Apple Earnings: Profits Slip, iPhone Sales Fall Way Short of Estimates

Apple’s fiscal Q1 revenue and profits fell, marking the first time the company had to report such dismal numbers for this particular quarter in more than 10 years.

The culprits behind the declines were slowing iPhone sales and China’s economic downturn.

The tech giant’s earnings per share and revenue did beat analyst estimates. This was despite iPhone sales coming in lower than estimates.

Apple had warned investors about the expected lower sales at the beginning of January. Its stock plunged on that news.

Breaking Down Apple’s Fails And Beats

The tech giant reported earnings per share of $4.18, and revenues of $84.31 billion for the quarter that ended Dec. 29. Analysts’ estimates were $4.17, and $83.97 billion, respectively.

Its flagship iPhone saw its revenue fall 15% from the prior year. iPhones brought in $51.98 billion in sales, but analysts were looking for $52.67 billion.

Apple’s profits fell to $19.97 billion.

While iPhone sales were lower than expected, total revenue from all other products and services grew 19% to $10.9 billion. Apple had warned at the beginning of the month that emerging markets and the economic slowdown in China were presenting challenges to iPhone sales.

Mac revenues also missed estimates, but just slightly. Analysts estimated revenues from the machines would be $7.42 billion, but they were $7.416 billion instead.

Revenues from iPad sales, however, handily beat estimates. The street was looking for $5.9 billion, and Apple reported $6.729 billion.

Apple Continues To Guide Lower

Apple shares rose nearly 6% in after-market trading, though the stock sits well below its all-time high.

The street expects the number of iPhones sold over the next three months through the end of March will continue to decline at the steepest level in the company’s history.

Apple set Q2 2019 guidance lower than the street’s estimates. It set it at between $55 billion and $59 billion, while analysts were looking for $59.98 billion.

Here’s a breakdown of its guidance for its fiscal 2019 second quarter:

  • gross margin between 37 % and 38%
  • operating expenses between $8.5 billion and $8.6 billion
  • other income/(expense) of $300 million
  • tax rate of approximately 17%

About the guidance, Cook told CNBC:

“Well, we don’t attach our guidance to what the street is looking for, we attach it to what we can do. And so we think we can do $55 to $59 [billion]. Considering the currency situation, etc. it’s a strong guidance.”

He went on to say that revenue was down five percent during Q1, but only down three percent at constant currency. The effect will be more this quarter on currency than it was in the last quarter, Cook added.

“As we got into January, things have improved from where they ended in December, and that gives us some optimism. Of course that you don’t know what will continue, but I would also point out that seems to map to trade tension as well, that there is a bit more optimism in the air in January, or certainly I feel that anyways. I’m encouraged by the comments coming out of both countries.”

Optimistic In The Face Of It All

Cook said that while it was disappointing to miss its revenue guidance, he was confident about Apple’s outlook. He said the quarter’s results demonstrate that the “underlying strength of our business runs deep and wide.”

In the earnings release statement, he said:

“Our active installed base of devices reached an all-time high of 1.4 billion in the first quarter, growing in each of our geographic segments. That’s a great testament to the satisfaction and loyalty of our customers, and it’s driving our Services business to new records thanks to our large and fast-growing ecosystem.”

Despite the revenue and profit slips, Apple’s stock rose in after-market trading. At the time of writing, after the conference call, the stock was up 5.6% to $163.30.


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Author: Tedra DeSue 
Image Credit: Featured Image from Drew Angerer / Getty Images / AFP

Amazon Partners With Apple to Directly Sell iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch

Amazon is signing a deal with Apple to expand its collection of Cupertino’s hardware. The company currently sells devices like the iPhone from third-party sellers, in varying prices and conditions. The new deal hopes to improve the quality of the products sold on Amazon at standard pricing.

As part of the new partnership, Amazon will sell Apple’s new iPhone devices like the new iPhone Xs and iPhone Xr, as well as the new iPad Pro and Apple Watch Series 4. The company is additionally going to sell products from Apple-owned Beats. The new products will be available on Amazon in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and India over the coming weeks.

Apple’s HomePod smart speaker, which directly competes with Amazon’s Echo products, won’t be sold on Amazon for bvious reasons. The company also doesn’t sell Google’s Home devices.

The new partnership means Amazon’s independent sellers will no longer be able to sell iPhones and other Apple products directly on Amazon. Instead, they will have to get verified as Apple-approved resellers to be able to sell Apple products on Amazon, reports CNET. This will ensure customers get a certain level of quality and don’t have to worry about the quality or legitimacy of the products purchased.

The deal is a big win for Amazon, further expanding the company’s product range just in time for the holidays. With Amazon offering free delivery on all orders for the holidays in the United States, the timing here is perfect.


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Author: Mehedi Hassan
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Apple iPhone 5G is coming! In 2020…

Ultra-fast 5G wireless is going to change the world… eventually. It won’t just disrupt the mobile ISP business, but home internet as well. Throughout 2019, I fully expect consumers to be bombarded with 5G marketing that will sell it as the next big thing. And yes, the new standard will be pretty great, but it is not yet necessary. You see, the 5G infrastructure is not yet ubiquitous, and it won’t be for a long while. So while there will probably be Android phones with high-speed 5G modems in 2019, owners largely won’t have any way to take advantage of it.

According to a new report from Fast Company, Apple will be sitting out the 2019 5G shenanigans, instead waiting for at least 2020 to launch the iPhone 5G. You know what? That is very wise. The fruit-logo company is seemingly opting to wait until 5G is worthwhile and not merely a marketing tool.

I am sure you are wondering, what would the harm be of including a 5G modem in an iPhone in 2019? In other words, is there a downside to having such a modem in the phone even if consumers can’t really use it? Well, yes. For one, it adds cost to the manufacturing process, and let’s be honest, the last thing we need is for Apple to have another reason to increase iPhone sales prices — the flagship models are already obscenely overpriced.

More importantly, early 5G modems will likely be huge battery drains, cause massive heat increases, and potentially, be buggy as hell. It is smart to sit on the sidelines and monitor the situation on Android before introducing such a thing to iPhone owners. Let LG and Samsung buyers be guinea pigs!

Case in point, according to the Fast Company report, the Intel 5G modems Apple plans to use are simply not yet up to snuff. The modem currently gets way too hot. Hopefully Intel can produce cooler modem hardware by 2020 that meets Apple’s demanding expectations.

Am I excited for 5G? Very much so. As an iPhone user, am I sad that I won’t have an Apple smartphone with such a modem in 2019? Hell no. Quite frankly, even if Apple waits until 2021 to add 5G to iPhone and iPad, its probably wouldn’t matter. Let the Android user have their bragging rights in 2019, because that is all it will really be… bragging rights. I’d much rather OS upgrades.


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Author: Brian Fagioli
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Framing Apple’s iPhone keynote

This year’s iPhone event is done and dusted, and now we’re all sitting in the interregnum between the announcements and the reviews. I’ve been lucky enough to live blog these events for years, but the process of creating a live blog is weird. I was taking photos for the site during the keynote, and since I’m a “spray and pray” kind of photographer, I took upwards of 1,600 photos in just a couple of hours.’

I point that out just to say that my attention was more focused on what Apple was doing than the reaction to it. I only had so much bandwidth, and most of it was taken up by the camera. So when I had a chance later to look at all the coverage (and Twitter jokes), it didn’t come as a huge surprise to see that there was a lot of shrugging this year. “S-year” keynotes often feel like downers to the tech world, even though S-model iPhones are often Apple’s most popular and well-loved devices.

It’s certainly too early to say whether that sales pattern will repeat itself this year, but since my attention was dominated by the keynote, another kind of pattern crystalized for me as I was snapping away with the camera: Apple’s structure for announcing new features has a very specific and repeatable narrative structure.
So that’s what this week’s Processor (hey, it’s back!) is about. Maybe Apple’s framing technique was so easy to see because there were fewer product announcements this year, and the announcements that did happen were so straightforward. I saw Apple framing product announcements in a way very similar to how George Lakoff talks about politicians framing issues.

This year’s framing around the camera was especially fascinating. Arguably, the innovation on the iPhone XS that will be most noticeable to customers is the camera. And with that camera, Apple is trying to do some very similar stuff to what the Pixel 2 does: it takes multiple photos at once, it stitches them together, and it does more computation.
But you know what didn’t get mentioned at all during the keynote? Any other smartphone cameras. Apple would rather you frame the new iPhone as a thing that’s getting closer to replacing a DSLR, not as a thing that is in the scrum with other smartphone cameras. Apple sets the terms of the world and of the things that exist in it. That’s the frame.

Lakoff writes:
This gives us a basic principle of framing for when you are arguing against the other side: Do not use their language. Their language picks out a frame — and it won’t be the frame you want.
Once the frame is established, within that frame, Apple tells a story where one thing leads to the next. Here’s how that usually goes:
* Talk about how great Apple products have always been
* Talk about specs and tech details on the new thing
* Talk about how Apple’s new thing will let you do amazing new things

Apple keeps doing these keynotes specifically to create that frame and tell that story. They don’t (just) exist so you will know what the new feature or product is; they exist so you can see yourself as a character in Apple’s story. They’re Apple’s best chance to set the terms of the discussion for its products.

Even in an S-year keynote, where the announcements aren’t that game-changing, Apple can still use this narrative-setting structure to shape how people think about their products. It might be even more important in an S-year.

The real point of the keynote is to make you see yourself as a character in Apple’s story
I don’t think that Apple is unique in consciously deploying a narrative frame as a technique, but I do think that the company has shown a deeper, more conscious awareness of its structure and importance than anybody else. It knows that most people will forget the feature but remember the story arc — or at least remember the feeling that story arc is meant to evoke.

To be clear, I’m not pointing out these rhetorical techniques because I think they’re somehow disingenuous. Apple may be deploying tactics we more often see in political discourse, but that doesn’t mean that it’s just propaganda. It’s marketing. And Apple has proven itself to be very good at marketing over the years.


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Author: Dieter Bohn
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Apple Orders Coinbase Wallet to Remove Crypto Collectible

It seems iPhone users won’t have access to the crypto collectible craze anytime soon.

The news comes after forthcoming video game War Riders was featured on the Coinbase Wallet iOS app and then quickly withdrawn. In War Riders, players drive around an apocalyptic wasteland, building up armies of vehicles – vehicles represented by non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, on a blockchain.

LIONBIT

According to screenshots obtained by CoinDesk, a Coinbase staffer told Cartified, the company behind the game, via Discord:

“Quick heads up – we will be removing from the iOS version as we’re not able to highlight dapps that facilitate purchase of digital goods.”

The Coinbase spokesperson explained that War Riders was the only app listed within the wallet that sells NFTs.

Notably, CryptoKitties, the famous decentralized application (dapp) for buying and breeding digital cats, isn’t even featured. Although War Riders and others remain listed on the Android version of the Coinbase Wallet app.

Stepping back, Apple has long had a complicated relationship with crypto in its app store. Coinbase was itself removed for a time early on (but that was a long time back). Plus an early game that allowed users to earn bitcoin for playing was also removed.

Viktor Radchenko, CEO of Trust Wallet, tweeted about the same problem in June.

“Experience with Apple is just terrible,” he told CoinDesk via Telegram. “No communication from their on how to work with NFT’s or even with cryptocurrencies.”

Yet, within Apple’s app store review guidelines, there’s no specific language forbidding NFTs precisely. Radchenko said Apple has indicated they are forbidden under its “In-App Purchase” rules.

Neither Apple nor Coinbase have responded to repeated requests for comment.

Featured dapps

The controversy started Monday after Coinbase enabled native hosting of the dapp’s NFTs on its app.

That was the first day War Riders got native support for its NFT on Coinbase, meaning users could not only find the game by name, but also, should they purchase an NFT, it would show up in the Coinbase Wallet, according to Vlad Kartashov, CEO of Cartified.

By late Tuesday night, Kartashov informed CoinDesk that War Riders was no longer showing up as “featured dapp” within the Coinbase Wallet at all.

TIP

While Cartified is not officially describing the gameplay yet, it’s currently selling premium vehicles, of which there are only 30,000 premium vehicles of a maximum 1,180,000 vehicles throughout the whole game.

According to Kartashov, it’s not for a lack of interest that the game got removed.

“We have a very thriving community on Discord, and people have already been forming clans even though clans have not been announced officially,” he told CoinDesk.

Plus, the game itself seems well suited to attract fans of post-apocalyptic games, even those that are tired of the same old, same old design.

“These vehicles will also be modernized and will not be from the 70s like it is in the most post-apocalyptic games,” he said.

Another token

Beside the NFT, War Riders’ players will also use an ERC-20 token called benzene (or BZN) within the game as money. BZN will be released to players through caches that will be algorithmically generated by the game within its world.

But there’s a twist here. BZN will function as a more traditional cryptocurrency outside the game, but players that acquire the token within the game must use their vehicles to safely get the BZN back to their garage in order to use it in the real world. Other players will be able to steal it on the way.

Its premium NFTs will also come with full “tanks” of BZN, so it will be on the market in small quantities before the game goes live.

Speaking to Cartified’s mission for BZN, Kartashov said, “No BZN will ever be for sale. There’s no ICO or anything like that. We are only selling non-fungible tokens.”

Cartified is only running an NFT pre-sale right now. Buyers are not yet receiving the actual tokens.

Kartashov has not been able to get any more clarity about the specific objection from Apple to his app, but concluded:

“I’m not sure what’s exactly bad with people wanting to play games.”


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Apple Bans Cryptocurrency Mining On iPhones And iPads

Cryptocurrency miners utilize large networks of devices, including iPhones and iPads, to help them mine.

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Apple is cracking down on cryptocurrency activity on its devices.

During Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last week, the company released new App Store guidelines that ban cryptocurrency mining on both iOS devices and Mac. AppleInsider first spotted the changes to the policy on Monday.

This is the first time Apple has offered a clear stance on its policy on cryptocurrency apps. It comes amid explosive interest in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, which are “mined” when people use multiple devices to solve complex mathematical problems that lock and unlock information in the blockchain. They’re rewarded as each transaction is secured.

 

“Apps, including any third-party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining,” Apple said under the hardware compatibility section of its App Store policy.

 

Apply didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

Cryptocurrency mining has become a popular way for people to make money. But mining needs a lot of computing power, prompting users to buy pricey graphics cards and utilize large networks of devices, which include iPhones and iPads.



Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavor to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!
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Apple is reportedly planning to update its Apple Watch with a solid-state button

Apple is reportedly planning to make a change to the Apple Watch, according to Fast Company: a future version might replace its physical button for a solid-state one that provides haptic feedback, much like the updated home button introduced in the iPhone 7 a couple of years ago.


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Fast Company cites a “source with direct knowledge of Apple’s plans,” saying that the company will keep the same configuration of buttons, but that it won’t physically move, relying instead on Apple’s Taptic Engine to react to a user’s touch. The report also says that the digital crown will still physically move to scroll.

Apple switched things up in 2015 with its MacBook Pro’s Force Touch Trackpad and with its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 2016. Both devices removed physical moving parts and replaced them with surfaces that replicated the feel of a click when pressed using the Taptic Engine. The MacBook Pro’s trackpad and iPhone’s buttons took a little getting used to, but swapping out the physical button means that the devices have one less thing that can physically break. It also helped Apple make the iPhone water resistant. The same logic seems to be at play here, especially as Apple has worked to make the Apple Watch water resistant to appeal to swimmers and athletes. The removal of the button could also help free up some space for a slightly larger battery, thus giving it more operating time.

It’s not clear when the change will occur: Apple traditionally announces new hardware in the fall, and Fast Company’s source says that it could be part of that lineup — but if not, it could come in 2019.


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Apple Allays iPhone Worries, Adds $100 Billion to Buyback Plans

Smartphone revenue rises 14% as pricier iPhone X offsets slowing growth in shipments

Apple Inc. flexed its financial muscle with a record $100 billion plan to buy back stock from investors, as it reported strong gains in revenue and profit even as growth in the number of iPhones sold remained weak.

The results for Apple’s fiscal second quarter reflect a fundamental transformation reshaping the world’s most valuable company, turning a business centered on how many devices it ships into one built around high-end features and services for those devices.

Apple’s report Tuesday capped a string of strong earnings from U.S. tech giants including Amazon.com Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc., and Facebook Inc., all of which continued to thrive despite business challenges and rising concern from regulators, politicians and others about the technology industry’s power and practices. On average, the four companies saw their revenue rise 28% in the first three months from a year ago.

Revenue from the iPhone, which still accounts for most of Apple’s sales and profit, rose 14% to $38 billion in the quarter, which ended in March. That came despite a modest 3% increase in the number of iPhones shipped, thanks to higher average prices driven by the $1,000 iPhone X launched last year.

Apple further assuaged concerns about its future with a forecast for total revenue in the current quarter of between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion, which would represent a healthy increase from a year ago.

Meanwhile, Apple said the number of paid subscriptions for services ranging from HBO to Apple Music rose to 270 million in the period, an increase of 100 million people in a year. Revenue from the services business jumped by nearly a third to $9.19 billion, accelerating from the previous quarter.

 

The combination drove total revenue up 16% to $61.14 billion in the latest period, Apple said. Profit rose 25% to $13.82 billion, its highest level for a March quarter.

“With the services that we have now and others that we are working on, I think that this is just a huge opportunity for us and feel very good about the track that we’re on,” Chief Executive Tim Cook said during a call with analysts.

Apple’s $100 billion share-repurchase plan is the largest ever announced by a U.S. company, according to data from research firm Birinyi Associates. Apple said its board also approved a 16% increase in its quarterly dividend. That put it on track to spend $14.82 billion a year in dividends, making it the largest dividend payer, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Apple already had paid out $275 billion to shareholders through March since it resumed returning capital to them in 2012, including $200 billion in share repurchases.

The increase in Apple’s capital return comes after it announced in January it would bring the majority of its $269 billion in overseas cash holdings back to the U.S. That followed the major U.S. tax overhaul President Donald Trump signed into law late last year, which requires companies to pay a one-time tax of 15.5% on overseas profits held in cash.

Apple didn’t give a timetable for implementing the new buybacks. Luca Maestri, Apple’s chief financial officer, said in an interview that given the size of the planned buybacks “it’s going to take us some time to execute,” but “our plan is to do it at a fast pace.”

Total Return on Investment since May 2003:

Sluggish growth in the number of iPhones shipped over the past six months has fueled investor concerns about the outlook for Apple’s marquee business, as people hold on to smartphones longer and competition from homegrown rivals intensifies in China, once its fastest-growing market.

Apple’s stock has stalled this year, after investors sent its share price up 45% last year on hopes that the feature-rich X model would help recharge growth. The device’s price tag has damped demand, say analysts, who now expect another year of low, single-digit growth in the number of iPhones Apple ships.

Apple shares closed at $169.10 on Tuesday ahead of the earnings report, even as shares in other tech giants including Amazon Inc. have continued to rise. The shares rose more than 3% in after-hours trading.

“The high end of the smartphone market where Apple is dominant is very mature,” said Arif Karim, a senior investment analyst at Ensemble Capital Management, a Burlingame, Calif., wealth manager that counts Apple among its largest holdings. He said the huge shipment increases the iPhone once enjoyed are “dead.”

The price tag for the iPhone X, though, has counteracted that.

Apple’s revenue forecast of between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion for the current quarter is on track with analysts’ recent consensus estimate of $51.9 billion, a number that has fallen in recent weeks as Apple suppliers such as Broadcom Inc. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. warned of slowing smartphone sales world-wide.

Growth in China, which cratered in 2016 after soaring the year before, continued to accelerate. Sales in Greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, rose 21% to $13 billion.

Mr. Cook played down concerns about recent trade tensions between the U.S. and China, saying he was optimistic that the U.S. and China can find a way that both can win economically and grow the global pie, “not just allocate it differently.”

The services business has become one of Apple’s biggest growth engines, with revenue in its last fiscal year rising 23% to $30 billion. Apple aims to lift that number to $50 billion by 2020.

The company has 1.3 billion iPhones and other devices in active use and earns an estimated $30 per device on music subscriptions, app store purchases and other services, according to Morgan Stanley, which expects services to account for about 60% of Apple’s revenue growth over the next five years.

The division that includes Apple’s smartwatches and AirPods wireless earbuds also posted another period of strong gains, with sales rising 38% to $3.95 billion in the period.

“They are reinventing the growth story,” said Daniel Morgan, vice president at Synovus Trust Company, which has $14 billion under management and counts Apple among its largest holdings. “They see the iPhone numbers like everyone else does and know they have to grow other aspects of their business.”

 


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Author: Tripp Mickle
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