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Shares of Apple hit $100 as Morgan Stanley provides strong endorsement to investors


Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 09:01 am PT (12:01 pm ET)

Apple is on the verge of a major new iPhone product cycle, but this one will be unlike any other launch before it, making it an ideal time for investors to buy in to the company’s stock, Morgan Stanley said on Tuesday, helping shares to touch $100 in mid-day trading.

Analyst Katy Huberty issued a strong recommendation for shares of AAPL in a new note to investors, a copy of which was provided to AppleInsider. In it she gave a list of reasons why she believes this fall’s product cycle refresh will be “different” from years past for investors.

For starters, Huberty believes shares of Apple are set to grow with currently low institutional ownership rates. She noted that the top 100 institutional holders of AAPL shares have a 2.3 percent stake in their portfolios, much lower than the 4.5 percent share the company held at its peak position in 2012.

Apple’s current institutional ownership is also well below the SP 500′s rating of 3.4 percent.

She also believes that the market should pay more attention to the leadership and product investments that Apple has made in recent years, brining on key new personnel and putting huge sums of cash into research and development, along with acquisitions.

Specifically, Apple’s spending on manufacturing and parts is at the company’s highest level since 2007, prior to the launch of the first-generation iPhone. For the June quarter, Apple’s commitments for third-party manufacturing and components grew 22 percent sequentially to $15.4 billion.

Huberty also expects the “iPhone 6″ launch window to have more favorable margins than the debut of the iPhone 5 carried for Apple in 2012. In particular, she expects that the anticipated “iWatch” will post strong margins, which would stand in contrast to the margin erosion that Apple saw in 2012 with the debut of the first iPad mini.

The analyst also noted that Apple’s online services, particularly the App Store, are improving overall margins and represent a greater portion of the company’s revenue. And warranty expenses as a percent of revenue are declining year over year — another trend she predicts will continue.

And Huberty has high hopes for this year’s product launches, predicting that the “iWatch” in particular could see up to 60 million shipments in its first year alone. Her “base case” prediction calls for Apple to ship 41 million “iWatch” units, while she also believes that larger form factors for the “iPhone 6″ will help drive year over year sales growth.

Though Huberty pushed a strongly for investors to own Apple stock on Tuesday, her price target of $110 remains unchanged from when she initially updated it in mid-July. She has also maintained her “overweight” rating.

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Mailbox for Mac hits public beta, adds synced drafts and ‘snooze to desktop’ feature


Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 09:32 am PT (12:32 pm ET)

Popular iOS email efficiency tool Mailbox is now accessible to select users on Mac for beta testing, with availability set to expand gradually over the coming weeks as the developer gears up for a public launch.

People who signed up to beta test Mailbox for OS X began receiving emails on Tuesday notifying them that they can now download and install the application. In addition to making its debut on Mac, Mailbox also has new features including draft support and the ability to snooze messages on a mobile device until the user gets back to their computer.

People who signed up on the beta waiting list are advised to keep an eye on their email inbox over the “coming weeks.” Those invited will receive a “betacoin” attachment file that will unlock their copy of Mailbox for Mac, and also enable the mobile “snooze to desktop” feature.

Mailbox on both desktop and iOS also features new draft support, representing one of the most common requests the developer hears. With the new functionality, drafts are saved locally to the device and are automatically synced across devices when a user is signed into their Dropbox account.

Those who haven’t yet signed up for the Mailbox for Mac beta can do so at the application’s official website.

Mailbox for Mac was first announced in April, but has not been available to publicly test until Tuesday’s limited rollout began. Users can control the app to quickly swipe and archive or delete messages using an Apple Trackpad or Magic Mouse.

Last week, the Mailbox iOS app was updated with Passbook support as well as new languages and spam filtering. The application is a free download from the App Store.

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Continued production issues may force Apple to delay ‘iWatch’ until 2015, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims


Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 12:10 pm PT (03:10 pm ET)

With a number of issues allegedly still standing between Apple and the launch of its anticipated wrist-worn device, the so-called “iWatch” may not even see the light of day until next year, the latest missive from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests.

Artist’s rendition of purported Apple smartwatch. | Source: Yrving Torrealba

Apple’s efforts in bringing the “iWatch” to market represent “a much higher level of difficulty for the company,” according to Kuo. Problems Apple is facing are said to include components, system design, manufacturing, and integration between hardware and software.

What to expect:
‘iWatch’ rumors

  • Fall 2014 launch
  • Health fitness focus
  • Biometric sensors
  • iPhone connectivity
  • Two sizes for men women

Learn more

As a result, Kuo suggested that Apple may be forced to postpone the launch of the “iWatch” until 2015, though he didn’t definitively say it was the case.

It should be noted that while Kuo has predicted Apple’s future product plans correctly on numerous occasions, his track record when it comes to the release schedule and availability of those products has been less reliable.

For example, he correctly predicted the company’s entire fall 2012 lineup ahead of time, and even had inside info on a more affordable iMac that Apple debuted this spring.

But he also made claims last year that Apple was planning to launch an even higher resolution iPad this fall before subsequently backing off that prediction. He also originally forecast the “iWatch” to debut in the September quarter, but has been pushing back that prediction as he has received word of internal delays at Apple.

Regarding the alleged “iWatch” delay, Kuo said essentially the same comments last month about Apple’s anticipated 5.5-inch “iPhone 6,” indicating that the so-called “phablet” model may be more difficult to produce than the smaller 4.7-inch model. Kuo also suggested that the larger iPhone launch could be pushed to 2015.

But up until Tuesday, Kuo believed that the “iWatch” was set to hit the market this year, albeit in extremely limited quantities. In a note issued late last month, the analyst said he expected Apple would be able to ship only 3 million wrist-worn smart devices before the end of 2014.

AppleInsider was first to discover an Apple patent filing describing a watch design with flexible display.

In that note, Kuo suggested that Apple will face sapphire cover production bottlenecks, forcing the company to use glass screen covers for about half of the “iWatch” units it ships. He also believes the device will sport a curved AMOLED display built by LG Display.

The reports stand in contrast to comments made by Re/code in June which suggested Apple’s “first wearable device” was on track to debut at an October event. The mysterious wearable device is expected to tap into the new iOS 8 HealthKit tools Apple offers developers, allowing the wrist-worn accessory to track and analyze health and fitness data.

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Shares of Apple reach highest-ever closing price as ‘iPhone 6′ & ‘iWatch’ hype builds


Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 01:01 pm PT (04:01 pm ET)

After meeting some resistance at the $100 mark, shares of Apple stayed in three-digit territory and closed above their previous all-time high in Tuesday afternoon trading, setting a new record for the company’s stock.

The New York Stock Exchange, credit Carlos Delgado via Wikipedia.

Having overcome the $100 threshold, shares of AAPL stock went as high as $100.68, which was just below the company’s highest ever intraday share price in post-split trading. When the market closed at 4:00 Eastern, Apple finished the day at $100.56.

Apple’s previous split-adjusted closing record high was $100.30.

The record comes as hype is building for an anticipated Sept. 9 event where the company is expected to announce its next-generation “iPhone 6″ smartphone in two screen sizes: 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. In addition, the company is also heavily rumored to be planning an October event where it could unveil a wrist-worn “iWatch,” along with refreshed iPad models featuring Touch ID fingerprint sensors.

Apple’s gains on Tuesday were helped by a ringing endorsement from analyst Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley, who issued a note to investors laying the case that it’s an ideal time to buy in to the company ahead of a strong product launch cycle this fall. In particular, Huberty has high hopes for an anticipated “iWatch,” predicting that the company will sell 41 million units in its first year alone.

Although Apple reached a record share price on Tuesday, the company remains well behind its highest-ever market capitalization of over $665 billion. As of Tuesday, Apple’s market cap was valued at just over $602 billion.

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Microscopic analysis, iOS 8 code point to new 4.7-inch ‘iPhone 6′ display resolutions


Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 02:26 pm PT (05:26 pm ET)

Adding to the pile of supposed “iPhone 6″ parts leaks, a report out of Russia claims to have put a display bound for Apple’s 4.7-inch handset under the microscope, while new code discovered in Xcode suggests at least one new iPhone model will carry a 1,472-by-828-pixel resolution.

According to Russian luxury iPhone modification reseller Feld Volk, the image above shows a close-up view of Apple’s purported 4.7-inch iPhone 6 display with a 1 mm reference box overlaid on top of a grid of pixels, which the firm claims is evidence of a 1,704-by-906 resolution.

As noted by MacRumors, however, counting up the individual pixels within the bounded area comes out to 13 pixels in horizontal and vertical directions, much less than the 16 pixels per millimeter required for Feld Volk’s estimate. By comparison, the current iPhone 5s display boasts a 1,136-by-640-pixel resolution, or about 10.5 pixels per millimeter.

Perhaps offering consensus on the matter is new code discovered in Apple’s latest Xcode 6 SDK. Spotted by 9to5Mac earlier today, a file containing instructions for iOS 8′s Springboard, more commonly referred to as the iOS home screen, includes mention of a 414-by-736-pixel iPhone resolution.

Considering the point value method by which iPhone translates data, the actual hardware resolution would be double or triple that number, or 1,472-by-828 pixels. The new resolution from Xcode closely jibes with today’s microscopic image analysis that yields a roughly 13-by-13-pixel per millimeter resolution, though a near-exact fit would come at around 14 pixels per millimeter.

All rumors will be put to bed when Apple debuts its handset or handsets next month. The company is expected to hold a special media event on Sept. 9 that will likely see the unveiling of a next-generation 4.7-inch iPhone and possibly a 5.5-inch phablet version.

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Photos of supposed fully assembled ‘iPhone 6′ chassis surface


Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 03:12 pm PT (06:12 pm ET)

Amid the deluge of parts leaks and rumors surrounding the upcoming “iPhone 6,” a set of photos on Tuesday mates purportedly leaked rear case and display components in what could be the first look at Apple’s next handset.

While the pictures from Russian iPhone retailer Feld Volk don’t show an operating iPhone 6 with working circuitry, they do offer a glimpse at what might be Apple’s next handset if past rumors and leaks turn out to be true.

As seen in the image above, posted to the firm’s Instagram page and subsequently picked up by MacRumors, the setup is a combination of two supposedly leaked parts that have been making their way around the Web over the past few months.

The rear shell was first seen in May and features rounded edges, redesigned speaker grille and side-mounted sleep/wake button for easy handling. A more complete version with anchors for circuit boards and inlaid radio-transparent Apple logo showed up in late July.

As for the top screen portion, some of the first supposed photos came out in April. It is unknown if today’s photos include an assembled display complete with screen, like a version posted to the Web earlier this month, nor is it clear if the Touch ID home button is the same part leaked last month.

Apple is expected to reveal its next-generation iPhone lineup on Sept. 9, with many industry watchers anticipating 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions of the handset. Along with the redesign, the next iPhone will likely feature an A8 processor, enhanced camera and iOS 8.

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