundits claiming that Republicans are poised to take over the Democrat controlled Senate, yesterday Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) predicted on Meet the Press that Democrats will continue to control the Senate after the mid-term elections.

Senator Schumer mentioned “economic issues” as one of the key deciding factors that will help to swing votes to Democrats in the Senatorial races.

“You know, I know all the pundits are saying Republicans will take the Senate. Democrats are going to prove the pundits wrong on election day when we keep the Senate, three reasons:

First and foremost, economic issues predominate. Ebola’s in the news, ISIS is in the news, but the average voter, every poll shows far and away, cares most about economic issues” Schumer said.

Senator Rob Portman (R-) was also interviewed on Meet the Press and emphasized that changing the majority on Capitol Hill is needed to solve the problems that are facing America.

“By changing the majority, having the House and Senate working together, and working with the president, we can begin to solve problems. And the biggest problem right now is jobs and the economy. And we need to give it a shot in the arm and we can.”

-Johnathan Schweitzer

 

 

Microsoft Earnings Show Growth With Surface, Office 365

micrMicrosoft reported stronger than expected first quarter fiscal earnings on Thursday led by strong growth with its cloud based offerings and higher revenue with its devices and consumer business.

Shares of the Redmond company are over 4 percent higher in premarket on Friday.

Microsoft reported revenue of $23 billion and .54 cents a share, beating consensus estimates of  $22.013 billion in revenue and .49 cents a share according to the estimate from Facstset.

“We are off to a great start to the year” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella during the conference call.

Devices and consumer revenue grew 47 percent to $10.96 billion with Office 365 Home and Personal subscribers totaling more than 7 million, representing 25 percent growth over the quarter.

Surface Pro 3 pushed Surface revenue higher to $ 908 million.

Xbox console sales jumped to $ 2.4 million, an increase of 102 percent which comes as Xbox One launches in 28 new markets.

Phone hardware revenue exceeded $ 2.6 billion.

Commercial revenue grew 10 percent to $12.28 billion, led by 128 percent growth in commercial cloud revenue driven by Office 365, Azure, and Dynamics CRM

“Customers are embracing our latest technologies from Surface Pro 3 and Office 365 to Azure and SQL server,” said Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer at Microsoft.

For the quarter, Microsoft took a $ 1.14 billion or .11 cent a share hit from integration and restructuring expenses due to its Nokia Devices and Service business.

-Johnathan Schweitzer

Apple Pay Basics

app watcApple Pay went live earlier this week on the iPhone 6 and will be available next year when the Apple Watch hits the market.

There are over 220,000 stores now accepting contactless payments through Apple Pay including Chevron, American Eagle, Bloomingdales, Disney Store, Sports Authority, Walgreens, and Whole Foods.

Major credit card companies such as American Express, Visa, and MasterCard all support the new payment system that is activated with Touch ID on the device.

Apple Pay works with majority of the largest credit and debit cards from the top U.S. banks.

Whoever issues your card, in most cases your bank, has to support Apple Pay for it to work with transactions.

Several large financial institutions including Chase, Citi, Capital One, Bank of America, Wells Fargo support Apple Pay.

Later this year, PNC, Barclaycard,  US Bank, USAA, and Navy Federal Credit Union will be available on Apple Pay.

You can store multiple cards in Apple Pay when you add your cards to Passbook but one card is established as the primary default card and it is easy to change the card you want to use for transactions.

Similar to Google Wallet, to add a new card on iPhone, simply use your iSight camera to enter your card information or else type it in manually.

You can also use Apple Pay to pay within apps. Some of the merchants already using the apps feature are Target, Panera, Groupon, Open Table, Uber, Lyft, and Chairish.

There are more apps coming this year including Starbucks, Disney Store, Sephora, Ticketmaster, Stubhub, and Jackthreads.

The iPad Air 2 and Mini 3 will work using Apple Pay apps.

The Near Field Communication antenna in iPhone 6 carries the transaction after holding your iPhone near the contactless reader with your finger on Touch ID.  Your payments are kept private. Apple Pay doesn’t store the details of your transactions, although the most recent purchases are kept in Passbook for your convenience.

You never have to show your credit or debit card, reveal your name, card number, or security code to the cashier when you pay for a transaction.

Instead of using your actual credit and debit card numbers when you add your card to Passbook, a device account number is assigned, encrypted, and securely stored in a dedicated chip in the iPhone.

You can also use Apple Pay to return items you bought through Apple Pay.

-Johnathan Schweitzer

 

Apple Posts Blow Out Earnings With New Lineup of Products Expected To Boost Holiday Sales

6 plus

After launching a wave of stylish new products in the second half of 2014, Apple posted their most profitable quarterly earnings ever on Monday as the Cupertino, CA company prepares for the upcoming holiday quarter with greater confidence.

CEO Tim Cook said during the conference call that it’s been an “exciting” and very “busy time” over the last three months.

“With amazing innovations in our new iPhones, iPads and Macs, as well as iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, we are heading into the holidays with Apple’s strongest product lineup ever. We are also incredibly excited about Apple Watch and other great products and services in the pipeline for 2015″ Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Monday.

Apple sold 39.27 million iPhones for the quarter, up 16 percent from 33.79 million units in the same quarter a year ago.

Apple had only 1 week during the past quarter to sell their newest iPhone 6 lineup but they started taking orders in September.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said that new iPhones will be available in 69 countries by the end of October.

Apple set an all-time quarterly record for Mac sales coming at a time when PC sales are lagging with many other companies.

Apple sold 5.5 million Macs, rising 21 percent, and totaling $6.6 billion in sales.

“Being up 21 percent in a market that is shrinking— it just doesn’t get any better than that” CEO Tim Cook said during the conference call.

The blow out quarterly numbers with Macs were likely helped by price cuts, including a discount with the MacBook Pro lineup in August.

iPad sales were not quite as impressive.

iPad sales dropped 13 percent year over year to 12.3 million units as fewer consumers decided to upgrade their iPads compared to iPhones.

Competition is also strong in the tablet market from Android tablets and Microsoft’s Surface tablet.

Apple also reported that they reduced their iPad channel inventory near the end of June in preparation for the arrival of the new iPads, announced last Thursday.

International sales accounted for 60 percent of Apple’s quarterly revenue.

Overall, Apple’s quarterly earnings per share (EPS) was stellar, rising 20 percent over the quarter while their quarterly revenue grew 12 percent and profits were up 13 percent.

“Our strong business performance drove EPS growth of 20 percent and a record $13.3 billion in cash flow from operations in the September quarter,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO.

Apple’s 4th quarter fiscal 2014 results ending September 27, 2014 shows the Company had quarterly revenue of $42.1 billion and quarterly net profit of $8.5 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share- versus- revenue of $37.5 billion and net profit of $7.5 billion, or $1.18 per diluted share, in same quarter a year ago.

Apple is providing guidance for its fiscal 2015 first quarter that includes revenue between $63.5 billion and $66.5 billion, gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38.5 percent. Operating expenses between $5.4 billion and $5.5 billion.

-Johnathan Schweitzer

 

Fed Chair Yellen: “U.S. Inequality Widened Over Past Decades”

wireIn a speech on Friday at the Conference on Economic Opportunity and Inequality in Boston, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the rise of inequality in the United States has widened over the past decade at a greater level than in most advanced countries.

Yellen offered some research showing that U.S. household wages have fallen, outstanding college student debt has risen, public education is uneven, and  fewer opportunities are available to build wealth through business creation.

Citing research from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), Yellen reported that since 1989, America has witnessed a rise in the concentration of income in the top few percent of U.S. households.

“After adjusting for inflation, the average income of the top 5 percent of households grew by 38 percent from 1989 to 2013,” Yellen said.

“By comparison, the average real income of the other 95 percent of households grew less than 10 percent. Income inequality narrowed slightly during the Great Recession, as income fell more for the top than for others, but resumed widening in the recovery, and by 2013 it had nearly returned to the pre-recession peak, ” Yellen added.

Weak Incomes and Widening Inequality

Yellen acknowledged that the past several decades of widening inequality has often involved stagnant or falling living standards for many families.

According to the survey Yellen cited, families at the bottom of the income distribution saw continued declines in average real incomes between 2010 and 2013, extending the trend  between the 2007 and 2010 taken during the Great Recession.

The survey also showed that families in the middle to upper-middle income brackets (between the 40th and 90th percentiles) saw little change in average real incomes between 2010 and 2013 and failed to recover the financial losses between 2007 and 2010.

Only families at the very top of the income distribution saw widespread income gains between 2010 and 2013 during a period of time when mean and median incomes were still below 2007 levels.

Yellen explained that Americans have witnessed the most sustained rise in inequality since the 19th century after more than 40 years of narrowing inequality following the Great Depression of the 1930’s and 1940’s.

“It is no secret that the past few decades of widening inequality can be summed up as significant income and wealth gains for those at the very top and stagnant living standards for the majority,” Yellen said.

While offering no silver bullet to reverse the trend of inequality in America, Yellen addressed four sources of economic opportunity or “building blocks” that have been operating in American society to further gains in income and wealth.

The four sources include having resources available for children, affordable higher education, business ownership, and building wealth through inheritances.

High College Student Debt And Low Home Ownership

Some of the challenges facing the U.S. economy include falling home ownership rates and rising student debt, especially among younger Americans and millennials.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, America’s home ownership rate fell to 64.7 percent in the second quarter of 2014, the lowest level in 19 years.

As the cost of higher education grows and personal incomes for the majority of Americans remains stagnant, student debt becomes a heavy burden and impacts spending levels across the economy.

“Outstanding student loan debt quadrupled from $260 billion in 2004 to $1.1 trillion this year, ” Yellen said.

Yellen explained that the cost of college tuition is rising at a faster pace than income wealth, hitting lower income Americans the hardest.

“College costs have risen much faster than income for the large majority of households since 2001 and have become especially burdensome for households in the bottom half of the earnings distribution” Yellen admitted.

“Rising college costs, the greater numbers of students pursuing higher education, and the recent trends in income and wealth have led to a dramatic increase in student loan debt” Yellen said.

With a growing distribution of wealth at the top, average Americans in lower economic brackets are faced with the growing reality of carrying heavy student debt, making it more difficult for Americans to qualify for home mortgages as lending requirements tighten from lenders.

The financial crisis that began in 2007 and lasted through the lowest point of 2009 was responsible for the destruction of nearly $20 trillion worth of financial assets owned by U.S. households and cost 9 million jobs, according to a study The Financial Crisis And The Great Recession from Tufts University.

As U.S. employment continues to improve and bounce back to pre-recession levels, helped in large part by the U.S. Federal Reserve keeping interest rates at historic lows as the housing market slowly recovers, more Americans are looking for higher wages to create wealth and lessen the impact from the $20 trillion that was lost during the financial crisis.

But the median income for Americans remained flat at $ 51,900 in 2013 compared to 2012.

Yellen said that as wage inequality resumed in the recovery, “wage growth and the healing of the labor market have been slow, and the increase in home prices has not fully restored the housing wealth lost by the large majority of households for which it is their primary asset.”

Uneven Public Schools

Yellen cited research from the Survey of Consumer Finances showing that a gap in wealth between families with children at the bottom and the top of the distribution has grown steadily over the past 24 years and accelerated recently.

The United States is one of the few advanced economies in which public education spending is often lower for students in lower-income households than for students in higher-income household.

“Half of U.S. public school funding comes from local property taxes, a much higher share than in other advanced countries, and thus the inequalities in housing wealth and income I have described enhance the ability of more-affluent school districts to spend more on public schools” Yellen said.

Yellen said that research shows that, for a variety of reasons, including inequality in teacher pay, the best teachers tend to migrate to and concentrate in schools in higher-income areas.

Weaker Business Ownership

Yellen reported that research studies show that business ownership is associated with higher levels of economic mobility and can be a vital source of opportunity for many households to improve their economic circumstances.

Yellen noted that it has become harder over the past decades to start and build businesses.

“The pace of new business creation has gradually declined over the past couple of decades, and the number of new firms declined sharply from 2006 through 2009″ Yellen said.

Yellen explained that a decline in business formation is concern because it “may serve to depress the pace of productivity, real wage growth, and employment.”

-Johnathan Schweitzer      schweitz31@gmail.com

Johnathan1Johnathan Schweitzer is a Seattle-based writer focusing on topics related to finance, politics, and technology

 

Apple Launches iPad 2 Air

ipad air 2Apple took the wraps off their upgraded iPad 2 Air on Thursday that featured several upgrades and improvements as Apple consumers are beginning to shift to larger phablet style iPhones and growth in tablets is gradually cooling.

From small businesses to global 500 enterprises, organizations and tech enthusiasts across the world have widely embraced Apple’s popular iPad, first released in April 2010.

Since April 2010 several other companies including Samsung, Lenovo, and Amazon have all released their own Android tablet versions to better compete with Apple’s popular iPad and Microsoft is seeking to gain more market share with its Surface tablet.

According to IDC,  the worldwide tablet grew 11.0 percent year over year in the second quarter of 2014.

IDC believes the tablet market will experience positive but slower growth in 2014 compared to 2013 as the market adjusts to the rise of larger smartphones that are becoming ubiquitous across the world.

“As we indicated last quarter, the market is still being impacted by the rise of large-screen smartphones and longer than anticipated ownership cycles,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC Research Director for Tablets.

“We can also attribute the market deceleration to slow commercial adoption of tablets. Despite this trend, we believe that stronger commercial demand for tablets in the second half of 2014 will help the market grow and that we will see more enterprise-specific offerings, as illustrated by the Apple and IBM partnership, come to market.” Bouchard added.

IDC research shows that Apple continues to hold its lead in the worldwide tablet market versus its competitors, shipping 13.3 million units in the second quarter of 2014 and holding a 26.9 percent market share versus 17.2 percent with Samsung and 4.9 percent with Lenovo.

On September 9th Apple unveiled its larger lineup of new iPhone 6 phones, featuring the larger iPhone 6 at 4.7 inches and iPhone 6 Plus at 5 inches as more users are accessing the internet from their phones and prefer the larger screen size.

Tech analysts are mostly positive about Apple’s newest upgrades with the iPad Air 2 that features a thinner and lighter version with a fingerprint sensor and redesigned retina display, fusing what had been three layers into one.

The iPad Air 2 is 18 percent thinner at 6.1 mm, weighing only 0.96 a pound, making it the thinnest tablet in the world.

The older iPad weighed 1.5 pounds and was 13.4 mm thin.

At 9.7 inches the iPad Air 2 has a custom-designed antireflective coating that reduces glare by 56 percent, making it the least reflective tablet in the world.

The iPad Air 2 has an anodized aluminum body and is offered in three elegant metallic finishes: silver, space gray, and gold.

It comes with iOS 8, engineered to take full advantage of the powerful A8X chip.

Pre-orders begin today for the iPad Air 2, priced at $499 and moving higher, with shipping beginning next week.

Apple announced on Thursday that Apple Pay, a mobile service aimed at turning your iPhone into a mobile wallet, will go live next week.

Piper Jafray tech analyst Gene Munster remains positive about the recent upgrades with iPad Air 2 in addition to the other upgrades that were done with Apple’s Mac and OSX.

“Apple introduced a number of incremental updates to iPad, Mac, and OSX today including iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, iMac with Retina 5K Display, and Yosemite. We believe these updates are important because they impact about 30 percent of Apple’s total business and, although the updates weren’t as exciting as those from the iPhone 6 launch, were necessary to keep the iPad and Mac lines fresh,” Munster wrote in a statement.

” We continue to believe the focus on AAPL will be iPhone unit sales and ASPs heading into the Dec-14 quarter, momentum of Apple Pay, and the launch of the Watch next year. We remain buyers ahead of the company’s 10/20 earnings report based on our belief that the company will offer strong Dec-14 guidance” Munster added.

William Power, an analyst from Baird also voiced mostly positive sentiment about the iPad Air 2, saying that the upgrades met his expectations.

“Apple held an event in Cupertino to announce its latest iPads and iMacs, which were largely in line with expectations. Perhaps more significantly, Apple Pay is scheduled to go live on Monday, opening a new chapter for the Apple ecosystem… The company announced that it now has 220,000 U.S. retail locations and 500 banks on board to support it at launch. That said, it’s still missing many big-name retailers, which could limit adoption out of the gate.”

-Johnathan Schweitzer

Johnathan1Johnathan Schweitzer is a Seattle based writer covering finance, politics, and tech. He can be reached at schweitz31@gmail.com